This year's Gold Shovel Award goes to the state of New York, which embarked on a course of extensive public and private cooperation to achieve economic success - in a big way.
"It is a tremendous honor to have the important economic development practices we have here in New York State be recognized by Area Development magazine's 2010 Gold Shovel Award," said Empire State Development (ESD) Chairman & CEO Dennis M. Mullen. "It has been both Governor Paterson's and ESD's priority to attract and retain business, as well as capitalize on our state's unique assets by making strategic investments and building strong partnerships. This targeted work has resulted in the retention and creation of thousands of jobs over the last year, as well as millions in additional private-sector investment dollars throughout the state."
This collaboration of New York State's leaders caught the attention of GlobalFoundries, which was seeking a site for a major semiconductor/nanotechnology manufacturing facility. When all parties came together to meet the company's needs and clear away obstacles, the result was a $4.2 billion development that is creating 1,400+ new jobs and attracted President Obama to attend the groundbreaking; it is also considered a 2009 "Project of the Year" by Area Development.
What does it take to win the largest economic development project in New York's history? Two things-clear strategic vision for the future and a simple cold call. More
In July 2009 construction began on Fab 8, the company's new 300-mm semiconductor manufacturing facility on the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Malta, Saratoga County, N.Y. Local officials buzzed about the fact that many of the well-paid positions being created will be filled by graduates of the area's highly regarded educational institutions, including the Hudson Valley Community College's TEC-SMART campus, which is still under development.
"Today's visit by the White House highlights the success of the Capital Region's private-public, education, and high-tech economic development initiatives," said Hector Ruiz, former chairman of GlobalFoundries. "We are working with many of the region's top educational institutions, including Hudson Valley Community College, the University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, to build on this success. Working together, we can implement a new partnership model for government, education, and business institutions to create a modern economic engine to increase opportunities for our business and the entire community."
In his remarks, the President lauded regional leaders for the collaboration that not only landed the project, but also has put so many local residents in a position to benefit from it: "What we have here in this community are talented people, entrepreneurs, world-class learning institutions," Obama said. "The ingredients are right here for growth and success and a better future."
Nearly overshadowed by the GlobalFoundries project was the decision of Canon U.S.A. to construct a new headquarters facility on Long Island in the community of Melville - a project that will cost $557 million and bring 750 new jobs to the region. Like the leaders of Global Foundries, Canon praised the collaboration of local officials for creating the right environment for the project.
"Over the past 40 years, Canon U.S.A. has developed strong roots in the Long Island community and we are thrilled to continue to make Long Island our home," said Joe Adachi, president and CEO of Canon U.S.A. "Canon is very grateful for the support we have received from every level of government and the local community to bring this new, state-of-the-art facility from concept to reality. We are committed to continuing our role as an active member of the Long Island business and local community and look forward to moving into our new home in Melville."
It should also be noted that New York experienced considerable economic growth in the cleantech sector, with major projects in Schenectady (GE Transportation) and East Fishkill, where SpectraWatt, an Intel Corp. spinoff, is investing $85 million to build its first manufacturing plant that will employ 161 workers. SpectraWatt also benefits from a 200-metric-ton-per-year supply agreement with New York for metallurgical grade silicon sourced from Globe Specialty Metals. The sourcing agreement was part of the state's negotiated incentives package with Globe that gives New York an option on 20 percent of its in-state production in return for hydro power from Niagara Falls.