The Upstate Economy

3:24pm

Fri October 3, 2014
minimum wage

Tipped workers want a wage increase, but restaurants say it'll hurt

Patrick McCann, owner of Piggy Pat's BBQ in New Hartford, says wage increases for servers will hurt his business.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Most New Yorkers earning the minimum wage are seeing their pay increase slightly, but that doesn't go for those in the service industry who receive tips.

The state's minimum wage will be $9 an hour at the end of next year. It will stay flat for servers and other tipped workers at $5 an hour, plus those tips.

Now the state labor department is considering raising the tipped minimum wage, but restaurant owners are worried it will have a negative ripple effect.

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10:17am

Wed September 10, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Shipping on St. Lawrence Seaway up

St. Lawrence Seaway in Montreal
Susan Novak

Shipping on the St. Lawrence Seaway is up three percent from last year.  That's a big comeback after last year's long winter  delayed the season.

When the seaway opened in March, the shipping lanes were still clogged with ice. Freighter traffic didn't pick up until late May.  Much of the cargo was leftover grain from Canada. And then, shipping really picked up.

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5:55pm

Wed August 27, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Craft distillers make their way to the New York State Fair

New York liquors, including moonshine, are on display at the New York State Fair.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

As New York state continues to boost the craft brewery and distillery business, brews and spirits pushed into the wine court at the New York State Fair.

David Tadros has been collecting brews and spirits from Clayton to Brooklyn to sell at his stand on the edge of the wine court. State Fair Showstopper Ale, a brew concocted only for the run of the fair, by Empire Brewery, is sold here, along with other New York state beers. And for the first time distilled spirits are available outside, opening them up to a bigger audience.

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4:54pm

Fri August 1, 2014
The Upstate Economy

First half statewide sales tax revenue increases overall, but some counties falter

Overall, sales tax revenue in New York increased for the first half of this year, but revenues were mixed across the state.

Across the board, New York saw sales tax revenue grow $177 million over the first half of this year, according to numbers tallied by the state comptroller's office. That's a 2.5 percent jump, but it's been an uneven increase, with some counties seeing big gains, while others decreased.

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9:34am

Fri August 1, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Madison County to take advantage of new federal bank program

United States Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (middle) discusses the Rural Infrastructure Opportuntity Fund during a recent visit to Madison County.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

United States Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is using a project in Madison County to highlight a new federal program that’s meant to promote infrastructure upgrades in rural parts of the country. The idea is to connect small communities with private money, in an effort to revitalize rural America.

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7:22am

Thu July 24, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Community job training program will expand

Participants in Northside UP's Green Train job program in 2012.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

A minority workforce training program on Syracuse’s North Side is being expanded with the help of several local agencies.

Northside UP, a community group targeting the immigrant population in the northern sections of Syracuse, has been running training programs called Green Train and Health Train. The second has placed a few dozen people on the payroll on St. Joseph’s Hospital, also located on the North Side.

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5:53am

Wed July 23, 2014
The Upstate Economy

The Film House moves forward with plans for first and second movies

President Ryan Johnson says the Film House is working on two projects, with two more coming.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

A film production company that’s moved to central New York is scouting locations across the region for movies it plans on filming by the end of the year.

The Film House, which will be the first tenant in the new Central New York Hub for Emerging Nano Industries in Dewitt, plans on starting to film the sci-fi picture “The Opium Wars” in September. The company's president Ryan Johnson says right now they’re scouting for places like exterior farms, a run-down bar, and a big hangar with a "Mad Max" feel. At the same time, Johnson says they’re also working on their next movie.

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6:24am

Tue July 22, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Preservation League announces new plans for old buildings

Rodgers Liquor Building in Albany
Jenna Flanagan Innovation Trail

Everything old is new again, so the saying goes. With that in mind, the Preservation League of New York State announced a plan to repurpose five vacant industrial buildings in the Capital region with the hopes of attracting young professionals and revitalizing communities.

The Industrial Heritage Reuse Project, or "trendy hipster bait," launched on Thursday in hopes of breathing new live into old buildings.

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10:29am

Mon July 21, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Despite construction and ribbon cuttings, Syracuse lags in job creation

The recent groudbreaking of DeWitt's new nanotech center
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The sight of cranes in the air, and shovels in the ground abound in central New York this summer.  That doesn’t jive though, with the latest job figures from New York state that the Syracuse area continues to lose jobs at an alarming rate.

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7:43am

Tue July 15, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Schumer hopes federal funds will help local brewpub expand

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., hopes federal funding will help Empire Brewing Company in Syracuse expand its operations into Madison County
Ellen Abbott

The Empire Brewing Company in Syracuse is planning an expansion that will let the brewpub create a new kind of farm-to-bottle brewing model.

The company is looking for $200,000 in federal funding to help with operation of a farm and construction of a bottling plant in Madison County. Sen. Charles Schumer says the funds would come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which would be a good fit.

