NY Assembly Speaker Tours North Country Transportation Manufacturers
New York state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie was in the North Country today, touring transportation manufacturing plants that supply subway and bus cars to New York City.
The Assembly Speaker first stopped in Ticonderoga for a brief foray into imagined future transportation as he toured an original Star Trek set. The Trekkie then traveled to Plattsburgh, where state-of-the-art manufacturing plants are building buses and subway cars. Following a tour of Bombardier’s plant, Nova Bus/Prevost Plant Manager Jason Martin showed off a completed bus. “This is 100 percent electric. We then have a compressed natural gas powered. You’ll see a few around New York City, compressed natural gas. And then we also have a diesel-powered power train. And then we have combinations of those power trains just like you would see a hybrid car. So this is a typical we’ve sold into New York City about a thousand busses.”
Martin explained that the Plattsburgh facility employs about 500 people to supply busses to transit authorities across the country including the MTA. “We don’t just recognize the fact that we employ about 500 people here locally in Plattsburgh but we have 102 other New York state suppliers, so with New York state addresses that supply us with components. So for every one job we create there’s about five additional add-on jobs throughout the state that really support the state’s economy.”
115th District Assemblyman D. Billy Jones, a Democrat, noted that the North Country region has a high-quality transportation manufacturing cluster providing products to the MTA. “We look forward to the opportunity to keep fostering that relationship as well. And we want to provide high quality products to places throughout New York state and metropolitan areas. And I think by being here today the Speaker is showing that commitment as well. We need transportation in New York, in the metropolitan areas, and it provides a strong economy here in the North Country.”
Heastie, who is continuing a statewide tour he began shortly after becoming speaker, says the local manufacturing cluster illustrates how the upstate and downstate economies are linked. “This right here shows that the city can’t thrive without upstate New York and upstate New York needs New York City as well. So I continue to say that we’re one big happy family in the state of New York and I think people should look more at these kind of examples of how the city is depending on parts of upstate New York and part of upstate New York’s economy is thriving because of the city of New York. And those are the things we should be talking about. The things that bring us together and shows how much we need each other than the things that separate us just because we’re a couple of hundred miles away from each other.”
Town Of Plattsburgh Supervisor Michael Cashman was excited to have the speaker visit. “It’s about that cross-pollination of our economies downstate and upstate. Really have a shared interest. Plattsburgh really is a magnet in many respects from people all over the globe, all over the country, from downstate to upstate and he’s recognizing and speaking about how our economies are intertwined and that’s a really exciting thing to hear.”
Speaker Heastie also toured Norsk Titanium and met with SUNY Plattsburgh Educational Opportunity Program students before taking a boat tour of Lake Champlain.