New York: Building a High Tech Future In The Empire State

The Empire State is busy building a high-tech future that includes a $5-billion advanced materials sector, more than 100,000 advanced manufacturing jobs and the top hub for research in semiconductors and nanotechnology.

By the BF Staff
From the March/April 2017 Issue

New York is at the forefront of the advanced materials processing industry, a $5-billion sector with a wide variety of manufacturing businesses—from special alloys to engineering polymers, ceramics finishing operations and more. Materials produced in New York State provide the “enabling technology” for sectors such as electronics, computers, telecommunications, transportation, aerospace, medical equipment, construction and consumer products.

New York State keeps the advanced materials industry innovative with a solid core of experience, an educated workforce and collaborative research support. The Empire State has a wide-ranging industry presence that is composed of companies developing energy-storage advancements, energy-efficiency enhancements in building materials, microgrids for renewable and alternative energy systems, clean sources of energy, and alternative transportation technologies, including hybrid and electric vehicles.

Well-known names in the industry include ALCOA, Nucor Steel, Corning Inc. and E.I. DuPont Inc. NY offers access to Centers for Advanced Technology (CATs) that provide industry/university collaborative research and development to increase the competitiveness of New York State companies. Locating in New York guarantees proximity to major markets through an expansive transportation infrastructure that offers efficient national and global access.


Since 2008, Oswego County has been able to rebound from high unemployment. As part of the turn-around, Oswego County has already seen significant growth in its manufacturing sector.

New York
Oswego County Business Growth Center rendering (Image: C&S Companies, Syracuse, NY)

Oswego County was built on manufacturing. Growth in manufacturing has a considerable economic impact on Oswego County and the CNY region, as it has the highest multiplier effect of any economic sector and, therefore, continues to be a key target market for economic development.

Oswego County has a skilled workforce, with previous manufacturing experience and a ‘can do’ attitude, who are ready to work. The workforce is supported by over 30 institutions of higher learning within 50 miles. These institutions work collaboratively with economic development organizations, workforce training centers and local businesses to develop training programs to support manufacturing.

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.

Oswego County is a truly multi-modal location with many affordable transportation options for the shipment of goods. The county offers convenient access to Interstates 81 and 90 which provide north/south and east/west movement. The Port of Oswego is a deep-water port and the first port-of-call in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System. In addition to rail access at the Port, CSX rail service is available throughout the County, with direct access at several sites and industrial parks. Oswego County also has a local general aviation airport and is within minutes of Syracuse’s Hancock International Airport.

As a designated Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ), Oswego County is designed for the convenient and cost effective production and distribution of goods.

Several manufacturing companies have made significant investments in Oswego County over the past few years. Described below are several projects representing both new and expanding businesses in Oswego County.

EJ USA is constructing a new, 65,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility in the Oswego County Industrial Park in the Town of Schroeppel. Based in Michigan, EJ designs, manufactures and distributes manhole covers and gratings for water, sewer, drainage, telecommunications and utility networks. This location will serve as their major manufacturing and distribution hub for the Northeast.

The County of Oswego IDA is in the process of acquiring a 43,000-square-foot building from the Port of Oswego Authority in the City of Oswego. The project will involve the renovation of the building into a modern, world-class incubator facility that will provide space for Advanced Manufacturing, Research & Development and Food Processing, as well as emerging technology and service businesses. The incubator facility will also house the offices of Operation Oswego County and the County of Oswego IDA. Additional support space will be available for business advisors and incubation service providers. Acquisition is anticipated to be finalized by March 2017 and construction and renovations will begin in the summer. The building is expected to open in 2018.

Champlain Valley Specialty located in Oswego County in 2012 to process apples. The company employs over 250 and operates out of a 100,000-square-foot complex in the Town of Oswego. Apples used are primarily locally grown.

Construction is well underway on the 1886 Malt House at the Sunoco complex in the Town of Volney. The manufacturing facility, which is expected to open in 2017, will produce more than 2,000 tons of barley malt annually, making it one of the largest barley malt suppliers for the craft brewing industry in the U.S. The 1886 Malt House will use New York-grown barley and is looking to create partnerships with New York growers. It estimates that it will need to contract nearly 2,000 acres of barley to meet production needs for 2017. Since 2010, Sunoco has occupied a sizable portion of the former Miller Brewery where it produces ethanol from corn. Sunoco will also oversee the operation of the 1886 Malt House. Sunoco is investing over $10 million in the malt barley project and has recently completed a $2 million scale-house project to handle corn for the 100 million gallon ethanol plant.

Novelis Corporation continues to expand and grow it aluminum plant in the Town of Scriba to meet rising automotive demand. Since 2011, the company has invested over $500 million and added approximately 500 jobs.

Manufacturing has traditionally been Oswego County’s primary economic base. These projects are just a sample of the successes in this industrial sector in Oswego County. Growth in this area is testament to the strength of the sector and is proof that the Oswego County economy is advancing and is poised for growth.


