A new 25 Silver Boutiques store opened at Champlain Centre mall (Plattsburgh, Clinton County). The retailer specializes in women’s jewelry, handbags, fashion accessories and gift ideas.
The former Camp Gabriels correctional facility (Franklin County) has been purchased by Rabbi Eli Hersch and financier Adam Fine and will be converted into Camp Hamachane a nonprofit summer camp for Orthodox Jewish boys ages 10 through 18.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection plans to allocate an additional 2,000 officers across the country, including about 20 at the Champlain Port of Entry. Another 20 or so are expected to be added at Alexandria Bay and more at the Peace Bridge (Buffalo) Port.
The Med-Eng, a manufacturer of bomb disposal protective gear for military personnel in Ogdensburg (St. Lawrence County) recently won a $20 million Army contract, which will sustain the plant’s 20 jobs through 2018.
Clinton County plans to triple the size of its existing airport terminal to 115,000 square feet. The expanded terminal, which will include four jet bridges and seven ticket counters, will be able to handle up to 308,540 enplanements per year by 2030. In addition, the parking area will increase from about 2,000 spaces to about 4,000. Currently, the airlines offer direct flights to the southern United States, the Caribbean and Las Vegas as well as daily service to Boston.
Nova Bus won a new order from the Puerto Rico Highway and Transportation Authority for 16 buses. The contract is valued at about $7 million. This latest contract comes on the heels of a Chicago Transit Authority order for 300 buses, with an option for an additional 150. Nova Bus employs about 200 people in Plattsburgh (Clinton County).
The Village of Malone Zoning Board of Appeals has granted a variance for a proposed three-story, 63-room Microtel Inn to be built in Malone (Franklin County). Construction of the hotel could begin as early as the fall of 2013.Lake Flower Lodging LLC, has proposed to build a $15 million to $18 million waterfront project in Saranac Lake (Essex County) including a five-story hotel with an associated banquet room, meeting space, indoor and outdoor pools, a spa and a restaurant overlooking Lake Flower. The project needs several variances from the Saranac Lake Zoning Board, the State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Adirondack Park Agency and the State Department of Transportation. If the variances can be obtained, the construction could begin in 2014.
In July 2013, a new Hampton Inn & Suites opened in Lake Placid (Essex County). The hotel includes 97 rooms and suites, 1,100 square feet of meeting space and an indoor swimming pool and exercise facility. No employment figures were available.
Alice Hyde Medical Center and Franklin County broke ground on the new $35 million shared nursing home and assisted-living facility. The combined facility will have 135 skilled-nursing beds and a separate assisted-living section with 30 beds. The facility, which will replace the two aging nursing homes, is expected to be open in the fall of 2014.
Prevost, a bus manufacturer located in Plattsburgh, won a $164.8 million contract to build 300 buses for the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority. Prevost, which opened its facility in Plattsburgh early 2013, expects to employ 49 workers within three years.
COR Development Co. has proposed building a multiuse development of four buildings in Watertown (Jefferson County). The development would contain 168 rental housing units and 42,000 square feet of commercial space and would be located at the site of the former Mercy Hospital complex, which would replace a potentially blighted area of Watertown with an attractive development.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. intends to lease a hangar at the Plattsburgh International Airport (Clinton County) where they intend to store helicopters until those helicopters are sold. No jobs are expected to be created, but the lease will strengthen the viability of the airport.
The North Country will benefit from five major broadband projects financed through Connect NY Broadband Grants, which total over $5 million, and will bring broadband connections to some remote areas of the Adirondacks. Seasonal residents who own businesses elsewhere as well as local business owners are expect to benefit by the capability to do more work online.
An Airstream dealer in Plattsburgh (Clinton County) has experienced robust growth over the last year. The company doubled its workforce over the year to 20 workers including a general manager, project manager, customer-service representatives and technicians.
The Army recently released its Ft. Drum 2012 Economic Impact Statement, which shows the post had an economic impact on the North Country of $1,441,992,825 in fiscal year 2012. According to the report, about 19,024 soldiers are stationed at Ft. Drum, and they have 20,000 family members in the area. In addition, 4,544 civilian workers were employed by Ft. Drum in 2012.
Beaufield, a Montreal-based company, has negotiated an exclusivity agreement and a non-binding letter of intent to purchase a closed zinc mine in Balmat (St. Lawrence County) from HudBay Minerals. When Hudbay closed the mine in 2008, it employed about 200 workers. If Beaufield purchases and reopens the mine, employment is expected to be “similar to” the number employed by HudBay.
The Volvo Bus Group, which is the parent company of Nova Bus and Prevost Car, has proposed an 8,740-square-foot addition to the Nova Bus plant (Plattsburgh, Clinton County) for Prevost Car to use for the assembly, testing and inspection of motor coaches. The expansion could create about 50 new jobs, which would increase the combine employment at Nova Bus and Prevost Car to about 250 workers.
New York Air Brake, a locomotive brake manufacturer, will close its facility in Kingston, Ontario, and move 50 jobs to its Watertown (Jefferson County) headquarters. The Kingston plant is expected to close in early 2014.
The North Country Regional Economic Development Council was awarded one of four $40 million grants awarded to the NYS REDC’s. Three of the major North Country “priority projects” include: (1) $9.6 million to repair a railroad line that services the Newton Falls-Fine Paper Mill (St. Lawrence County) – total cost $69.3 million, (2) $7.0 million for a Community Transformation Tourism Fund to develop tourism infrastructure throughout the North Country – total cost $35.0 million, and (3) $5.3 million to improve and expand facilities at Bombardier’s rail car manufacturing plant in Plattsburgh (Clinton County) – total cost $26.6 million. Some 13 other projects account for the balance of the priority projects to be funded with the $40 million.
Laurentian Aerospace Corp. still appears to be committed to opening an airplane maintenance, repair, and overhaul operation in Plattsburgh (Clinton County), which could employ hundreds of workers. Laurentian Aerospace Chief Financial Officer Andrew Edwards recently said he “. . . hopes to be able to make some announcement about how the financing will be structured and when the final closing will take place before the end of the year."
The North Country Rural Preservation Apartments project, a $30 million collaboration of public and private organizations, expects to renovate up to 254 low-income housing units in Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Franklin counties by next winter.
A groundbreaking was held for a $75 million expansion at the site of the Akwesasne-Mohawk Casino. This project will include a new 150-room hotel and the relocation of the Mohawk Bingo Palace. It will also increase the gaming area by 30,000 square feet and increase employment by about 40 jobs.
Texas Roadhouse opened a restaurant in Plattsburgh (Clinton County) at the end of October. About 165 were created with 75 of those jobs being fulltime.
Bombardier secured a contract to build 54 rail cars for the Maryland Transit Authority. Employment at Bombardier’s plant in Plattsburgh (Clinton County) is currently about 230 and will rise to 275 by the end of 2011.
The Saranac Lake Community Store is scheduled to open on October 29, 2011. The store will fill a void left by the closing of Ames, which occurred several years ago and was the only department store in the village. General Propulsion, a Canadian manufacturer, announced plans to establish a headquarters in Ogdensburg (St. Lawrence County). The company primarily “develops technologies for the Canadian and American navies as well as a host of private companies” including a “vehicle power takeup device that can turn cars into electric generators” and aluminum-powered fuel cells. General Propulsion expects to hire 20 workers within the next six months and up to 220 within two years.
The owners of the Bonnie Castle Recreation Center in Alexandria Bay (Jefferson County) have developed a proposal for an upscale racino, which includes a harness racetrack and a casino. The proposed racino would create 400 full-time jobs. The Bonnie Castle proposal is competing for the last of eight harness-racing licenses available in New York State.
Florelle Tissue Corp., a Canadian paper company, expects to purchase the former Brownville Specialty Paper Products plant in Brownville (Jefferson County) and restart operations by February 2012 with 50 employees. Employment is expected to grow to at least 75 within three years.
The Lake Placid Conference Center hosted its grand opening in June. According to Jim McKenna, President of the Lake Placid Visitor and Convention Bureau, "The 6,500 visitors already booked mean something like $45,000 in tourism tax dollars." The new Convention Center will strengthen the Lake Placid area's ability to host conventions and other events that are unrelated to weather conditions, which will complement the area's outdoor-related tourism industry.
A Tractor Supply Company store is expected to open in Ticonderoga (Essex County) in October 2011. The company expects to hire 12-17 workers.
Essex Pallet and Pellet (Chesterfield, Essex County) is expanding its pallet making operation to include wood pellets for burning in pellet stoves. The company will use what was formally considered waste from its pellet making operation to make the wood pellets. The company has expanded its employment from 12 to 15 and might put on a second shift.
Kohl’s is considering opening a store in Plattsburgh (Clinton County) at the site of a former Ames Department Store. The company is considering opening in either October 2012 or April 2013 and could bring a few hundred jobs to Plattsburgh.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority awarded Nova Bus in Plattsburgh (Clinton County) a $231.2 million contract to build buses. They will be delivered between August 2011 and April 2013. This is good news for Nova’s 220 employees, who have been working part-time and receiving UI benefits under the Shared Work program.
The SUNY Plattsburgh Technical Assistance Center (TAC) released local cost-of-living data that show the cost of living in Plattsburgh is on par with 300 other cities across the nation. The study found the cost of living in Plattsburgh in first quarter 2011 was 99.7 percent of the average for 300 other cities. Plattsburgh has a significant competitive advantage over Burlington, VT, its nearest rival, as the cost of living in Burlington was 121 percent of the average.
Clarkson University expects to welcome its largest incoming class of freshman students in fall 2011. Compared with fall 2010, Clarkson expects about a 30 percent increase, with exceptionally strong interest in their environmental engineering and in pre-physical therapy programs.
The Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce (Clinton County) recently conducted a survey of tourism-related businesses that showed the importance of Canadian visitors:
Hannaford Supermarkets open a store in Lake Placid (Essex County) in April. About 100 workers will be employed at this supermarket.
Stream Global Services in Watertown (Jefferson County), an in-bound call center, will hire 120 workers. The expansion is related to “. . . a new business agreement to deliver customer care support services for a leading e-commerce company.”
Several manufacturers in Clinton County plan to expand in 2011 including: Champlain Plastics (molded plastic products, 25+ workers) and Fujitsu Frontech North America (self-checkout scanners, 50+ workers).
SUNY Potsdam broke ground on construction of a $41 million performing arts building. The college estimates the construction phase of the project, which is expected to be completed in 2013, will have a total economic impact of $128 million and will create 344 jobs in the North Country.
The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe (Franklin County) proposed combining their Mohawk Bingo Palace with the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino and building a seven-story hotel adjacent to the casino. The proposed $75 million project would create about 40 new jobs.
The developer of a 132-room Hilton Garden Inn under construction in Watertown (Jefferson County) has also proposed building a pair of 2,500 square-foot restaurants, a 5,200 square-foot restaurant, a site for a bank, and 15,000 square feet of retail space for two stores.
A Texas Roadhouse restaurant is expected to open in Plattsburgh (Clinton County) in fall 2011. The restaurant will employ 140-150 workers; 60 percent will be part-time.
Nova Bus in Plattsburgh (Clinton County) received an order for 90 “test” buses from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Nova Bus is currently participating in the State Department of Labor’s Shared Work program, so this order is not expected to create any new jobs. However, it might increase the hours of current employees. The hope is this order of “test” buses will lead to future orders from the MTA. The Saranac Community Store initiative met its fund raising goal of $500,000 and expects to open a community store by July 4, 2011. This initiative was started to fill a retail gap created by the closing of the Ames department store, which was the only department store in the Saranac Lake area.
The proposed Adirondack Club and Resort on Tupper Lake received overwhelming support from the business community and local residents at a legislative hearing held by the Adirondack Park Agency. The resort complex, which includes an overhaul of the Big Tupper ski area, could create 313 jobs during the construction phase and 263 jobs for operating the resort and ski facility.
