Advanced Manufacturing Industry: Dynamic Advancements

By the BF Staff
From the March/April 2016 Issue

Advanced manufacturing is growing in the United States albeit with an ever-changing definition. While traditional manufacturing involved hard product industries that converted raw materials into finished products via manual or mechanized techniques (e.g., automotive, steel), advanced manufacturing involves using integrative and innovative technologies during manufacturing to help improve products or processes (e.g., computer technologies, medical device manufacturing, automation). Basically the focus of advanced manufacturing is on the processes by which products are built rather than on the products themselves as was the case with traditional manufacturing.

Advanced manufacturing usually requires fewer workers than traditional manufacturing since many of the lower-skill processes have been automated. But while fewer workers are needed, the type of workers required are higher skilled and harder to come by. According to the 2015 Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte Skills Gap Study, 84 percent of manufacturing executives surveyed think there is a talent shortage in advanced manufacturing in the U.S. And while baby boomer retirement and economic expansion are two major reasons, it is perpetuated by the lack of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) field graduates and the lack of preparation the education system offers students to verse them in mathematical and scientific concepts. Training and skills development are crucial to deal with changes in technology and to help fill the skills gap.

Some locations are addressing this problem through employee training and development programs and getting involved with local schools and community colleges. This is a win-win situation for government and industry: the advanced manufacturing sector will continue to grow with the necessary workforce, residents will be provided a career pathway and competitive wages and the gross regional product will grow.

From East to West and in between, here are some locations that currently suit the advanced manufacturing industry and are looking to expand upon that success.


Situated in Upstate New York, Oswego County is located centrally to New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Toronto and Montreal. Yet, Oswego County has more to offer than an attractive location within hours of every major Northeast market.

Oswego County has a highly skilled manufacturing workforce, with welding, fabrication and CNC experience, who are ready to work. The workforce is supported by over 30 institutions of higher learning within 50 miles. These educational institutions work collaboratively with economic development organizations, workforce training centers and industry to create an environment advantageous to advanced manufacturing. Currently, these partners are developing plans for an advanced manufacturing institute where both students and employees will be trained.

advanced manufacturing
The Fulton Companies, maker of high-efficiency commercial boilers, recently completed a 112,000-square-foot expansion, including a new 10,000-square-foot research and development facility. (Credit: Operation Oswego County, Inc.)

Oswego County and Central NY has a robust manufacturing industry providing custom services for industrial, automotive, medical, aeronautics and military applications, as well as providing custom parts, fabrication and prototyping to other area businesses. This network of manufacturers creates a stable supply chain and major competitive advantage.

Oswego County offers convenient access to Interstates 81 and 90, which provide north/south and east/west movement. Over 25 carriers offer both local and long-distance trucking to and from Oswego County. Connecting lines enable transport to every major U.S. market. Local carriers provide transloading from truck to rail and offer myriad warehouse storage options, including dry, climate controlled and frozen.

The Port of Oswego, a deep-water port on the southeastern shore of Lake Ontario, provides a major logistical advantage to industry in Oswego County and the Central New York region. As the first port of call and hub in the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System, it is part of more than 2,300 miles of water transportation from Duluth, Minnesota to the Atlantic Ocean. The Port of Oswego provides on-dock rail and truck loading, making for a smooth transition of goods to market. Recent upgrades to the Port’s security system allow the Port to handle high-security shipments. Future expansion includes the development of an inland port.

CSX offers daily rail transportation to Oswego County. Rail service is available throughout the County, with direct access at several sites and industrial parks. With a nearby regional switching yard, CSX provides access to more than 21,000 miles of track in 23 states and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec, plus 70 ocean, lake and river ports. Coupled with nationwide transloading and warehousing, CSX makes rail a very viable transportation option for Oswego County businesses.

Syracuse Hancock International Airport is within minutes of Oswego County. In addition to worldwide passenger transport, Hancock has facilities for air freight transport, which includes a 53,000-square-foot cargo building. The Oswego County Airport boasts two 5,200 feet paved runways ideal for business, industry and private aviation.

Oswego County has many options for multimodal transport of raw materials, parts and products. The various combinations of transport are ideal for materials import and product export. As a designated Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ), Oswego County is designed for the convenient and cost effective production of goods.

With a strong economic base in manufacturing, Oswego County is equipped with modern industrial infrastructure including heavy power and gas. Coupled with plentiful water and wastewater options, this infrastructure provides flexibility for light- to heavy-industrial uses.

Many shovel ready sites are available in Oswego County. Within the industrial parks, all sites have utilities and other necessary infrastructure in place. Some sites within the parks have had comprehensive site profiles performed. These profiles detail the site conditions, available infrastructure and provide development options suitable for that site. They expedite the selection process by eliminating much of the due diligence work for the potential purchaser.

