Saratoga Partnership Releases Inaugural Manufacturing Index: Industry’s Growth Outpaces Region & State; Workforce Needs are Critical to Future

Saratoga County Economic Index Panel with (l-r) Moderator, Shelby Schneider, Vice President Saratoga Partnership, Jason Bram of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Mark Dougherty VP Manufacturing at Globalfoundries, Chad McKissick, Plant Director at QUAD, and Peg CLMurphy HR Director, ESPEY.

Impact of manufacturing jobs, wages and GRP are vital to Saratoga County economy, as is need for enhanced workforce development initiatives to expand pipeline of skilled employees

The Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership,Saratoga County, NY’s economic development organization, today released the inaugural Saratoga County Manufacturing Index, which illustrates a robust industry that sees the county outpacing the Capital Region and New York state in jobs, wages and economic impact. At the same time, it reveals a need for heightened workforce development initiatives to ensure the presence of skilled employees to sustain its growth.

The Saratoga County Manufacturing Index was unveiled during a luncheon event attended by more than 130 business executives and professionals at the Gideon Putnam Hotel in Saratoga Springs.

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With 140 companies employing more than 8,100 workers – led by semiconductor manufacturer GLOBALFOUNDRIES in Malta – Saratoga County has the most manufacturing jobs of any Capital Region county. Nearly 3,700 of those jobs are directly supported by exports, which total over $1.3 billion worth of goods annually. Manufacturing represents 21 percent of the Gross Regional Product (GRP) in Saratoga County, a 5 percent increase over the past decade. That is more than double a 2 percent increase in the region, where manufacturing accounts for 11 percent of GRP. During the same period, manufacturing declined 1 percent statewide to 5 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and dropped 2 percent nationally to 11 percent of GDP.

Additionally, the average annual wage for manufacturing jobs in Saratoga County of $88,440 has risen 79 percent since 2001, eclipsing increases in the Capital Region (70 percent), New York (48 percent) and the U.S. (55 percent). Those wages are more than $43,000 higher than non-manufacturing private-sector jobs, which also represents the highest level in the region and is far above the state.

“The Saratoga County Manufacturing Index paints a vivid picture of the importance of this industry to the county’s economy, spearheaded by the presence of GLOBALFOUNDRIES. We need to double down on efforts to build a pipeline of skilled talent to enable that growth to continue,” said Marty Vanags, President of the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership. “The Saratoga Partnership is playing a critical role in facilitating and supporting educational and training programs and public-private partnerships essential to developing a workforce that will sustain our momentum.”

Reflecting a nationwide challenge, the index measured an unemployment rate in Saratoga County’s manufacturing industry that matched the sector’s national jobless rate of 10 percent. That reality is creating the need to enhance workforce development efforts, including K-12 and higher education programs, training and apprenticeship opportunities, and public-private partnerships that leverage existing resources to build an ecosystem of skilled employees.

Other takeaways from the Saratoga County Manufacturing Index include:

  • Manufacturing is the fourth-largest private-sector employer in Saratoga County, representing 11 percent of total employment.
  • The semiconductor industry (2,599 jobs) is the leading manufacturing employer, followed by chemicals (1,278), printing (890), paper (518) and fabricated metals (501)
  • Nearly half of manufacturing jobs in Saratoga County – 3,678 – are directly supported by exports
  • Statewide, the biggest exported NY products by percentage are miscellaneous manufactured commodities (39), followed by semiconductor (12), primary metals (9) and chemicals (9)
  • Statewide, the leading foreign countries that receive exported NY products by percentage are Canada (14), Hong Kong (12), Israel (8), the United Kingdom (7) and Switzerland (7)

“It is exciting to see the significance and growth of Saratoga County’s manufacturing sector, and to know we are well positioned to pursue new opportunities going forward,” said Kevin Hedley, Chairman of the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership. “The index highlights the importance of the Saratoga Partnership’s efforts to drive workforce development initiatives that have long-lasting economic impact.”

The release of the index was followed by a panel discussion that featured leaders from the manufacturing sector. Panelists included Mark Dougherty, Vice President of Advanced Module Engineering at GLOBALFOUNDRIES; Chad McKissick, Plant Director at QUAD/Graphics; and Peg Murphy, Corporate Secretary & Director of Human Resources at Espey Manufacturing.

The program also included a special presentation on regional economics by Jason Bram, Research Officerfrom the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and a report from Penny Hill, Dean of Economic Development and Workforce InitiativesatHudson Valley Community College, regardingeducation and training for students interested in the manufacturing field.

The presenting sponsor of the event was Adirondack Trust Company; Gold Sponsor was Hudson Valley Community College; and Bronze Sponsor was C.T. Male Associates.

MEDIA COVERAGE

Panel: Manufacturing jobs outpace worker supply, Saratogian, April 17, 2019

Manufacturing plays outsize role in Saratoga County economy, But trade policies can put benefits at risk, panel says, Times Union, April 17, 2019