The North Country Chamber of Commerce’s 2011 Issues Survey indicates what business owners expect in 2011. The survey showed:
Laurentian Aerospace secured the financing necessary to start construction on an aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul facility in Plattsburgh (Clinton County). The 273,000 square-foot hangar is expected to be completed in 18 months. When finished, Laurentian expects to begin operations with 200-300 workers, which could grow up to 900 within two years.
By mid-summer, Alcoa expects to restart an idled aluminum manufacturing plant in Massena (St. Lawrence County). Within the next few weeks, about 95 furloughed workers will be recalled and 20 to 30 additional workers will be hired to restart the plant. East Coast Snocross (ECS) held its first snowmobile race at Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh (Clinton County) in January. ECS officials said the event drew 200 riders and 400 support staff in addition to about 5,000 spectators. The success of the ECS event is another indication that the region’s leisure and hospitality industry continues its recovery from the recession. Two restaurant chains, Texas Road House and Uno Chicago Grill, plan to open branches in Plattsburgh (Clinton County). Combined employment at the restaurants is expected to be about 200. The proposed restaurants are positive signs the Plattsburgh area is viewed as an attractive place to invest.
Asept Pak Capital Inc. in Malone (Franklin County), a manufacturer of sterile medicine vials, was awarded $850,000 from Empire State Development to expand operations. Asept expects to increase employment from 18 to nearly 80, and produce 220 million vials per year. Asept expects to pay between $12-$20 per hour, and operate 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.
Enrollment at Paul Smith’s College (Franklin County) increased from 935 last year to 1,000 this year. Consequently, the college is building a $7.6 million, 93-bed dorm over the winter. Laurentian Aerospace plans to build a $175 million state-of-the-art, aircraft repair and maintenance facility at the Plattsburgh International Airport (Clinton County). Work is expected to begin on April 1, 2011, and take about 18 months to complete.Laurentian expects the first planes will be serviced about two years after construction begins. The company expects to employ 200-300 at startup and up to 900 at full operation. Many of the workers (airframe and powerplant mechanics) will need FAA-certification. The local BOCES will be able to provide the necessary training. Annual wages for mechanics will top out at about $80,000, which is well above the area’s average wage. This is the second time around for the project. Back in 2006-07, Laurentian proposed a similar venture, but financing dried up and the project was scratched. This time, a group called Verdant Capital and Laurentian’s management group will put up the required financial capital. However, most of the financing will come from tax-exempt bonds issued by the Clinton County IDA.
A Moe’s Southwest Grill restaurant opened in Plattsburgh (Clinton County). It employs about 35 workers. A Fairfield Inn and Suites hotel received conditional approval from the Town of Plattsburgh Planning Board (Clinton County). The plan calls for a four-story, 91-room hotel.
Florelle Tissue, an Ontario-based paper company, plans to reopen the former Brownville Specialty Paper Products Inc. plant in Jefferson County and hire 75 employees within three years. Florelle makes high-end specialty paper towels, napkins and tissues.
Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown (Jefferson County) was awarded a $34 million grant from the New York State Department of Health. The Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law for New Yorkers (HEAL NY) grant will help fund two new long-term-care facilities to be constructed in Jefferson County. It should also include a receivership agreement that will allow Samaritan to operate Mercy Care Center of Northern New York. At the end of September, the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority reported attendance at Boldt Castle (Jefferson County) had risen by 6.8 percent, or 10,449 visitors, compared with the same period in 2009.
The Smardt Chiller Group, a Montreal-based company, recently opened a plant in Plattsburgh (Clinton County). It plans to hire 32 employees within three years to manufacture chillers, a major piece used in air-conditioning systems.
Tourism in the Essex County/Lake Placid area strengthened in recent months. According to local officials, the Essex County occupancy-tax collections through July were 13 percent ahead of last year. This year is running even with 2008, which was the best tourism season ever.
Jefferson Community College in Watertown reported enrollment this fall is 10 percent higher than last fall's record-setting enrollment. SUNY Potsdam also had its largest incoming freshman class in 28 years.
New Jersey Transit Corp. awarded Bombardier Transportation a $267 million contract for 100 multilevel commuter railcars to be assembled in Plattsburgh (Clinton County). Bombardier expects to call back 75 to 85 employees when work starts in fall 2011. Currently, between 130 and 140 employees work at the Plattsburgh plant. The company had 350 employees in Plattsburgh in September 2009.
The U.S Department of Agriculture awarded the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe a $10.5 million grant to expand broadband access on the tribe’s Akwesasne reservation. Officials estimate 780 jobs could be created as a result of the new high-speed Internet access.
The Comfort Inn and Suites hotel in Plattsburgh (Clinton County) will reopen at the end of September. About 125 workers, who lost their jobs in 2008 when a fire devastated the hotel, will be rehired.
Mountain Valley Integrated Solutions, an in-bound call center in Plattsburgh (Clinton County), is currently constructing a 4,400 square-foot expansion. It is expected to boost employment from 130 to almost 200.
SOLVE Composites, a supplier to Nova Bus, will open an operation in Plattsburgh, which is expected to create 44 jobs over the next two years. The new jobs will include a variety of positions including engineers and technicians as well as logistics personnel and laminators.
The New York Power Authority (St. Lawrence County) board of trustees approved a contract to provide $16 million and 20 megawatts of hydropower to the St. Lawrence River Valley Redevelopment Agency, a new regional economic development agency. This hydropower should help attract jobs and investment to the North Country region. SUNY Canton (St. Lawrence County) received more than 500 applicants for their nursing program, which usually admits 90 students. However, due to the high number of applicants, the college decided to increase the class size to 120.
Construction is underway for a Papa John's pizza restaurant and a Dunkin' Donuts in Champlain (Clinton County). While the employment gains will be modest, with Dunkin' Donuts expecting to employ about 15 people and Papa John's probably eight to 10 workers, projects such as these are positive signs that businesses are willing to invest in the area.According to local press reports, the area’s leisure and hospitality sector had a very successful Fourth of July weekend. For example, Ausable Chasm had its highest number of visitors in more than a decade, Airborne Speedway reported increased attendance all year, and the La Quinta Inn & Suites in Plattsburgh reported “outstanding” vacancy rates.
Mountain Valley Integrated Solutions, a customer service, direct-response call center, expects to double its Plattsburgh-based (Clinton County) workforce of about 140 workers. No time frame was given for the expansion.
The North Country’s retail sector appears poised for a rebound as retailers in Watertown (Jefferson County) reported an increase in Canadian shoppers, compared to last year. In addition, a Moe’s Southwest Grill restaurant is opening in Plattsburgh (Clinton County).
Schluter Systems, which makes hard foam panels to create foundations for tile applications, is expanding in Plattsburgh (Clinton County). The company currently employs about 12 workers, and at the end of 2010 the company expects to have 133 employees in the United States, with 114 of them in Plattsburgh.
Hannaford plans to open a supermarket in Lake Placid (Essex County) in spring 2011. They expect to hire about 40 full- and 60 part-time workers.
A developer has submitted plans to build a Fairfield Inn and Suites hotel in the town of Plattsburgh (Clinton County). The town zoning board is reviewing the plans.
A not-for-profit organization, Patriot Hills, has proposed building “ an integrative wellness center that will be available to all veterans, retirees and their families to help them through their transitional phases of deployment” in Saranac Lake (Franklin County). They have support from Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, who are attempting to secure partial funding for the project from the U.S. Defense of Department.
Nova Bus in Plattsburgh (Clinton County) received a $10 million contract to make 24 buses for the City of Honolulu. The company currently employs about 250 workers.
No expansions to report.
According to the Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce, the 2009 Lake Champlain bass tournaments bolstered the Clinton County economy by more than $8 million. The study also noted 22 jobs were created within Clinton County.
According to the local press, local independent retailers (ski shops, clothing stores, and toy stores) in Clinton County and Malone (northern Franklin County) reported a “steady and successful holiday shopping season.” A similar story appeared in the Watertown newspaper related to retail sales in Potsdam (St. Lawrence County).
According to the Plattsburgh-North County Chamber of Commerce, the 2009 Lake Champlain bass tournaments bolstered the Clinton County economy by more than $8 million. The study also noted 22 jobs were created within Clinton County.
According to the Plattsburgh Press Republican, local independent retailers (ski shops, clothing stores, and toy stores) in Clinton County and Malone (northern Franklin County) reported a “steady and successful holiday shopping season. A similar story appeared in the Watertown Times related to retail sales in Potsdam (St. Lawrence County).
No news to report this month.
No news to report this month.
SUNY Canton (St. Lawrence County) expects to break ground on a $22 million residence hall this fall. Enrollment increased by 10 percent compared with last fall, setting a record-high enrollment of 3,361 students. The college reports overcrowded housing conditions as 300 students are living in triples.
The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority (St. Lawrence County) plans to submit a grant for $27.2 million to the federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program, which is part of the federal stimulus package, for repairs to the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge that spans the St. Lawrence River. The funds would make-up a little over a quarter of the planned $105 million project.
Riverbank Power, a Toronto company, is still considering a $2 billion project to generate power running water from the St. Lawrence River through four turbines that would be installed 2,000 feet underground. The project would be near Ogdensburg (St. Lawrence County).
Heuvelton Historical Association (St. Lawrence County) received a $490,000 grant to renovate historic Pickens Hall.
Seven projects in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties will receive $7.3 million in Restore NY grants from Empire State Development. The two largest projects include $2.5 million towards the $10 million renovation of a 100-room hotel (the Woolworth Building) in the center of downtown Watertown (Jefferson County) and $1.5 million towards the $2.2 million renovation the Roxy Hotel in Cape Vincent (Jefferson County).
SUNY Canton’s (St. Lawrence County) enrollment increase by 10% compared with last fall setting a record-high enrollment of 3,361 students. Clarkson University (St. Lawrence County) also reported a 30% percent increase in its freshman class compared with a year ago.
The City of Plattsburgh (Clinton County) was recently awarded $500,000 by the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal to rehabilitate low- and middle-income housing.
SUNY Plattsburgh (Clinton County) recently started a $37 million building project that includes a new 27,000 square-foot “state-of-the-art teaching and research facility” as well as renovations to one of its existing buildings. It has been 35 years since a new building was constructed on the campus.
The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is planning to build new power lines and upgrade old lines to accommodate the importation of power from Canada as well as other sources including the numerous wind farms that have been built in Northern New York over the last few years. The project is expected to be phased in over six to eight years and cost from $4 billion to $6 billion.
Port Kent (Essex County) will receive $5.1 million in Federal stimulus money to help finance an $8 million upgrade to its water-treatment system.
The Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau and the World Triathlon Corporation agreed to a contract that will bring an Ironman competition to Lake Placid for the next three years. The annual competition brings over 10,000 visitors (including 2,200 competitors) to Lake Placid in July.
The New York Power Authority will reduce by 10 to 15 percent the electricity bills of about 7,000 businesses in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties. The cuts will be funded from proceeds of the sale of unused power originally allocated to Alcoa in Massena (St. Lawrence County), which has temporarily idled its Massena East smelter because of the low price for aluminum.
The D’Arcinoff Group, a Washington, DC-based company, proposed converting the General Motors manufacturing plant in Massena into a windmill components manufacturing plant. This proposal is part of a broader 15-plant plan that would also include the New Process Gear plant in Syracuse.
Laurentian Aerospace Corp. is still interested in opening an airplane maintenance, repair, overhaul operation on the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base. This project has been stalled because of a lack of financing, although company officials say efforts to secure financing are progressing. The company said 200 to 300 workers would be hired initially, with the possibility of up to 900 when the site is fully operational.
The bridge and border crossing between Massena and Cornwall, Ontario recently re-opened after a six-week closure due to a stand-off between the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and the Canadian government over the issue of the arming of border guards. The closing of this border crossing has been devastating to local businesses.