Several advanced manufacturing companies have invested in Oswego County over the past few years. Two of these projects, presented below, represent an investment of over $400 million and the creation of over 240 new jobs.

Novelis Corporation, the world’s largest manufacturer of rolled aluminum, has had two consecutive expansion projects which added three new aluminum finishing lines and an aluminum recycling center to meet rising demands from the automotive industry.

The Fulton Companies, maker of high-efficiency commercial boilers, added 112,000-square-feet onto their existing manufacturing and corporate headquarters to grow their manufacturing capabilities and existing product line. The expanded facility also houses a new 10,000-square-foot research and development center.

BioSpherix, manufacturer of cytocentric cell incubation and processing systems, expanded in Oswego County by acquiring the 40,000-square-foot closed elementary school in the Village of Parish. The multi-million dollar project converted the school into a state-of-the-art R&D and manufacturing facility.

Oswego County’s skilled workforce, collaborative support system and modern infrastructure provide major competitive advantages for advanced manufacturing companies. For more information about Oswego County, contact L. Michael Treadwell, Executive Director of Operation Oswego County, Inc., at (315) 343-1545 or


When you think of community development, job creation, investment and business retention and expansion an electric generation and transmission company wouldn’t top the list. Hoosier Energy, a generation and transmission cooperative (G&T), however, is at the top.

Hoosier Energy is unique. As a non-profit electric cooperative founded in 1949, Hoosier Energy is owned by its members. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, the G&T provides wholesale power and services to 18-member distribution cooperatives that service consumers in central and southern Indiana and southeastern Illinois. This structure distinguishes Hoosier Energy and their members in that they are invested in the communities their members serve.

Having the “Crossroads of America” stamp certainly is appealing. Thriving communities are abundant in the members’ distribution territories because the areas are accessible and business friendly. Midwest living, major cities, highway and rail access, thriving industries and a pro-business climate are on every advanced manufacturer’s wish list and these areas deliver.

Take Greensburg in Decatur County, Indiana for example. Located on Interstate 74 between Indianapolis, Indiana and Cincinnati, Ohio, Greensburg is in the center of an automotive manufacturing hub that stretches from Tennessee to Michigan. Serviced by Decatur County REMC, Greensburg receives specialized attention by the REMC to facilitate advanced manufacturing locations, retentions and expansions.

Valeo Engine Cooling, Inc. a global manufacturer of engine cooling loop exchangers and modules; change air, exhaust gas, and oil coolers; and front end modules made Greensburg home to one of their 134 production sites. Valeo’s success at this location led to an announcement in September 2015 of the company’s plans to invest $22 million to upgrade equipment and add 25 employees. Valeo has invested about $128 million in its Greensburg operations in the last decade and now employs 700 full-time and 220 part-time workers.

Greensburg has developed an agglomeration advantage thanks to the successful business climate and personalized community development. Hitachi Powdered Metals (USA) Inc., a powdered metal components supplier also serviced by Decatur County REMC, selected Greensburg as the company’s only powdered metal operation in the United States. In 2012, Hitachi invested $38.4 million to expand its 30-acre facility with an additional 128,000-square-foot plant that began operations in 2013. The pro-growth atmosphere is what makes areas like Greenburg stand out in an increasingly competitive market.

The Crossroads of America has brought significant advantages to the logistics industry as well. A centralized location attracted Casey’s General Stores, Inc. to select the Vigo County Industrial Park, located along U.S. 41 just south of Interstate 70, as the site for the growing company’s 250,000-square-foot distribution and logistics facility. Set to open in spring 2016, Casey’s is serviced by WIN Energy REMC, another member of Hoosier Energy. Hoosier Energy’s mission is to provide assured, reliable and competitively priced energy and services to member distribution systems through a nearly 1,700-mile network of transmission lines and more than 350 delivery points. As a cooperative committed to concern for community, the G&T’s services naturally extend to working with its member-served communities. Joint services and programs include Demand Side Management (DSM) programs to help customers manage energy consumption, a Commercial & Industrial Prescriptive Rebate Program (C&I) and an Energy Management Program. Programs such as these help local businesses maximize profits and encourage local economic growth.

Corn Island Shipyard Inc., located in Grandview, Indiana took advantage of this special treatment in 2015 by partnering with Southern Indiana Power to facilitate a large LED project. Corn Island, builder of ocean-going barges, utilized the C & I Rebate Program to update the manufacturing facility’s lighting system. The project retrofitted inefficient metal halide lights, running 24/7, with High Bay LED lights on motion sensors. The two-phase project plan maximized the company’s rebate potential from Southern Indiana Power as well as improved the facility’s energy costs. Sensors now allow the lights to turn on and off according to the shipyard’s manufacturing schedules and the High Bay LEDs greatly improved the facility’s lighting quality. Corn Island, a third-generation, family-owned business, is launching the largest weight per square inch barge the facility has ever built in October of 2016.