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4:42pm

Sun July 6, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Michael Falcone on the Campbell Conversations

Michael Falcone, left, speaks with Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher

Michael Falcone is Chairman Emeritus of the Pioneer Companies, a commercial real estate development enterprise in Upstate New York, Denver, and Phoenix.  Prior to that, he was a partner with Robert Congel in the Pyramid Companies.  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher speaks with him about malls, hotels, the development trajectory of Syracuse, the proper role of government in development, and Syracuse University's impact on the city.

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1:12pm

Thu June 19, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Haitian connection integral to upstate couple's business model

Stephane Jean-Baptiste and Yve-Car Momperousse at home in Ithaca, New York.
Jim Day WXXI

Many new startup companies end up running their new business out of their homes, and that's the case for Stephane Jean-Baptiste and Yve-Car Momperousse who live and work in Ithaca, New York.

Their sustaining business model relies heavily on their relationship with the land and people of Haiti.

As you’ll see, they’re aiming to be both successful and socially-responsible entrepreneurs, and help in the re-building of the island nation devastated by the 2010 earthquake.

6:23am

Mon May 19, 2014
jobs

More than 100 Remington Arms jobs being sent to Alabama

Remington Arms employs more than 1,000 people in Ilion, New York. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The two-century-old gun manufacturer Remington Arms, the nucleus of a small Mohawk Valley community, is losing jobs to a more gun-friendly state.

The parent company of Remington, based in Ilion, New York, announced this week it is moving to lines of production work to the company's gleaming new factory in Huntsville, Alabama, announced earlier this year.

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4:13pm

Fri May 16, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Group argues lack of high speed Internet hurts business in central New York

State, local and federal elected officials have created a new coalition meant to bridge the digital divide in central New York, as they say a lack of quality high speed Internet has become an economic development issue in Syracuse.

About two years ago, Bob Slivinski of Encompass Technologies  and Syracuse Innovations Group decided they wanted to move their office out of East Syracuse. But when they looked at offices in the city of Syracuse, the lack of fiber optic Internet stopped them cold.

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7:31am

Tue May 6, 2014
The Upstate Economy

SUNY campuses getting started with their Start-Up NY plans

SUNY campuses across central New York are working to get the final pieces in place to begin attracting business as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Start-Up NY. 

Start-Up NY offers businesses a chance to operate tax-free for ten years, if they set up shop within one mile of college campus, and create jobs that support the academic mission of the school they’re affiliated with.  

So far, according to the Start-Up NY web site, there are more than a dozen colleges and universities aligned with the economic development program.  

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8:27am

Mon April 28, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Overwhelming demand to attend job fair for Nano Utica

Construction of the Nano Utica complex on the campus of SUNY-IT in Utica in October. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Registration for a job fair to work at the new nano technology facility in Utica had to be cut off several days early because there was too much demand for the 300 open positions.

The job fair for the QUAD-C computer chip center on the campus of the SUNY Institute of Technology is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. But after 1,500 people had registered by Thursday, organizers cut it off.

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6:57am

Mon April 28, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Leaders discuss Oswego County infrastructure issues

Gino Geruntino WRVO File

Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) says Oswego County is in a prime position to grow economically, but needs some help improving the infrastructure to do that.

The Democrat, whose district includes Syracuse and part of Oswego County, recently held a roundtable on infrastructure at the Port of Oswego.

Maffei and fellow Rep Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) have helped secure funding for rail improvements at the port. This time the topics of discussion were not only expanding roads and rail lines, but replacing water and sewer lines and better rural broadband access.

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6:44am

Fri April 25, 2014
jobs

Report: There's a looming skills gap in New York's economy

There is a looming skills gap between available jobs in New York and the training needed to fill them, according to a new report.

The report, by Ready Nation/America’s Edge found that by 2020, there will be 350,000 available jobs in the state that New Yorkers won’t have the skills needed to fill. They’re mid-level skilled jobs that require some advanced education, like an associate degree or certificate.

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3:27pm

Fri April 18, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Pulaski company adds manufacturing jobs

A specialty paper producer in Pulaski recently more than doubled its production and workforce. Felix Schoeller, which makes inkjet papers and specialty products, added more than 170 employees in the past year -- boosting its total to nearly 300 people.

Michael Szidat, president of Felix Schoeller North America, says New York state’s economic development agency, Empire State Development, helped the company by giving it tax credits.

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6:25am

Wed April 16, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Utica considers launching freedom trail

Doug Kerr Flickr

Almost 200 years ago, Utica was home to a passionate abolitionist community determined to rid the young nation of slavery. Now a local group is trying to remind the public of the significance of the city’s role in the anti-slavery movement.

Nearly sixty people came out recently on a typically chilly winter morning to walk downtown Utica streets, each of which had a story to tell from the days of the Underground Railroad.

