Tag Archives: Scenario B

Waiting for an Offer

Author:  Rae & Carl

Forces/Drivers: Brain Drain, Nano-tech Center, Generational Income Disparity

Scenario B

Journal Entry

Well, we did it. The house went on the market today, and we have a few leads on jobs elsewhere. Rachael is growing restless, tired of doing essentially the same job for years, with no real advancement or attempts by her company to keep ahead of the ever-evolving Web field. I’m finally ready to admit that we could be doing better in another area, and some days I’m not sure if my own company is going to stay afloat. I’ve been looking at the possibility of a new job, but there’s not much out there for me unless I want to start my own company. Internet services companies pop up occasionally, only to fail from lack of business. Plus, it seems like every new client we get doesn’t care much about mobile devices or social media—if they even understand what they are. There aren’t many younger people moving into higher positions within companies around here because they’ve all moved away. We thought it might improve when that Nano-tech plant was talking about moving in, but that fell through.

All the efforts at improving the arts and entertainment events and other things to do seem to be falling short lately, as well. Nothing has been pulling people in. Just the other day, the bike club decided to stop running their weekly time trial races during the summer because hardly anyone is coming out to them any longer. The few who do have been doing it for twenty years at this point and are ready to call it quits.

I hope the house sells in a decent amount of time. The housing market isn’t too bad, but it doesn’t seem like many people are looking for a 3-bedroom house these days unless they’re starting a family. The private elementary school next door was a selling point in the past, but with the falling enrollment, they ended up merging it with the high school across town and closing the building.

For now, we’re just waiting on offers and trying to decide where to go.


Leave a comment

Filed under Scenarios

Utica’s Future in Nanotechnology

Author:  Mark

Forces/Drivers:  Nano-Tech Center, Brain Drain

Scenario A & B

Newspaper Article

In 2009, New York State along with partners and universities announced a plan to bring the nanotechnology industry to central New York.  The plan involved development of two facilities to be built in Albany and Marcy, New York.  New York State partnered with IBM, Intel, and SEMATECH to fund the 225 million dollar project.  The facility in Albany, NY will be responsible for research and development of the nanotechnology “system on a chip” product.  The facility in Marcy, New York will be held at SUNYIT and focus around integration of technologies, testing, and evaluation of the chips.  The development of this state of the art facility has created a huge buzz around the Utica-Rome area, as a potential to re-vitalize the area that took a huge hit when many Radio Frequency electronic jobs left the area back in 1990s and early 2000s.  The question on whether the project will spark a re-vitalization of economic growth or have no significant impact on the declining economic trends has yet to be answered.

The nanotechnology project’s Marcy facility development could be the spark that the Utica-Rome area has been looking for since the Griffiss Air Force Base downsized its footprint in the area and many other technology companies closed their doors.  The Mohawk Valley (MV) Edge group owns a 400-acre property across from the land on SUNYIT’s campus where the nanotechnology buildings are being built.  The MVEdge group has been attempting to attract business partners (like chip suppliers and other major nanotechnology contractors).  A number of companies have started to make a presence known already with Indium Corporation, Valutek, and nfrastructure investing in positions at the SUNYIT location.  If MVEdge were successful in bringing other business partners into the area, would provide a strong foundation for a new technology face in the area.  The Griffiss Business Park could provide a strong location for additional business development, with a lot of space available and the Oneida County airport utilizing the runways and hangers left available after the Air Force downsize. The Air Force still has a footprint in Rome, NY with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) still residing on the base.  The AFRL could also become a strong business partner for the nanotechnology center, if appropriate, which could also attract major defense contractors back to this area.  As part of the project a curriculum is being developed at SUNYIT and SUNY Albany to help educate young professionals on nanotechnology and help them obtain a job after they graduate.  The success of this technology center would help to keep local youth in the area, something that the Utica has been suffering from for an extended period of time.  If the nanotechnology center is able to attract business to area, young professionals from outside the area might also be interested in moving to the central NY region. The development of these facilities and potentially new facilities of other interested businesses would also help the local construction businesses as well.  Many of them would see a spike in business and the potential for hiring new employees with skillsets. Local schools will also see a spike in jobs with more teachers being required to meet in the influx of family members to nanotechnology workers.