Lowe’s expects to open a new home improvement store in Potsdam (St. Lawrence County) in July.
Upstate Medical Center (Syracuse) plans to develop a branch of their medical school near Fort Drum (Jefferson County) in the next few years. The program is expected to host 120 students by its fifth year.
Nova Bus held its grand opening. The company, which has been operating in Plattsburgh (Clinton County) since May, is producing buses to be used at the 2010 Winter Olympics in British Columbia. The company also received a $60 million contract with the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority for 90 buses. Nova Bus expects to employ 195 workers by the end of 2009 and up to 300 by 2012.
Ceramic Matrix Composites will open a plant in Massena (St. Lawrence County) this fall with 10 employees to produce parts for the oil, gas, and cutting and machine tool industries. The company’s founders worked with Clarkson University to develop the technology and the business plan as well as acquire patents. This project was supported by funds from the New York Power Authority and private investors. Other projects/businesses are expected to be developed by this partnership.
Corning Inc. will move production of Polarcor, a specialty glass, from Danville, VA to Canton (St. Lawrence County). Polarcor is used in telecommunications, aerospace, and defense industries. An undetermined number of support staff will move from Virginia to Canton, which currently employs about 165 workers. This is good news for the Canton plant, as it should stabilize their employment prospects.
Noble Environmental Power will begin construction of a 14-turbine wind park in Bellmont (Franklin County) in mid-2009. Construction of the wind park was previously suspended due to Noble’s financial difficulties.
Developers of a Holiday Inn Express received the necessary building and zoning approvals to build a four-story hotel in Malone (Franklin County). No further details are available.
Fort Drum in Jefferson County will receive $84 million in federal stimulus funds to upgrade infrastructure and existing buildings and to build another child development center. According to the contract managers, local workers will be hired to perform the work. In addition, local subcontractors and vendors will benefit from these projects although the prime contractors are not locally-owned firms.
Mississippi-based Steel Development Company expressed interest in opening a steel mill in Massena (St. Lawrence County). The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority recently endorsed the company’s proposal which includes an application for 35 megawatts of power from the New York Power Authority. Company officials said the plant would create 200 jobs.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the federal stimulus package) should soon provide a boost to the North Country economy. Villages, towns, and counties throughout the region are in line to receive significant funding for projects.
Newton Falls Fine Paper in St. Lawrence County applied for two megawatts of low-cost power from the New York Power Authority. If the paper mill receives this allocation of power, then an additional 54 jobs are expected to be created at the mill which currently employs 118.
Tulmar Manufacturing, a defense-related contractor that makes vehicle seating, stowage equipment, and military tentage, plans to open a manufacturing facility in Ogdensburg (St. Lawrence County) in April 2009. The company will employ 45 workers.
The St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation will receive $17 million from the federal government for repairs and maintenance of bridges and locks.
Stream Global Services, a call center in Watertown (Jefferson County), expects to add 100 to 200 jobs during 2009 to fulfill a contract from a “major satellite television producer.”
The Plattsburgh International Airport is poised for a major expansion. In 2008, the airport increased enplanements from 2,000 to 44,000 and expects enplanements to increase by 20,000 per year for the next couple years. The design phase of this project is expected to be done in 2009 with construction starting in 2010.
Two Nova Bus subcontractors plan to open facilities in Plattsburgh (Clinton County). SpencerARL New York, which will handle all materials coming into Nova Bus from North America, expects to start with 17 employees and could grow to 60 within five years. In addition, B3CG Interconnect, an assembler of complex harnesses and control panels, will open a facility with 25 workers and could grow to 40 or 50. Nova Bus expects to begin operation in March 2009.
A Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse opened in Ticonderoga (Essex County) at the end of February with 112 employees.
Curran Renewable Energy in Ogdensburg (St. Lawrence County) expects to begin operating its wood pellet plant in January 2009. The plant will make wood pellets for heating stoves and employ about 50 workers.
An electric power agreement was finalized with Alcoa. The contract is effective in 2013 and requires Alcoa to maintain at least 900 workers at their plant in Massena (St. Lawrence County).
Akrimax Pharmaceuticals in Rouses Point (Clinton County) reached a manufacturing agreement with a global healthcare company. This announcement is welcome evidence that Akrimax is on track to take over Wyeth Pharmaceuticals operations in Rouses Point at the end of 2009. Akrimax currently owns the plant (which they purchased from Wyeth), but Wyeth is currently leasing it back from Akrimax.
SUNY-Canton (St. Lawrence County) expects record enrollment for its online winter term which runs from December 22 through January 14. Among its students are soldiers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as other students traveling abroad.
In 2008, 468 additional housing units were certified for occupancy in Jefferson County. This is good news for Fort Drum, which has undergone a significant expansion over the last few years. Over the last three years, 1,781 new units have been certified in Jefferson County.
Despite the financial crisis and the recent drop in energy prices, Noble Environmental Power is moving forward with an application for a 13-turbine wind park in Chateaugay (Franklin County).
Hacketts, a local department store chain, plans to open a new store in Lake Placid (Essex County). This will fill a void in the area’s retail industry created when Ames closed in Saranac Lake several years ago. The new store is expected to open in spring 2009.
North Country Community College announced a $56 million expansion and renovation project. The project was approved by Essex County and must also receive approval and funding from Franklin County and New York State.
On October 3, the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court overturned a lower court decision that suspended the state's tax payments on land owned by the state. John Dillenburg, the then town supervisor of Arkwright, brought the initial lawsuit in State Supreme Court arguing that his community was being unfairly denied tax payments on state-owned property within the town. Local government officials breathed a sigh of relief, as local municipalities and school districts in the Adirondacks would have lost millions of dollars of tax payments if the decision was upheld. According one local member of the State Assembly, the taxpayers in the Adirondacks won a huge victory.
Target opened a new store in Plattsburgh on Sunday, October 12. This new store employs about 200 workers.
The Jefferson County Planning Board approved a 118,000 square-foot expansion plan for the Salmon Run Mall in Watertown (Jefferson County). The plans include a restaurant, a 12-screen movie theater complex, and 60,000 square feet of additional retail space.
International Consolidated Companies, Inc. plans to buy Source Bio Plastics in Massena (St. Lawrence County), manufacturer of biodegradable plastics. The deal is expected to create 175 new jobs by 2012.
The General Motors plant in Massena (St. Lawrence County), which was slated to close by the end of 2008, is now expected to remain open until mid-2009. Increased demand for smaller four-cylinder engines was cited as the reason for the extension. The Massena plant will close when GM’s plant in Saginaw, MI, is geared up to accommodate the increased demand for smaller engines.
Enrollment at SUNY-Canton (St. Lawrence County) is expected to top 3,000 this fall, which is an all-time high and represents a significant increase from last fall’s enrollment of 2,776. This has created a tight housing market in the Canton area, and the college is looking to local landlords to house more students.
The Army confirmed a maneuver enhancement brigade of about 1,500 soldiers will be stationed at Ft. Drum in Watertown (Jefferson County) by 2013. About 600 of the soldiers will be moved from Hawaii, and the balance of the brigade will come from growth.
Bombardier, a maker of rail cars in Plattsburgh (Clinton County), will “drastically” cut the hours of 160 of its 350 workers. The company has not announced any layoffs because they want to retain their workforce to fulfill upcoming contracts including a 400-car contract from Chicago that will begin in 2009 and options for additional cars provided under a current contract with New Jersey.
The 229-megawatt Marble River wind farm project in Clinton County was approved by the state and should be operating by the end of 2009. When it is completed, Marble River will be the second largest wind farm in the state; only the 320-megawatt Maple Ridge wind farm in Lewis County is larger.
Noble Environmental Power recently submitted an application for a 21-megawatt wind farm in Chateaugay (Franklin County). This latest project follows two other nearby wind farms the company has in the Towns of Bellmont and Chateaugay, which have a combined capacity of 27.5 megawatts and 85 turbines.
Climax Manufacturing in Lowville (Lewis County), a maker of recycled packaging for food, retail, and industrial products, has expansion plans that will add 75 jobs over the next three years. The expansion is being financed by State of New York retirement funds.
Noble Environment Power held a ribbon cutting in May for the completion of its two wind parks in Clinton County that have a combined 122 wind turbines. Two additional wind farms with 134 wind turbines are currently underway in Altona and Chateaugay.
A Best Western Inn and Suites hotel opened in Ticonderoga (Essex County) in May. The hotel employs about 30 workers.
Business is up at the Port of Ogdensburg (St. Lawrence County) with the delivery of parts from Denmark for the Canadian Renewable Wind Energy turbines for their wind park on Wolfe Island in Ontario. About 30 stevedores are working on this project that is expected to last several months.
Wal-Mart expects to hire 400 workers at its new supercenter in Potsdam (St. Lawrence County), which will open on August 13. The majority of the workers will begin working by the end of June in preparation for the opening.
Norstar Development, a Buffalo-based developer, unveiled plans for a 200-unit housing complex in Watertown (Jefferson County). These new plans doubled the size of Norstar’s previous 100-unit proposal.
The Watertown Planning Board recently approved expansion plans for the Salmon Run Mall in Jefferson County. The mall’s manager expects construction of the 124,000 square-foot expansion to begin in summer 2008.
Asept-Pak, a manufacturer of plastic pharmaceutical containers, expects to employ up to 70 workers at its Malone (Franklin County) plant by the end of 2008. The company expects employment could grow to 250 within a couple years.
Source Bio-Plastics expects to purchase Michelex Plastics in Massena (St. Lawrence County) and produce biodegradable plastics. The company expects to create 175 jobs.
Fort Drum's recently-released economic impact statement shows that the base employed almost 17,000 soldiers and 3,960 civilians, with a total economic impact of $1.46 billion on the surrounding area during the 2006-07 fiscal year.
This summer, Laurentian Aerospace expects to begin construction of their maintenance, repair, and overhaul facility at the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base (Clinton County). This construction project includes a 273,000 square-foot, two-bay hangar, which should be completed within 18 months. Once the hangars are finished, initial employment at the facility is expected to be between 200 and 300, and climb to 900 within 12-18 months.
Camp Gabriels, a minimum-security prison in Franklin County slated for closure by January 2009, will remain open. According to the office of the local state senator, Betty Little, there is a commitment from the Governor to fund the facility.
The Canadian government committed $10 million to improving capacity at the Champlain-Lacolle border crossing in Clinton County.
Empire State Development approved the $10 million Curran Renewable Energy project in Massena (St Lawrence County) as a regionally significant manufacturing plant, one which must create at least 50 permanent jobs, qualifying it for investment incentives and tax credits.
Panoramic Ace Properties, a New York City developer, has signed a purchase option for 100 acres of land near Fort Drum (Evans Mills, Jefferson County). The developer's proposal includes a mixed-use community of 225,000 square feet of commercial retail space, a 52,000 square-foot hotel, and 355 residential units. This is a long-term project with a 5- to 10-year time
Akrimax Pharmaceuticals does not anticipate any layoffs when the company takes over the Wyeth Pharmaceuticals plant in Rouses Point (Clinton County). The plant may add about 200 people over the next year or two. Akrimax currently owns the plant, but Wyeth is leasing it back as production winds down and Akrimax gears theirs up. The transition could extend into 2011.
The application of Curran Renewable Energy in Ogdensburg (St. Lawrence County) to be included in the local Empire Zone was approved. Consequently, the firm will benefit from benefits offered by the Empire Zone program and expects to hire about 50 employees over the next five years to produce wood pellets.
The Akwesasne-Mohawk Casino plans to expand and build a 220-room hotel, which will increase employment by about 275. Groundbreaking for the hotel is expected in fall 2008. The tribe has also taken out an option to buy 609 acres of property near the casino for a housing subdivision for low- to moderate-income tribal families.
Camp Gabriels, a minimum-security prison in Franklin County slated for closure by January 2009, might receive a reprieve. The State Senate’s Finance Committee has proposed restoring funding for continued operations of Camp Gabriels and three other prisons slated for closure.
