The Upstate Economy

8:34am

Sat July 20, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Hill Cumorah Pageant brings more than entertainment to upstate New York

Hill Cumorah Pageant, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

With 750 cast members, more than a thousand costumes, and special effects to rival a Hollywood film, the Hill Cumorah Pageant, which celebrates the history of the Mormon church, draws thousands of people to western New York each year.

They come in droves, from around the world, converging on the town of Palmyra to witness a Mormon spectacle taking place way off Broadway.

There’s a ten-level stage, a burning at the stake, and cast members descending on wires.

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4:25pm

Mon July 15, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Upstate New York tourism spending reaches new high

Employment associated with tourism by region during 2012.
Tourism Economics

According to new research, tourism spending rose across every region of New York state last year, with overall growth of more than six percent. Traveler spending reached a new high of nearly $60 billion statewide and upstate New York, in particular, did well.

The biggest areas for growth upstate were central New York, Niagara, and the Thousand Islands, with a bump of at least five percent in each region.

But Adam Sacks, lead author of the report and president of Tourism Economics, says the real indicator of the industry’s importance lies in job growth.

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1:01pm

Thu July 11, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Syracuse consumer confidence tops among upstate cities

The Syracuse region now has the best consumer confidence for metropolitan regions in upstate New York, as buyers there are finally starting to feel like this year’s economy will be better than the past one.

Consumer confidence was still the highest in New York City for the past three months, according to a consumer confidence index tabulated by the Siena Research Institute.

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8:57am

Wed July 10, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Is Plattsburgh Montreal's suburb?

Plattsburgh, N.Y. is just over an hour's drive from Montreal.
adirondacknorthway.com

Jonathan Slater teaches communications at SUNY Plattsburgh. It’s the end of the work day, and he’s headed out to his car to go home.

But Slater’s commute involves an international border. He lives on the south shore of Montreal, and commutes to Plattsburgh every day.

"Next stop is the border – and that should take no more than a minute or two, and then home to an evening with my daughter," Slater says as he packs the trunk of his car and drives off.  

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12:33pm

Thu July 4, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Alcoa breaks ground at Massena East plant

Elected officials and Alcoa leaders break ground at the Massena East plant.
Julie Grant/NCPR

Alcoa Aluminum broke ground earlier this week on a $600 million expansion and modernization project at its manufacturing plant in Massena.

Company officials were joined by New York Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, other state and local leaders, North Country Rep. Bill Owens, and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer.

Schumer says he started working to maintain the Alcoa plant in Massena in 2007. 

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4:08pm

Wed July 3, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Syracuse heavily dependent on health care for economic recovery

St. Joseph's Hospital on Syracuse's north side is one of the hospitals driving the city's job growth.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

More than a third of the post-recession jobs Syracuse has gained have come in the health care sector. That's a percentage that puts it near the top of cities dependent on the industry for economic growth.

According to numbers tabulated by the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Institute, 35.9 percent of Syracuse's recently added jobs have been in health care. Only three other metro areas in the country had a higher percentage.

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10:15am

Fri June 28, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Gov. Cuomo pushes agenda to revitalize upstate economy

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is hoping a three-pronged agenda can revitalize a shrinking economy across upstate New York.  In Syracuse on Thursday, Cuomo touted a Financial Restructuring Board that will help struggling local governments, a proposal to bring resort gaming upstate, and START-UP NY as ways to jump start an upstate economy that's been losing jobs for years. The START-UP NY plan will make SUNY campuses entrepreneurial tax-free zones, that the governor says will help keep new businesses in the state.

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7:16am

Fri June 28, 2013
The Upstate Economy

A new age of cheese for upstate New York

Kate O'Connell/Innovation Trail

It’s soft, stinky and delicious, and it’s an opportunity for economic development.

Upstate New York looks ready to usher in a new era of cheese production. A partnership between supermarket chain Wegmans Food Markets and Cornell University hopes to make the region a leader in the artisanal cheese industry.

Dean of Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Kathy Boor, says growing demand for local quality cheese presents an opportunity to diversify the region’s dairy industry.

