As I have said many times over the years, when the Assembly Majority made the first commitment of public funds in Albany Nano - five million dollars - we were not so much investing in a research facility as we were in the vision, the scientific acumen and the entrepreneurial spirit of Doctor Alain Kaloyeros.
As grateful as I am for Alain's kind words, the success you see all around you - and at the Watervliet Arsenal as well - is the product of a formidable partnership that also includes:
The members of the Assembly's Capital Region Delegation - Ron Canestrari, Jack McEneny, Bob Reilly and Tim Gordon;
Congressman Paul Tonko - a great supporter of Albany Nano and the Watervliet Arsenal;
Albany County Executive Mike Breslin;
Tony Gaetano and the Arsenal Technology and Business Partnership;
Rick Whitney and all of the high-tech leaders here at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and all of the high-tech leaders throughout Tech Valley;
George Philip, President of UAlbany, home to our NanoCollege;
And our newest partner, the Chancellor of the State University of New York, Chancellor Nancy Zimpher.
We have already expanded our partnership to include the SUNY Institute of Technology in Utica/Rome, and we are in the process of building a job-creating network of suppliers, contractors and service providers that will extend from Tech Valley to the Mohawk Valley.
We intend to continue growing here in the Capital Region and we intend to replicate the success of our high-tech partnership model in every region of our state.
Now for the good news that brings us together here today.
This is precisely what Alain Kaloyeros, Tony Gaetano, my Assembly colleagues and I were hoping for when we gathered at the Watervliet Arsenal nearly six years ago to this day, to welcome what was then "M+W Zander" to our partnership.
Speaking for the Assembly Majority, let me say how delighted we are that the MW Group has decided to move its U.S. headquarters to the Watervliet Arsenal.
While the entire partnership deserves credit, let me single out the efforts of my friend and colleague, Assemblyman Ron Canestrari, who not only pushed to bring the MW Group to the Arsenal, but who is striving to revitalize this historic, manufacturing community in partnership with the Army and its Joint Technology and Manufacturing Center.
Although we tend to focus on technology and the jobs of tomorrow, the reality is that the future of our economy is inextricably linked to our urban centers and to our ability as a state to rebuild and to revitalize them.
This, too, is a critical part of our "jobs" plan. It is why we supported Ron's effort to bring the MW Group into the Arsenal Partnership and why we backed that effort with $1.95 million in Assembly capital funding back in 2004.
It was an incredibly important investment. Not only did the MW Group give this region full-service, nanotech design and construction capability, this new partnership:
Resulted in more than fifty highly skilled construction, engineering and support jobs being created here in Albany;
Today's announcement is the next step in the plan.
Frankly, it made sense to see if we could strike a deal to bring the U.S. headquarters of the MW Group to the Capital Region and to strengthen its role in our partnership.
Working with Rick Whitney, Alain Kaloyeros, and Tony Gaetano, we put together a plan.
With the leadership of Assemblyman Canestrari and the Capital Region Delegation, we put up $6.5 million in capital investment to leverage $228.5 million from the MW Group over the next five years.
What will be the result?
The MW Group will retain seventy jobs and create an additional 190 new jobs in Watervliet. The MW Group's expanded presence in this region will also lead to the creation of 200 service jobs, and hopefully more.
There will be $15 million in federal funding to support joint R&D and business development at the NanoCollege and at the Watervliet Arsenal.
On top of that, the MW Group will be providing additional training opportunities for those interested in nanotech facilities operation, maintenance and management with an emphasis on women-owned and minority-owned businesses.
Keep in mind that all of this training that the Group is providing to our trade union workers is giving the Capital Region the highly skilled workforce that we need to win the global competition for major high-tech, job-creating projects that are being planned for every day.
This is yet another major, high-tech victory for the Capital Region and for the State of New York.
Speaking for the Assembly, we are proud to be involved in this partnership and we look forward to advancing the development of the 21st Century high-tech economy here in Tech Valley and throughout Upstate New York.