BATAVIA — Led by the success of projects at the Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP)’s green manufacturing megasite, Genesee County has gotten recognition in Site Selection Magazine as the northeastern U.S.’s top-performing micropolitan for business development.
“These rankings confirm what site selectors and business decision-makers have validated again and again — that Genesee County’s shovel-ready sites, ready infrastructure and robust regional workforce enable the Genesee County Economic Development Center and our partners to deliver positive outcomes for our communities, our employers, and our workforce,” said GCEDC President and CEO Steve Hyde.
The GCEDC said eight major 2022 projects, including Edwards’ $319 million semiconductor industry “factory of the future,” placed the county seventh in the nation among the 543 micropolitan communities of 10,000 to 50,000 residents in the Site Selection’s Conway Projects Database. The annual rankings focus on new corporate facility projects with significant impact, including headquarters, manufacturing plants, research and development operations, and logistics sites. Qualifying projects must either have a capital investment of over $1 million, create 20 or more new jobs, or add at least 20,000 square feet of new floor area.
The upcoming project at STAMP will supply dry pump technology that enables North American chipmakers to maintain the cleanroom environment essential to producing high-precision semiconductors, Edwards Vice President of Global Business Development Scott Balaguer told Site Selection.
“We needed to bring this industry back to the U.S.,” Balaguer said. “We were shipping heavy equipment from Korea to the U.S., and that is too costly; nor does it align with our goal of reducing our carbon footprint. We were so impressed with the workforce and the opportunity to find great labor here. Everybody at Greater Rochester Enterprise and Genesee County has been so willing to help us. It has been beyond what we saw elsewhere.”
Site Selection’s annual rankings also highlighted the experiences enabling Edwards to advance their project at STAMP, a 1,250-acre mega site in the town of Alabama that was previously selected by Plug Power for North America’s leading green hydrogen project. Both companies have credited the ability to secure talent and renewable energy as major benefits of STAMP.
In addition to Plug Power and Edwards, STAMP has over 400 buildable acres to support additional projects, along with available electricity and water to support significant future manufacturing growth, the GCEDC said.
Genesee County officials credit local assets, forward-looking development strategies and state and federal support for a strong economic outlook.
“Businesses are investing in Genesee County and at STAMP for a reason, and a big part of that is a talented and productive workforce and our efforts in workforce development, especially in conjunction with our educational partners, including our institutions of higher education to our local high school and elementary schools to our BOCES programs,” said county Legislature Chairwoman Rochelle Stein. “These historic economic development projects also are the impetus for our efforts to develop and bring more housing options for our growing workforce.”
The Batavia-Genesee County micropolitan area has been ranked as a Top 10 Micropolitan Area for 19 consecutive years.
“We recognized years ago that advanced manufacturing, renewable energy and the semiconductor sectors were long-term growth opportunities and our efforts to prepare for these emerging businesses is providing our region significant benefits, including record setting financial investments by the private sector,” said Hyde. “Our efforts are being enhanced through New York State Sen. Chuck Schumer’s efforts in passing the federal CHIPS Act, New York State Gov. (Kathy) Hochul’s Green CHIPS legislation, and the support of regional partners like National Grid, National Fuel, the New York Power Authority, Greater Rochester Enterprise and Invest Buffalo Niagara.”
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