News Column

Video & Photos: Gov. Cuomo At GE: 'What You Saw Today Is Going To Resonate Across Upstate New York'

July 15, 2014



ALBANY, N.Y., July 15 -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., issued the following news release:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today traveled to GE Global Research's facility in Niskayuna to announce that the State will partner with over 100 private companies, led by GE, to launch the New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium.

The New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium will create thousands of high-skilled, high-paying jobs in Upstate New York over the next five years and will focus on the development and manufacture of the next generation of materials used on semiconductors.

ATTN. TV STATIONS: TV-quality video (h264, mp4) of remarks from Governor Cuomo and GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt is available HERE. The remarks are available on YouTube HERE (http://youtu.be/pOf7iIVpk7c).

B-roll video of the Governor, Legislative Leaders, and GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt viewing a model of the New York Power Electronics Manufacturing Consortium is available in h264, mp4 format HERE (https://www.hightail.com/dl?phi_action=app/orchestrateDownload&rurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.hightail.com%2Ftransfer.php%3Faction%3Dbatch_download%26send_id%3D2584757700%26email%3D4656afcdfea92aeca9efc0e448e06a62&s=19104&cid=tx-02002207350200000000) and on YouTube HERE (http://youtu.be/pOf7iIVpk7c).

Photos of the event are available HERE (https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/sets/72157645709263495/).

Audio of the Governor's remarks is available on Soundcloud HERE (https://soundcloud.com/nygovcuomo/governor-cuomo-announces-a-new-upstate-ny-nanotech-consortium).

More information on the Governor's announcement is available HERE (http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/07152014NY-Power-Electronics-Manufacturing-Consortium).

Transcript of GE Chairman & CEO Jeff Immelt and Governor Cuomo's remarks:

GE Chairman & CEO Jeff Immelt: "You know it had been a couple weeks since I've been able to listen to someone with a French accent so it was great to have that experience. You know first thing I would like to say, I spend a lot of time in really the birthplace of GE, which is right here at the research center in Schenectady, but I've read about CNSE over the years as many of you in this room have done, the governor as well and the work of Sematech North and the industry you've built and this is really one of the country's great stories. I think the people of New York and upstate New York know it well, but even nationally I think this is been, in terms of creating public, private partnership, job creation, technical leverage, this is exactly what I think has helped develop the United States competitiveness and you've done it right here. I really think it's been a fantastic success, so congratulations on what you've built here. We are proud to be associated with Governor Cuomo. The next step of the power electronics consortium that's going be the next investment I think it's an exciting next wave that we're proud to participate in.

Governor I want to thank you for your support there. I think it is great and we are proud to be a part of it. A couple comments I would make is, that if you had to pick half a dozen technologies that are going to define the next 20-30 years globally, power electronics is one of them. It is what is going to make our devices more fuel efficient and more energy efficient; it is what is going to drive miniaturization; it is going to allow more power density in things like airplanes, automobiles, oil and gas industry. So you are in the mode, or you are in the area, of one of the great innovations of the 21st century, early enough to make a difference and create jobs.

The thing that is typically missing with a lot of these process industries, and now I speak as the investor in the room, is it takes an incredible amount of capital to commercialize these technologies. That is what leaves a lot of small businesses at the door, where they cannot participate because they just don't have the capital to invest in these process industries. What an investment like the one that is being made today really does is it not just helps companies like GE but it will help hundreds of small and medium businesses that want to innovate because it gives them a manufacturing location where they can test their innovations. So this is what a public-private partnership can really do, and what it means in terms of job creations--not just for big companies, but for small companies as well.

Please know that things like -- I look out and I see so much of my GE team out there that are PhDs, they know what silicon carbon and power electronics is -- it is esoteric for the person on the street, but this is going to be at the hub of creating industries and jobs in the future, so you have to feel great about the step you are taking today.

The GE Team and silicon carbide is going to be an anchor tenant, we'll put about $100 million plus into this in terms of initial property and capability. So, we're going to put our money alongside of the state's to help make this successful. And you'll see when you walk around here the way we think this technology is going to transform the aviation industry, the health care industry, the renewable energy industry in ways that the power electronics and the silicon carbide can help do that. You know, this is one of the keys to get a point or two of efficiency in the renewable solar and wind space which is game-changing from a standpoint of how those technologies become affordable. It can take 1,000 pounds out of a Boeing Dreamliner which drives fuel efficiency and makes new technologies more affordable. And so, our work which has taken place for over 20 years, of the fine people in the here today, it's going to find a new home in this operation. So, we're proud of that and just want to say thanks for that development. GE has had a long term commitment to upstate New York. Since 2010, we've added 1600 jobs in upstate New York, in Schenectady, from a standpoint from our energy business and digital x-ray, where we make x-ray panels, and the global research center, and all the great work we do there.

We have continued to invest around the upstate New York area and we have done it with our suppliers as well. Small companies like Quirky and other companies we have investments in have made upstate New York their home and so we continue to see a good, solid place to invest in, but none more important or strategic than where we sit right here. This is where the heartbeat of GE is and I always tell people, if I had to show you one place in GE to get a sense of the future and not just of the company, but of the world, I would bring you right to the global research center. It's where the people really have a chance to be involved. We are along New York, Governor, and we continue alongside you. We look at this as just the next step along those lines. Tremendous success in this investment over the last 25 years. Power electronic is a big deal. GE will be a good partner. We bring a lot to that and this is consistent with our long-term strategy in upstate New York.

