The Oct. 6 edition of The Sunday Gazette contained a front-page story on General Electric that was an early Halloween scare for the Capital Region. The goal apparently was to frighten readers about the future of GE operations locally.
While Halloween is still a few days away, there is nothing scary at all about the GE Schenectady record in recent years.
The story makes the claim that GE has been looking to leave Schenectady for many years. The fact is that since 2000, the company has invested over $800 million in the Capital Region with over $635 million of that new investment coming to Schenectady County. All told, GE has created more than 1,600 new jobs in the Capital Region in the past four years alone, with the vast majority of these new positions located in Schenectady County.
In the last two years, GE opened its new advanced battery business in Schenectady, relocated the headquarters of its largest industrial business unit from Atlanta to Schenectady, brought new work to its Schenectady steam turbine and generator facility, and continued to grow its flagship Global Research Center in Niskayuna. GE also moved its newly launched GE Ideas Works business from New Jersey to Albany and initiated a major expansion of its medical equipment manufacturing facility in Rensselaer County.
These new GE investments locally did not happen by accident. They are the direct result of the company’s ongoing commitment to innovation and its ability to adapt to ever-changing market conditions to remain competitive. They are also a tribute to the very hard-working men and women who help GE’s local operations win new business in an extremely challenging world marketplace.
We owe special thanks to the members of IUE/CWA 301 who helped lead the way in bringing the new battery plant to Schenectady and are committed to efforts aimed at keeping good-paying GE jobs here in our community.
Schenectady County’s local leaders and unified economic development team also played a major role in helping to pave the way for more GE investments by working closely with our state and federal representatives to support the cutting-edge R & D and strategically important manufacturing work done here.
GE’s dedication to our community extends beyond business investments as well. Last year alone, GE contributed over $5 million to local schools and organizations, and employees donated 62,000 hours of volunteer service in the region.
So the record is clear, not cloudy nor scary. GE has made enormous local investments in recent years and its commitments have been welcomed and recognized by the community. We value GE and the company’s dedicated employees, and we have every reason to look forward to continued success.
Schenectady The writer is commissioner of economic development in Schenectady County and chairman of the Metroplex Development Authority.