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News stories tagged with "industry"

GM decision threatens one in twenty St. Lawrence County jobs

Reaction to GM's announcement trickled in through the afternoon on Monday, as people in Massena tried to digest the news. Local officials and economic development leaders warned the community to brace for a difficult transition. North Country assemblyman Darry Aubertine, a Democrat, called GM's decision "irresponsible." Congressman John McHugh described the announcement as "a heartbreaking development for the workers and the entire community." McHugh accused GM of "rejecting input from government officials" and "showling little desire to work out a mutually beneficial solution." Karen St. Hilaire is executive director of the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce. She says roughly one in twenty jobs in the county have been put at risk. St. Lawrence County's tax base will also take a huge hit.  Go to full article

Labor economist: Massena news matches regional, national trend

General Motors' decision follows a trend that has rapidly decimated the high-wage manufacturing jobs that once sustained North Country towns like Newton Falls and Malone. Alan Beideck is an analyst with the New York state Department of Labor, based in Saranac Lake. According to Beideck, manufacturing jobs will be hard to replace. Factory jobs in St. Lawrence County pay an average salary of around $51,000 a year. That compares with just $31,000 for most of the county's workers.  Go to full article

Lawmakers' efforts failed to stop plant closing

GM confirmed this morning that General Motors will shutter its Powertrain facility in Massena at the end of 2008. The move came despite efforts by lawmakers to delay the decision. A spokesman for Rep. John McHugh described the development as "disappointing." "This is not good news for the community," said spokesman Matt Lavoie. "The congressman will fight for the people, the town, and the workers in any way he can," he added. Martha Foley spoke with Brian Mann about the last-minute effort by lawmakers to save hundreds of jobs.  Go to full article

CSX rail plans worry some

Word that rail company CSX might stop serving a stretch of track in the North Country caused concern last week among manufacturers, railroad operators and industrial development agencies. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article
Oil escaping the containment boom around the NEPCO barge.
Oil escaping the containment boom around the NEPCO barge.

The Slick of '76: Looking Back and Forward

This summer marks the 30th anniversary of the "Slick of '76", a 300,000 gallon oil spill in the heart of the Thousand Islands. Thick, gooey crude coated the shoreline from Alexandria Bay to Massena. The accident remains one of the largest inland oil spills in the United States. Many river residents still remember where they were on June 23, 1976. The event re-shaped the way a generation views its relationship to the river and the giant freighters that ply its waters. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Oil escaping the containment boom around the NEPCO barge.
Oil escaping the containment boom around the NEPCO barge.

Slick of '76: The Social Impacts

30 years ago today, on a foggy morning, the NEPCO 140 barge hit a shoal in the St. Lawrence River near Alexandria Bay. The barge spewed 300,000 gallons of thick, gooey oil into the river. The "Slick of '76," as it's known today, stretched as far downriver as Massena. It remains among the largest inland vessel oil spills in the United States. Next week on The 8 O'Clock Hour, we'll hear from the people who saw the spill unfold, the people who helped clean it up, and the people who are passing on the memories of the oil spill to a new generation. Today, Martha Foley talk with someone who tried to measure the Slick of '76 in human terms. John Omohundro is a professor of anthropology at SUNY Potsdam. In 1976, he got a grant from the Coast Guard to study the spill's impacts on people's work, their recreation habits, their social networks.  Go to full article

National BioFuel Expert Commends Growing North Country Industry

The 2006 Bioenergy Summit continues at Clarkson through Friday. On Thursday, scientists, farmers and financiers talked frankly about some of the challenges in building a bioenergy industry in the north country and in New York State... Not all the infrastructure is in place in the state. Some lamented the lack of national leadership. But the mood of the conference was optimistic. So much so, that when Ross Whaley of the Adirondack Park Agency got up to discuss environmental regulations, he said he felt like Darth Vader.

Michael Pacheco is Director of the National Bioenergy Center in Colorado, part of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory or NREL. NREL is the federal government's primary research lab into renewable technology. He told Gregory Warner the North Country could be a leader in the bioenergy revolution.  Go to full article

Alcoa Workers Picket Over Contract

Alcoa workers held an informational picket Monday outside the aluminum plants in Massena. Union officials say Alcoa's proposed new contract cuts health care and pension benefits, especially for new employees. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Lyon Mountain driller probes the seam
Lyon Mountain driller probes the seam

In Adk Iron Mine, Hard Life And Deadly Hazards

America has watched over the last week as the coal mine disaster unfolded in West Virginia. Twelve men died after an explosion rocked the underground works. Mine tragedies were once an everyday part of life here in the North Country. Iron works in the Champlain Valley and the northern Adirondacks contributed some of the highest grade ore in the country. Adirondack iron helped build the George Washington Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. But men died every year in tunnel cave-ins and accidental explosions. Brian Mann spoke with Lawrence Gooley. He's author of two books about the iron mine at Lyon Mountain in Clinton County. The latest is called "Out of the Darkness". It chronicles the story of the miners killed in Lyon Mountain over its century-long history.  Go to full article

End of an Era in Cornwall

Cornwall, Ontario Mayor Phil Poirier describes the news that the city's major manufacturer, Domtar, will close its local paper mill "absolutely devastating." Domtar senior vice president Roger Brear told workers of the closure Wednesday. He blamed a drop in demand for Domtar's products and energy costs.
All 520 jobs will be gone. Domtar cut 390 jobs at the Cornwall plant a year ago. So the total is now about 900 jobs lost. The city will have to absorb the loss of an annual payroll of $50 million dollars and about $1.5 million in property tax revenue. Jack Romanelli is editor of the Standard-Freeholder newspaper in Cornwall. He told Martha Foley Cornwall was built on industries that settled along the St. Lawrence River there, and Domtar's closure is the end of an era.  Go to full article

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