The Upstate Economy

8:12am

Fri October 25, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Novelis commissions expansion at Oswego plant

Ford is only one of the companies Novelis does business with.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

Novelis' aluminum plant in Oswego commissioned a new $200 million expansion, and created 100 jobs for Oswego County. The addition of two new production lines increased the company's North American capacity for producing aluminum sheet for cars by 240,000 tons.

Plant manager Chris Smith says the expansion features two new aluminum automotive sheet finishing lines, which will increase the company's ability to provide lighter material to address the automotive industry's need to improve gas mileage in the cars they produce.

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10:22am

Thu October 24, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Off the rolls: 27% of land in New York is tax exempt

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, left, talks with Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

More than a quarter of all property in New York state is off the tax rolls, according to figures compiled by the state comptroller, who said it's a burden on local finances.

The 27 percent of un-taxed land in the state adds up to $680 billion in property value not being collected on, which is mostly concentrated in urban areas. The city with the most property off-limits is Rensselaer, with 65 percent.

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5:15pm

Fri October 18, 2013
The Upstate Economy

North Country communities awarded money for brownfields

Looking across Lyons Falls to the old Gould Paper Mill in Lyons Falls, NY.
Roy Saplin Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Three North Country communities were awarded grant money from New York state yesterday to address contaminated sites called brownfields.

The village of Lyons Falls in Lewis County received over half a million dollars to figure out a plan for 4 sites – including the old abandoned paper mill in the center of town.

Katie Liendecker is mayor of Lyons Falls. She says the mill is in pretty bad shape.

"Looking over at the paper mill you can see how some of the buildings have just collapsed. And thank goodness from our main street we’re not looking at that."

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9:07am

Fri October 18, 2013
The Upstate Economy

More layoffs hit upstate N.Y. Lockheed Martin facilities

Lockheed Martin via Flickr

Workers at Lockheed Martin sites in central New York and the Southern Tier are being hit with another round of layoffs, but the company says the move is not tied to the government shutdown that just ended.

A total of 600 workers across the country will be out of a job early next month, according to the defense contractor.

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6:49am

Tue October 15, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Old prisons could become homes for business startups

The Butler Correctional Facility in Wayne County. The facility is slated for closure under the Cuomo Administration.
Google Maps

Some abandoned prisons in the upstate area could become home to start-up companies under Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Start-Up New York initiative.

The initiative aims to provide major incentives for companies to relocate, develop, or significantly expand in New York by offering state and local tax-free zones on university and college campuses.

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4:40pm

Fri October 11, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Utica welcomes new hockey team, investments to city

The Utica Memorial Auditorium has undergone renovations to support the Comets.
Gino Geruntino/WRVO

The Mohawk Valley has had a hockey team for most of the last 90 years, but 1993 was the last time a professional hockey team took to the ice in Utica. Earlier this year, the city landed a new American Hockey League team, called the Utica Comets, and a chance to bring more than just hockey back to the city.

Frank DuRoss is co-owner of the new Utica Comets, a Vancouver Canucks affiliate. He says the new AHL team is one of many things giving the region a reason to cheer.

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4:29pm

Thu October 10, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Six companies will help make Utica 'second nanotech hub'

Officials view the chip packaging facility under construction at SUNY IT in Utica. It will now be expanded.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Utica finally looks ready to become New York state's second major hub of nanotechnology with the announcement of a six-company investment in the city on Thursday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was on the campus of the State University of New York's Institute of Technology in Utica to announce a $1.5 billion investment. He predicted 1,000 new jobs would come to the computer chip facility under construction at the school.

"And the industry is just starting," Cuomo said.

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11:35am

Thu October 10, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Startup Labs returns to Syracuse with smaller competition

The team behind Rosie prepares to demo their startup during the first Startup Labs competition.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Syracuse chapter of a global startup competition will go into its second year with fewer teams.

Organizers say Startup Labs Syracuse will take three teams for 2014 instead of the five that went through the first round. The startup Participants get $20,000 in seed money and compete for a $200,000 grand prize.

Mitchell Patterson, who runs Startup Labs and other venture for the Tech Garden in Syracuse, says cutting the number of teams will allow the mentors to give the teams more attention.

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7:55am

Mon September 30, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Proposed legislation expected to boost apple production in NY state

Wendy Oakes-Wilson and Darrell Oakes operate LynOaken Farms.
Ashley Hirtzel/WBFO

Sen. Charles Schumer and a group of lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives are pushing a bill that would lower the federal tax on hard apple cider. New York is the second largest apple grower in the nation, and the idea behind the bill is to give another source of income for small apple growers.

At LynOaken Farms in Medina, General Manager Darrell Oakes explains there are roughly 300 varieties of apples in the self-harvest section.

