FORT EDWARD — A Fort Worth, Texas, plastics manufacturer plans to start construction before the end of the year on a new manufacturing facility at the former General Electric Co. dewatering site in Fort Edward.
W.L. Plastics Corp., one of the largest manufacturers of polyethylene pipe in North America, announced late Wednesday that it intends to construct a new high-density polyethylene pipe manufacturing facility, and their start-up is projected for mid-2020.
“The economic development agencies were working hard to seal the deal,” said state Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, D-Round Lake, on Thursday afternoon. “We wanted to let them know about the workforce and the quality of life here.”
It was a competitive process with other locations also trying to sell the value of their community to the manufacturer, Woerner said.
“There was a lot of nail-biting and fingers crossed,” said Woerner. “I give kudos to Terry Middleton (current Fort Edward town supervisor), Laura Oswald (director of economic development for Washington County) and Tori Riley (vice president of the Saratoga Economic Development Corp.). It was really a team effort with all hands on deck.”
According to W.L. Plastics Senior Vice President David Fink, they are excited to “locate in New York and become part of the Fort Edward and Washington County community.”
“We think this is a terrific location to service our customer base in the region,” Fink said in an email. “We believe the town, county and workforce will be a very good fit for our operation.”
Woerner said that the W.L. Plastics’ decision to build a facility in Washington County not only brings jobs to the region, it offers new opportunities.
“We’re talking 40 or 50 all-new jobs and that is a plus for us,” she said. “Any time you bring in manufacturing, you open an opportunity to attract related business. ... The potential is strong.”
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Hampton Supervisor Dave O’Brien, chairman of the Warren and Washington Counties Industrial Development Agency and Civic Development Corp., said there will be 50 manufacturing jobs and 20 construction jobs.
The IDA received an application from the manufacturer and the agency is currently looking at what incentives it could offer, said O’Brien, adding that W.L. Plastics is looking for sales tax incentives.
“The next step is to bring it up to the full board on Nov. 18,” he said.
Current Fort Edward Town Supervisor Terry Middleton did not return calls, emails and texts regarding the W.L. Plastics decision.
Fort Edward Supervisor-elect Lester Losaw said Thursday it’s hard to bring manufacturing into a community and this is a good thing for Fort Edward.
“To me, that means stability for the community,” Losaw said. “I think it’s huge.”
Mike Bittel, president and CEO of the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce, said the recruiting effort was a success because so many people at so many levels came together to make it happen.
“We are so excited because this is a prime property for a business like this,” he said. “When one comes in, that begets another and another. ... I’m really, really excited about the potential for spin-off businesses.”
The Fort Edward facility will be W.L. Plastics’ ninth U.S. manufacturing operation. Other locations include Mills, Wyoming; Cedar City, Utah; Elizabethtown, Kentucky; Bowie, Texas; Rapid City, South Dakota; Snyder, Texas; and Statesboro, Georgia.