The nanotechnology center could also just fall into an isolated technology business where it holds it’s own but does not attract any other interest from the nanotechnology community.  If other businesses fail to become interested in having a close proximity then a small subset of jobs would have been created but not enough to grow the area and stop the export of young, talented professionals. Economic Development Departments in the Utica-Rome area would be left to determine other opportunities to grow the area but an excellent opportunity would have been wasted. There could be major delays in the process of developing the nanotechnology centers, such as funding cuts, construction delays, or technology roadmap alterations (the interest in nanotechnology subsides due to other technology development). With the economic climate being as dreary as it is, many businesses are not dedicating funds to expansion or new development.  Nothing is a sure thing in this economy and businesses could decide that there are higher priorities and decide to back out of interest in the nanotechnology center. If the nanotechnology center were to be halted and/or cut from future development, that would cost between 400-500 immediate impact jobs and would crush the chances of drawing other nanotechnology style businesses into the area.  Young, talented nanotechnology professionals would be forced to search other locations for jobs.  Economic developers would be left scrambling in an attempt to figure out how else to spark economic growth in the area.

Any number of paths can be taken with the future of the nanotechnology center project.  While all indicators point towards a successful development of the center and surrounding environment, nothing is ever guaranteed.  While the future remains uncertain, the development of the nanotechnology project has certain created a lot of positive buzz around a community that has been suffering for years.  The nanotechnology project has provided a positive path forward, now it is up to the local community to make sure the path is traveled.  Once known as the “RF Valley”, the Utica-Rome area is working overtime to show that it has everything it takes to be the “Nano Valley” of the future.

Leave a comment

Filed under Scenarios

Just Another Day in Utica

Author:  Nikki

Forces/Drivers:  Growing Arts District

Scenario B

Dear Diary,                                                        October 5, 2009

It seems as though everyday is just another day here in Utica. Nothing has really changed here in the last year and everything just seems like each weekend is becoming a routine. The city seems to have made a few small changes and it appears as though Utica is not heading in any sort of direction.

I was really hoping that the arts would start to take over and become more prominent in the community, but I was wrong. Almost every weekend I try and go to a coffee shop, bar or restaurant to listen to live music somewhere around the city, but it seems as though I just keep finding the same local talent no matter where I go. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of local talent, however, it would be nice to see different genres and talents. A few of the local bands have even stopped performing, or only perform on rare occasion because performing does not “put food on the table” and does not “put money in their wallet”.

With the city losing some local businesses and the younger population not settling or staying in Utica, there is not much revenue circulating. I would love to see the city bring in some famous acts to come and perform, but I do not think that the city is generating enough revenue for that. Even the F.X. Matt Brewery has cut down its weekly “Saranac Thursdays” do bi-monthly because people, old and young, stopped attending.

Being a music teacher, it is sad to see that students and younger musicians are losing out on opportunities to express themselves and show off their talents outside of their stresses of everyday life and school. I find that my students truly excel at the arts because it is not math, science, English, etc… The arts are 100% about them!

I really hope that the economy and Utica figure out a way to re-stimulate the economy so that the arts do not fade away.

See you tomorrow!

Leave a comment

Filed under Scenarios

DOH Makes the Right Decision

Author:  Alicia

Forces/Drivers:  Hospital Merger, Brain Drain

Scenario B

Letter to the Editor

When it was announced that talks had begun for a possible merger between St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center (SEMC) and Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare (FSLHC), many people had their reservations. As a Registered Nurse at FSLHC, I myself was skeptical.

The Department of Health has recently turned down the institutions request to combine services and collaborate as one healthcare organization. Their reason for doing so was that there would be too many duplication of services and/or would create a monopoly in the area of healthcare in Utica.

While both hospitals clearly are only concerned with their financial gain and how the merge would affect their bottom line, at least the residents of Utica have the DOH looking out for their best interests. A merger would have given the area residents no choices as to where they receive their healthcare, but would have also resulted in hundreds of layoffs. When large scale layoffs like that occur, many people would have left Utica in search of other jobs. Is that really what we want for our area? More people leaving in search of better jobs and a better life? Let’s hope this idea of a merge between the two healthcare organizations in Utica has been put to rest for good.

Leave a comment

Filed under Scenarios