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8:34am

Sat April 12, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Ant-poverty tour highlighting inequality in New York state

Sister Simone Campbell speaking at the New York State Community Action Association 8th Annual Symposium on Poverty
Jenna Flanagan/Innovation Trail

A campaign by the New York State Community Action Association to change perceptions of poverty was launched last week in Albany. The "From Poverty to Opportunity Tour 2014" is running in conjunction with a series of speaking events around the state that will feature people sharing personal stories of their experience of poverty.

Karla Digirolamo, CEO of the New York State Community Action Association put together the anti-poverty tour to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Economic Opportunity Act or as it's more commonly known, President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty.

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7:59am

Mon April 7, 2014
The Upstate Economy

What upstate NY needs to do to stay relevant in global economy

Bob Moritz is chairman and senior partner of PWC.
Photo courtesy of PWC

The chairman of the worldwide accounting firm PWC, formerly called Pricewaterhouse Coopers, has roots right here in central New York. Bob Moritz is a graduate of SUNY Oswego and visited the campus last week to speak about the global economy. WRVO's Catherine Loper spoke with Moritz about how those trends apply to the economic situation in upstate New York.

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6:44am

Tue April 1, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Winter tourism industry has hot season, even with bitter cold

Apostolos Flickr

While most of upstate New York is waiting for sunshine and warm temperatures instead of more cold and snow, the region's winter tourism industry is singing a different tune.

One of those spots is the Greek Peak Mountain Resort in Cortland, where co-partners Marc Stemerman and John Meier say business has spiked compared to last year.

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3:39pm

Wed March 12, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Syracuse Land Bank reports on progess in first year

The Syracuse Land Bank demolished it's first vacant home Monday.
Greater Syracuse Area Land Bank/City of Syracuse

After a year on the job, the Greater Syracuse Area Land Bank has issued its first progress report, which notes that several steps have been taken to start reclaiming Syracuse neighborhoods from dilapidated and decaying homes.

First the numbers. The Syracuse Land Bank has acquired 165 properties across Syracuse over the past year. Twelve have been sold or have sales pending; 21 are currently for sale; 26 are slated for demolition;  and 57 are vacant lots.

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4:44pm

Mon March 10, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Syracuse Land Bank demolishes first house

Greater Syracuse Area Land Bank/City of Syracuse

The Greater Syracuse Land Bank has torn down its first house. Crews demolished a vacant home just off South Salina Street on Syracuse’s Southside Monday, after the land bank determined it was deteriorated beyond repair.

It’s the first of 25 properties slated for demolition this year, by the organization that buys dilapidated properties and either rehabs them or tears them down.  The idea is to deal with properties that are a drag on neighborhoods and magnets for crime.

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8:19am

Wed March 5, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Nation's first nano film school to launch in Onondaga County

Gov. Andrew Cuomo discusses the launch of the nation's first nano film school, which is going to be located in DeWitt.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

The movie business is coming to central New York. With the help of some state tax incentives, the nation’s first nano film school, along with a film production company, will set up shop in suburban Syracuse.

"Now who would have ever figured? Hollywood has come to Onondaga. Right, you would have never guessed, but it has..."

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8:24am

Mon March 3, 2014
Drones

Drone test site secures half its startup funding with state grant

Ryan Delaney WRVO

Upstate New York’s new drone testing site is closer to pulling enough money together to begin operating. It’s been awarded a state grant to cover some of its startup costs.

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3:07pm

Fri February 28, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Investment dollars for upstate New York startups on the rise

NathanaelB / Via Flickr

The amount of money being invested in startup businesses in upstate New York is increasing, but that doesn’t mean starting a business here is suddenly easy.

Upstate Venture Associates of New York, or UVANY, a startup business investment firm, found that nearly twice as much money came into upstate New York in the third quarter of last year, in comparison to the year before. There were 29 deals that quarter, worth $75.86 million. That's up from 16 deals worth $40.56 in the fourth quarter of 2012, UVANY found.

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8:28am

Fri February 21, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Remington expansion plans causes concern in Mohawk Valley

An outside view of Remington Arms, located in Ilion, NY.
Ryan Delaney/WRVO

When Remington Arms announced that it was going to build a new manufacturing and development facility in Alabama, people in central New York's Mohawk Valley became concerned their jobs were on the line.

Even though none of the plant's 1,300 employees are expected to lose their jobs, lawmakers say more can be done to support the firearm manufacturer's operations in the village of Ilion.

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8:36am

Thu February 20, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Labor secretary highlights high-tech manufacturing in visit

U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, left, tours the Syracuse Center of Excellence with CoE director Ed Bogucz and NuClimate's John DiMillo.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The United States Labor Secretary visited central New York Wednesday to announce a new workforce training grant program and to put a focus on advanced manufacturing.

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez went to the Fulton Companies in Pulaski and then on to the Center of Excellence in Syracuse. Perez, a Buffalo native, was promoting a $150 million workforce training program targeting the long-term unemployed.

"If we reduce that long term unemployment rate to the rates that it’s usually at after recessions, we could bring our unemployment rate down to the low fives," he said.

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