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3:57pm

Thu June 20, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Casino revenue to be used for multiple initiatives in Niagara Falls

City of Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster.
Ashley Hassett WBFO/Innovation Trail

The City of Niagara Falls is set to receive a lump sum of $89 million after the settlement of a long-standing dispute between New York state and the Seneca Nation over gambling revenues.

The first order of business for the city is to pay back over $22 million borrowed from its general fund that’s been depleted over the past several years while the state and Senecas were at odds.

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2:05pm

Tue June 18, 2013
Tourism

Allowing Canadians to stay in U.S. 2 more months "a shot in the arm"

Sen. Charles Schumer discussed a proposed Canadian retiree visa while in Syracuse on Monday.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Older Canadians will be able to spend more time in the United States under a proposal floated by New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer.

Right now, Canadians can stay in the U.S. up to six months. Many retired Canadians use up that time at winter homes in the Southwest or Florida.

By creating a retiree visa that would allow for eight months spent south of the border, Schumer is hopeful it will translate into more short trips to places closer to the Canadian border, like the Finger Lakes region.

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4:45pm

Sun June 16, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Chris Fowler on The Campbell Conversations

On this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Chris Fowler of the organization Syracuse First returns to the program to discuss how the buy local movement has evolved and strengthened since he spoke to Grant Reeher two years ago.  How does it fit into the broader set of concerns for sustainability, and for local business development?  And where does it need to go from here?

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4:01pm

Thu June 13, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Access technology development also has strong economic potential

Some rights reserved by WELS.net

An estimated 15 percent of people around the world live with some form of disability. Upstate universities are tackling the challenges faced by this segment of the population and coming up with innovative technologies to increase access.

A walker for elderly people that also monitors vital signs, and a cane that uses vibrations to allow deaf and blind people to easily navigate their environment: these are just a couple of the access technologies created by researchers in western New York.

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7:24am

Sat June 8, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Advanced manufacturing sector asking for more workforce training

Jim Alderman during the hands on part of an advanced manufacturing training lesson.
Kate O'Connell WXXI

Last year the U.S. Department of Labor awarded more than $14 million to the SUNY network of community colleges in upstate New York to develop work training programs for emerging industries. But, nearly one year on, the advanced manufacturing sector is asking for more, pointing to the skills gap as an ongoing issue.

Eric Roth is one of fifteen students in the commencing class of an intensive course aimed at combating the growing thirst for workers.

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4:29pm

Tue June 4, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Greek yogurt plant could boost upstate dairy industry

Sen. Schumer joins Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi and Theo Muller in taking a scoop from a giant Mulle Quaker yogurt tub
Kate O'Connell

Upstate New York’s newest Greek yogurt factory opened its doors in Batavia, Monday. The factory is a joint venture between Pepsi and German dairy giant, the Theo Muller Group. The Muller Quaker Dairy Plant is touted as a shot in the arm for the dairy industry in western New York.

The 350,000 square foot facility will produce several yogurt products, including the fast growing Greek yogurt varieties. The plant will initially operate three lines, producing more than 120,000 cups of yogurt per hour.

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8:57am

Fri May 31, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Community colleges help region's economy

Community colleges are having a large economic impact on their home counties upstate, according to new research.

A report focused on Monroe Community College in western New York, calculated the institution has an annual impact of more than $710 million in Monroe County. And, says MCC president Anne Kress, SUNY colleges across upstate New York are no different.

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9:01am

Mon May 27, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Farming or high-tech park? One community weighs the options

Site of proposed Science Technology & Manufacturing Park in Alabama, NY
Ashley Hassett/Innovation Trail

The quiet western New York farming community of Alabama sits among acres of farm and wetland. It’s also the site chosen for a new Science Technology and Manufacturing Park, known as STAMP. The high-tech park has also been the subject of some public scrutiny, as Genesee county rates highly amongst top agricultural producers in the state. The project is also an example of when the values of agricultural communities are starting to rub up against an upstate development agenda focused around high-tech manufacturing.

