Workforce Development and The Federal Economic Recovery Plan by yfh14810


             The North Country Economic Newsletter
             Vol.2, No.3          School of Business and Economics          SUNY Plattsburgh May, 2009

         News                           Workforce Development and
International Airport is
poised for a major expansion.
                                    The Federal Economic Recovery Plan:
In 2008, the airport increased
enplanements from 2,000 to
44,000       and      expects
                                         New York State Responses
enplanements to increase by
20,000 per year for the next
couple years. The design
phase of this project is
                                       The Workforce Alliance’s the current economic crisis to        employees do not see a
expected to be done in 2009         2009 National Summit took use the Department of Labor’s           reduction in their health
with construction starting in       place in Washington, DC in Shared Work Program, which             insurance, retirement, vacation
2010.                               February. Representatives from gives employers an alternative     pay, or other fringe benefits.
                                    the New York, Pennsylvania to layoffs as they face a
The     Department       of         and       Iowa      workforce temporary decline in business.      Shared Work Plan
E n v i r o n m e n t a l           development           systems Rather than lay off a               New York is one of 17 states
Conservation will shut down         discussed their state’s percentage of workers to cut              currently utilizing this program,
four campgrounds (two in            response to                                            costs,     which helps employers avoid
Essex and two in Hamilton           the federal Program Lets Employees a                          n   some of the burdens that
County) in the Adirondacks          economic                                               employer   accompany a layoff. In 2008,
during 2009.                        r e c o v e r y Collect UI, Keep Health c a n                     462 employers statewide
Two subcontractors of Nova          legislation.     Benefits on a Reduced Work u s e                 participated, up from 291 in
                                    This is what                                           this       2007, with 11 programs active
Bus plan to open facilities in
Plattsburgh. SpencerARL             B r u c e
                                                     Schedule                              program    in the North Country. This
New York, which will handle         Herman,                                                t      o   translates to 14,775 employees
all materials coming into Nova      New          York      Deputy reduce the hours of all or a        enrolled in Shared Work in
Bus from North America,             Commissioner for Workforce particular group of employees.         2008, up from 10,300 in 2007,
expects to start with 17            Development, had to say In turn, employees can receive            with 454 of these in the North
employees and could grow to         about the North Country:         partial   unemployment           Country.
60 within five years. B3CG          “The North Country’s economy insurance       benefits        to
Interconnect, an assembler of       has begun to feel the effects of compensate for
complex harnesses and               the national recession. In their lost
control panels, will open a         response, the NYS Department wages.
facility with 25 workers and        of Labor is now promoting the
could grow to 50.                   Shared Work program, which
Stream Global Services, a           encourages employers to
call center in Watertown            retain their employees
(Jefferson County), expects         rather than lay them off.
to add 100 to 200 jobs during
2009 to fulfill a contract from
a “major satellite television
                                    In addition, 34 rural
                                    counties in New
                                    York State
                                                                         North Country
producer.”                          have been
A Lowe’s Home Improve-              for       a
ment Warehouse opened in            $250,000
Ticonderoga (Essex County)          program
at the end of February with         offering gas cards to                                                                  If they
112 employees.                      unemployed job seekers.”                                                           k e e p
Source: New York State De-          State Labor Commissioner U n d e r                                             employees
partment of Labor                   Smith urged businesses in the the Shared Work                              during a temporary
                                    North Country struggling with program,       participating             slowdown, employers can
quickly gear up as soon as          lieu of a layoff of an equivalent County) are among the                   comprehensive mass transit
business conditions improve.        percentage of the workforce, all employers taking part in the             system       and/or     have
This spares the business the        employees in an affected unit Shared Work program.                        significant rural based
expense and delay of recruiting,    reduce their hours by the same Gas Cards                                  populations. Those eligible
hiring, and training new            extent (different units may On March 2, Governor Paterson                 for funds are Counties with
employees.                          reduce varying percentages), in announced that 34 rural                   Percent Rural Population of
The employer must have at least     union shops, the collective counties in New York State have               33.3% or more on the 2000
five full-time (35-40 hours/week)   bargaining unit must agree to been approved to participate in             County       Typology      as
employees, and paid (or its         the Shared                                       a $250,000               identified       in       the
predecessor paid) UI tax            W o r k Companies can find initiative to                                  “Socioeconomic Trends and
contributions for at least a year   Program.                                                                  Well-Being Indicators in New
before applying to the Liability    A           n
                                                     more information and make gas                            York State, 1950-2000.” (This
                                                                                     c a r d s
& Determination Section at          employee apply for the Shared available to                                would include Oneida,
least two weeks before the start    m a k i n g Work              program at unemployed                       Cayuga, Fulton, Genesee,
of the program.                     $400 per                                         job seekers.             Madison, Montgomery,
A Shared Work plan must             week might                      Due to the               Ontario, Oswego, Wayne,
include: a reduction in work        get $200 a                                       economic                 Cattaraugus, Chautauqua,
hours between 20 - 60%,             week if totally unemployed. If conditions, the NYS Department             Clinton, Cortland, Jefferson,
benefits may not be used to pay     the company takes part in of Labor, in conjunction with the               Otsego, St. Lawrence,
existing part-time employees,       Shared Work, the employee’s Governor and the State                        Steuben, Tompkins, Ulster,
no reduction in fringe benefits,    wages and hours could be Workforce Investment Board,                      Warren, Columbia, Greene,
no extension beyond 53 weeks,       reduced 20 percent to 60 will be issuing state level funds                Herkimer,       Livingston,
approval by the NYSDOL              percent. At 20 percent, the to the local areas in order for               Orleans, Schoharie, Schuyler,
Liability & Determination           employee would still get $320 them to provide gas cards to                Seneca, Tioga, Washington,
Section before implementation,      from the employer and $40 in participants who are in need of              Wyoming, Yates, Allegany,
the employer cannot hire more       Shared Work benefits.             them, particularly for those            Chenango, Delaware, Essex,
workers for the group covered       Bombardier and Schonbek Local Workforce Investment                        Franklin, Hamilton, Lewis and
by the plan, the plan must be in    Worldwide Lighting (Clinton Areas           who      lack    a            Sullivan).

