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Hudson Valley Region, January 2014

FIRM EXPANSIONS AND CONTRACTIONS

Hudson Valley Region

January 2014

New York State Department of Labor
Division of Research and Statistics
120 Bloomingdale Road, Room 218
White Plains, NY 10605
914-997-8798

This briefing provides information on firm-specific hiring and layoff announcements in the Hudson Valley. The information in this report is derived from press releases, newspapers, business journals, newsletters and other public sources. It does not include all expansions and contractions in the region – only those for which public information has been obtained. An attempt is made to present only current information – events that have recently occurred or will occur in the near future.  

BUSINESS EXPANSIONS FOR THE HUDSON VALLEY REGION

Dutchess County
New York and IBM announced an agreement that will obligate the state’s nanotechnolo-gy center to pay $55 million to open a high-tech center in Buffalo with 500 jobs in exchange for IBM preserving and adding jobs in the Hudson Valley. The agreement includes a commitment from IBM to keep at least 3,100 high-tech jobs, mainly in Dutchess County, through 2016. This represents an increase in its minimum job commitment to the state of 750 jobs. The agreement included 750 positions in the "semiconductor plants and related fields" in Dutchess County, Albany and Yorktown Heights. Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro praised the agreement. “The news today is good. It’s good for those who will not lose their jobs,” Molinaro said. “It is good for those who may be reemployed by IBM, and it’s good for Dutchess County in the context of stabilizing job losses and focusing on recovery.” But the agreement also left a number of unanswered questions as IBM plans another round of job cuts. The union representing IBM was skeptical of the agreement amid hope that the deal would also spare New York from the latest round of job losses. The union said it received no assurance that IBM wouldn’t cut jobs in New York. Dutchess County alone has 7,000 IBM workers, said Lee Conrad, national coordinator for Alliance@IBM, CWA Local 1701, which is based in Binghamton.

Orange County
Aerospace manufacturer Pratt & Whitney plans to invest $140 million to outfit and upgrade a 70,000 square-foot building on Tower Drive in the Town of Wallkill (Orange County). The expansion of the company, which designs, manufacturers and services turbine aircraft engines, will create about 100 jobs over the next five years while retaining 95 jobs at Advanced Coating Technology, a Middletown-based subsidiary of Pratt & Whitney. Empire State Development will offer the manufacturer a $900,000 capital grant, and up to $1.6 million in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits and other incentives.

Amy’s Kitchen, an organic and natural food manufacturer announced plans to build a 350,000- to 500,000-square-foot plant in the Town of Goshen. The Orange County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) has worked out a 15-year PILOT agreement under which Amy’s Kitchen gets $6.5 million in sales and use tax exemptions, another $4.5 million as property tax abatement, and $420,000 in mortgage tax exemptions. The project is additionally getting $500,000 from the IDA for infrastructure improvements. The company estimates the plant will employ about 681 people earning between $20,000 and $150,000 annually.

Steelways submitted a bid to Tappan Zee Constructors L.L.C. to supply the precast concrete deck system for the new Tappan Zee Bridge. The winning contractor will build 7,000 individual deck pieces over three years. For Hudson Valley union workers in the building and construction trades, it would create 150 to 200 jobs in the Newburgh area. The precast decking would be manufactured on a parcel in the town of New Windsor that is part of the approximately 75-acre Steelways property and transported across Water Street to the river. The large-scale project would require access to an adjacent 3-acre parcel on the Hudson that is owned by the city of Newburgh. That need has led to a conceptual plan, approved in late January by the Newburgh City Council, to rebuild the port of Newburgh this year through a public-private partnership. U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, the first-term Democrat whose 18th congressional district includes Newburgh, said the $16.5 million project, which includes a $3 million payroll, is expected to be aided by state and federal grants and financial incentives from the Newburgh Industrial Development Agency. The Newburgh City Council voted to approve the conceptual plan that will provide 150 construction jobs and an unknown number of permanent jobs after construction is completed. The new Port of Newburgh will be the only river and rail convergence between New York City and Albany

Putnam County
Nothing to report.

Rockland County
Nothing to report.

Sullivan County
Nothing to report.

Ulster County
Nothing to report.

Westchester County
General Motors recently reached a development deal with two real estate companies for its long-vacant automotive assembly plant site on the village of Sleepy Hollow’s waterfront. Diversified Realty Advisors of Summit N.J., and SunCal of Irvine, Calif., will partner on the Lighthouse Landing project which will feature: 1,177 residences, 35,000 square feet of office space, and 135,000 square feet of retail, cinema and restaurant space and a 140-room hotel. The nearly 100-acre GM property off Beekman Avenue was vacated by the automaker in 1996. The redevelopment project, first proposed by GM in 2003 has been delayed for several years by lawsuits. The village approved the development in 2011 and in August 2013 it resolved all litigations that had stalled the project. The developers will now submit an application to the Sleepy Hollow Town Board for site plan approval and are hoping for a groundbreaking on the project by the end of 2014. GM’s former development partner, New Jersey-based Roseland Properties L.L.C., pulled out of the Lighthouse Landing project in late 2007, calling it an opportunity that had passed. The project was revived after GM emerged from its bankruptcy reorganization in 2009.

