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Manufacturing index rises, legacy firms consolidate

factory_Nathan Laurell.jpg
Nathan Laurell
via Flickr
More workers headed into western New York factories in January.

David Robinson at the Buffalo News reports that western New York's manufacturing growth rose a little in January, along with hiring and new orders:

"The regional economy continues to expand, but at a significantly slower rate than the expansion we saw in October and November of last year," said Mikhail I. Melnik, a Niagara University economist. "The expectation is that this slower, but still positive, growth will continue into February and March," said Melnik, who tracks the monthly index of the National Association of Purchasing Management -- Buffalo.

Legacy firms
GE is looking to consolidate office space and has put out a call to developers for options. It could mean the company is leaving Schenectady, it might not.  Chris Churchill at the Times Union reports:

But [GE spokesman Chris] Horne said the request to developers does not mean the company intends to shift jobs or divisions here from elsewhere. "This is just a regular part of the process that we go through to assess our needs for space," she said.

And Matt Daneman at the Democrat and Chronicle had the details from Kodak's investor meeting in New York City.  The company says it'll continue to trim and sell its way to fiscal health over the next year:

This year likely will see the photo and imaging company selling off its CMOS image sensor business, which is based in Rochester, and more of its film assets, with Rochester being the hub of film manufacturing. In addition, Kodak said it plans to restructure its film and point-and-shoot camera businesses as well as cut some of its back-office work force, which accounts for a sizable part of its Rochester-based employment. Those moves do not bode well for jobs at the region's fourth-largest employer. Just last week, the company said its local work force stood at 7,100, a decline of 300 in the past year — one of the smallest cutbacks in the local employment base in recent years. Now, more cuts appear to be on the horizon at a company that once had more than 60,000 workers in Rochester and operated the largest industrial complex in the Northeast.

SBA grant
Western New York's branch of the Small Business Administration has picked up a $3 million grant to hire more loan advisors.  Jonathan Epstein at the Buffalo News reports:

The money, provided under the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 that President Obama signed in September, is part of a larger $50 million allocation to SBDCs nationwide to support job creation and retention among small businesses. It is intended to “meet the critical need for business expansion and job creation” but is not designed to replace the core or matching funds that the SBDCs require to sustain operations every year, according to an SBA news release.

Growing business abroad
Lou Sorendo at Oswego County Business has a profile of the ExportNy program, that helps businesses look overseas to grow their business:

ExportNY helps participating companies determine which international markets are attractive, prioritize efforts, develop strategies to penetrate each market and understand the legal, cultural, logistical and regulatory issues of doing business abroad.

Interested in signing up?  They're recruiting now - call (315) 425-5144 or email them.

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