The Town of Islip has long been known as a leader of economic development in New York. Islip boasts the largest industrial corridor in the Long Island region, major infrastructure advantages over surrounding areas, and an Industrial Development Agency (IDA) that has won renown for its continuous ability to attract new businesses. Though Islip faces many of the same challenges as other municipalities during these harsh economic times, the Town is uniquely suited for economic growth and expansion.

One of the prime reasons for Islip’s attractiveness to local, national, and international businesses is the proximity these businesses have to Long Island—MacArthur Airport (LIMA), which the Federal Aviation Administration has defined as being on-par with LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy Airport. Having a nationally recognized airport within Islip Town helps our local companies conduct their business more effectively and efficiently. Just as MacArthur Airport helps local businesses expand, the airport itself is working to grow its presence to handle the economic demands of the future. LIMA is serviced by both Southwest and American Airlines, and in 2016 Elite Airways announced direct flights to Orlando/Melbourne and Myrtle Beach.

Just next door to Long Island MacArthur Airport is our Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ). Foreign Trade Zone #52 was created to help businesses with an international scope grow and thrive here in Islip. These companies can utilize the FTZ’s singular economic status to avoid costs associated with importing and exporting goods with other countries. The FTZ sits at the intersection of a crucial transportation hub that features railways, highways, and our commercial airport and is no stranger to new development. In 2013, AA Technology Inc., a growing manufacturer and distributor of circuit boards and electrical components, decided to expand in the FTZ and construct its own 36,000-square-foot facility. Because of their strategic location and investment, AA Technology Inc. will enjoy incentives offered by the FTZ and the Islip Industrial Development Agency.

The Town of Islip has a proud tradition of business success, across a variety of industries. But special mention must be made toward three critical industries that have thrived within our town: technology, food distribution and pharmaceuticals. Many technology companies, spanning sectors from aerospace to telecommunications, have found a home in Islip. All-System Aerospace, a warehouse distributor of helicopter and aircraft parts, has expanded within Islip and leased a larger building that allows them to keep up with market demand. They have remained in Islip largely because our IDA was able to help them adapt and expand to ensure that business was uninterrupted. CPI Aero, a company that manufactures aircraft components, primarily for the U.S. military, was able to expand their operations to a new facility, and also did so with the help of the Islip IDA. Similar to CPI Aero, Sartorius Stedim North America also expanded their operations into a new facility, occupying an additional 40,000 square feet. Sartorius is a leading provider of cutting-edge equipment and services for the biopharmaceutical industry and has invested over $2 million in the build-out and purchase of equipment for a new R&D lab. And most recently, B/E Aerospace, a leading manufacturer of high performance lighting systems for both commercial and business jet aircraft, expanded into a 60,000 square foot facility in Bohemia. In addition to a $1 million investment in equipment, B/E Aerospace also pledges to create 30 jobs within two years.

Additionally, Islip welcomed Ascent Pharmaceuticals in 2012, a pharmaceutical manufacturer whose operations involve research, development and the manufacture, warehousing, distribution of generic prescription medicines in a wide range of therapeutic areas. With the assistance of the Islip IDA, the company, owned by InvaGen Pharmaceuticals, purchased and renovated an existing 250,000 square foot facility for $20 million and they expect to invest another $19 million in additional equipment and research. In return for financial assistance, Ascent has pledged to hire 100 new employees immediately, another 150 in the following 3 years and projects to employ a total of 350 when fully operational within 5 years. Additionally in 2015, Ascent Pharmaceuticals broke ground on two more facilities, across the street from their first project, totaling 340,000 square feet of manufacturing and bottling space and will add 120 new jobs. The story of Ascent Pharmaceuticals is another excellent example of how a company can grow and thrive in Islip, a community that understands the dedication and commitment necessary for projects like this to come to fruition.

Most notably, the world’s largest food distributor, Sysco Inc., constructed a 420,000 square-foot facility in Central Islip. Throughout the entire construction process, from planning, to building, to staffing, Sysco and the Town of Islip worked together to address the needs of both the company and the community. The facility has been fully operational since the summer of 2012, and the demands of the facility have already created over 250 jobs with more to come. Throughout the entire recruitment process, SYSCO has placed a special focus on hiring from within the community. The distribution center boasts many unique features, including a state-of-the-art hydrogen fuel station to power all of the forklifts in the facility. This project has been a model for how local governments, civic groups, and businesses can work together and be proud of the finished product, which will keep all parties satisfied for years to come.

Through all of these developments, the Islip IDA has continuously demonstrated its ability to work with businesses to build partnerships between government, businesses, and residents. As a result of its many accomplishments, the Islip IDA was named the 2011 Suffolk County IDA of the Year by the editorial staff of the Long Island Business News. Islip Town will always be committed to exploring new ways to bring jobs and opportunities to Islip, without losing our identity as a community. For information on how your business can grow in Islip, please visit