The Upstate Economy

7:49am

Thu January 30, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Biden promotes reinvention of workforce training upstate

Vice President Joe Biden speaks to a crowd gathered at Monroe Community College in Rochester Wednesday.
Jim Day WXXI

In his State of the Union address President Barack Obama tapped Vice President Joe Biden to lead a reform of the country’s training programs to ensure the skills in the workforce match employers’ needs.

Biden traveled to upstate New York Wednesday promoting the President’s agenda. Speaking at Monroe Community College (MCC) in Rochester, he said community colleges are a vital part of the process of reinventing the nation’s workforce training.

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4:37pm

Wed January 29, 2014
The Upstate Economy

$100 million for amphitheater, housing coming to Solvay

Gov. Andrew Cuomo discusses Onondaga Lake redevelopment in Solvay, N.Y.
Ryan Delaney WRVO (file photo)

A combined $100 million redevelopment project for the western side of Onondaga Lake will bring new housing and street upgrades to the village of Solvay and a 17,000 seat entertainment venue to the shoreline of the lake.

It's not the project Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney hoped to bring Gov. Andrew Cuomo to town to announce, but when Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner derailed Mahoney's and Syracuse University's idea for a new athletic stadium in the city, the county executive quickly shifted to this one.

"This project hits it exactly right," said Cuomo.

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9:00am

Wed January 29, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Nano Utica provides spark in Rust Belt city

Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during the announcement of a $1.5 billion investment into Nano Utica in mid-October.
Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

In the Utica area, there’s been a lot of buzz lately about nanotechnology, and the possibility that a major nanotech manufacturing facility will soon locate  there. But what exactly is Nano Utica?

On a chilly November morning, contractors are giving public tours of a construction site at the SUNY Institute of Technology in Utica. But it’s not a classroom building or new dorm they’re walking around. The public is getting a sneak peak at something known here as Quad-C, the Computer Chip Commercialization Center.

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8:03am

Tue January 28, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Burrows Paper Corporation prepares to expand operations in Little Falls

Burrows Paper Corp., a nearly 100 year-old company in the city of Little Falls, is making changes at one of its paper mills to create more jobs and increase revenue.

Rose Mihaly, president and chief operating officer at Burrows, says the plan is to shut down a 90-inch wide paper machine, at its Mill Street location, then use some of the harvested parts to improve the mill's other machine. She says the company wants to increase production to help meet a rising desire for green packaging.

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7:03am

Tue January 28, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Casino competition heats up in the Southern Tier

A proposed casino in Johnson City.
Traditions

The Southern Tier is guaranteed one out of the four casinos to be built in upstate New York.  The licenses are expected sometime this year and the competition for the Southern Tier casino is starting to heat up.

Jeff Gural is the owner of Tioga Downs, where ground was recently broken on an expanded parking lot. Gural’s plan is to offer the full casino experience at his racetrack and electronic gambling site. But first he needs to win one of the new gaming licenses.

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6:59am

Tue January 28, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Upstate CEO's slightly more confident about the economy

Confidence among upstate New York business leaders is up slightly, according to a new poll, but worries over health care reform and workforce quality are keeping their confidence low-key.

Company CEO's polled by the Siena College Research Institute said they’re just as likely to expand their workforce this year - 28 percent - as they were in 2013 - 27 percent.

Manufacturing and engineering sectors posted the highest job growth expectations.

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12:06pm

Thu January 23, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Port of Oswego receives new equipment

The Port of Oswego has received a new container reach stacker, which will keep the port from having to rent a crane.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

Sen. Charles Schumer was in Oswego Wednesday to announce that the city's port has received some much needed equipment.

Schumer helped port officials secure a new container reach stacker, along with a dump truck and two generators from the federal government's surplus equipment program. He says the reach stacker will help the port be more efficient and save money.

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8:27am

Thu January 23, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Maffei uses job fair to connect workers with rising employment sectors

Syracuse-area Rep. Dan Maffei has some concerns about central New York’s economic recovery, which is why he held a job fair in Liverpool earlier this week.

Maffei says compared to where the central New York economy was a few years ago, things are getting better. But he says more needs to be done.

"It’s just not expanding enough to give me confidence that it’s going go be stable and sort of a healthy economy,” Maffei said.

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2:34pm

Thu January 16, 2014
The Upstate Economy

This year's economic forecast? Steady as she goes, maybe better

Central New York’s major economic booster group is predicting the region’s economy this year will be more of the same, maybe a little bit better.

Businesses in central New York are only slightly bullish about economic growth in CenterState CEO’s annual economic survey.

The pro-business group teams up with M&T Bank to put out the forecast. The bank foresees the economy will grow slightly more than it did last year. The region has seen 17 straight quarters of growth.

