Money Will Help Generate Plan to Lure High Tech Industries and Bring Back Jobs to Ailing Industrial Park

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Rep. Mike McNulty announced today that the Department of Commerce has awarded the Watervliet Business and Technology Partnership a $210,000 Federal Economic Development Administration grant to develop marketing strategies to attract new businesses to the Watervliet Arsenal industrial park.

"The Watervliet Arsenal is a cherished part of Albany's past and an important part of its  
future," said Schumer. "This grant will help identify the next generation of businesses that will occupy the Arsenal. With capable leadership and a focused plan of attack, the future for Watervliet is bright."

The Watervliet Arsenal is a 140acre industrial park with over two million square feet of manufacturing, laboratory, warehouse, and office space. In recent years, competition and decreased demand have forced the arsenal's tenants to slash hundreds of jobs and cut back production. Nonetheless, the facility remains an important economic anchor in the region and could become a thriving industrial center if new tenants could be attracted to the park.

"These funds show how much support there is for building a new future at the Arsenal," said Harry Robinson, chair of the Watervliet Partnership, the organization which spearheads planning for the park. "There's an enormous amount of work to do to transform the site to a high tech manufacturing and R&D park. We have to plan the transition, create jobs, and invest in new technologies for the future."

The Partnership has already contacted several companies from both newer and older industries that have expressed interested in moving into the park. Among them are companies dealing in aerospace and telecommunications components, recycled materials, and specialized products such as mass transit and electrical generation equipment. With the money, the Partnership will implement a sustained marketing program in coordination with city and state economic development agencies to lure these and other companies to the park.

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