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Ogdensburg is close to both Ottawa, where General Propulsion’s parent organization will continue to be based, and Fort Drum. And it has an already-existing manufacturing infrastructure. It’s also accessible by rail, port and highway.
Ogdensburg City manager Arthur Sciorra has been working closely with General Propulsion to bring the company to Ogdensburg. He says it could bring more than 200 jobs to the region:
It would be engineering jobs as well as blue-collar manufacturing jobs. Initially about 20 engineering jobs to do some of the engineering completion, and then within six months there would be maybe 50 jobs…and then in 18 months they’re saying their business plan would have them at about 220 jobs or something like that.
General propulsion vice president John Hensler told the Watertown Daily Times his company has an agreement in place with the city.
Sciorra says he’s been working with US Senator Gillibrand to make contacts in military procurement.
And the company and the city have been working on an application for state funds from the new North Country Regional Economic Development Corporation. Sciorra says receiving those funds would kickstart the project:
If not it will require, it’ll take…more time to secure contracts that will produce the kind of revenue they need and it’ll be a slower startup.
Sciorra says if General Propulsion does receive grant money from the state, it could be operating in a matter of weeks, and manufacturing within months.