Orange County Partnership - News

Perfect Timing

By Maureen Halahan


Last month, the Orange County Partnership announced the launch of what I believe is a cutting edge and forward-thinking program called Site Inventory Program (SIP) that will produce thousands of new jobs in industries enjoying significant growth in spite of the current economic climate.
While it is still open to debate whether a recession is in our future, the Federal Reserve is attempting to slow down the economy as a means to lower inflation, which in June stood at 9.1%, the highest rate in more than four decades. I believe to enhance the mission of the Orange County Partnership we need to look to the future and put the pieces in place to take advantage of the economic trends of today and the growth industries that will be investing in new projects in the years to come.
I am excited about the launch of the Site Inventory Program for a number of reasons. One, it is already off to a fantastic start. Two, the program comes at a time when New York State and the federal government are poised to incentivize new development projects like never before (see “State Looking for Shovel-Ready Projects” story in this edition of Resources and Results newsletter).
SIP, which is headed by Conor Eckert, Senior Development Officer & Vice President of Business Attraction, and Kaitlynn Lancellotti, Director of Business Retention and Expansion for the Orange County Partnership, will seek to take advantage of some of Orange County’s key growth industries—food & beverage processing, advanced manufacturing, clean energy and life sciences—that the Partnership believes will be investing and creating jobs in the county over the next two decades. SIP is seeking municipal government input from across Orange County to determine all the available properties that could be developed in their respective jurisdictions, their infrastructure needs, regulatory approval requirements and what industries would be best suited for those parcels.
The SIP team held its first session with Wallkill Town Supervisor George Serrano and key department heads on June 28. The main takeaway from the meeting is that the Town of Wallkill is well-positioned to accommodate new development from these growth industries. The town’s key attributes include not only its location, but also its robust infrastructure (water, sewer, power and high fiber capabilities). The Town of Wallkill also features a strong retail climate, diverse housing stock and other amenities that are attractive to young workers.
Communities such as the Town of Wallkill can take advantage of a continuing trend brought on by the COVID pandemic. CEOs are looking to shorten supply lines by bringing production back home to the United States. In a recent Bloomberg article entitled “American Factories Are Making Stuff Again as CEOs Take Production Out of China,” it was reported that CEOs have been releasing plans to relocate production facilities in initiatives labeled “onshoring,” “reshoring,” or “nearshoring” back to the United States. The number of these projects has increased over the first six months of this year, according to Bloomberg and compared to pre-pandemic periods, have increased by more than 1,000%.
Another key data point in the article is that the construction of new manufacturing facilities in the U.S. has soared by 116% over the past year, easily dwarfing the 10% gain on all other building projects, according to the Dodge Construction Network.
OCP’s Eckert said the Town of Wallkill checks off all the boxes for manufacturing firms looking to build new production facilities.
“They not only have the sites to accommodate manufacturers, but they also have the community infrastructure that the talent wants to be near,” said Eckert. “The Town of Wallkill can be one of these key communities that we market to manufacturing site selectors for foreign-direct investment projects that are looking to the United States who want access to New York City, Boston and Philadelphia, but don’t want to pay those (NYC) metro prices.” He added, “So, Wallkill is positioned to be a leader in that field.”
SIP’s next session will be with the Town of Monroe, followed most likely with the Village of Blooming Grove. The SIP will be holding meetings with other municipalities throughout the summer.
I cannot adequately express how excited I am with the Site Inventory Program. It is hitting the market at the perfect time where demand is historically strong and funding levels have never been higher.
If you are still not convinced, please click on the link to the Bloomberg article, which clearly details the tremendous investment and job opportunities that lie before us.