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5:54am

Fri September 20, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Upstate farmers benefit from expanding frozen food industry

Bonduelle's plant in Bergen, NY processes tons of corn from local producers.
Kate O'Connell/Innovation Trail

The U.S. frozen food market is on the rise, with expectations it will become a $70 billion industry within the next two years.

Last year, upstate New York got in on the action when France-based company Bonduelle acquired three facilities to expand their production of canned and frozen vegetables. They took over the floundering Allen's plants in March 2012, with the intention of repairing and developing the facilities.

Local growers are now set to benefit from the company’s expansion and investment plans.

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6:50am

Wed September 18, 2013
The Upstate Economy

DiNapoli wants to invest into more NY-based companies

The state comptroller says he’s looking for more start up companies and entrepreneurs to invest in, as part of a partnership between the state’s pension fund and private equity managers.

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5:27am

Fri August 30, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Report: New Yorkers pay a price for longer unemployment

A new report on the status of workers finds the period since the 2008 market crash may turn out to be a “lost decade” for New Yorkers, as wages stagnate and the average time for unemployment lengthens.

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10:37am

Mon August 26, 2013
Foreign dispatch

Follow our reporter on a trip to East Africa

Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa's tallest peak, as seen from Amboseli National Park in southern Kenya in 2009.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Here at the Innovation Trail, we generally cover the changing economy of upstate New York, but for the next few weeks, you'll have a chance to see how innovation and technology are changing one of Africa's largest economies: Kenya.

Reporter Ryan Delaney, normally based in Syracuse, will be traveling to East Africa for the next few weeks for a fellowship funded through the International Center for Journalists.

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1:01pm

Fri August 23, 2013
The Upstate Economy

New York in the World: Interview with Jonathan Bowles

Jonathan Bowles, Center for an Urban Future

The SUNY Levin Institute’s New York in the World report was prepared by the Center for an Urban Future headed by Jonathan Bowles. Bowles sat down with Garrick Utley to discuss the current state of New York's economy, and its future.

Garrick Utley:  Jonathan Bowles, you and your team worked on this report New York and the World for a long time. You examined the state of New York, the city of New York. What impression did you come away with in terms of the state of New York in the world today?

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12:59pm

Fri August 23, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Full documentary: New York in the World

New York in the World, the documentary hosted by Garrick Utley, is now available online. The full, hour-long broadcast, as well as the text of the documentary, is available below. Feel free to leave comments and share with others.

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6:34am

Fri August 23, 2013
The Upstate Economy

New York in the World: an old economic engine is new again

Doug Kerr Flickr

Back in the 1930s, when Finger Lakes resident Carl Mortensen was a kid, agriculture was his small town’s link to the rest of the state.

“New York City was full of horses,” Mortensen said. “They used horses for everything. And our big thing then was to put up oats, straw and hay and like that and ship it to New York City.”

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11:22am

Thu August 22, 2013
The Upstate Economy

New York in the World: the SUNY Levin Institute report

The SUNY Levin Institute conducted an in-depth study on New York state's competitive position in the world, and its ability to sustain and grow the standard and quality of life of its people.

New York in the World, our documentary, was inspired by this study.

The full report:

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6:34am

Thu August 22, 2013
The Upstate Economy

New York in the World: the home of Kodak tries to reinvent itself

The Kodak plant in Rochester
Onno Kluyt Flickr

As more and more young people flock to the world’s largest cities, smaller cities have had to struggle to keep up. Perhaps nowhere has this played out more dramatically than New York, a state housing one of the world’s most tempting urban centers.  But there are young people who do move to New York City, only to discover - sometimes to their own surprise - that success can be found back home.

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6:34am

Wed August 21, 2013
The Upstate Economy

New York in the World: How one New York City industry refashioned itself

Nanette Lepore Fall 2013 collection
FashionMingle

In 1950, New York City’s garment industry employed 300,000 workers. During the last several decades, those production jobs have all but disappeared. But the story of what happened next in this industry is dramatically different from others in cities elsewhere in the state.

Today, Fashion Week in New York City attracts nearly 250,000 visitors from around the world and has an economic impact on the city of of more than $750 million.

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6:34am

Tue August 20, 2013
The Upstate Economy

New York in the World: How one manufacturing plant survived

A sign greets visitors to the Tonawanda, NY powertrain plant.
Sidsel Overgaard/WRVO

In 1975, the workforce in several major cities in upstate New York had more than 40 percent of their jobs in manufacturing. Today, that number hovers around 10 percent. There are examples of manufacturers and workers in New York state who have found a place in our new global economy, but not without sacrifice.

