Manufacturing Key To Upstate Economy

Legislative column from Assemblyman Brian M. Kolb (R,C,I-Canandaigua)
February 6, 2009

Since its creation in 2004, the Assembly Minority Task Force on Manufacturing has traveled throughout New York State listening to the concerns and needs of New York’s business leaders. I am proud to serve as chairman of this important task force and would like to share with you highlights from our latest report issued to the state Legislature in December of 2008.

Studies and testimony have shown that over the last year manufacturing jobs in New York have decreased by 3.2 percent. This trend is nothing new, between 2000 and 2007 approximately 200,000 manufacturing jobs were lost statewide, and the Upstate region lost 27 percent of its manufacturing jobs. During a series of public hearings on the subject, we heard time and time again the cry for help for businesses faced with tough decisions due to the high cost of doing business in New York State. The reasons were clear.

Our report reflects the plethora of problems that our state’s business leaders are facing, including a national economic recession, skyrocketing energy costs, as well as excessive state and local taxes. If we want to heal our ailing economy, we must do more to attract and retain jobs right here in Upstate New York, especially those manufacturing jobs that once made this region an economic epicenter. Making New York State affordable again can be achieved simply by forcing our state government to do more with less.

My colleagues and I will continue to stress the need to pass measures that would provide tax incentives for manufacturers, lower energy costs and health care costs, end unfunded mandates, and reduce overall taxes. Fewer taxes, less bureaucracy and less government mandates on businesses will make it easier for them to thrive in New York and, thus, create jobs.

As we tackle our state’s economic crisis, we must not forget there is more work to be done on behalf of the families who count on manufacturing jobs to put food on their tables.

During the coming months, members of the Assembly Minority Task Force on Manufacturing will be traveling the state in search of new ideas for legislation that will make it affordable again to live and work here in the Empire State. We are always interested in your thoughts, whether they are about Empire Zones, Power for Jobs programs or any other topic. Please do not hesitate to contact me with your ideas for making this state great again.

Should you wish to obtain a copy of our 2008 Assembly Minority Task Force on Manufacturing report, please contact my district office at (315) 781-2030 or e-mail