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Conwall ’09 on BAE, Endicott Economy

An article in the Press and Sun Bulletin (Binghamton) quotes Empire State Development spokesperson Jason Conwall ’09 on the recent announcement that BAE Systems will remain at the Huron Campus, Endicott, N.Y. The company moved to the Huron Campus after flooding damaged its facility in Westover; it had considered moving outside the Southern Tier, but announced its intention to stay earlier this month.

According to the article, “The company will receive $40 million in job- and investment-related state tax credits over five years for keeping its employees in the region.”

“The state is getting back more than 10 times its investment while saving the 1,350 jobs that would have been lost,” Conwall said. “Helping keep BAE in Endicott preserves a major customer for local area businesses and maintains $100 million in annual payroll that will help spur growth in the local economy.”

Conwall earned a B.A. in political science and American studies from Hobart College. While a student he was named to Dean’s List and was a member of the Statesmen football team.

The full article follows.


Press and Sun Bulletin
BAE makes itself at home in Endicott

State initiatives helped to keep company in area after flooding
My-Ly Nguyen • April 5, 2012

ENDICOTT — The new sign reads: “Welcome BAE Systems. A fresh start for you & Endicott.”

It’s one of the first things you notice as you’re entering the parking lot of one of the main buildings — at Washington Avenue and North Street — where BAE and its roughly 1,350 employees are now located on Huron Campus.

BAE will occupy five buildings, partially or fully, on the sprawling campus that’s also home to IBM, Endicott Interconnect Technologies and other businesses, Strategy Director Rich Ashooh said.

BAE’s still leasing about 400,000 square feet, but plans to do so in a more consolidated way. The company had occupied eight buildings before its announcement March 7 that it would stay at Huron for at least the next five years. BAE briefly considered relocating outside the Southern Tier, taking its workers and high-paying jobs with it.

On Thursday, BAE executives, politicians and other officials celebrated that decision to stay with a ceremony at the building located at Washington Avenue and North Street.

“BAE will remain here for many, many years to come,” said Tom Arseneault, president of BAE’s Electronic Systems sector.

BAE’s offices were located in Westover until regional flooding in September caused millions of dollars in damage to the company’s equipment and building.

The defense contractor moved its employees to Huron soon after it was determined that salvaging the Westover site would be too costly.

BAE has said staying at Huron made economic and logistical sense.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said it also was important to BAE to retain its high-quality, local workforce, many of whom helped with cleanup and recovery efforts on-site.

The company will receive $40 million in job- and investment-related state tax creditsover five years for keeping its employees in the region.

The state is getting back more than 10 times its investment while saving the 1,350 jobs that would have been lost, Empire State Development spokesman Jason Conwall said.

“Helping keep BAE in Endicott preserves a major customer for local area businesses and maintains $100 million in annual payroll that will help spur growth in the local economy,” he said.

The $40 million incentive package is something state officials created quickly with new legislation to keep BAE, important to the overall economy in part because its highly educated and highly technical workers have an average annual wage of about $80,000, Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy said.

“This was not in the toolbox of New York state,” he said.

Normally, the state’s Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits are tied to job creation, he said. In this case, BAE’s job retention was considered — as if the company came in new to the region and created 1,350 jobs.

BAE was being recruited to move to Pennsylvania and other locations, Duffy said. The company also considered consolidating operations within the company.

“The state had to do something that was outside the box,” he said.

While Huron offers security services and other amenities, BAE said layoffs as a result of the move have not been part of any efficiency plan.

“The company is still in a shrinking market,” Ashooh said about overall operations. “At this local facility, there’s no job reductions to discuss.”