Two Upstate construction firms -- Bette & Cring of Watertown and Delaney Group of Gloversville -- were awarded contracts to build a 192-unit apartment complex at Fort Drum. This $30 million project is expected to be completed in early 2009.
Akrimax Pharmaceuticals of Canada purchased the Wyeth Pharmaceuticals plant in Rouses Point (Clinton County). This agreement is expected to save the existing 800 jobs at the plant as well as preserve the current pay scale and benefits. Under the terms of the purchase, Wyeth will lease the plant from Akrimax through the end of 2009. During this transition period, Wyeth will move its operations to Ireland and Puerto Rico, and Akrimax will integrate production of its products into the plant.
QubicaAMF, a bowling pin manufacturer in Lowville (Lewis County), expects to benefit from the closing of a Brunswick Corporation bowling pin plant in Illinois. Brunswick will contract with AMF and move some production to the Lowville plant, which is the last bowling pin factory in the United States.
Otis Technology in Lowville (Lewis County), a manufacturer of gun cleaning kits, held a groundbreaking for an addition to its manufacturing facility. The addition will create 15 new jobs, bringing total employment to over 150.
Clinton County economic developers announced that a bus manufacturer, believed to be Nova Bus, plans to build an assembly plant in Plattsburgh (Clinton County). The firm wants to open the plant by January 2009, and will employ 216 workers by 2010 and up to 300 by 2012.
Hospitality Restaurant Group announced plans to open a Taco Bell near the Wal-Mart Supercenter in LeRay (Jefferson County). The restaurant is expected to open in early 2008 and employ 50 workers.
The Army announced plans to station an additional 1,479 troops at Ft. Drum. These troops are part of the Grow the Army program and the Maneuver Enhancement Brigade. By 2013, the Fort is expected to be home to more than 20,000 troops.
The ski season got off to a relatively early start this year. Whiteface Mountain (Essex County) has been open since Thanksgiving, and smaller ski areas throughout the North Country have reported promising starts. For example, Snow Ridge (Lewis County) opened in early December, and has already received 26 inches of natural snow.
Lowes intends to build a retail store in Potsdam. Groundbreaking is expected in the fall of 2008. No other details are available at this time.
Great Lakes Cheese (Jefferson County) plans to expand its plant pending approval of a Community Development Block Grant that would pay for a “piece of equipment.” If approved, the plant would hire an additional 12 employees. The plant would require an additional 384 million pound of milk per year, so this expansion would have significant secondary effects on local dairy farms and milk haulers.
Alliance Energy plans to expand their cogeneration plant in Ogdensburg (St. Lawrence County). The company’s proposal calls for increasing production from 80 megawatts of power to 400 megawatts and would use biomass fuel (low-grade wood). This expansion would also increase Alliance’s employment from seven to 200.
There are 11 wind farm projects under development in the North Country. Another wind farm proposal was recently announced for Galloo Island, a privately owned island in Lake Ontario (Jefferson County). In addition, one wind farm has been operating for a couple years in Lowville (Lewis County), and another is under construction in Clinton County.
EuroWest Company recently announced an $80 million to $100 million proposal to redevelop a shopping center in Plattsburgh (Clinton County). Demolition of the existing shopping center is scheduled for spring 2008. A multiplex theater is expected to open over the summer, and two new restaurants are expected to open by the fall. The project is expected to be completed over five to seven years. No estimates of associated new construction jobs were available.
Over the last couple years, Fort Drum expanded from two to three brigades, and, as a result, the Watertown area economy has been booming. The Army is now considering expanding Fort Drum to four brigades. A recent study found that schools in the vicinity of the installation could accommodate the additional children if a fourth brigade moved in.
Peebles and Label Shopper intend to open new stores in Malone (Franklin County). Peebles offers apparel and accessories and Label Shopper offers well-known clothing brands at discount prices. These stores are expected to open within the next couple months, and their combined employment will be about 50 workers.
The Plattsburgh Aeronautical Institute (PAI) in Clinton County, a collaboration between CV-TEC (BOCES) and Clinton Community College, is on track to open in fall 2008. PAI recently acquired equipment valued at $4 million for about $400,000 from the College of the Ozarks which recently closed their aviation technician program. This is a fortunate turn of events because PAI will train aviation technicians for Laurentian Aerospace, which also expects to open its aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul facility in Plattsburgh in 2008.
Jefferson Community College, SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton reported record enrollments for the fall semester. SUNY Potsdam reported about 60 new faculty and other professional staff were hired to fill open and new positions. Other colleges in the North Country reported similar gains.
Otis Technology (Lewis County), a manufacturer of firearm-maintenance equipment, plans its third expansion in three years. This expansion will increase its manufacturing capacity by 50 percent. No estimates were available on the expected increase in employment. Otis currently employs 111 workers
Great Lakes Cheese of New York will more than double its milk processing operation in Adams (Jefferson County), from 1.2 million pounds of milk per day to 2.5 million pounds. The company pledged to increase employment by 10 jobs over three years. The expanded operation will support about 1,000 farm jobs, up from 548 jobs currently supported.
FedEx will open a facility at the Ogdensburg airport (St. Lawrence County) to serve the Ottawa area. This is a one-year trial to see if the operation is feasible. If it is, the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority expects it to have a significant impact on the local economy and create several new jobs.
Wal-Mart broke ground for a new supercenter in Potsdam (St. Lawrence County). The store is expected to create 400 jobs.
Best Western is building a 54-room hotel with a 250-seat conference center in Ticonderoga (Essex County). No details were available on the number of jobs that will be created.
Northway Island Associates, Inc. recently purchased 928 acres of land for a proposed speedway and entertainment complex in Brasher Falls (St. Lawrence County). The proposed speedway includes 60,000 seats, expandable to 120,000 seats. Officials estimate the speedway could have an annual economic impact of $36 million, although no employment figures were released.
The Akwesasne Mohawk Casino (Franklin County) has experienced rapid increases in visitation, especially since the introduction of video lottery terminals there. In 2005, the average daily number of gamers (customers) increased from 500 to 1,500, and this figure increased to 2,000 in 2006. Year to date, the casino has averaged 2,400 gamers per day. More than one-half of the casino’s active players are from New York State, and about one-third are Canadian. The casino employs about 600 local residents.
APC Paper, a manufacturer of recycled kraft paper, will invest $9 million in its plant in Norfolk (St. Lawrence County) thereby preserving 54 jobs. The upgrade will allow the company to increase product quality and add the capability to produce new paper grades.
Young Gieselman Properties LLC proposed a housing project in Champion (Jefferson County) which would include 90 single-family homes, 210 townhouses, and 700 apartments. If approved, this development would help ease the shortage of housing created by the expansion of Ft. Drum.
The Newton Falls Fine Paper company hired 30 of the 97 workers needed to restart paper-making operations at their recently acquired paper mill in St. Lawrence County. Production is expected to begin in late July or early August.
The new Plattsburgh International Airport (Clinton County) is scheduled to open next month at the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base. In addition to current services provided by CommutAir, county officials are attempting to bring in charter flight operator, Myrtle Beach Direct, to provide service from Plattsburgh to Myrtle Beach. This proposal depends on a $625,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Timeless Frames in Watertown (Jefferson County) plans to expand, resulting in the hiring of 80 workers. Timeless manufactures picture frames, sports memorabilia, and objects with pictures on them including coffee mugs, mouse pads, etc. Timeless currently employs 220.
Curran Renewable Energy will open a wood pellet making plant in Massena (St. Lawrence County). The plant is expected to open in the second half of 2007, initially employ 23 workers, and use low-cost hydroelectric power generated by the New York Power Authority’s power dam in Massena. Wood pellets are used in wood-pellet stoves for home heating.
Fort Drum (Jefferson County) released a report showing its economic impact on the North Country region totaled $1.24 billion in 2006. In addition, both the number of soldiers and civilian employees increased 20 percent from 2005. According to this report, 17,438 military personnel were stationed at Fort Drum in 2006 and 3,712 civilians were employed at the post.
Columbia Development Company, an Albany-based developer, plans to construct 404 apartments in LeRay (Jefferson County), near Fort Drum.
An unnamed biodiesel company is considering Ogdensburg (St. Lawrence County) as a location for a plant. The company is attracted to this location because of its frontage on the St. Lawrence River and the possibility of transporting its products and inputs by ship.
Stream is hiring workers to fill 100 new jobs at its call center in Watertown (Jefferson County). These workers will provide technical support to owners of a global positioning device. The new hires will receive two- and three-week training sessions with pay. Currently, Stream employs about 700 workers in Watertown.
Jefferson Community College (Jefferson County) will expand its bachelor’s program in nursing. This is a cooperative effort with the SUNY Institute of Technology in Utica.
Clover Construction Management of Buffalo expects to break ground in March on the first phase of a 648-unit townhouse project near Ft. Drum (Jefferson County). This phase of the project includes 218 apartments and is expected to be completed by the spring of 2008. About 150 construction workers will be employed in this phase of the project.
Newton Falls Fine Paper Co.., LLC, purchased a dormant paper mill in Newton Falls (St. Lawrence County) from Newstech NY. The new owner proposes to renovate the former paper mill with financial assistance from the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency. If the mill reopens, it would initially employ 97 workers.
Big Sky Airlines, a partner of Delta, announced they will establish a maintenance facility at the Watertown International Airport (Jefferson County). Big Sky will also take over commercial air service at the Watertown, Massena, and Ogdensburg sirports.
Jarden Plastic Solutions (Tupper Lake, Franklin County) is ramping up to make casino poker chips. This expansion will create about 20 full-time jobs and boost total employment to over 100.
Bion Environmental Technologies is considering St. Lawrence County as a site for an operation that would raise and slaughter cattle, sell beef products, and produce methane from the animal waste. A company spokesman said the proposal could reach half a billion dollars and employ 300 workers. Officials also emphasized the proposal is only in the preliminary stages and an announcement would be made in the spring if the proposal is viable.
Seaway Timber Harvesting will expand its timber harvesting business into making wood pellets under the name of Curran Renewable Energy. This expansion will create about 25 jobs and is being funded by the St. Lawrence County IDA.
Noble Environmental Power submitted applications to build an 86-turbine wind farm in Franklin County.
Alcoa (Massena, St. Lawrence County) announced they will add 35 jobs to their primary metals division in 2007. This is welcome news, especially given the recently announced cut of 62 jobs from their fabricated metals division.
The St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center in Ogdensburg expects to hire 188 workers to staff its new unit for sexually violent predators. To date, at least 67 workers have been hired.
Mac’s Market, a full-service grocery store, expects to open in Port Henry (Essex County) in March 2007. Mac’s will fill a void created by the closing of a Tops store in March of 2006. Mac’s expects to employ up to 30 workers.
The City of Watertown announced $1.4 million of infrastructure improvements that will allow construction of Summit Woods, a 200-unit, $25 million apartment complex, to begin in the spring of 2006.
Catalyst Renewables Corp. announced plans to construct a $20 million ethanol-producing refinery in Lyonsdale (Lewis County). About half the cost of this project will be paid for by a grant jointly administered by the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets and the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2007 and be completed by the summer of 2008. The refinery’s technology will be based on SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s bio-refining technology that produces ethanol from wood chips. Catalyst intends to produce 130,000 gallons of ethanol per year during its first three years of operation, and, if the operation is successful, production could be increased to five million gallons per year. Last year, Catalyst planted willows on 50 acres of land in Lewis County with a goal of 40,000 to 60,000 acres if the project becomes commercially viable. ESF President Cornelius Murphy said 4,500 jobs (directly and indirectly related) could be created if the project is successful.
Stream announced employment at their Watertown (Jefferson County) call center would hit 870 by the end of 2006. Since August of 2005, Stream’s employment has increased by more than 500 jobs.
