By Marty Vanags, CEcD
In 2017, Saratoga County continued to be one of the fastest-growing counties in New York state, and for good reason. With talented people, great companies, and a vibrant quality of life, we possess all the attributes that make our community a coveted destination to live, work, and recreate.
Our future is bright but it is important that we continue to look forward and not rest on our laurels. The public and private sectors working together to plan for long-term growth, invest in infrastructure, and lay the foundation for future growth is key to maintaining our economic prosperity today and long into the future.
In 2017, the economy in Saratoga County was strong and based on the strength of the national economy, low unemployment, low inflation, high growth, high stock prices, and high confidence, we can expect the economy to hit the ground running in 2018. We are fortunate to have a strong, diversified manufacturing sector, and one of the most advanced semiconductor manufacturers in the world, GlobalFoundries, right in our back yard.
Since the invention of the integrated circuit, the semiconductor industry served as a driver, enabler and indicator of technological progress. Developments in the semiconductor industry determine the way we work, learn, communicate, and entertain ourselves. It enables our transportation, healthcare, and how we respond to our environment. Growth in this industry is being driven by our use of devices like smartphones, tablets, the vast array of devises called the “Internet of Things” or IoT, throughout our home, office, and vehicle.
We demand more content at faster speeds, which is driving the need for larger networks to manage vast amounts of data. Our devices, homes, vehicles are all equipped with semiconductor devices and the growth of that industry is creating opportunity within our own local economy.
The future of economic development in Saratoga County is directly connected with the future of technology. Since 2000, total wages have increased 67 percent primarily due to increased number jobs of high-wage jobs in manufacturing—more specifically high-tech manufacturers like GlobalFoundries, which offers an average salary of $92,000. There are significant opportunities to attract semiconductor supply chain businesses, chip designers, and emerging technology companies.
The Saratoga Partnership helped raise awareness of Saratoga County’s assets by meeting with over 50 corporate site selectors nationwide, brought over a dozen more to visit Saratoga County, and met with well over 100 prospective companies at major industry trade shows, along with hosting semiconductor industry elite here at the prestigious ASMC Conference.
We have established a partnership with the Global Semiconductor Alliance, a leading international trade association, which will enable direct marketing to computer chip companies, suppliers and vendors, and created the Next Wave Center and Network to attract companies from multiple sectors to Saratoga County to leverage the success at GlobalFoundries. In 2018, we will continue that momentum.
In 2018, we will work closely with the Saratoga County Industrial Development Agency and Luther Forest Technology Campus to bring infrastructure and attract world-class businesses to the Luther Forest.
In 2018 we will also continue to do extensive community development outreach to towns, cities, and villages throughout Saratoga County to ensure that they have sufficient community development resources and infrastructure to grow and attract new investment and the next wave of job opportunities for their residents.
The Saratoga Partnership’s comprehensive economic development strategy is also helping small businesses to start up and grow.
In 2017 we provided critical assistance to advance the transformation of Universal Preservation Hall, soon to be a major asset to downtown Saratoga; worked with Land Remediation to turn a brownfield into a new headquarters in Waterford; assisted in securing $300,000 in REDC funding to build a grain hub in Moreau that will benefit both farmers and craft brewers; obtained federal funding to provide small businesses vital training in QuickBooks; and the annual Prosperity Summit offered unique insight and connections to hundreds of businesspeople in our community.
In 2018 the Saratoga Partnership will grow our business retention and expansion outreach programs to help more businesses thrive in Saratoga County.
Maintaining and expanding economic prosperity cannot be taken for granted. The Saratoga Partnership’s public-private model, one replicated and used around the world to conduct economic development, will result in a strong economy in 2018 and beyond.
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