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8:19am

Thu January 16, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Cuomo's tax relief proposal gains support in central New York

CenterState CEO President Rob Simpson; MACNY president Randy Wolken; Dewitt Town Supervisor Ed Michalenko; Onondaga County Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon; and taxpayer Robert Delorenzo, of Clay, discuss Gov. Andrew Cuomo's tax relief proposal.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Central New York business leaders are very supportive about the latest tax reform plan coming out of Albany, and are lobbying for implementation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $2 billion tax relief proposal.

For CenterState CEO President Rob Simpson, January is usually a time he and other business leaders start playing defense; fending off budget proposals from Albany that include higher taxes and fees, and more government spending. But with the governor’s tax proposal on the table, it’s time to play offense.

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6:07pm

Tue January 14, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Buyout could mean growth for Watertown employer Stream

Convergys is buying out Stream Global Services in an $820 million deal.

There have been a lot of questions in the wake of an announcement that the Stream Global Services Watertown call center will be sold. The company that’s buying it says if anything, the sale should make workers optimistic.

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8:38am

Sat January 11, 2014
Startups

Startup Labs starts second year with more physical products

Nasir Ali, left, and Clint Nelson discuss the startup scene in Syracuse at the launch of Startup Labs.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

A product that could be straight out of a science fiction movie is one of the projects going through the Startup Labs business competition in Syracuse this winter.

The guys behind Crowsnest Labs, Mike Kruk and Ian Wilson from Rochester, are working to develop technology that will allow them to put tiny cameras inside, say, an ad in a subway station. Those cameras would analyze who stops to look at an ad and how interested they seem.

Remember that scene from the Tom Cruise movie Minority Report?

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5:14am

Wed January 8, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Block by Block: Revitalizing Oswego's Neighborhoods

A home on West Fifth Street in Oswego, NY.
Credit Leah Landry / WRVO

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8:15am

Tue December 24, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Hanna urges OSHA to consider delaying surprise dairy farm inspections

File photo
Matt Richmond WSKG

Rep. Richard Hanna is urging the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to delay its new random inspection program for dairy farms. He and six other upstate members of Congress, including Dan Maffei, Bill Owens and Tom Reed, signed a letter to the assistant secretary of labor for OSHA asking for consideration.

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10:28pm

Thu December 12, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Drum numbers likely dropping – but no cause for alarm

The 10th Mountain Division's Headquarters in the field during the division-wide Mountain Peak training exercise at Fort Drum, August, 2012.
Credit Joanna Richards

The Watertown area’s economy is heavily dependent on Fort Drum. With the federal budget sequester on and the Afghanistan war winding down, the numbers of soldiers assigned to the post and civilians working there is likely to decrease. But the outlook is more complicated than just doom and gloom.

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8:13am

Thu December 12, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Several regions win big at Regional Economic Development Council awards

Each region was given a portion of $715 million in state money for economic development.
acchamber.org

There were several big winners amongst the state’s Regional Empire Development Council, as five walked away with more than $80 million each, during the third annual set of awards announced Wednesday.     

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5:18pm

Wed December 11, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Central New York given $66.9 million in regional council awards

The former NYNEX building on East Washington St. in Syracuse was given $2.8 million for a conversion to mixed-use space, including apartments.
screenshot Google Maps

Central New York missed securing a hat-trick in the latest of the state's economic development awards competition, known as the Regional Economic Development Councils.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo handed out $715.9 million is grants and incentives to more than 800 projects across the state in the third year of his regional councils Wednesday.

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4:04pm

Wed December 11, 2013
The Upstate Economy

SUNY Oswego making plans to START-UP NY

SUNY Oswego/Facebook

SUNY Oswego is embracing Gov. Andrew Cuomo's START-UP New York program, selecting three areas on the college's main campus as possible future business sites.

Cuomo formally launched START-UP New York in October, which offers new and expanding businesses the chance to operate on SUNY campuses tax free for ten years. The only requirements are that the company has to be able to create jobs, provide an economic boost for the community and not hurt other local companies.

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6:34am

Wed December 11, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Syracuse land bank sells its first properties

This house at 257 South Collingwood Ave. in Syracuse is the first the city's new land bank sold.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

With a wish of “good luck” to the new owners, the board of the Greater Syracuse Land Bank sold its first house Tuesday. The buyers of the vacant home on the 200 block of South Collingwood Ave. are Shaqir and Zahidi Halimi.

The Eastwood neighborhood home was delinquent on property taxes and seized by the land bank, one of the 88 it's taken control of so far. There are more than 3,000 vacant and delinquent properties in the city.

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3:15pm

Tue December 10, 2013
The Upstate Economy

State subsidy system lacks transparency at regional level

Snapshot of IDA performance in central New York.
ALIGN

New York state’s economic development programs lack transparency and accountability at a regional level, according to a new report released Monday by the left-leaning Alliance for a Greater New York (ALIGN).

