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New York Senate Transportation Chair Tours Plattsburgh Transportation Manufacturing Cluster

New York Senate Transportation committee chair Timothy Kennedy tours Plattsburgh manufacturing sector
Pat Bradley
New York Senate Transportation committee chair Timothy Kennedy tours Plattsburgh manufacturing sector

At a time when infrastructure is a national focus, the North Country Chamber of Commerce recently hosted the chair of the New York Senate Transportation Committee for a tour of the area’s transportation manufacturing cluster.

Clinton County, particularly in the Town and City of Plattsburgh, hosts dozens of transportation equipment manufacturers. They include Nova Bus-Prevost, Norsk Titanium and Alstom, which now owns Bombardier Transportation.

North Country Chamber President and CEO Garry Douglas says it’s important to bring state leaders to tour the various facilities so they can see hands-on how things are made and link their statewide economic importance.

“I don’t know how long we’re going to make widgets in the U.S. but we’re always going to make things that make things move," Douglas said. "In transportation equipment you’re putting together hundreds, if not thousands, of parts and components and integrating things which has a multiplier effect. Which means you end up with a dozen companies and not one. We now have a cluster of more than 50 transportation equipment and aerospace manufacturers in the region. We estimate that upwards of 9,000 people have gone to work for those companies and it’s kept us on a cutting edge. We’re about to have an absolutely historic infusion of federal resources into rail and buses and public transit. And guess where a lot of that’s going to be produced? It’s going to be produced here. We have the companies that will be able to successfully compete for those rail and bus contracts.”

New York Senate Transportation committee chair Timothy Kennedy, a Democrat from the 63rd district, traveled to Plattsburgh to tour the key transportation manufacturers in the region. He said the cluster in the North Country is representative of the transportation economy across the state, including his Erie County district.

“I am really impressed by the expansive growth that you’re seeing here in Plattsburgh in the transportation industry," Kennedy said. "We have passed an infrastructure package that will fund a $52.5 billion congestion pricing program in the city of New York that’s going to result in thousands of rail cars and buses being produced. That is the significance of the work that you’re doing here in Plattsburgh by making these vehicles that are going to move these millions of people.”

Senator Kennedy says the state has invested record levels of funding in public transportation and transportation operating assistance across the state.

“Every single transit agency across the state of New York has seen a funding increase in capital funds and in operational funds that they’ll be able to tap into not only enhancing their public transportation systems but by investing into New York businesses like you have right here in Plattsburgh, New York," Kennedy said. "It’s really an essential piece of what we have to do to restore our economy. And that’s why it’s so important as we’re funding these projects that they’re spending that funding appropriately here in the state of New York and creating jobs right here and the spin off economic effect is multiplied dozens and dozens of times across the state.”

Kennedy expects the U.S. Senate-passed trillion dollar federal infrastructure bill would be a game changer for the state’s transportation economy.

“No state in the nation stands to benefit more than the state of New York," Kennedy said. "And we are in line for billions of dollars in economic activity that we can infuse into our infrastructure: our roads, our bridges, our rail, our buses, our school buses and other infrastructure that moves people throughout New York state. So I’m really excited for what the future holds here in New York.”

The U.S. House is expected to consider the federal infrastructure bills when it returns from its August recess.

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