Tappan Zee Constructors, the design/build team behind the construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge, is bringing in specialized welders from Alabama and New Orleans to help install the enormous and critical permanent piles that will hold up the main span of the new Tappan Zee Bridge.

T5 Data Centers recently launched its first data center in Westchester County; its seventh in New York State. The company will expand into a renovated 38,000 square-foot facility in Briarcliff Manor, where it will serve as a mirror data center location for enterprises, financial services, trading and technology firms. No job numbers were announced.

Westchester Medical Center received approval from U.S. Bankruptcy Court to purchase the bankrupt Town of Poughkeepsie-based Saint Francis Hospital for about $38.8 million. The Dutchess County Medical Society, which represents about 300 doctors locally, has rallied in favor of Westchester Medical’s purchase. In a statement, Westchester Medical’s CEO Michael Israel called Saint Francis a “critical link to quality care for those living and working” in the area. He also said Westchester’s “historical mission has always been to ensure that Hudson Valley residents have access to the finest advanced” local medical care, regardless of income. Westchester Medical officials have said their mission for St. Francis is, “from day one, to work together to enhance and strengthen all of their fine services, including the Level Two Trauma Center, emergency department, intensive care units and critical care psychiatric services, while introducing additional advanced-care offerings locally to more patients in areas such as orthopedics, cancer, neurosciences, trauma and critical care, and cardiovascular”. Westchester Medical also has said it will increase the number of patients cared for at St. Francis. Westchester Medical’s three facilities: the 415-bed University Hospital; the 136-bed Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital; and 101-bed Behavioral Health Center which are all operating at, near or above capacity.

BUSINESS CONTRACTIONS FOR THE HUDSON VALLEY REGION

Dutchess County
IBM Corp. will cut more jobs in March as it continues dealing with a sharp slump in sales in its hardware division. No official announcements have been as to where and how many will be impacted. The company is a major employer in the Hudson Valley Region, with several facilities, including two plants in Dutchess County.

Orange County
Russin Lumber Corporation filed a WARN notice with the NYS Department of Labor in anticipation of a mass layoff. The company announced plans to close its plant on Reynolds Drive in Montgomery on April 18, 2014 and lay off about 68 employees. Russin Lumber will also layoff an additional seven employees working at another office in Montgomery.

Putnam County
First Transit filed a WARN notice with the NYS Department of Labor in anticipation of a mass layoff. The company will lay off an estimated 65 employees over a 14 day period, beginning March 31, 2014.

Rockland County
Novartis will be closing their manufacturing location in Suffern beginning the second quarter of 2014 through 2016 or 2017. All of the 525 employees at this site will be affected by the closing. The company will attempt to relocate as many of the plant’s 521 employees as possible to two plants in Long Island and one in East Hanover, New Jersey. The property will be dismantled and sold. The plant, on Route 287 near the New Jersey border, makes Novartis' blood pressure pill, Diovan, which lost its patent in 2012, and now faces competition from cheaper, generic drugs. The company will attempt to relocate as many of the plant’s 521 employees as possible to two plants in Long Island and one in East Hanover, New Jersey. The company said demand for Diovan has dropped below "the minimum required to operate" the Suffern facility. Basil, Switzerland-based Novartis has its U.S. headquarters in East Hanover NJ.

Sterling National Bank filed a WARN notice with the NYS Department of Labor in anticipation of a mass layoff. The layoffs will occur between April 8 and April 22, 2014, affecting several workers at different branches throughout the lower part of the state. Regionally, six employees will be impacted at the company’s branch in Montebello.

Sullivan County
Nothing to report.

Ulster County
SunWize Technologies, Inc. announced plans to lay off thirteen employees, including eleven in Ulster County and two in New York City.

Westchester County
Loehmann’s, the Bronx-based discount clothing retailer filed a WARN notice on January 23, 2014 in anticipation of a mass layoff. The company filed for Chapter11 bankruptcy protection for the third time and has agreed to be acquired by a trio of liquidators. The company will close its stores in White Plains (58 employees), on Broadway in Manhattan (101 employees), on 7th Avenue in Manhattan (100 employees), and in Brooklyn (45 employees).

Staples filed a WARN notice with the NYS Department of Labor in anticipation of a mass layoff. The office supplier will lay off 39 employees over a 14 day period, at its Port Chester location, beginning April 30, 2014.

STRIKES AND LABOR DISPUTES

Nothing to report.

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