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8:52am

Fri November 22, 2013
Refugee Resettlement

Unique challenges for refugees becoming entrepreneurs

Martin Butts, left, goes over Ethiopian-born Fesseha Kahsay's business plan as part of the UP Start business incubator.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

7:35am

Wed November 20, 2013
Refugee Resettlement

Refugees stepping into gap in health care services

Sarah Miner talks to Abdalla about his medicines.
Kate O'Connell Innovation Trail

The Innovation Trail is looking at how refugees have weaved their way into upstate New York's changing economy.

On a recent fall day, community health nurse Sarah Miner is welcomed warmly into the home of Somali refugee Abdalla. Miner works with HCR Home Care in Rochester and she’s been visiting Abdalla and his family for a while now.

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11:08pm

Tue November 19, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Work begins soon to bring Watertown landmark back to life

An old doorway tells the Woolworth building's history.
Joanna Richards

The state of Watertown's historic Woolworth building tells you a lot about the health of the city. And for years, the message hasn't been good. But the vacant eyesore is on track to re-emerge as evidence of the downtown's steady improvement.   

If you put a nose to the building's front window, you can see the story of decline. A big vault door surrounded by moldy clothing shows how a grand bank lobby gave way to a junk shop. And even that business is long gone. Water drips from the ceiling, pooling onto a mess of old merchandise on the floor.

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11:18am

Thu November 14, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Syracuse-area site safe from Lockheed Martin plant closures

Lockheed Martin via Flickr

The Lockheed Martin factory in suburban Syracuse was not on the list of factories the defense contractor announced Thursday it will close in efforts to reduce costs.

Workers in central New York could, though, be affected by the 3.5 percent workforce reduction the company also announced, which will equal about 4,000 jobs nationwide. The details of those layoffs will be finalized early next year, the company said in a release.

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7:36pm

Wed November 13, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Jefferson County entrepreneurs will have harder time finding startup funds

Business startup loans will be harder to come by in Jefferson County, as the Industrial Development Agency's micro-enterprise loan fund dries up.
JCIDA

Entrepreneurs in Jefferson County are going to have a harder time finding startup money, now that a loan fund meant to help them is running low. That's good news and bad news.

Here's the bad news: The Industrial Development Agency's micro-enterprise loan fund is down to about $31,000. That means the next successful applicant is going to drain it dry.

"At some point, someone is going to come to the loan fund for dollars for their business, and we won't have any to lend," says Don Alexander, IDA chief.

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6:00am

Wed November 13, 2013
The Upstate Economy

An “exciting time” in Clayton as hotel, other projects underway

The 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel is slated to open in downtown Clayton in spring, 2014.
Credit Catherine Loper / WRVO

It's a busy time in the town of Clayton. New businesses, infrastructure and public amenities hold the promise of more tourism, a stronger economy, and a better quality of life for locals.

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5:21am

Fri November 8, 2013
The Upstate Economy

CenterState CEO rolls out new strategic business plan for region

Amy Liu of the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program. The program helped CenterState CEO design a new business plan.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

With help from the Brookings Institution, CenterState CEO is out with a new strategic plan to boost the central New York regional economy.

The plan was two years in the making as the Washington-based Brookings' Metropolitan Policy Program picked Syracuse as one of the regions it would assist.

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7:32am

Thu November 7, 2013
The Upstate Economy

145 workers let go at Lockheed Martin sites in upstate New York

Lockheed Martin via Flickr

Another 80 employees at Lockheed Martin's factory in suburban Syracuse, N.Y. and 65 in Owego, N.Y. have been told they're out of a job in the second round of the layoffs to hit the sites this year.

The plan to reduce the workforce in the defense contractor's Mission Systems and Training unit was announced on Oct. 16. In all, 587 workers lost their job in the unit nationwide.

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11:32am

Thu October 31, 2013
The Upstate Economy

There was a 'secret plan' to close Lockheed Martin's Syracuse site

Lockheed Martin via Flickr

Lockheed Martin's radar and sensor facility just outside of Syracuse is safe for at least a year, but the company was close to closing it and relocating jobs, according to a news report.

The Post-Standard this morning cited unnamed sources and an internal document saying the defense contractor was in serious talks to shutter the facility in Salina and move the jobs there to other locations.

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7:10am

Wed October 30, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Local food craze hits booze market, too

Sadie Wells helps a customer choose a beer at Skewed Brewing in Salmon Run Mall, Watertown.
Joanna Richards

The local food trend in the North Country is starting to fill a new niche: alcoholic beverages. And not only are brewers and winemakers crafting their products there, but they're also taking advantage of the rural region to double the local appeal, with homegrown ingredients. Several of these businesses just opened in Jefferson County.

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