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9:52am

Mon August 19, 2013
The Upstate Economy

New York in the World: The history behind the state's economy

Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller, circa 1960; Governor Andrew Cuomo
New York State Archives & governor.ny.org

All this week, we’ll be bringing you  a series of stories from the documentary about the state of the economy in New York state. "New York in the World" with Garrick Utley will air on WRVO Public Media  Sunday, August 25 at 7 p.m.

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7:31am

Thu August 15, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Antique Week draws collectors, dollars to Madison County

Nicole Bratt/flickr

For much of the year, the town of Madison is quiet. But this week, people are coming in droves to shop for, and sell, antiques during the town's 42nd annual Madison-Bouckville Antique Week.

"It's a wonderful daytime or two day or three day event," says Terry Karst, who owns and operates Station House Antiques, in Bouckville. "I've seen people who are here all week and never see it all, and you never will. You have to pick and choose where you're going to go."

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7:18am

Wed August 14, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Cuomo brings upstate wineries and downstate restaurants together

Governor Andrew Cuomo/flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was in the Finger Lakes on Tuesday playing host to restaurant owners and chefs from New York City and around the state.

The latest in a string of initiatives aimed at promoting upstate produce, the event was designed to showcase the region’s wines and foster downstate partnerships.

Cuomo says increased emphasis on the region’s quality produce has been a long time coming. But it’s proving to be good for business.

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8:24am

Mon August 12, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Maffei holds workshops to assist first reponders in getting grants

Gino Geruntino/WRVO

Local fire departments and non-affiliated EMS organizations are learning how to apply and qualify for federal grants at a series of grant writing workshops held by Rep. Dan Maffei. Those funds can be used to pay for needed equipment, recruiting or vehicles.

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5:50am

Wed August 7, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Cortland finds economic partner in NY Jets

NY Jets players practice during pre-season training camp at SUNY Cortland.
Gino Geruntino/WRVO

The football field at SUNY Cortland is still drying from the previous day's rain when the New York Jets start practice. Hulking men in white jerseys line up to kick footballs and run routes as they prepare for yet another smash-mouth season in the NFL. For the fourth year, they've come to the sleepy upstate city to practice, while fans clamor for autographs and merchandise.

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7:27am

Mon August 5, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Destiny USA's impact one year later

Officials celebrate the one year birthday of Destiny USA.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The first year of Destiny USA has been a boon to the tourism industry in central New York, according to tourism officials. David Holder, president of the Syracuse Convention and Visitors Bureau says hotel occupancy figures show a marked increase in visitors when the bureau promotes the mall/entertainment venue. He says the geographic origin of those visitors also tells the tale.

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12:34pm

Fri August 2, 2013
Jobs

Lockheed Martin lays off 139 workers at upstate NY sites

Lockheed Martin will layoff 139 employees at its sites near Syracuse and in Owego, N.Y. later this month.
Lockheed Martin via Flickr

Defense contractor Lockheed Martin has laid 114 workers at its site in suburban Syracuse and 25 in Owego, as part of the approximately 300 job cuts announced last month.

The 139 employees will be out of a job on August 15.

The reductions are in Lockheed's Mission Systems and Training division. The Salina and Owego plants work primarily in radar and sensor technology. The affected positions are mostly in engineering and program management.

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7:31am

Thu August 1, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Craft distilleries make a comeback in upstate New York

The Daily Refresher

As people increasingly stray from mass-produced products, demand is growing for locally produced food, wine and beer. In upstate New York this trend is spilling over into the field of craft distilleries, and the state is seeing a comeback of the small, artisan liquor operations of the pre-Prohibition era.

From the Adirondacks to the Hudson Valley, and down to New York City, dozens of micro-distilleries are popping up.

In western New York, Jason Barrett is adding another operation to the ranks.

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9:45am

Thu July 25, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Boutique brands of liquor on the rise in New York

21 Tequila launched in Oswego County earlier this month.
Eagle Beverage

"I had a lot of spare time on my hands, and this was just one of the many crazy ideas you come up with when you're trying to figure out what the heck you're going to do to make some money and make a living."

Two years ago, Brandon Bellinger was working for a now defunct racing team in North Carolina. Today, he's developed and created his own brand of top shelf tequila, called 21 Tequila, which he sells at local bars and liquor stores around Oswego County.

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8:14am

Mon July 22, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Cuomo hosts "Adirondack Challenge" to promote upstate tourism

NYS Governor's Office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was in the Adirondack Park yesterday, where he joined some of the state's most powerful politicians and business leaders on a whitewater rafting trip down the Indian River.

Cuomo says his "Adirondack Challenge," held in the town of Indian Lake, is meant to draw attention and more visitors to destinations in Upstate New York.

"I want to expose this part of the state of New York," Cuomo said. "It is a magnificent part of the state, as you can see. Tourism is a big business for us, it's a big part of the economy and this has great potential."

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