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Genesee Count Top Northeastern Micropolitan in Site Selection Magazine Rankings

Mon, Mar 6th 2023 08:00 am

BATAVIA – Led by the success of projects at the STAMP Green Manufacturing Mega Site, Site Selection Magazine recognized Genesee County this week as the top performing micropolitan in the northeastern U.S. for business development.

Eight major 2022 projects, including Edwards’ $319 million semiconductor industry ‘factory of the future’, placed Genesee County 7th in the nation among the 543 micropolitan communities of 10,000 to 50,000 residents in the Site Selection’s Conway Projects Database.

The annual Site Selection rankings focus on new corporate facility projects with significant impact, including headquarters, manufacturing plants, R&D operations and logistics sites. Qualifying projects must either have a capital investment of over $1 million, create 20 or more new jobs, or add at least 20,000 square feet of new floor area.

“These rankings confirm what site selectors and business decision-makers have validated again and again – that Genesee County’s shovel-ready sites, ready infrastructure, and robust regional workforce enable the Genesee County Economic Development Center and our partners to deliver positive outcomes for our communities, our employers, and our workforce,” said Steve Hyde, President and CEO of the GCEDC.

The Batavia-Genesee County Micropolitan Area has been ranked as a Top Ten Micropolitan Area for 19 consecutive years, creating a business environment bolstered by major manufacturing projects in the semiconductor, renewables, and dairy processing industries.

Site Selection’s annual rankings also highlighted the experiences enabling Edwards to advance their project at STAMP, a 1,250-acre mega site in the town of Alabama that was previously selected by Plug Power for North America’s leading green hydrogen project. Both companies have credited the ability to secure talent and renewable energy as major benefits of STAMP.

Edwards Vice President of Global Business Development Scott Balaguer told Site Selection that the upcoming project at STAMP will supply dry pump technology that enables North American chipmakers to maintain the cleanroom environment essential to producing high-precision semiconductors.

“We needed to bring this industry back to the U.S.,” Balaguer said. “We were shipping heavy equipment from Korea to the U.S., and that is too costly; nor does it align with our goal of reducing our carbon footprint. We were so impressed with the workforce and the opportunity to find great labor here. Everybody at Greater Rochester Enterprise and Genesee County has been so willing to help us. It has been beyond what we saw elsewhere.”

In addition to Plug Power and Edwards, STAMP has over 400 buildable acres to support additional projects, along with available capacities of electricity and water to support significant future manufacturing growth. Genesee County officials credit local assets, forward-looking development strategies, and state and federal support for a strong economic outlook.

“Businesses are investing in Genesee County and at STAMP for a reason and a big part of that is a talented and productive workforce and our efforts in workforce development, especially in conjunction with our educational partners, including our institutions of higher education to our local high school and elementary schools to our BOCES programs,” said Rochelle Stein, Genesee County Legislature Chair. “These historic economic development projects also are the impetus for our efforts to develop and bring more housing options for our growing workforce."

“We recognized years ago that advanced manufacturing, renewable energy and the semiconductor sectors were long term growth opportunities and our efforts to prepare for these emerging businesses is providing our region significant benefits, including record setting financial investments by the private sector,” said Hyde. “Our efforts are being enhanced through New York State Senator Chuck Schumer’s efforts in passing the federal CHIPS Act, New York State Governor Hochul’s Green CHIPS legislation, and the support of regional partners like National Grid, National Fuel, the New York Power Authority, Greater Rochester Enterprise and Invest Buffalo Niagara.”

See More: Site Selection Magazine: What Will It Take to Win CHIPS Act Funding? One region in Upstate New York appears to have figured it out.