Manufacturing Resurgence in New York
Randy Wolken, President & CEO

Manufacturing is underappreciated in New York State. Why is this? One of the main reasons is the negative perception of manufacturing as an industry that is dirty, polluting, and low-skilled. This perception is blatantly false! Manufacturers are real innovators in protecting our environment and building sustainable facilities. And they make great strides yearly in becoming even more sustainable and environmentally friendly. They go even further with their leading-edge investment in renewable energy sources, energy efficiency measures, and cleaner production processes. As a result, manufacturing and tech companies serve as crucial leaders in transitioning to a greener and cleaner economy.

This refocused importance on the industrial sector requires us to invest heavily in our electrical infrastructure. Massive investments in new transmission lines and substations and the deployment of energy storage systems will be necessary to achieve a carbon-neutral economy. This will ensure that renewable energy sources are available. Along with investments in biofuels like clean hydrogen and renewable biodiesel, each year, the manufacturing sector helps our communities move toward sustainability. There are many advantages to updating our fuel sources to green and renewable types that support economic growth and long-term sustainability.

However, transitioning to a new energy and carbon-neutral future will take time. Manufacturers certainly need to make investments in capital-intensive operations. They must have safe, available, reliable, quality, and affordable energy. For instance, many of their processes require natural gas today and for the foreseeable future. The natural gas pipes will one day carry renewable hydrogen gas. Also, carbon-free nuclear power is an excellent source of transition fuel. If we want manufacturing jobs, we must make these accommodations.

The industrial sector also provides a solid foundation for the economy by creating high-quality jobs, generating wealth, and supporting other sectors of the economy. The technical jobs of the manufacturing sector can begin at any time in a person’s lifetime. Manufacturers will hire you out of high school, after two years of technical school, or after your Bachelor, Masters, or Doctorate. Earn-and-learn approaches are more available in tech and manufacturing jobs than in any other industry. These community-sustaining jobs are the lifeblood of thriving communities.

For those of you who work in the advanced manufacturing companies of our community, we need you to share with your neighbors, policymakers, and political leaders your experience in working in manufacturing. Help us at MACNY tell the story of the transformation of manufacturing in our state. We are on the cusp of rapid and significant growth in these jobs and will need the entire community to support your efforts. To get involved in telling the story of modern manufacturing, please reach out to Matt Geitner, our Director of Government Relations, at [email protected].Or get in touch with me directly at [email protected]. Together, we can tell the real story of exciting industries that will grow our communities for the next fifty years and beyond!