The Cooperative Way

As cooperatives, Hoosier Energy and its 18-member distribution members are part of Touchstone Energy, a nationwide alliance of more than 700 electric cooperatives. All cooperatives abide by a set of values that honor accountability, integrity, innovation and concern for community. Standing by these values brings results because they are rooted in a dedication to developing and supporting local businesses. When a business is serviced by a Hoosier Energy distribution member, they can rest assured they are receiving reliable services based on the cooperatives principles and specialized attention that fosters growth. Their locations and communities are made to thrive.


Workforce development for manufacturing is top of mind in Utah. Future employees are seeking out the best jobs to fulfill their specific career pathway dreams. Employers are searching for skilled workers who can propel their business forward.

“We see a strong demand for high-skill jobs that need to be filled, and here in Utah we are ready to create an even more robust talent pipeline to fill that demand,” said Ben Hart, managing director of business services for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED).

advanced manufacturing
Janicki’s Utah facility, which offers precision machining of large-scale composite and metallic parts, is a partner in the Aerospace Pathways program. (Credit: Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development)

GOED has convened several public-private partnerships to focus on employer needs and training efforts, creating a unique career pathway program that begins with students in high school and provides them with a pathway for life-long career development.

One of Utah’s strategic cluster industries, aerospace and defense, has come together to establish career pathway training. The collaboration began in the spring of 2015 when industry, education and government leaders gathered to launch a program that will fill at least 40 new aerospace manufacturing jobs per year. The Utah Aerospace Pathways (UAP) program was designed to help students complete an aerospace manufacturing certificate in high school, allowing them to enter the workforce upon graduation. The UAP program later added under-employed adults to the training pathway to assist them in the completion of their certificate training at the Davis Applied Technology College (DATC) or Salt Lake Community College (SLCC).

“We recognized a need within the Utah aerospace manufacturing community,” said Deneise Lacy, human resources manager for Boeing Salt Lake. “An aerospace manufacturing consortium already existed between six different aerospace manufacturing companies (Boeing, Harris, Hexcel, Hill Air Force Base, Janicki and Orbital ATK), and they were all experiencing the same concern around composite manufacturing.”

Other parties in the collaboration were education partners: Davis and Granite school districts, Utah State Office of Education (USOE), DATC and SLCC, along with related organizations such as GOED, Division of Workforce Services and Utah Manufacturing Association.

The program is simple and straightforward. Students enroll in UAP during their junior year in high school. They are required to take a designated course during their first semester of the school year, which is followed by an additional course the next semester that will take place at either DATC or SLCC, determined by their school district location. Other requirements must be met throughout the program such as attendance, grading and professionalism—all of which are addressed during formal training by paid externships at the participating companies.

Through these paid externships, students get to know the employer just as the employer gets to know them, said Kari Grover, human resources manager, carbon fibers at Hexcel. “That is one opportunity for us to assess their skill level and ability to contribute to our culture and our company to see if they are a good fit for us.”

Deneece Huftalin, president of SLCC, concurs. “This particular program tries to reach into the high school population and help our youth see what an aerospace manufacturing career can look like.”

Many of the industry partners will also provide tuition reimbursements, allowing employees hired from the UAP program the opportunity to go back to school after working one year in the industry. Students can further their careers by earning another stackable certificate or working toward an associates or even a bachelor’s degree.

The bottom line is that upon receiving the certificate, students will begin earning a family-sustaining wage, and it can only go up from there. They may start with manufacturing and carve their niche there, but they could also become tomorrow’s engineers, business leaders or anything else they put their minds to.

The UAP program is receiving national attention as a best practice, including recent congressional testimony by SLCC’s Huftalin. And Utah is replicating the approach in the diesel technician, IT and life science industries—and other industries in the future. These programs are well on their way to setting the standard for not only fulfilling workforce gaps in the state, but also opening new opportunities for individuals who are well trained and prepared for the real world.

The pathway programs closely align with the state’s overall training and recruitment goals—that is, to fill the more than 17,000 open positions in Utah within the next two years. The state wants not just to create jobs, but also to create qualified workers for aerospace, life sciences, IT, finance, manufacturing and other key industries.

This new initiative will initially focus on three different industry sectors: 5,000 jobs in IT and software; 5,000 jobs in life sciences; and 7,000 jobs in the manufacturing-based industries. Each industry will hire two types of personnel: newly trained but inexperienced individuals for entry-level positions and experienced employees looking for new opportunities. Even in solving statewide issues, the state considers personal growth a necessary criterion for workforce programs.