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (Rouses Point, Clinton County) announced they will continue to operate their Research Chemical Development Pilot Plant, although the company reiterated their plans to close their manufacturing operation by the end of 2008.
The Trudeau Institute of Saranac Lake announced plans for a $10 million, 10,000 square foot addition. The extra space is needed for a project to study avian flu.
Rules-Based Medicine, Inc. of Austin Texas announced plans to merge with Multiplex Biosciences of Lake Placid, an offshoot of Upstate Biotechnology, which closed in the first half of 2006. According to a company official, the merger will result in the creation of up to 40 jobs in Lake Placid within five years.
Michelex Corp, a plastics manufacturer, announced plans to buy Ag Pro Ltd. (Massena, St. Lawrence County), a processor of soybeans. Michelex intends to expand Ag Pro's soybean processing capacity from 150 tons per day to 250 tons per day and produce biodiesel fuel instead of animal feed. Michelex's president, Thomas Gramuglia, said an additional 50 workers might be hired. Michelex's long-term plans include producing 10 million gallons of fuel each year, which would require 833 tons of soybeans per day. In addition to increased employment at the processing plant, this proposal would also benefit St. Lawrence County farmers.
Freddie Mac, a federally chartered housing lender, announced it would buy $100 million of HSBC-originated loans related to housing projects in the Watertown/Jefferson County area. The demand for housing is increasing in the Watertown/Jefferson County area due to the expansion of the Army's base at Fort Drum.
The St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Council released plans for a $100 million expansion of their Akwesasne Mohawk Casino and Mohawk Bingo Palace complex. The expansion plans include a 400-room hotel, parking garage, five to eight restaurants, two ballrooms, meeting rooms, a business center, a non-gaming video arcade, and a variety of retails shops. The casino and bingo operations currently employ about 700 workers. No estimates of future employment needs were disclosed.
Aldi’s released a proposal to open a supermarket in Saranac Lake (Essex County). No projected employment estimates or opening dates are available.
Marble River Wind Farm announced plans for two wind farms in Clinton County that would include 109 wind turbines. Marble River hopes to begin construction of these proposed wind farms in 2008.
PPM Atlantic Renewable has proposed building a 65-turbine wind farm in Jefferson County. The company expects to install its first seven wind turbines in Lafargeville by 2008 or 2009.
Wal-Mart opened a new supercenter in Malone (Franklin Coounty) in October. Company officials previously announced that the store was expected to employment about 500 workers.
Hacketts Department Stores opened a new store in Watertown (Jefferson County). The store employs about 75 workers.
Wal-Mart purchased 24 acres of land in Massena (St. Lawrence County) for its proposed supercenter there. Construction is expected to start in the winter of 2006-07, and the store is expected to open in the second half of 2007.
Engineers at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals met with the mayor and the building code officer of Rouses Point (Clinton County) to discuss subdividing their property, in order to make the properties more attractive to potential buyers.
COR Development Company expects construction and leasing activity at its Towne Center shopping mall in Watertown (Jefferson County) to accelerate this fall as a lawsuit over COR’s environmental reviews was dismissed. Tenants will include Kohl’s, TGI Friday’s, GameStop, Panera Bread, Old Navy, Petco, and Bed Bath and Beyond, among others.
St. Lawrence Zinc Company recently reopened a zinc mine in Balmat (St. Lawrence County) and hired 161 workers. The St. Lawrence County One-Stop Center received high praise for their efforts in assisting the company to fill these positions.
Kraft Foods announced it will invest about $10 million in its cream cheese plant in Lowville (Lewis County) to upgrade its waste treatment facilities, packaging line, and electrical service. After the waste treatment upgrade, the plant will produce and utilize methane gas as a source of energy. These upgrades accommodate future expansion and possibly more jobs. Currently, Kraft employs 331 at this plant.
PX Realty, a New York City developer, plans to create 100 apartments in Watertown (Jefferson County) by converting a former elementary school and a warehouse into apartments.
Top Aces Consulting, a Quebec-based company, will open a facility at the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base (Clinton County). Top Aces provides combat support and consulting services to the Canadian Department of National Defense. The company will employ about 20 workers and has leased space at the runway.
Wal-Mart announced that they expect to open a Supercenter in Malone (Franklin County) in October 2006 and employ 450 workers. Interviews are currently being conducted at the Malone One-Stop Employment Center. Wal-Mart typically hires workers about 60 days before their stores open.
Stream, a call center operator in Watertown (Jefferson County) announced that they will hire about 350 workers to fill new full-time and permanent jobs by November 2006. Stream acquired a new client, and two of its existing clients are expanding. In addition, Stream will hire an unspecified number of temporary workers for the holiday season. After this new wave of hiring is completed, Stream's employment will reach a new high of about 950 permanent workers.
The Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) announced the 2009 World Luge Championship will be held in Lake Placid. In related news, SUNY-Plattsburgh released a study showing that ORDA’s annual economic impact on Clinton, Essex, Franklin, and Waren counties in 2004-05 was $323.7 million and 1,138 jobs, not including workers employed by ORDA. In related news, Governor Pataki announced that ORDA will receive $20 million to build a new convention center in Lake Placid and the Whiteface Mountain Ski Center will receive $5 million for upgrades to its facilities.
Two new biotechnology firms have opened in Lake Placid (Essex County), both of which are spin-offs of Upstate Biotechnology, which closed earlier in the year. Multiplex Biosciences, as discussed last month, will provide contract research and development services. Lake Placid Biologicals will produce products under license from various scientific researchers. The firms expect to employ 32 workers within three years, and, eventually, they hope to employ about 100.
Continued expansion of the Watertown (Jefferson County) economy is expected as Clover Construction Management, a Buffalo developer, purchased 100 acres of land near Ft. Drum for a proposed 722-unit townhouse project. The developer is now awaiting approval of its plans by the departments of Health and Environmental Conservation before it can break ground.
Multiplex Biosciences, an offshoot of the former Upstate Biotechnology Corporation, plans to open a contract research and development facility in Lake Placid (Essex County). The company expects to perform work for pharmaceutical companies and employ 40 workers within five years.
Camoplast, Inc., a plastics manufacturer headquartered in Sherbrooke, Quebec, announced plans to add 25 jobs to their plant in Plattsburgh (Clinton County) over the summer of 2006. The Plattsburgh plant makes rubber tracks for snowmobiles and other off-road vehicles.
Laurentian Aerospace Corp., a Canadian Aerospace company, plans to build an aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul facility at site of the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base in Plattsburgh (Clinton County). The company expects to employ more than 700 workers within five years. Construction is expected to begin in October 2006, and the plant should be fully operational by April 2008. Depending on market conditions, the company might built a second facility of a similar size by 2011.
Columbia Development Company, an Albany-based developer, proposed building a hotel, pharmacy, restaurant, and strip mall near Ft. Drum. This development would also be near the recently opened Wal-Mart in Watertown (Jefferson County).
LeRay Development Company proposed building a 100-unit hotel near Ft. Drum (Jefferson County).
Claxton Hepburn Medical Center (Ogdensburg, St. Lawrence County) announced an $8 million expansion and renovation that will create new obstetrics, mental health, and ambulatory surgical units.
CVOH Medical Center in Plattsburgh (Clinton County) announced to expand its skilled nursing facility by 18 temporary beds. This action was necessitated by a severe shortage of nursing home beds in the Plattsburgh area, which recently caused delays in the admission of acute-care patients and the postponement of some surgeries.
Colton Corp., a residential real estate developer, is offering homes for sale in a 46-home subdivision near Fort Drum (Jefferson County) after being approved for installing water and sewer lines. The first homes in this subdivision are expected to be "move-in ready" by August. This developer also has plans for a 100-unit townhouse at the same site.
Norstar Development USA, a Buffalo-based company, has plans to build two apartment complexes in Watertown (Jefferson County) One complex will include 200 units. The number of units in the other complex has yet to be announced. In addition, Norstar began work on a third 91-unit apartment complex in April.
Circles of Influence, a Virginia-based enterprise, plans to establish an American Veterans Business Center of Ogdensburg that will help disabled war veterans and their spouses establish their own businesses. This Business Center will provide accounting, training, marketing, advertising, shipping, and other services for the prospective businesses. The Center will be funded by a $100 million endowment that will be overseen by Navy Federal Credit Union Trust Services. The Center expects to create up to 300 jobs at the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center in Ogdensburg (St. Lawrence County).
Bombardier Transportation Corp. was awarded a contract to deliver more than 400 rail cars to the Chicago Transit Authority. These rail cares will be built in Bombardier’s Plattsburgh facility (Clinton County). This was timely news for the Plattsburgh plant because it recently completed work on a contract to deliver 1,030 rail cars to the New York Transit Authority. The new contract should ensure the viability of Bombardier’s Plattsburgh for the foreseeable future.
Angel Eyes Produce of Massena (St. Lawrence County) expects to expand their vegetable operation. Angel Eyes grows vegetables using a computer-controlled climate that requires no natural sunlight. The expansion would create 15–30 new jobs.
Pyramid Company of Watertown plans to expand the Salmon Run Mall (Watertown, Jefferson County) by 20,000 square feet. No information is available on prospective tenants, but a company official said “There’s lots of retailers knocking on doors in Watertown now.”
The Champion Planning Board (Champion is near Watertown in Jefferson County) approved Patriot Estates’ plans for an 89-lot subdivision. The subdivision would contain manufactured homes that would be suitable for Fort Drum soldiers and their families.
COR, a retail developer, appears poised to resume its development of a 400,000 square foot shopping center in Watertown (Jefferson County). This project stalled after rival developer, Pyramid Company of Watertown, filed a lawsuit related to an environmental impact statement. However, the Watertown Planning Board recently accepted the statement.
Samaritan Medical Center released plans for a 9,100 square-foot facility to be built next to the existing Clayton Family Health Center (Jefferson County).
Spectra Group Inc. presented the Evans Mills (Jefferson County) planning board with a conceptual site plan for a 40,000 square-foot strip mall near the new Wal-Mart Supercenter.
New York and Company, a clothing store, and Victoria's Secret announced plans to open stores in Plattsburgh's Champlain Centre Mall (Clinton County). These stores are expected to open in the summer of 2006.
Wal-Mart announced plans to build a Supercenter in Saranac Lake. This store would employ upwards of 300 workers. No proposed opening date has been announced, and Wal-Mart has not received the necessary approvals from local zoning and planning boards. In addition, some community leaders have expressed opposition to Wal-Marts plans, especially the large scale of this proposed store.
Best Buy opened a store in Plattsburgh (Clinton County) at the end of February. This new store employs about 100 workers.
Lowes opened a new store in Ogdensburg in mid-January. This store employs about 125 workers.
Wal-Mart opened a new store in Lowville (Lewis County ) at the end of January and employs about 250 workers.
Salmon Run Mall received a site-plan approval from the town of Watertown Planning Board for a proposed 104,000-square-foot addition. No announcements have been made regarding tenants for this expansion.
National Safety Wear (Moira, Franklin County) recently received contracts from both the Texas and California Departments of Transportation. Consequently, the maker of protective suits for roadside workers expects to double its current workforce of 50.
Walgreens announced plans to construct a retail and pharmacy store in Malone (Franklin County) by early 2006.
Gildan Activewear, a Canadian-based clothing company, announced it intends to renew its lease with the Franklin County Industrial Development Agency. Gildan’s current three-year lease expires in March 2006, and they employ 120 workers.
GM’s Massena Plant (St. Lawrence County) was not one of the plant’s GM intends to close by 2008.
The home building and renovation project at Ft. Drum (Watertown, Jefferson County)has been ongoing for about six months, and, to date, about 80 percent of the money spent to build and renovate these homes has gone to local businesses. In addition, local construction contractors have reported that it is very difficult to find skilled workers. Consequently, these contractors are performing a significant amount of on-the-job training. Other housing development projects include: 1) The Colton Corp., a local developer, who has teamed up with Fidelity American to construct 45 modular homes beginning in April 2006 and 2) Clover Construction Management of Williamsville, NY that plans to build up to 500 townhouse apartments in Evans Mills (Jefferson County).
