Manufacturing in New York is World Class
Randy Wolken, President & CEO

I am often asked to assess the manufacturing climate in the Upstate region and New York State as a whole. For too many years, I was forced to give a nuanced answer because of the challenges and opportunities manufacturers face here. Now, I can say without question that manufacturing is poised for significant expansion in New York State. This expansion will lead to dramatic growth in United States manufacturing as well.

What is different now? The pandemic and the recovery have changed our view of the manufacturing world. Our nation now knows we must make critical products here in the United States. Extended supply chains and their disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic have taught us that our national and economic security is tied to our ability to design and make essential products stateside. During any international crisis, we cannot rely on the rest of the world for what we need produced. That includes medical supplies as simple as masks. It also includes semiconductor chips and the essential products that require them. Extended supply chains in countries like China threaten our ability to respond to a health or national security crisis. It is because of this that we must reassert the United States as the world’s greatest manufacturing nation.

Collectively, our nation knows we need to regain our strategic manufacturing ability. For instance, our Federal Government agreed to massive investments in semiconductor production capacity to build essential computer chips right here in the United States. This will help fund new chip fabs, which will greatly enhance our ability to make the vital products that drive our national and economic security. We will no longer be held hostage by semiconductor chips made in Southeast Asia, which has become volatile. New York State is poised to be the home of semiconductor production and advanced manufacturing facilities in general. These types of high-tech, advanced manufacturing facilities fit right into our sweet spot. Micron’s recent commitment to building four chip fabs at an estimated cost of over $100 billion is just one example of our bright future ahead. As a State, New York makes sophisticated manufactured products and their critical raw materials such as steel, copper, and aluminum. New York State’s supply chain capabilities are second to none in the United States.

Even more critical, our workforce is among the most educated due to an extensive and outstanding elementary through graduate school education system. We also have significant technical schools and apprenticeship systems in place. As a result, we can meet the substantially increased need for a technical and highly educated workforce –this is essential to grow existing and attract future manufacturing facilities. The world of manufacturing is fast approaching its desired Industry 4.0 technical capabilities. All future manufacturers will use the latest in robotics, artificial intelligence (A.I.), virtual and augmented reality, and automation to produce every product. This type of manufacturing requires what we have here in New York State. We have the people, the know-how, and an unmatched commitment to manufacturing excellence.

Over the years, I have supported efforts in attracting sophisticated manufacturing operations to New York State. We’ve discussed the attractiveness of Upstate New York for manufacturing growth. During this time, I see how we stack up against other manufacturing regions in the country. We stand out when you compare what we have to the different areas of the United States. Upstate New York has abundant water, a readily available energy supply, is becoming increasingly greener, and has attractive manufacturing locations available. Also, as I just described, we have a ready and expanding workforce that is highly educated. We know how to make sophisticated products and already have key supply chain manufacturers. State and local governments are our partners in securing what is needed to expand and locate manufacturing facilities here. Overall, it is impressive to see how far we have come. We are ready, as a state, to assume our leading role once again in global manufacturing.

New York is the premier destination for the growing number of manufacturers who want to make the United States their home. I am grateful to be a part of the ecosystem that supports manufacturing excellence throughout New York State. MACNY is committed to being your partner as you grow. We also will assist in attracting new manufacturers to New York who want to thrive in today’s 21st-century manufacturing landscape. It’s an exciting time for manufacturing in New York State!