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Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:03

Spinoffs Remake Region: New Companies to Transform Region to Manufacturing Superpower

By | Business

MALTA – It’s no longer just wishful thinking: GlobalFoundries and numerous spinoffs have brought thousands of new jobs to the region, spurred economic growth despite a worldwide recession and are on the verge of actively transforming Saratoga County into a manufacturing powerhouse. After years spent hoping and praying for GlobalFoundries to bring real and meaningful change to the area, the wait is over.

 

The transformation wasn’t sudden, and it didn’t happen overnight.

“This has been a steady, slow progression, but we continue to see growth at a steady rate in the face of the Great Recession,” said Dennis Brobston, president of the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation (SEDC). “Even in an economy that has been so poor, we continue to strive for excellence and continue to grow.”

Part of the proof lies with the spinoff companies – companies moving to the region to support GlobalFoundries. So far, over 18 companies have set up shop locally in response to GlobalFoundries, bringing with them an additional 630 new jobs and leasing over 150,000 square feet of commercial space. Combine that with the 1,300 jobs already created by GlobalFoundries directly and you get nearly 2,000 new jobs in the region in under five years.

The most recent company to locate in the area is the Panalpina Malta Logistics Center in Clifton Park, a global freight forwarding and logistics provider whose open house on Thursday, April 5, showcased the company’s new 60,000-square-foot operation – including a highly specialized, 12,000-square-foot warehouse. Though Panalpina is just now opening its doors to the public, already the company has plans for expansion.

“What we’re now trying to do is to bring in additional business, bring in more potential customers and eventually hire more people,” said Ben Wittwer, business unit manager with Panalpina.  “We have the infrastructure in place, so we’re actively and aggressively looking to expand.”

Other large spinoff companies include Applied Materials in Malta, which employs 90 people; Tokyo Electron in Malta, which employs 50; DNS Electronics, which will be moving into Ellsworth Commons and will employ 56 people. There are 15 additional spinoff companies that have moved to the area, with several others on the verge of setting up shop locally.

But not all new business is connected to nanotechnology.

“There’s Janitronics Inc., who received the cleaning contract and are doing business; there’s a security company in Watervliet that’s doing business; Accent Commercial Furniture Inc. out of Albany received a furniture contract. So even businesses that are not related to the tech industry are seeing some of the benefits,” said Brobston.

New companies and new jobs create a sort of economic ripple effect, explained Brobston. Each person receiving an income from these new jobs then spends money on buying a home, renting an apartment, buying cars, gas, food, etc. Those dollars flow through the local economy, helping stimulate local businesses and further strengthening the region.

“That’s an impact,” said Brobston. “We’re seeing some people moving in that may not speak English and enrolling in a lot of English as a second language courses. We’re seeing all the work in education being done to prepare students for these new types of job opportunities. Even the Price Chopper in Malta has a Southwest food section because people moving into town wanted it, so even they are being impacted.”

The region has already been impacted by GlobalFoundries’ presence, but its effects are only just beginning. Over the next five to 10 years, Brobston expects the region will continue to expand, a second fab will likely be built, and even more companies will flock to the area. Saratoga County is poised to become a beacon of manufacturing in the United States, creating a tech-hub rivaled only by California’s Silicon Valley.

“That’s what we did this for, to become the East Coast Silicon Valley. We will continue to grow jobs, grow the marketplace and to have work for our kids 10, 15, 30 years down the line. This is not wishful thinking,” said Brobston. “We’re now coming to see the benefits and the fruits of our labor. We are the center point of the Northeast for nanotechnology and semiconductor manufacturing.”

To learn more about GlobalFoundries and its impact on the region, consider attending the panel discussion, “GlobalFoundries: It’s Here… What Now?” Friday, April 13 at the Saratoga Springs City Center. The panel will discuss the current impact GlobalFoundries is having on the region, and look ahead to opportunities in the near future. To register, visit www.albanybusinessreview.com or call (518) 640-6842.

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