The Potsdam Town Planning Board (St. Lawrence County) approved Wal-Mart’s plan for a supercenter. This supercenter is expected to open in late 2006.
Stream, a Watertown (Jefferson County) center, plans to hire up to 600 workers over the next few months. This is an increase of 100 workers from the plan they announced in August. The new hires will service Stream’s accounts with Sirius Radio, a satellite radio station, as well as accounts with companies in the healthcare and electronics industries. Stream’s employment is expected to increase seasonally, especially around the Christmas shopping season because many consumers buy new technology products at this time of year. Still, Stream expects to maintain at least 650 workers on its year-round payroll.
ProSoya, a soybean processing plant in Huevelton (St. Lawrence County) expects to hire about 35 workers by the end of 2005.
Meg-Eng, a defense contractor, announced that employment at their Ogdensburg (St. Lawrence County) plant has grown from 10 employees to 70 employees over the last two years. Med-Eng makes armored suits for soldiers and law enforcement agencies.
The proposed Natural History Museum in Tupper Lake received a $5 million grant from New York State. This grant was the last hurdle in the Natural History Museum's initial fund raising campaign of $22 million. Consequently, the Natural History Museum is on track to open on July 4, 2006. Museum officials expect the Museum will attract 100,000 visitors a year.
Stream, a Watertown (Jefferson County) call center, will hire up to 500 workers over the next few months. Stream employs 365 workers and expects to employ 700 by Christmas 2005.
Otis Technology, a manufacturer of gun-cleaning kits, opened a new manufacturing plant in Lyons Falls (Lewis County). Over the next 10 years, company officials expect plant employment to expand from 50 to 150.
The Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization (FDRLO) and the Development Authority of the North Country (DANC) are addressing the housing shortage in the Watertown area. According to FDRLO, 1,400 new housing units are needed in addition to the 845 new units being built at Fort Drum FDRLO hired an engineering firm to evaluate four prospective housing sites in Jefferson County. In addition, DANC expects to begin construction of 13 new homes in Watertown in July.
Two private developers are also attempting to obtain approval to build housing in the Fort Drum area. Fidelity American Holdings of Salt Lake City submitted a proposal to build up to 850 homes. American International Holdings of Orlando proposed to build 150 housing units, a daycare center, and a chain restaurant.
Hawthorn Suites has agreed to build a hotel and convention center in Plattsburgh (Clinton County). Construction is expected to begin in September with the hotel is expected to open in spring 2006.
The Clinton County legislature is expected to award a contract to Murname Construction to construct a new terminal at the Plattsburgh International Airport (the former flight line of Plattsburgh Air Force Base). Currently, Pratt & Whitney and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are the main tenants at the airport.
Construction of the Lake Placid Inn and Suites, a 96-room hotel in Lake Placid, was expected to begin in June 2005. The new hotel is expected to open in about the first quarter of 2006 and employ 15 workers.
Lowe's is proposing to build a home-improvement store in Ticonderoga. Lowe's plan is to begin construction in the spring of 2006 and open in the fall of 2006
The NYS Legislature passed an energy bill that preserves power from the St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project in Massena for businesses located in St. Lawrence, Jefferson, and Franklin counties. Currently, this power is allocated to the GM and Alcoa plants in Massena. However, if GM and/or Alcoa do not use this power, then it can be reallocated to other businesses in the St. Lawrence Valley area. This legislation is an important step for economic and job development in the North Country
Vision Development of Watertown received preliminary approval from the Watertown Planning Board to build a Holiday Inn Express, a Ruby Tuesday restaurant, a Starbucks coffee shop, and a Ponderosa Steak House in Watertown.
Walgreens has plans to build two drug stores in Watertown. These stores are expected to open in February or March of 2006.
Lowes confirmed its plan to build a home improvement store in Ogdensburg. Construction will begin in the summer of 2005, and the store is expected to open in the first quarter of 2006.
The Watertown Center for Business and Industry, which is located at the former site of some of New York Airbrake’s buildings and operated by the Watertown Industrial Center for Local Development Corp, announced two new employers will be renting space. Fort Drum Mountain Community Homes, a partner of Actus Lend Lease will open two offices and a repair shop, and Brickman Group, LTD., an Actus subcontractor that performs maintenance work, such as snowplowing and landscaping, will also rent space. These businesses will employ 17 workers.
The courts have dismissed Pyramid Corporation's lawsuit against COR Development's plan to build a 426,000 square foot retail complex in Watertown.
Home Depot opened a store in Massena (St. Lawrence County) in April 2005. Employment at the new store is estimated at 100-150 jobs.
CoolBrands, a manufacturer of yogurt for Breyers, has expanded its operation in North Lawrence (St. Lawrence County. The plant, which was purchased from Kraft in 2004, currently employs about 180 workers and has hired about 40 workers during the first four months of 2005. This is encouraging news for St. Lawrence County's dairy industry, as CoolBrands buys about 180 million pounds ($36 million at current prices) of milk per year from local farmers.
Fidelity American Holdings, a Salt Lake City developer, has proposed building up to 2,000 modular homes near Ft. Drum (Jefferson County). The Town of Pamela has approved the first phase of the project, which includes 350 homes. According to Fidelity's officials, these developments could bring 500 to 600 jobs to the North Country.
Carthage Hospital (Jefferson County) announced a $7 million expansion, which includes a new surgery and recovery areas as well as a maternity ward and administrative offices.
T-Base Communications, a Canadian-owned company, will open an operation in Ogdensburg (St. Lawrence County) and hire 15 workers to convert printed documents into other formats including Braille, large print, and e-text.
Primo Foods, a kosher cheese maker, announced their employment has grown to 75 from 15 over the last year. Primo is located in Ogdensburg, (St. Lawrence County).
Harrisville Dry Kilns is installing a new sawmill in order to provide wood for its kilns. The sawmill will increase employment by about 12 as well as increase the demand for wood, which will increase jobs for loggers and truckers.
To close a $1 million budget deficit, the Saranac Lake Central District is considering cutting 25 staff including about seven teachers and 17 teacher-aides. The board is expected to approve a budget this week. These proposed cuts are indicative of budget woes being suffered by school districts throughout the North Country.
Alcoa agreed to maintain employment of 750 workers at their Massena West facility (Massena, St. Lawrence County) in exchange for low-cost hydroelectric power provided by the New York Power Authority’s St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Hydroelectric Power Plant. This agreement comes in the wake of a previous agreement where Alcoa agreed to maintain a combined 900 jobs at their Massena West and Massena East plants and invest $600 million to modernize the Massena East plant. Currently, Alcoa is proceeding with a $52 million project that entails site work and support projects at the East plant, and, at the end of 2015, will decide whether to proceed with the modernization project.
According to David W. LaClair Jr., president of the United Steelworkers Local 450-A, about 170 workers have opted to take Alcoa’s (Massena, St. Lawrence County) offer of early retirement or resignation, which should result in no involuntary layoffs when the Alcoa East plant, which employs 332 workers, closes.
Carthage Area Hospital announced it will cut 29 positions including 18 through layoffs and 11 by attrition. The hospital currently employs 480 workers.As a result of the government shutdown, about 575 civilian workers at Ft. Drum have been furloughed starting on September 30, 2013.
Samaritan Medical Center (Watertown, Jefferson County) will cut 23 staff members and reassign 42 others. The layoffs include six management and 17 non-management positions. According to hospital officials, the cuts were necessary to adjust to health-care reforms that are shifting from inpatient hospital stays to a community-based setting.
The Chateaugay Correctional Facility (Franklin County) has been slated to close in 2014. The facility currently employs 111 workers and houses 234 inmates.
Under a plan released by the NYS Office of Mental Health, the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center (Ogdensburg, St. Lawrence County) will close both its children’s and adults wards (six total wards) by 2017. However, the Center will keep its outpatient and community services. The Center currently employs 520 workers, although no projected cuts were available.
Beaufield, a Montreal-based company, that had negotiated an exclusivity agreement and a non-binding letter of intent to purchase a closed zinc mine in Balmat (St. Lawrence County) from HudBay Minerals, has now said the proposed deal to reopen the mine is dead. Company officials cited “financial and market conditions for resource companies” for the cancellation of the proposed deal.
Furlough notices are expected to be issued to civilian employees at Fort Drum during the first week of April. Employees are required to received a 30-day advanced notice of the furloughs, so the earliest the furloughs could go into effect would be the first week of May. Expectations of the number of furlough days range from 18 to 22 days, which means furloughed workers could see about a 25 percent cut in pay between May and the end of September, when the furlough would be in effect.
Adirondack Health, which runs health care facilities in Essex and Franklin counties, recently announced a second round of layoffs. The combined total of both rounds of layoffs is 35. Hours will also be reduced for 15 full- and part-time employees, and the hours of the 24-hour emergency room at the Lake Placid hospital might be reduced.
Officials of Scotia Investments, the current owner of the Newton Falls paper mill (St. Lawrence County), now expects the mill will remain closed, and the mill’s assets will be sold/liquidated. Previously, Scotia had hoped the mill could be sold intact and restarted by a new owner.
Dyncorp International, a civilian contractor at Fort Drum, will cut 150 of it 220 jobs during the first half of 2013. The cuts are related to troop drawdowns in Afghanistan. In related news, civilians at Ft. Drum could be put on a 4-day workweek if the sequester occurs.
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Several counties and towns in the North Country have voted to override the two percent tax cap and others are struggling to cut costs, especially labor costs, in order to produce budgets that are within the two percent cap.
According to the county manager, Essex County might need to either override the two percent property tax cap and/or pursue layoffs, furloughs and cuts to services like home health care and the fish hatchery are all possible.
Lowes unexpectedly closed their home and building supply store in Ticonderoga (Essex County). The store employed 58 full-time and 28 part-time workers, who will receive full pay and benefits for 90 days. Transfer opportunities to other Lowes stores will not be offered to the Ticonderoga workers.
After a temporary shutdown in November 2010, the Newton Falls-Fine Paper mill, which is located in St. Lawrence County, officially closed in June 2011. Prior to the temporary shutdown, the plant employed about 80 workers.
The U.S. Postal Service is considering closing the Plattsburgh (Clinton County) mail-processing center and moving that operation to Burlington, Vermont. Currently, about 50 employees work at the Plattsburgh mail-processing center. In addition, several post offices in the North Country have been targeted for closure and several others are included in the ongoing USPS closure study.
Heavy rains and high water have put a damper on tourism along Lake Champlain. Beaches were unable to open because of the high water, and marinas were unable to launch boats. Consequently, the Memorial Day weekend was largely a washout for area businesses.
The U.S. Postal Service is considering closing six post offices in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties including: Hailesboro, West Stockholm, DePeyster, Fishers Landing, Lorraine and Deferiet. The boards of several public school districts passed budgets that cut employment including: ·Potsdam (St. Lawrence County): 17 positions ·Saranac Lake (Essex/Franklin counties): 16 positions ·Peru (Clinton County): 19 positions
Typically, about half of the cuts are expected to be accomplished through attrition. Champlain Valley Educational Services, a BOCES school, will cut 60 positions as of June 1, 2011. The school districts it serves are seeking fewer services from this provider as a result of cuts in state aid.
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SUNY Plattsburgh (Clinton County) received a midyear budget cut of $521,400, which was part of a systemwide reduction of $23.25 million. College officials believe layoffs may be imminent. SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Canton in St. Lawrence County also received midyear cuts. Officials there believe the shortfalls will be absorbed by dipping into contingency and reserve funds
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Mercy of New York, a nursing home in Watertown (Jefferson County), is no longer under bankruptcy protection, so the facility is on the verge of closing. Samaritan Medical Center, a hospital in Watertown, has proposed a plan to the state Health Department that would appoint SMC as a receiver for Mercy. In addition, Mercy has made arrangements with facilities in Utica, Carthage (Lewis County), and St. Lawrence County to take 179 of its patients. Mercy could get a reprieve if its grant application for $35 million under the Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law for New Yorkers, or HEAL NY, is approved. The grantees are expected to be announced at the end of September.