       Featured Economic Indicators for the Tri-County Area (Clinton, Essex, and Franklin Counties)

       Clinton County
       Employment Growth (NSA)                     2007               2008               Q4 2007 YTD                 Q4 2008 YTD
                                                  -0.9%              -0.3%                  -0.9%                      -0.3%
       Unemployment Rate                         Q1 2008             Q2 2008              Q3 2008                       Q4 2008
                                                  6.9%               6.2%                    6.3%                        7.0%
       Personal Bankruptcy Failing Rate            2005               2006                   2007                    Rank in NY
        Per 1000, Chapters 7&13                   5.42               1.87                    2.11                        41
       Total Housing permits                     Q1 2008             Q2 2008               Q3 2008                     Q4 2008
          Single Family Housing                     1                   9                     17                          20
          Multi Family Housing                      0                   2                       7                       125
       Essex County
       Employment Growth                          2007                2008               Q4 2007 YTD                 Q4 2008 YTD
                                                  -0.5%              -0.4%                -0.5%                         - 0.4%
       Unemployment Rate                         Q1 2008             Q2 2008              Q3 2008                      Q4 2008
                                                  7.9%                6.3%                  5.3%                         7.7%
       Personal Bankruptcy Failing Rate           2005                2006                   2007                    Rank in NY
        Per 1000, Chapters 7&13                   4.58                1.40                  1.46                          54
       Total Housing permits                     Q1 2008             Q2 2008               Q3 2008                     Q4 2008
          Single Family Housing                    na                 na                     na                           na
          Multi Family Housing                     na                 na                     na                           na
       Franklin County
       Employment Growth                          2007                2008               Q4 2007 YTD                 Q4 2008 YTD
                                                  0.4%               0.5%                   0.4%                        0.5%
       Unemployment Rate                         Q1 2008             Q2 2008              Q3 2008                      Q4 2008
                                                  7.8%               6.6%                   6.2%                        7.4%
       Personal Bankruptcy Failing Rate           2005                2006                   2007                    Rank in NY
        Per 1000, Chapters 7&13                   4.49               1.84                   4.49                          5
       Total Housing permits                     Q1 2008             Q2 2008               Q3 2008                     Q4 2008
         Single Family Housing                       4                  8                    11                          14
         Multi Family Housing                        0                  0                     0                           0
           Quarterly Data is the year-to-date percentage change from the previous year’s YTD data
          Source: Regional Economic Conditions Reported by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
Local Economic                                                                   Median Family Income 2009, Estimated

