Marcy Nanotech: Great Change Coming To Utica-Rome Area

Dec 31, 2015

Marcy Nano site.
Credit Marcy Nanocenter

Central New York is expecting a huge economic shot in the arm from the the Nano Utica site in Marcy.

Located at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in the Oneida County Town of Marcy, the Marcy Nanocenter is a 450-acre greenfield site being developed for the semiconductor industry. Nanotech is expected to bring an influx of workers, new businesses, and economic revitalization to the Utica-Rome area.

There's a lot of excitement in Central New York. Some very big companies, among them General Electric, have announced plans to set up shop at the new Marcy nano site.  As the new technology hub takes shape, business owners, government leaders and ordinary citizens within a 50-mile radius of the town brace for the impact a larger workforce (and increase in population) will bring.

Rome Chamber of Commerce President William Guglielmo says there's plenty of room for newcomers. "Any time that there's new economic activity, there is going to be a positive change in the community. Rome used to be home to Griffis Air Force Base, which, due to the Base Realignment and Closure Commission was realigned twenty plus years ago. Rome's population went from 50,000 to what it is basically today - 32,000 people. We have plenty of housing, we have plenty of land. Rome is 72 square miles, one of the biggest, largest cities in the country."

Rome Mayor-elect Jacqueline Izzo
Credit Jacqueline Izzo

In late summer, Austria-based ams AG, formerly known as Austriamicrosystem, announced plans to build a "soft fab" plant at the nano site.  Rome Mayor-elect Jacqueline Izzo:  J 5 "This is going to be a transformational component to our economy, I think something unlike we've seen, probably, in our lifetime. We're looking very forward not only to the benefits of the nano build-up, but also of the UAS, the drones, that industry that is based here at Griffis as well. I think the two of them together , and our possibilities for air service at our airport, we have a lot of exciting things happening in our region, and there's a different vibe happening around our area."

Michael Anson is president and owner of Anson’s Construction Company in Marcy. He saw home construction drop significantly when the Great Recession hit, but sees nanotechnology as a means to a rebound.     "It's gonna help bring some growth back to the area, which we've lost over the many years of companies moving out of upstate New York, and it's gonna bring some of the younger generation back to our area.

Again, Mayor Izzo:   "This really has been in the planning stages for I think about 18 years. Really, Mohawk Valley Edge has been the lead on this, Steve DiMeo and his group. They've been all over the world at trade shows. And our county executive, Tony Picente, he and his staff have worked tirelessly on this as well as has our state Senator Joe Griffo and our Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, and of course, now our Commissioner of General Services, RoAnn Destito, she was our assemblyperson before this. She had this vision herself, a long time ago, and so all of them really are the ones that were the impetus behind this effort. It'll be exciting getting our city ready for this transformational component to our economy. I'm glad to be a part of it. We're going to everything we can to make sure that Rome is involved in helping, along with Utica and Marcy and our whole county."

The next decade will be a telling one for the so-called "Nano Utica Initiative":  Marcy officials expect some 500 jobs to be created in the Mohawk Valley over the next five years from SUNY Poly, GE and affiliated corporations, and another 350 in the subsequent five years.