BreconRidge Manufacturing Solutions, a manufacturer and repairer of telecommunications equipment, will close its plant in Ogdensburg (St. Lawrence County) by the end of January 2011. The company currently employs 82 workers. The layoffs begin on October 26, 2010.Rail carrier CSX Transportation, which operates a rail line through Watertown, Fort Drum, and Massena, recently requested approval from the Surface Transportation Board to enter into a joint-use agreement with the Delaware and Hudson Railroad. If approved, CSX would be allowed to use the D&H line from Albany to Rouses Point (Clinton County). This would reduce traffic on the CSX Watertown-Ft. Drum-Massena line. CSX estimates 14 jobs would be initially lost. However, union officials believe 100 jobs might eventually be eliminated. According to company officials, 230 workers at Nova Bus in Plattsburgh (Clinton County) are now on a three-day workweek. The company is in the Shared Work program, so workers will receive three days pay and two days of UI benefits per week. Officials cited the slow economy for the lull in bus contracts, but they are “...hopeful that transit authorities will begin buying more buses before the end of the year, which will ensure work for 2011.”
The layoffs at the Pfizer plants in Clinton County continue. About 70 of the approximately 180 employees remaining at the Chazy site were scheduled to be laid off in April and May.
Tops Friendly Markets announced the impending (April 10) closure of their newly-acquired P&C grocery store in Ogdensburg (St. Lawrence County). This store has about 60 employees. This closure is related to the recent restructuring of Tops, which included the sale of some Tops stores to Price Chopper. The future of the Tops stores in Lowville (Lewis County) and in Watertown (Jefferson County) is uncertain. Like the store in Ogdensburg, those stores were not sold to Price Chopper. An announcement regarding the Lowville and Watertown stores is expected in two weeks. The state Senate budget proposal passed on March 22 calls for the closure of the Moriah Shock (Essex County) and Lyon Mountain (Clinton County) correctional facilities. The Ogdensburg (St. Lawrence County) correctional facility was spared. The Senate plan also cut all funding for the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA), which operates the Whiteface and Gore ski areas. ORDA also runs the Olympic facilities in Lake Placid and the Town of North Elba (Essex Country). ORDA’s employment during the winter months tops 1,000.
The Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center in Ogdensburg (St. Lawrence County) will close its nursing home on April 1, 2010. Some 21 employees will lose their jobs. This could be the tip of an iceberg, however, as numerous other nursing homes throughout the North Country will lose significant funding under the proposed New York State budget. Pfizer laid off 201 workers on February 26, with another 85 workers slated to be laid off on March 12. These are the first rounds of layoffs in Pfizer’s plan to end its operations in Clinton County, which will result in a total of about 650 layoffs. Three State prisons in the North Country are slated for closure in the first half of 2011: Ogdensburg Correctional (St. Lawrence County), which employs nearly 300; Moriah Shock (Essex County), which employs about 100; and Lyon Mountain (Clinton County), which also employs about 100.
SUNY Potsdam intends to eliminate 59 full-time positions as part of a proposal to cut $7.5 million from its $40.3 million budget.
Penn Traffic Company will close eight P&C grocery stores in the North Country, if a buyer is not found by February 15. Affected locations include five in St. Lawrence County, two in Jefferson County and one in Lewis County. The company has 332 employees at its St. Lawrence County locations. Price Chopper submitted a $12.3 million offer to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to buy four of the five P&C stores in St. Lawrence County.
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is eliminating a total of 600 jobs in Clinton County. This will be achieved by closing/downsizing facilities in Rouses Point (production), Chazy (R&D), and Plattsburgh (packaging). The facilities were originally owned by Wyeth, which was acquired by Pfizer earlier this year. Wyeth originally announced that it would close the Rouses Point plant in 2005, which in turn was sold to Akrimax in 2008. Akrimax leased a portion back to Wyeth.
The Champlain Bridge at Crown Point, which was closed in October 2009, must be demolished and rebuilt because its deteriorated condition precludes the bridge from merely being repaired. This will be a hardship for workers who commute to jobs in Vermont, as well as Vermonters who commute to New York State
Gouverneur Talc (St. Lawrence County), which mines wollastonite, laid off five of its top local management personnel, including the plant manager. Company officials said these cuts will help eliminate ongoing operating losses and save the 29 remaining jobs at the mine and mill. Many companies appear to be coping with the current recession with small layoffs or by cuts through attrition.
Railcar maker Bombardier may cut 200 jobs in mid-December when it completes a contract for New Jersey Transit. These layoffs are expected to be temporary, as the company expects to ramp up production to fulfill a 400-car contract with the Chicago Transit Authority. Bombardier is currently testing prototypes for the Chicago Transit Authority.
Curtis Door, a supplier to Bombardier, closed its operation in Plattsburgh (Clinton County). The plant employed 45 workers.
St. Lawrence Seaway officials report a 35 percent drop in cargo shipments between 2008 and 2009. They cite the overall economic slump and its effect on the automobile industry, which is one of the Seaway's biggest customers.
The state Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation will close its 30 parks located along the St. Lawrence River from Lake Champlain to Lake Ontario earlier than usual this year due to budget cuts.
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Corning will implement a four-week inventory shutdown from July 13 to August 10 at its plant in Dekalb (St. Lawrence County). About 81 production employees will be temporarily laid off.
The Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center in Ogdensburg (St. Lawrence County) announced a second layoff of 37 staff; this follows the layoff of 20 in January. Losses were attributed to a mandatory provision of free medical care.
Hacketts, a local department store chain, announced its stores in Canton and Gouverneur (both in St. Lawrence County) will be closing. About 50 jobs will be eliminated. This follows store closings in Pulaski, Watertown and Massena.
A surplus of milk and a drop in milk prices is likely to force some local dairy farmers out of business. According to industry analysts, relief for farmers will not come until September when a farmer-paid, herd-reduction program will reduce surpluses and increase the price of milk.
Also on the farm front, dairy farmers report labor shortages and are now hiring immigrant workers. However, they wish to avoid hiring illegal immigrants, because an immigration raid could leave them without help. Farmers are also concerned with a bill working its way through the state legislature that would require farmers to pay for overtime, unemployment insurance, and disability insurance as well as provide for collective bargaining and union organizing.
Hacketts, a local department store chain, will close their store in Canton (St. Lawrence County) by mid-July, eliminating 31 jobs. The chain has experienced financial difficulties with its lender, but expects to clear up those issues within a month or two. After these are resolved, they expect to open stores in Lake Placid and Queensbury.
The Georgia Pacific plant in Plattsburgh (Clinton County) will lay off 39 workers in May. This follows 70 layoffs in January. After this second round of layoffs, the plant will employ 220 employees, including 184 hourly and 36 salaried workers.
The Watertown Daily Times, which is owned by the Johnson Newspaper Corporation, suffered a decline in advertising. To deal with this decline, the paper will require all employees to take 10-day furloughs in 2009. In addition, the company is closing its Albany bureau, suspending a 401(k) matching program, and eliminating its daily television listings.
Production at one of the two Alcoa plants in Massena will be suspended in May, which will idle 170 of the company’s 420 workers. The remaining workers will prepare the plant to restart when the price of aluminum rises and to undergo a $600 million modernization. The plant will be fully functional through April.
Camp Gabriels, a minimum-security correctional facility in Franklin County, is slated to be closed on or after July 1, 2009. This closure is due to State budget cuts. The facility employs about 105 workers.
Corning shut down its plant in Dekalb (St. Lawrence County) for the first three weeks of April. The plant employs about 130 workers.
International Paper in Ticonderoga (Essex County) will shut down for two weeks in May and idle most of its 600 workers Company officials cited a lack of orders.
Hacketts, a local chain of North Country department stores, will close stores in Pulaski (Oswego County) and Watertown (Jefferson County). Company officials cited the need to pay its "senior line of credit" to Wells Fargo Bank as well as competition from other discount retailers. The company still expects to move forward with proposed stores in Lake Placid and Queensbury.
A proposed race track and entertainment complex near Massena (St. Lawrence County) has run into a financial pothole. The financial backer of the project, Agape World, has been charged with mail fraud and running a Ponzi scheme.
Three colleges in St. Lawrence County recorded an increased number of applications compared with last year: Clarkson, SUNY Canton, and SUNY Potsdam. Conversely, applications at the nearby, more expensive, St. Lawrence University are down; cost-conscious students appear to be opting for less expensive alternatives
Covidien (formerly Tyco Healthcare) will close its plant in Watertown by August 2010, affecting approximately 250 employees. The facility makes thermometers, vascular feeding pumps, and chest drainage devices used in open-heart surgery.
The Alcoa plant in Massena (St. Lawrence County) permanently eliminated 64 hourly positions. In addition, Alcoa reduced the hours of 140 of its hourly and 30 salaried employees to 32 hours per week. This will allow Alcoa to take advantage of the NYS DOL Shared Work program. These reductions in hours are over and above the 120 layoffs that were announced in November. After this latest round of cuts, Alcoa will have 1,140 jobs at its two Massena plants.
Ahava, a kosher cheese plant in Ogdensburg (St. Lawrence County), was shut down by the Department of Agriculture and Markets because it produced contaminated cheese. The plant employed 30 workers.
The Department of Environmental Conservation will shut down four campgrounds (two in Essex County and two in Hamilton County) in the Adirondacks during 2009.
The Lake Placid-Essex County Visitors Bureau reported a 10 percent drop in online reservations so far this year (2009) compared with the same period in 2008. In addition, the Visitors Bureau reports the average length of stay has declined from 2.8 days in 2008 to 2.6 days so far in 2009.
Local school districts are anticipating significant cuts in New York State funding, which will result in significant job losses. In addition, the SUNY schools in the North Country (Plattsburgh, Potsdam, and Canton) are feeling the pinch of the budget. For example, SUNY- Plattsburgh has frozen about 25 open positions, and SUNY-Canton is adopting a four-day work week.
A number of health care providers in the North Country have expressed concerns over how proposed state funding cuts could affect their operations. Adirondack Medical Center might be forced to close the Uihlien nursing home in Lake Placid due to expected cuts of $648,038 in New York State funding. Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone (Franklin County) expects to lose about $250,000, while Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center in Massena (St. Lawrence County) expects to cut about 20 positions.
Noble Environmental Energy announced the second phase of their wind farm in Chateaugay (Franklin County) has been suspended (not cancelled) because of the deteriorating economy. In addition, Horizon Wind Energy is also delaying the construction of a proposed 95-turbine wind farm in Churubusco (Clinton County).
Bion Environmental Energy suspended its plans to build a $180 million ethanol and beef cattle operation in St. Lawrence County. The suspension was attributed to the recession, the drop in gasoline prices, and the "financial times."
Corning will lay off 34 workers at its plant in Dekalb Junction (St. Lawrence County) on January 5. These layoffs are in addition to the 20 that occurred in June 2008. The plant will also shut down for two weeks starting on December 22 “as a cost-savings measure.” The plant makes lenses used in telescopes and in machines that make semiconductor chips.
The General Motors plant in Massena (St. Lawrence County) will shut down for about three weeks beginning December 15. This annual shutdown usually lasts two weeks, but it was extended to three weeks this year. Some 175 workers at the plant will be affected; the plant is expected to close in 2009.
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in Rouses Point (Clinton County) will let go about 120 workers in the second half of January. Wyeth will cease operations in Rouses Point at the end of 2009 when Akrimax Manufacturing takes over the plant.
Aubuchon Hardware, which operates a chain of hardware stores in the North Country, is closing its store in AuSable Forks (Essex County) after 34 years of operation.