One thing is clear: These collaborative, industry-wide initiatives will help prepare Utah workers for new opportunities and create a deep labor pool for businesses to draw from well into the future. For more information, visit


Located in the heart of the northeast corridor, Vineland, New Jersey, offers both an affordable business location and an outstanding quality of life. Vineland may be best known as the original home of Welch’s Fruit Juice, the forerunner of the internationally known Welch’s Grape Juice Company. Today, the city offers a winning location for a diversified group of advanced manufacturing companies in the scientific glass and food processing sectors.

advanced manufacturing
Corning Pharmaceutical Glass operations in Vineland manufacture a variety of clear and amber borosilicate glass tubing, which is converted into vials, cartridges, ampules and syringes for drug storage and delivery. (Credit: Corning, Inc.)

Vineland is conveniently located along New Jersey Route 55, providing a quick and direct connection to the New Jersey Turnpike, and Interstates 95 and 295. These arteries link the city with major markets along the east coast, including Philadelphia, Wilmington, Baltimore, Washington D.C. and New York City. Vineland offers competitive rail service via the Winchester & Western, CSX and Conrail freight services to destinations across the United States and Canada. The city also is home to a number of large and small trucking firms, which carry market-ready products in modern dry and refrigerated trailers. Additionally, freight air service and three deep-water port facilities with Foreign Trade Zone status are just a short drive away.

Vineland officials are committed to progressive economic development programs and policies designed to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit, attract new capital investment and promote a healthy and profitable business climate. Companies locating in Vineland benefit from low cost electric, water and sewerage rates through the Vineland Municipal Utilities and Landis Sewerage Authority. In addition, businesses will find a well-established network of support services, technical expertise and resources, including a variety of state and local financial incentives, a diversified labor pool, customized workforce education and training and a designated Urban Enterprise Zone.

The City of Vineland Economic Development Department is a catalyst for public and private initiatives that create growth opportunities and new jobs. The department serves as a single resource and point of contact for companies, site selectors, brokers, corporate real estate executives and entrepreneurs looking to start up, expand or relocate. As your liaison to city government, the department staff is prepared to assist you at every stage of the process.

“Business development is a collaborative effort,” said Vineland Economic Development Director Sandy Forosisky. “We have been working closely with a number of firms over the past year, including providing funding through our revolving Urban Enterprise Zone loan fund, which has resulted in exciting new growth opportunities and excellent new jobs for our residents.”

“For example, Gerresheimer AG, which operates three facilities in Vineland, recently sold their glass tubing division to Corning, Inc., and the two companies have established a joint venture to accelerate innovations for the pharmaceutical glass packaging market. As a result, we are already having discussions with Corning on a possible expansion here in the future,” Forosisky said.

“We think this is a tremendous opportunity to apply Corning’s unique model of innovation and operational excellence to an adjacent market, which is experiencing healthy growth,” said Wendell P. Weeks, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and President.

He added: “It enables us to bring revolutionary new technologies to the pharmaceutical glass packaging market with Gerresheimer, a long-standing leader in the industry. There are also a number of near-term cost synergies with our global melting and forming operations as well as future sales synergies with our existing Life Sciences customers.”

“In addition, Worldwide Glass Resources, a premier solutions provider offering engineering and technical expertise in the design and production of laboratory vials and accessories, recently moved their operations to Vineland and are purchasing an existing 125,000-square-foot facility. Underground Solutions, a manufacturer of infrastructure technologies for water, sewer and conduit applications has purchased a 100,000-square-foot facility in Vineland, and J.G. Finneran Associates, a world leader in glass and plastic products design, has recently expanded their operations as well,” Forosisky continued.

Vineland officials also are excited about what is happening in the food processing sector. Bridor USA, which supplies major chains such as Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, recently completed a $32 million expansion and has plans in the works for another expansion. Allied Specialty Foods, which produces and distributes thin-sliced steak and chicken products for restaurant operators and retail outlets in the U.S and Canada is tripling the size of their operation from 24,000 square feet to 76,000 square feet. And Mamacita Foods, which produces a variety of ethnic food products, has plans for a second expansion in the last three years.”

“We pride ourselves on being an industrial baking company that combines advanced manufacturing technology with traditional baking techniques,” said Jean-Francois Duquesne, CEO of Bridor Inc. and Bridor USA Inc. “This enables us to produce on a large scale the highest quality, authentic European pastry and breads in the world.”

“When companies are making commitments and investments of this kind, it shows they have a real interest in our community. We are excited to be a partner and to do all we can to help,” Forosisky concluded.

We invite you to discover what sets Vineland apart. Its proximity to millions of potential customers, low cost of doing business, business friendly attitude and outstanding quality of life make Vineland an attractive place to expand your current operations or start an entire new enterprise.

Tap into its resources…It’s all here waiting for you.

For more information, please contact the Vineland Director of Economic Development, Sandy Forosisky, at (856) 794-4100 or by email at