Manufacturing Is Still Buffalo’s Business

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Is manufacturing still strong in western New York? According to Buffalo Business First, U.S. government statistics show that the two-county Buffalo metropolitan area ranks 14th for manufacturing employment among the nation’s 51 major metros. In the Buffalo-Niagara Falls region today, nearly 12% of all civilian jobs are in the manufacturing sector. Compare that to Detroit, the national leader at just over 18%.

U.S. Manufacturers Forecast Growth Despite Concerns

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U.S. manufacturers are more optimistic about their own revenue growth than about overall prospects for the U.S. and global economies. According to the Q3 2014 Manufacturing Barometer from PwC US, American industrial manufacturers forecast an average growth rate of 5.6% over the next 12 months. That’s nearly a half-percentage point jump from a year ago (5.2%), and a solid 1.6% increase from 2013.

Rochester Re-Invents Itself (Again): The Future of NYS Manufacturing

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Rochester, New York has re-invented itself before. During the American Revolution, soldiers settled the fertile farmland near the Genesee River and grew grain. During the Industrial Revolution, residents milled flour. Later, during the Gilded Age, George Eastman founded Kodak and sold cameras under the slogan: “You press the button – we do the rest.” Ultimately, Xerox and Bausch + Lomb also called Rochester home.

3D Printing, Prototyping, and Product Innovation

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High Tech Rochester (HTR) is using the power of 3D printing to help promote entrepreneurship and economic growth in the Rochester area and Finger Lakes Region. Clients of the nonprofit economic development organization can produce 3D printed prototypes at the new HTR First Prototype Lab, which features 3D printers and computer workstations along with a 3D scanner and laser cutter.

Unlike a product description or drawing, 3D printing enables manufacturers to share tangible prototypes with potential customers, partners, and investors. “We can’t overstate the importance of this step in the early development of a product or device,” says Lab Director Mike Riedlinger. “The better an entrepreneur can show and explain a product, even in its preliminary stages, the better the feedback.”

Is New York State America’s Entrepreneurship Leader?

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What’s the best way to measure the strength of a state’s economy? Job growth and unemployment rates are common metrics, but researchers at the University of Nebraska’s Lincoln Bureau of Business Research emphasize the importance of “core measures” such as entrepreneurship, technical innovation, and business formation rates. For Dr. Eric Thompson and Dr. William Walstad then, their State Entrepreneurship Index provides a comprehensive way to measure and compare the economic performance of all 50 states.

SUNY Poly and New York State’s High-Tech Future

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The State University of New York (SUNY) system spans 64 campuses, educates over 450,000 students, and generates $60.2 billion in total economic impact statewide. Recently, the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) in Albany merged with the SUNY Institute of Technology (SUNYIT) in Marcy and Utica/Rome. Collectively, the new institution will have a new name, SUNY Polytechnic Institute.

FAGE to Expand NYS Yogurt Factory

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New York State is America’s Yogurt Capital, a title the Empire State took from California in 2013. With FAGE’s announcement of a planned $82-million expansion at its Johnstown facility, New York is poised to retain this production distinction. Driven by consumer demand for Greek yogurt, the number of New York State yogurt manufacturers has doubled since 2000 and now includes 28 companies, including Chobani.

SALT Makerspace Shares 3D Printing and More

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The Syracuse Learning and Technology (SALT) Makerspace is getting ready for its grand opening on Thursday, September 11 at 6:00 PM. Housed in the Delevan Center on West Fayette Street, the SALT Makerspace features metal and wood shops, a computer lab with 3D printers, and a lounge where local inventors and artists can connect. Recent presentations and an open house are energizing the community.

Backed by a $29,000 grant from the Syracuse Tech Garden, the SALT Makerspace is the brainchild of Mike Giannattasio, a Syracuse University alumnus with a Master’s Degree in Sculpture. Private donors have also contributed $16,000, along with what Giannattasio calls “countless pieces of equipment”. By sharing tools and knowledge, local artists and engineers can minimize costs while turning ideas into manufactured items.