In a sign that upstate New York is indeed becoming a hub for the country's high-tech industry, the construction firm that's building the GlobalFoundries computer chip factory announced Tuesday it plans to relocate its headquarters to the Capital Region.
M&W U.S. Inc., previously based in Dallas, Texas, will relocate its operations to the Watervliet Arsenal and the University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering over the next 18 months, officials said. The company is a subsidiary of Germany-based M&W Group, previously known as M&W Zander.
Rick Whitney, the company's chief executive officer, said the move fits with the firm's "corporate philosophy of being near our clients."
The $4.5 billion GlobalFoundries project in Saratoga County that began last summer - as well as the support businesses the chip maker is expected to draw - is bound to produce more work for the construction firm in the coming years, Whitney said.
"When you look around the country and where the investments are being made, it's the upstate New York area and in the Tech Valley," he said in an interview. "These facilities don't usually come as single entities, and we believe there will be additional investment both in Albany and in Saratoga County."
Company officials said M&W U.S. will ultimately employ around 250 in New York.
Around 70 M&W U.S. employees are already working in the area, and another 60 who are presently employed in Dallas were offered new positions in New York on Monday, Whitney said.
"This is new news to them as well, and we've offered them the ability to move, so we'll wait and see what positions we need to fill locally," said Whitney, who purchased a home in Saratoga Springs last year.
M&W U.S. will invest more than $200 million in its New York operations over the next five years. That money will be spent on equipment, an expanded high-tech training facility and offices.
The majority of the investment will be made at the Watervliet Arsenal in Watervliet, where M&W U.S. has housed its regional headquarters since 2004.
State lawmakers also offered the company a $6.5 million grant for moving to New York - money legislators said will help the region shore up its position in the nanotechnology field.
M&W's "continued investments in our upstate economy are propelling the Capital Region to the forefront of the global nanotechnology industry," Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari, D-Cohoes, said in a prepared statement.
The company is the general contractor for the GlobalFoundries computer chip factory on the Luther Forest Technology Campus.
The firm has also built chip factories for Advanced Micro Devices in Dresden, Germany, clean room facilities for the University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, and IBM's "megafab" in Fishkill, N.Y.