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8:50am

Thu May 23, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Cuomo wants to give tax breaks to startups on SUNY campuses

Gov. Andrew Cuomo waits to make his pitch for tax-free zones during his visit to Syracuse.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Companies that get started at one of New York’s public universities wouldn’t have to pay any taxes for a decade if a plan proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo gets enacted.

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4:53pm

Thu May 9, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Hancock International Airport's midnight shifts will not be cut

The Federal Aviation Administration has announced the midnight control tower shifts at the Syracuse Hancock International Airport will not be cut as part of federal sequestration.

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4:33pm

Thu May 9, 2013
The Upstate Economy

SUNY program aims to boost entrepreneurship in region

AGmakonts Creative Commons License

The SUNY Research Foundation will give funds to several of its institutions to help foster entrepreneurship, including the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) and Upstate Medical University.

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7:11am

Thu May 9, 2013
The Upstate Economy

National Grid power upgrade grant helps Jefferson County dairy farm expand

John Ferry, co-owner of Milk Street Dairy in Tylerville, in Jefferson County, shows off his new dairy barn.
Credit Joanna Richards

A Tylerville dairy farm, in Jefferson County, is growing, in part thanks to help from National Grid. The company awarded the farm a grant of $50,000 to increase its access to electricity.  

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9:13am

Tue May 7, 2013
Transportation

20 year high expected for commercial traffic on canals

Boats sit along the Erie Canal in upstate New York.
J. Stephen Conn via Flickr

While often seen as an economic lifeline of another era, New York's canals are poised to have a big year for moving freight; almost two centuries after goods were first transported on the upstate New York waterway.

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8:21am

Fri May 3, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Fewer jobs downtown in U.S. cities, upstate New York

The size of each blue circle shows the spread of jobs in cities across the US
Brookings Institution

The first decade of this century has seen a steady flow of jobs moving away from city downtowns around the U.S according to a new report from the Brookings Institution. But cities in upstate New York have fared better than some.

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1:07pm

Thu May 2, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Kodak could exit bankruptcy as early as July

Eastman Kodak Company

Kodak expects to emerge from bankruptcy as early as July, according to the company’s reorganization plan filed late Tuesday.

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10:15am

Thu April 25, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Proposed border crossing fee faces bipartisan opposition

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s is proposing a border crossing fee for those traveling into the country from Canada. So far the idea is drawing opposition from representatives across New York state.

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10:02am

Thu April 25, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Proposed border crossing fee faces bipartisan opposition

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s is proposing a border crossing fee for those traveling into the country from Canada. So far the idea is drawing opposition from representatives across New York state.

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4:02pm

Tue April 16, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Kodak reaches potential deal to sell document imaging business

Kodak

Kodak is hoping to sell its document imaging business for $210 million. The company has reached a tentative deal with Brother Industries that would see them take over operation of the portfolio of scanners, capture software and services.

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8:40am

Tue April 16, 2013
The Upstate Economy

North Country economic council gets crash course on Fort Drum's impact

Dougtone Creative Commons License

The North Country Regional Economic Development Council, or REDC, held its most recent meeting at Fort Drum last week. The idea was to give members from the region's seven counties greater insight into how the Army post interacts with the local economy. The council also took steps to implement a new program for water and sewer project infrastructure.  

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8:35am

Sat April 13, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Canada woos entrepreneurs with visa program; should U.S. follow?

Veronica200626

Canada is aiming to woo bright young entrepreneurs with a startup visa program. The plan offers immediate permanent residence to foreign nationals who are able to secure business funding from Canadian investors. But, there are mixed feelings in the U.S. about the benefits of following suit.

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4:23pm

Mon April 8, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Upstate economic group calls for constant reinvention

Upstate New York's economy will need to be in a near-constant state of reinvention if it wants to survive in the current environment, according to CenterState CEO, an economic booster organization based in Syracuse.

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9:19am

Mon April 8, 2013
Economy

Salary prospects dim for the Class of 2013, more of the same ahead

Recent college graduates are facing smaller and smaller wages.
deanmeyersnet via Flickr

High paying jobs will remain elusive for the class of 2013 as a slow economic recovery drags on, according to numbers tallied by an economic policy center.

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