  Conditions                                  $70,000                                                             $67,900
                                                             $60,900                                                                $64,000
The New York State                            $60,000
Department of Labor reported                                                     $55,200
                                              $50,000                                            $50,200
that Private sector employment
in the North Country fell over                $40,000
the year by 2,200, or 2.0
percent, to 110,000 in March                  $30,000
2009. The largest declines
occurred in manufacturing (-                  $20,000
700), natural resources, mining,
and construction (-700), and                  $10,000
leisure and hospitality (-600).
Government (+300) added jobs                                 Clinton             Essex          Franklin              NY                 US
over the year. (new one)
Source: NYSDOL                            Source: FDIC

                                Signs of National Recession
  The slow, steady employment             sector count declined by 1,700, or       Country’s factory job count               on national recession. “From
growth in the North Country was           1.5 percent, to 110,000, its lowest      extends a long-term decline; from         January 2008 to January 2009,
finally affected by the national          January level since 2005. The            1990 to 2008, the region lost 35          the North Country’s rate jumped
economic slowdown. This became            region’s manufacturing sector has        percent of its manufacturing              from 7.6 percent to 10.6 percent.
obvious during the second half of         been especially hard hit, losing 600     employment.”                              Not only did the North Country
2008. In the March edition of the         jobs between January 2008 and            The unemployment rate in the              have the highest unemployment
Employment in New York State              January 2009. This recent                region is another sign that the local     rate among the state’s 10 labor
Newsletter the NYSDOL reports             employment drop in the North             economy experiences the effects           market regions in January 2009,
that “as recently as the first quarter                                                                                       but the rate was also the highest
of 2008, the North Country was                        Unemploymentt Rates by County,                                         January rate for the region since
up almost 900 private sector jobs                                                                                            1998. All seven North Country
(+0.7 percent) over the year. By                             New York State                                                  counties registered unemployment
the fourth quarter of 2008,                                   March 2009                                                     rates over 10 percent in January
however, the situation had turned                                                                                            2009, and Lewis County’s 11.7
around, and the region had lost                                                                                              percent rate was the highest in the
1,000 jobs, or 0.8 percent,                                                                                                  state that month.”
compared with the same period in                                                                                             Good News: Local Expansions
                                                                                            North Country
2007”.                                                                                                                       Fort Drum in Jefferson County
The same trend continues in 2009.                                                                                            will receive $84 million in federal
“For the 12-month period ending                                                                                              stimulus funds to upgrade
January 2009, the region’s private                                                                                           infrastructure and existing
                                                                                                                             buildings and to build another
                                                                                                                             child development center.
                                                                                                                             According to the contract
                                                Finger Lakes           Central         Mohawk Valley                         managers, local workers will be
                                                                                                            Capital          hired to perform the work. In
                                Western                                                                                      addition, local subcontractors and
                                                                                                                             vendors will benefit from these
                                                                    Southern Tier
                                                                                                                             projects although the prime
                                                                                                                             contractors are not locally-owned
                       County Unemployment Rates (not seasonally adjusted)                                                   firms.
                                                                                                  Hudson Valley
                           Rate is 11.0 percent or greater
                           Rate is 10.0 − 10.9 percent
                           Rate is 9.0 − 9.9 percent
                           Rate is 8.0 − 8.9 percent                                                                       Long Island
                           Rate is less than 8.0 percent                                              New York City

