Food And Beverage, Semiconductor Industries Grow Across New York State

JCS Controls Inc, a food and beverage engineering and consulting firm, is expanding in the Greater Rochester area — one instance of investment in the state's industry.

JCS Controls Inc, a food and beverage engineering and consulting company, is expanding its Monroe County, New York operations. Specializing in advanced process and control systems designs that are focused on the food and beverage industry, JCS will build an additional 15,000 square feet of fabrication space onto its existing Metro Park facility in the Town of Brighton, NY. The upgrades will allow for the installation of state-of-the-art welding and air filtering systems, and for the repurposing of space to accommodate the company’s engineering team. The company has committed to creating 34 new jobs at the site. With expansion underway, JCS expects to be operational in the new space in the fall of 2024.

JCS Controls Inc., food and beverage engineering company, will expand operations and capabilities in Monroe County, NY. (Photo: courtesy Greater Rochester Enterprise)

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said at the announcement, “New York State, and the Finger Lakes region, are home to some of the most talent-rich tech companies in the world. By supporting cutting-edge businesses like JCS and UltraPhil that are committed to growing next-generation agribusiness technologies, we are boosting our economy, creating good-paying jobs, and generating even more opportunities to move the Finger Lakes forward.”

ESD is providing up to $400,000 for the JCS project through the performance-based Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit program in exchange for the job creation commitments. Total project cost has been placed at $2.7 million. Monroe County and Greater Rochester Enterprise are are also assisting with the project.

Founded in 1988 as an industry engineering consulting firm, JCS has grown into a full-service company focused on aseptic processing, a technique that thermally sterilizes liquid products, packaging them into sterilized containers, resulting in shelf-stable products that do not need refrigeration. The company also provides long life and ultra pasteurization methods to its customers, as well several other food focused processes.

JCS President Greg Frechette, said, “Being able to continue to grow our business here in the Rochester area is fantastic. The cooperation and assistance from the State of New York, Monroe County and the City of Rochester help to make it an easy decision to invest here locally.”

Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced, through the Regional Economic Development Council Consolidated Funding Application process, that New York state would provide a grant of up to $600,000 for JCS subsidiary, UltraPhil. The company plans to establish a pilot manufacturing line and beverage research and development center in Downtown Rochester at Sibley Square focused on aseptic dairy, milk, coffee/tea, protein, and other low & high acid products.

Matt Hurlbutt, President and CEO, Greater Rochester Enterprise, said, “JCS and its subsidiary UltraPhil are growing in the Greater Rochester, NY region because of the talented workforce, world-class R&D, low cost of doing business, and the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit they found in the area. UltraPhil’s plans to open the UltraPhil Center for Aseptic Excellence at Sibley Square in downtown Rochester will add a unique asset to enhance the region’s beverage manufacturing ecosystem. We look forward to continuing to assist JCS and UltraPhil as they grow in the Greater Rochester, NY region.”

In Saratoga Springs, also in upstate New York, AgroChem USA, LLC, a Kersia Group company, specializes in supplying chemicals and formulated products for hygiene challenges to dairy farms. The company has been working toward expanding its factory there, and the approval of incentives for the project in September has moved the project closer to fruition. The company is aiming for a $6.4 million factory expansion, with the Saratoga County Industrial Development Agency approving more than $800,000 in tax incentives earlier this fall. The project would entail a $6.4 million investment, comprised of a new 27,500-square-foot expansion at its location in W.J. Grande Industrial Park. AgroChem USA employs just over 50 people there and expects to create up to eight new jobs over the next three years.

In The Semiconductor Space

New York State is attracting semiconductor manufacturers and industry suppliers in significant numbers.

In October 2022, Micron Technology announced that it had chosen Clay, NY in Onandaga County for its new semiconductor fabrication facility. This project was recognized with Business Facilities’ 2022 Deal of the Year Platinum Award. Representing a $100 billion investment over the next two decades, the first phase is a $20 billion investment planned by the end of the decade. And in Saratoga County in Malta, about two hours east of the Micron site, is GlobalFoundries, which in April 2023 announced its expanded investment in the region when it purchased approximately 800 acres land adjacent to its existing manufacturing facility. The semiconductor maker now owns 1,110 acres there, formerly known as the Luther Forest Technology Campus. GlobalFoundries employs approximately 2,500 workers at the Saratoga County site, which is now its global headquarters.

In February, Dutchess County in the Hudson Valley region welcomed onsemi with its largest chip manufacturing facility in the U.S. After acquiring the East Fishkill 300mm fab in 2019, the company invested over $1.3 billion in establishing the nation’s sole 12-inch power discrete image sensor fab, safeguarding more than 1,000 high paying tech jobs in the Hudson Valley.

Additionally, onsemi is focused on building its semiconductor workforce pipeline, donating $500,000 to the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) over 10 years. The aim is to build capabilities in consumer devices and intelligent systems that rely on computer chips to create co-op experiences, workforce development opportunities, and new research initiatives for students and faculty.

With an established microelectronic engineering program, RIT focuses on the design and development of computer chips through its Semiconductor Microsystems and Fabrication Lab. This onsemi partnership with RIT adds to other critical training initiatives in the region, including the $1.49 million grant awarded last year to Dutchess Community College (DCC) to create a SUNY Future of Work Center at DCC’s new Mechatronics and Workforce Development Lab in Fishkill. Developed by the Dutchess County Economic Development Advisory Council’s Education and Workforce Committee, the lab’s mission is to close the skills gaps and create a pipeline to jobs, especially in underrepresented communities.

The DCC Mechtronics and Workforce Development Lab opened in October 2023 with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and United States Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona visiting to tour that facility, along with another new facility — DAY ONE, a program training early childhood educators.

First Lady Jill BIden attends the October 2023 opening of the Mechatronics and Workforce Development Lab. (Photo: Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)

“Quality, affordable education that is accessible to everyone is the backbone of a strong economy, and I’m so proud of the way leaders at Dutchess Community College and DAY ONE have stepped up to prepare people to succeed in the workforce,” said Sarah Lee, CEO of Think Dutchess Alliance for Business. “It was an honor to welcome the First Lady and Secretary Cardona to Dutchess County and have them recognize these initiatives that are setting our community up for success and helping people pursue fulfilling careers.”

Located in the Center of Excellence for Industry & Innovation, this $3 million state-of-the-art facility is the first of its kind in the mid-Hudson region. The Mechatronics Lab offers hands-on learning opportunities that will prepare students for a variety of in-demand jobs across the manufacturing sector.

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