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Located just north of Manhattan, Westchester County, New York, is the home of more than 170 companies and a labor force of more than 520,000. Nestled in the heart of the Hudson Valley, Westchester has a history of business excellence – from Fortune 500 companies like IBM, Pepsi and Mastercard to healthcare giants like Regeneron to startups – and County businesses generate more than $1 billion in annual payroll.
In addition to its attractive location just north of New York City, Westchester County is also rich with talent. Its high percentage of alumni from prestigious universities and institutions make the County one of the best educated workforces in the country.
But education is only the tip of the iceberg. The perks of working and living in Westchester are endless: minutes away from New York City via car or train; more affordable commercial real estate options; 18,000 acres of parkland; vibrant downtowns and quiet suburbs; and an outstanding quality of life.
Westchester’s fastest growing sectors include biosciences and advanced manufacturing. To spur and accelerate this growth, the County has created Industry Desks to identify trends and address the needs of the existing businesses in Westchester as well as businesses looking to relocate to the area. Each Industry Desk is staffed by the Office of Economic Development and supported by a dedicated Task Force comprised of local professionals and other stakeholders that have experience and expertise in the designated sector, and serve as a resource providing support and mentorship, including insight into workforce needs, real estate issues, financing advice and more.
An Innovation Hub In Biosciences
Westchester County is home to the largest biosciences cluster in New York State, boasting 8,000 jobs and 20 percent of the State’s total biosciences employment. The cluster is comprised of academic institutions doing basic research, R&D and clinical stage startups, large manufacturers and supply chain participants, and related industry experts providing specialized consulting, financing, marketing and communications, and other support services. With New York ranking second in the nation for both life sciences jobs and higher education degrees in biosciences, Westchester’s vibrant life sciences industry benefits from access to top notch talent and a wide range of opportunities for this talent pool to apply its skills – thanks, in part, to the county’s 28 higher education institutions and award-winning public schools.
Westchester County is the home of biotech startups, second stage companies and global leaders in the broad life sciences industry. Regeneron, Burke Neurological Institute, Sapience, ContraFect, and the Hudson Valley’s only fully-equipped biotechnology incubator, BioInc@NYMC, all call Westchester home. In addition, the County is seeing more businesses relocate to the area from New York City. Oligomerix, Inc. relocated its headquarters from Manhattan to the Westchester Park Center in White Plains. In addition, Clarapath leased 7,000 square feet at 12 Skyline Drive after coming up from the Bronx. Existing Westchester businesses are also expanding their footprint: PTI leased 13,650 square feet of expansion space, now occupying about 28,000 square feet at 8 Skyline Drive, nearly four times the size of its original offices in Tuckahoe.
This prime location – and thriving biosciences cluster – is also home to the Westchester County Biosciences Accelerator, which supports ventures with an idea who need to expand beyond their current network and put together funding and teams to grow their ventures. The program’s third cohort began in January 2022, and will culminate with a pitch day in May.
A Force In Advanced Manufacturing
Manufacturing and advanced manufacturing have been staples in the Westchester County business landscape for decades. In the County, the advanced manufacturing landscape is diverse, including: Packaging Technologies & Inspection (PTI), a leading equipment manufacturer of package inspection equipment, headquartered in Hawthorne; Micromold Products, Inc., which manufactures plastic fluid handling products, is based in Yonkers; Metcar (Metalized Carbon Corporation), which focuses on self-lubricating machinery components, calls Ossining home; Bantam Tools, which manufactures desktop milling machines used to make printed circuit boards and aluminum parts, is based in Peekskill; Domino Sugar, which has operated out of their Yonkers refinery since 1921; and Magnetic Analysis Corp., which has been advancing the science and technology behind nondestructive testing for over 90 years, is headquartered in Elmsford. Throughout the years, these companies have incorporated technology and digitalization to make their businesses more competitive.
The Hudson Valley has become a true hub for advanced manufacturing, with Westchester serving as the heart of the region with a diverse and growing industry.
In addition to the skilled labor, the education infrastructure provides a great foundation for individuals looking to enter this field. For example, Westchester Community College has offered training in advanced manufacturing since 2016. The school’s series of three, short-term workforce training modules builds skills in safety, CNC machining, tooling, milling and lays the groundwork for the advanced manufacturing sector.
While many view Westchester’s proximity to Manhattan, Connecticut and New Jersey as a tool for attracting talent, it also is helpful to manufacturers from a logistical standpoint: Westchester has easy access to the Port of New York and New Jersey for shipping, as well as multiple airports and freight rail service.
The Office of Economic Development is committed to maintaining a pipeline of qualified talent and is working with partners throughout the County to ensure the needs of existing businesses are being met. Westchester is working closely with the Council of Industry, a regional manufacturer’s association, to roll out an Advanced Manufacturing Career Training Program – CPT 4.0 – in partnership with Westchester Community College to expand the talent pipeline that enables advanced manufacturing companies in Westchester to continue to grow.
For more information, visit www.westchestercatalyst.com/work.