                     New York State rate = 8.1 percent
                     Source: New York State Department of Labor
Mississippi-based             Steel      in Rouses Point (Clinton County)      recently announced the elimination     employed 68 workers. The
Development              Company         in January 2009 and will turn         of 64 hourly positions. In addition,   second firm, healthcare device
expressed interest in opening a          operations over to Akrimax            the company reduced the hours of       manufacturer Covidien (the
steel mill in Massena (St. Lawrence      Manufacturing at the end of 2009.     140 hourly and 30 salaried             former Tyco Healthcare), cut
County). The Ogdensburg Bridge           Three             transportation      employees to 32 hours per week.        about 70 jobs at its facility in
and Port Authority recently              manufacturing firms have cut back     This will allow Alcoa to take          Watertown in 2008. In March
endorsed the company’s proposal          staffing. The General Motors          advantage of the State Department      2009, the company announced
which includes an application for        plant in Massena (St. Lawrence        of Labor’s Shared Work program.        that it was closing the plant,
35 megawatts of power from the           County) is slated to close on May     These reductions in hours are over     affecting the remaining 250
New York Power Authority.                1, 2009. In 2007, the plant           and above the 120 layoffs that were    workers.
Company officials said the plant         employed upwards of 450, but its      announced in November 2008.            The Watertown Daily Times,
would create 200 jobs.                   job count was down to 37 workers      (After the latest round of cuts,       which is owned by the Johnson
The American Recovery and                in early 2009. Bombardier, a          Alcoa will have about 1,140 jobs at    Newspaper           Corporation,
Reinvestment Act (the federal            manufacturer of rail cars in          its Massena plants.) Despite the       suffered a decline in advertising.
stimulus package) should soon            Plattsburgh, cut the hours of 160     recent layoffs and cut in hours,       To deal with this decline, the
provide a boost to the North             of its 350 workers in 2008. The       Alcoa’s future in Massena seems        paper will require all employees
Country economy. Villages,               company decided against layoffs       solid, as the company remains          to take 10-day furloughs in 2009.
towns, and counties throughout the       because they want to retain their     committed to a $600 million            In addition, the company is
region are in line to receive            workforce to fulfill upcoming         upgrade of the local plants. The       closing its Albany bureau,
significant funding for projects.        contracts. These include a contract   company is also committed to           suspending a 401(k) matching
Newton Falls Fine Paper in St.           for 400 cars from the Chicago         keeping at least 900 workers on the    program, and eliminating its daily
Lawrence County applied for two          Transit Authority scheduled to        payroll, a condition of their          television listings.
megawatts of low-cost power              begin in 2009, as well as options     subsidized power contract with the     Camp Gabriels, a minimum-
from the New York Power                  for additional cars provided under    New York Power Authority.              security correctional facility in
Authority. If the paper mill             a current contract with New           Two North Country firms moved          Franklin County, is slated to be
receives this allocation of power,       Jersey Transit. In addition, New      production to China. One was           closed on or after July 1, 2009.
then an additional 54 jobs are           York Air Brake, which supplies        Jarden Plastic Solutions, which        This closure is due to State budget
expected to be created at the mill       control systems for the railroad      closed its factory in Tupper Lake      cuts. The facility employs about
which currently employs 118.             industry, trimmed staffing at its     (Franklin County) during the first     105 workers.
Tulmar Manufacturing, a defense-         Watertown (Jefferson County)          half of 2008. The company lost a       Corning shut down its plant in
related contractor that makes            plant by 25 in January 2009.          contract to make poker chips in fall   Dekalb (St. Lawrence County)
vehicle seating, stowage                 Alcoa, which operates two             2007 and cited competition from        for the first three weeks of April.
equipment, and military tentage,         aluminum smelters in Massena,         China for the closing. The factory     The plant employs about 130
plans to open a manufacturing                                                                                         workers.
facility in Ogdensburg (St.                    Private Sector Job Growth by County,                                   International        Paper       in
Lawrence County) in April 2009.                                                                                       Ticonderoga (Essex County) will
The company will employ 45
                                                          New York State                                              shut down for two weeks in May
workers.                                             March 2008 − March 2009                                          and idle most of its 600 workers.
The St. Lawrence Seaway                                                                                               Company officials cited a lack of
Development Corporation will                                                                                          orders.
receive $17 million from the federal                                                                                  Covidien (formerly Tyco
government for repairs and                                                                                            Healthcare) will close its plant in
maintenance of bridges and locks.                                                   North Country                     Watertown by August 2010,
Local          Manufacturers                                                                                          affecting approximately 250
Experience Decline                                                                                                    employees. The facility makes
Pharmaceutical manufacturer                                                                                           thermometers, vascular feeding
Wyeth slashed 120 jobs at its plant                                                                                   pumps, and chest drainage
                                                                                                                      devices used in open-heart
                                                                                                                      Trendlines is the revival of the
                                           Finger Lakes            Central     Mohawk Valley                          newsletter published by the
                                                                                                      Capital         North Country Economic
                                                                                                                      Indicators Project. We have
                          Western                                                                                     decided to keep the old name and
                                                                 Southern Tier                                        general geographic scope of the
                                                                                                                      newsletter. Our statistical
                                                                                                                      coverage will focus on Clinton,
                                                                                                                      Essex, and Franklin counties.
                   Legend Title                                                           Hudson Valley
                                                                                                                      Editor Kameliia Petrova
                       Gaining jobs or no change in jobs
                       Loosing jobs slower than the state rate
                       Loosing jobs at state rate *                                                       Long Island
                       Loosing jobs faster than the state rate                                New York City

                 NOTE: *Represents job loss of between −2.0% and 2.4% from March 2008 to March 2009
                 Source: New York State Department of Labor

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