May 11, 2007

Tech Valley Boost: New Deal Could Spur Thousands of New Jobs

By: by News 10


A major coup for the Capital Region!

SEMATECH agrees to move its Nanotechnology headquarters to Albany, in a deal that will cost millions, but could bring thousands of new jobs with it.

Governor Spitzer and Senator Bruno say they are going to spend the next few weeks shoring up funding for the project - and that is going to be no small price tag. The Governor says it is going to cost about 300-million dollars, because the Nanotech consortium is planning to uproot its facilities in Texas and move most of its workforce here.

It means hundreds of workers moving to the Capital Region, but could spur thousands of new jobs with spin-off businesses sprouting up. The job transfers will start July 1st. And given that potential for thousands of new jobs - is the Capital Region prepared to accommodate them?

NEWS10's Demetra Ganias spoke with local leaders about what the influx of jobs would mean for Albany and our region, as a whole.

With SEMATECH's promise to relocate and bring thousands of related jobs with it, the Capital Region's reputation is getting a boost. Assemblyman John McEneny calls it a feather in New York's cap.

"It certainly breaks the stereotype, doesn't it - that the rust belt is being abandoned and the sun belt is taking the jobs," McEneny says.

McEneny says the Capital Region stands to gain much in the way of taxes:

  • Property taxes from professionals buying homes

  • And sales tax from all they spend around town

And for those who already live here, McEneny says, "the value of their homes are better." McEneny also says it may mean that young people do not have to leave this area.

Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings agrees the exodus of educated youth may slow down.

"This is about getting them jobs and keeping them here," says Jennings.

The Capital Region's population has declined steadily for the last couple decades, and Jennings believes the region is ready to handle new residents - if communities work together.

"There's going to be a demand for housing, there's going to be a demand for attention to infrastructure...that we have water available for everything we're talking about," Jennings says. "I'm very confident that we're going to be able to grow with them and make sure that everyone that comes here will have an enjoyable life."

McEneny says the future of upstate New York, economically speaking, will be hi-tech, high-paying jobs - and SEMATECH is just that. Of course it may be a few years before the Capital Region starts feeling the full effect of its relocation.