NYCO Minerals in Willsboro (Essex County) shut down for three weeks beginning on December 15. The mining operation produces wollastonite, an additive to plastics and composites used in the automobile industry. Some 55 workers will be affected.
Georgia Pacific in Plattsburgh (Clinton County) will lay off 70 workers on January 16, 2009. The plant makes paper napkins and towels, and the layoffs have been attributed to a decrease in demand due to the global recession.
New York Airbrake in Watertown (Jefferson County) will let go 25 workers in January 2009. Company officials attributed the layoffs to the decreasing number of freight cars being built, commenting that "railroad volumes have decreased dramatically over the last quarter."
The American Management Association will lay off 13 workers at its facility in Saranac Lake. The layoffs were blamed on the financial crisis; the AMA’s client base includes the financial services industry.
Alcoa will cut 120 jobs at its Massena plants (St. Lawrence County), although no dates were specified for the cuts. Other than severance settlements, there will be few, if any, options such as transfers to other facilities, for those who are laid off. Still, Aloca’s future in Massena seems solid as the company remains committed to a $600 million upgrade of their local plants. The company is keeping at least 900 workers on the payroll, which is a condition of their subsidized power contract with the New York Power Authority. The price of aluminum has fallen from $3,300 per ton in July 2008 to $2,150 as of mid-November.
Several correctional facilities in the North Country will be affected by recent cutbacks announced by the state Department of Correctional Services, including the following facilities:
The cuts will be accomplished by consolidating dormitories, eliminating inmate community work crews, and closing prison farming operations.
The General Motors plant in Massena (St. Lawrence County) will shut down for about two weeks from mid-November through early December, idling 180 workers. This is a normal seasonal shutdown and is unrelated to the closing of the plant, which is expected to occur in 2009.
A fire destroyed a Comfort Inn, fitness center, sports bar, and Perkins restaurant in Plattsburgh (Clinton County) employing about 200 workers. Clinton County's OneWorkSource office is working to find these workers new jobs.
The New York State Department of Correctional Services will consolidate dormitories throughout the State’s prison system. This will not result in any layoffs, as the prison system’s payroll will be cut by attrition. In the North Country, dormitories at Adirondack Correctional (Essex County), Ogdensburg (St. Lawrence County), and Watertown (Jefferson County) will be consolidated, and the community work crews at Camp Gabriels (Franklin County) will be reduced from 18 to 10.
The Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) announced it is losing about 10 percent of its funding from New York State. Consequently, ORDA expects to cut its seasonal staff. ORDA employs between 350 and 1,200 full- and part-time staff, and does not anticipate cutting any full-time positions. Still, ORDA is currently installing a new ski lifts and trails that will significantly increase its capacity.
Boldt Castle, a Thousand Islands tourist destination, announced that both its revenues (-56.6 percent) and admissions (-35.9 percent) dropped sharply in September compared with last year. A portion of this decline was attributed to the calendar -- Saturday and Sunday of the Labor Day weekend fell in August in 2008 as opposed to September in 2007. Still, the castle’s operations manager expects the number of visitors will be down four to five percent this year compared with last year.
Local governments continue to report budget shortfalls and belt tightening. For example, the Town of Dickinson (Franklin County) will lay off its highway department employees for an undetermined period of time. St. Lawrence County instituted a hiring freeze on all non-essential personnel as well as holding period of 30 days before any positions are filled.
St. Lawrence Zinc, a zinc mine in Balmat (St. Lawrence County), closed on August 22, idling 200 workers. Officials cited lower prices for zinc and increased operating costs as reasons for the shutdown. This cutback will be reflected in the September employment statistics.
Covidien, a manufacture of healthcare devices in Watertown (Jefferson County), will cut about 70 jobs. Forty jobs will be cut by January, and another 30 from a temporary help agency starting in August. The company is moving the production to China.
Brownville Specialty Paper Products Inc. recently closed its plant in Jefferson County, affecting 75 employees. Firm owners cited the high cost of crucial inputs used in paper manufacturing. The product lines will be sold to Climax Manufacturing Company in Lowville (Jefferson County) among other companies.
The North Country has been affected by the slowdown in the housing market. Mortgage taxes collected in Franklin County from October 2007 to March 2008 fell about 30 percent compared with the same period one year earlier.
The Olympic Regional Development Authority’s proposed conference center for Lake Placid is on hold. The bids received to build the center were about $13 -14 million over the original proposal of $23 million.
Filtran Limited, a Canadian-based manufacturer of electronic telecommunications equipment, shut down its plant in Ogdensburg (St. Lawrence County). The company employed 32 workers locally.
Gouveneur Talc will lay off 75 percent of the 106 workers at its Balmat (St. Lawrence County) mine by the end of 2008. The company cited a declining market for talc due to the loss of U.S. production of ceramic floor tiles to companies in Mexico, China and Italy.
General Motors in Massena (St. Lawrence County) will shut down an engine-head production line within the next few weeks. This is part of GM’s phase out and closure plans for this plant, which is slated to be closed by the end of 2008. Depending on how many workers take advantage of GM’s special attrition plan, some 80 workers could be laid off.
The Carthage Board of Education announced it will cut 21 positions from its school staff in 2008-09. Most of the cuts will occur in special education programs, as the special education students will be integrated into other programs.
Jarden Plastic Solutions will close its factory in Tupper Lake (Franklin County) on May 18. The company, which lost a contract to make poker chips in fall 2007, cited foreign competition, specifically China, for the closing. The factory currently employs 68 workers
Ainsworth Lumber, a Vancouver-based firm, let its option to buy land owned by the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority expire. The proposed oriented strand board (OSB) plant would have created about 160 jobs in addition to hundreds of other jobs in the local lumber and transportation industry. Ainsworth officials cited a decline in OSB prices as well as increased fuel and wood prices for their decision. They said, however, that the region would be attractive to them if the OSB market were to strengthen in the future.
P&C Foods is closing a grocery store in Plattsburgh (Clinton County). Company officials said 40 workers (20 full-time and 20 part-time) will lose their jobs, and cited a corporate restructuring as the reason for the closing.
Camp Gabriels, a minimum-security prison in Franklin County, is slated to close by January 2009. In addition to the 131 workers who will lose their jobs, the closure will affect a variety of non-profit organizations and local governments who benefit from the prison’s work crews. These crews work at local food pantries, hiking trails, and other sites.
On December 11, General Motors temporarily laid off 285 workers at their Massena plant (St. Lawrence County), and anticipates they will return to work on January 2. An additional 35 workers were permanently laid off.
On December 11, General Motors temporarily laid off 285 workers at their Massena plant (St. Lawrence County), and anticipates they will return to work on January 2. An additional 35 workers were permanently laid off.
Kaylyn’s Fine Furniture (Massena, St. Lawrence County) announced it is closing because “the economy has really slowed.”
A one-week layoff is scheduled for the GM plant in Massena (St. Lawrence County), affecting 350 workers. All except 100 of the workers are expected to return to work on November 12. Consequently, most of this layoff will not be reflected in our monthly jobs statistics. The president of the local UAW said these layoffs are not related to the closing of the plant, expected by December 2008, where he noted that half of the plant’s employees will seek a transfer and the other half will take GM’s buyout offer.
Fort Drum’s off-post housing unit recently reported an all-time low occupancy rate. The reason for this low occupancy rate is the Fort’s First Brigade Combat Team is scheduled to be deployed to Iraq for 15 months beginning in September 2007. Consequently, many of the soldiers’ spouses have moved “back home” until the deployment is completed.
Gildan Activewear, an apparel manufacturer, closed its plant in Malone (Franklin County) on August 3. The plant employed 76 workers. The company said the plant's product lines, along with others located throughout the U.S., were moved to Honduras, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti.
The Lowville IGA grocery store (Lewis County) will close at the end of July with the loss of 30 jobs. The owners cited an inability to compete with the recently opened Lowville Wal-Mart as the reason for closing.
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General Motors announced it will close its plant in Massena (St. Lawrence County) by December 2008. The plant currently employs about 450 workers and makes cylinder heads for auto engines. The work will be moved to GM plants in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. Employees will be offered severance packages.
No significant contractions were reported this month.
No significant contractions were reported this month.
Snowstorms in February helped the leisure and hospitality business bounce back from a snow drought that negatively impacted the industry in November - January.
Kinney Drugs closed their store in Willsboro (Essex County). All employees at this store were offered positions at Kinney’s other locations. The nearest location is 30 miles away in Elizabethtown (Essex County).
No significant contractions were reported this month.
Ward Lumber announced it will close its Plattsburg (Clinton County) store. Ward Lumber operates logging, sawmill, and retail operations throughout Clinton, Essex, and Franklin counties. Their retail store in Plattsburgh curently employs about 24 workers.
Bombardier will soon complete its contract to build 1,172 railcars for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Consequently, the company will let go about half of its Plattsburgh (Clinton County) workforce of 554 workers by the end of 2006.
No significant contractions were reported this month.
No significant contractions were reported this month.
No significant contractions were reported this month.
No significant contractions were reported this month.
No significant contractions were reported this month.
Northern Industrial of Plattsburgh (Clinton County), a group of three businesses that provide services to local manufactures, will close on July 31. Northern Industrial assembles and disassembles heavy machinery for manufacturing companies, such as Georgia Pacific’s paper machines. The company’s closing reflects the decline of the North Country's manufacturing sector. Northern Industrial employs about 40 workers.
Clover Construction Management, which plans to build 722 townhouses in Jefferson County in response to Fort Drum's housing shortage, cited difficulty finding lenders to finance a project in “a one-employer town.”
No significant contractions were reported this month.
No significant contractions were reported this month.
No significant contractions were reported this month.
Valco, a manufacturer of hardwood (white birch) bedroom furniture, announced it has laid off about 40 workers. The company cited a downturn in the market as the reason for the layoffs. Valco is located in the town of Malone (Franklin County).
No significant contractions were reported this month.
No significant contractions were reported this month.
No significant contractions were reported this month.
No significant contractions were reported this month.
The St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES cut 64 positions including special education teachers, teacher aides, and social workers. The cuts were effective on July 1.
Upstate USA, a biotech company, located in Lake Placid (Essex County) announced that 23 of 120 employees will be let go and 39 others will be offered jobs in either Virginia or California. The cuts and relocation offers are a result of a corporate restructuring.
The Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES will cut 30 special education teachers at the end of the 2004-05 school year. The cuts were a reflection of a 13 percent decline in the BOCES budget.
The summer tourism season had a slow start in the North Country. According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, attendance at campgrounds in the Northeastern part of the Adirondacks as down about 15 percent over the Memorial Day weekend. DEC also reported attendance at campgrounds near Lake Placid was down by about 50 percent. In addition, the Lake Placid Visitors Bureau reported that business was slow over the Memorial Day weekend.
No significant contractions were reported this month.
Beaverite Products (Lewis County) has laid off 25-30 workers as a result of corporate restructuring. The plant makes three-ring binders, inserts, and packaging products.
General Motors' Massena plant (St. Lawrence County) has received fewer orders for engines than it "usually" receives from GM's Tonawanda plant. No layoffs have been announced, but union officials have speculated that up to 100 workers might be laid off.
Indian River Central School (Jefferson County) announced 50 positions (17 teachers, 7 teachers' assistants, and 13 aides) will be cut in the 2005-06 school year because of an increase in the cost of employee benefits (health benefits).
According to Col. Emory R. Helton, post garrison commander, most of Ft. Drum's soldiers (Jefferson County) will be deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2006. This will leave few soldiers at the Fort, which will have a dampening affect on the local economy.
The Ogdensburg City School District announced it will cut 27 positions (4 teachers and 23 teacher aides and assistants) in an effort to reduce an estimated school tax increase from 32 percent to single digits. The increase in costs was blamed on the increasing costs of benefits including health insurance.
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