And lastly, again I want to thank the Speaker for coming today and the Majority Leader for coming today. We are honored to have your presence. But I really want to acknowledge Governor Cuomo. I will echo what Alain said. I met the Governor four years ago when he was running for Governor first time. We met in New York City. We want New York to be successful because we are here. We are a tenant today and we need a healthy, vibrant New York State. We had a good, robust discussion about how to make New York State more competitive and more business-friendly. The fact is, the Governor has delivered. The Governor has followed up on the things that were important to this state. START-UP NY is a big initiative. John Mack has been a 25 year friend of mine and a guy that I've known for a long time. And John, behind the scenes, when the cameras aren't there says, 'Hey, this is different - what's going on in New York today.' Businesses, we believe in private enterprise, but it makes it easier for us to do our job when we have the support and help of good government, good governance and we see changes under way in New York State and we think that is positive for everyone. So with that, it is my honor to introduce Governor Andrew Cuomo."

Governor Cuomo: "Thank you very much, what a pleasure to be at the GE Research Center, we want to thank everyone here at the Research Center for the hospitality and the courtesy. Let's give them a round of applause for their good work. To Mr. Jeff Immelt who is a great corporate leader, but more than that, he is a great citizen for this country, he is a tremendous service to the federal government. He is a businessman and worldwide, and Jeff, we're long on GE if you're long on New York - Jeff Immelt.

I also want to thank Mr. Immelt, because we did go have a conversation very early on when I was just starting out as Governor. And obviously one of the big initiatives, one of the big questions was how do we get business to New York? Especially, how do we get business to upstate New York, and I said to Jeff, you know, be frank, be candid, and he was. It took me two days to recover from the conversation, but he, he went through what a state needs to do to be competitive because we are in competition. New York is competing with every other state in this country. New York is competing with countries all across the globe. GE could go anywhere. The question is what will get them here? And he was very helpful to me, he went through, in great detail, what this state should do if we really want to play to compete. I listened, I took notes, and we came back and we executed and I think that's one of the reasons we're here today. One more round of applause to Mr. Jeff Immelt.

To Alain E. Kaloyeros, who has so many talents, I can't even begin to tell you. He is obviously a great researcher, a great scientist, a great academic. But he is also a one-man economic development department for the State of New York. I think we should take out a life insurance policy on Dr. Kaloyeros because he has been brilliant - for the industry, for the developments in the industry - but on a very practical level, he has revolutionized, literally, upstate New York and the State owes him a tremendous debt of gratitude - Dr. Kaloyeros.

To my colleagues from the Assembly and the Senate who are here today, especially Speaker Silver and Majority Leader Dean Skelos. I want to thank them for today, I want to thank them for the participation in this program and in this state grant. That obviously would not happen without the Assembly and the Senate. But more than that, I want to thank them for the past four years. Their story of the past four years, and government across this country hasn't been a pretty one. Gridlock has become the word of the day, and paralysis for government has become to norm. And we had a very much different example in the State of New York. You saw government preform, you saw it work better than it has worked in a long time. Four on-time budgets passed in a row is the metaphor for that success, but the truth is I don't pass any budgets. The New York State Legislature passes the budgets. The Assembly and the Senate passes the budget. And if it wasn't for the good work of these two gentlemen, none of this would have been possible. So let's give them a round of applause - Senator Skelos, Speaker Silver.

And then the story of today speaks for itself. In some ways, today is a moment in time that tells the story of upstate New York, yesterday, today and tomorrow, hopefully. Upstate New York at one time was Silicon Valley before there was a Silicon Valley, right? This was the place where the advanced manufacturing was happening. This was the place of innovation. GE was a big part of that. 1927 Schenectady starts commercializing television broadcasts. But the great innovators of the time were in upstate New York...IBM, Xerox, Kodak, Bausch and Lomb. All these great companies thinking of the next advanced manufacturing challenge. They were all in Upstate New York, and then somewhere along the way Upstate New York lost its way.

Somebody said to me in buffalo one time, I'll never forget, "When it comes to the economy Buffalo has had a bad 50 years," and he wasn't kidding. It has been a bad 50 years. Manufacturing economy changed, Upstate New York did not change with it. The Truth is state government was not especially helpful in that transition and upstate New York suffered, and we lost people and we lost businesses.

The notable exception to that decline was CNSE and Nano-technology. That was the exception. Capital district region has a much different trajectory over the recent past and the rest of Upstate New York, and that Nano-industry actually made the difference. We are now in a different place and we are in a different phase, and we've taken four years to really track a different trajectory for this state but we are on that trajectory now. First, Nano is no just a child of the capitol district anymore. The Nano-technology explosion, revolution has gone all across Upstate New York, literally all across upstate New York--it's Utica, it's Syracuse, It's Canandaigua, it's Buffalo, all out growths of what was birthed but now is expanding and expanding enough to bring economic development all across upstate new York. Second, we are now launching the next generation of the semi-conductor chip, silicon carbide.

I am sure when Dr. Kaloyeros spoke to my father about 25 years ago and said we are going to launch the computer chip revolution with nanotechnology he had no idea what Dr. Kaloyeros was speaking about. But, he had the good fortune to like the way he said it. Because he really does. I don't think that many people understand where Dr. Kaloyeros is talking about, but they all like the way he says it.

So my father chose to go with Dr. Kaloyeros and that turned out to be a bet that brought big dividends for the state of New York. When he explains to me silicon carbide and the efficiencies because of the ability of carbide to conduct electricity, I have no idea what he is talking about. But, I believe it is going to work. So, the state is investing in the next generation of the computer chip because that is also the nature of the beast. You have to continue to evolve; you have to stay ahead of it. You have to be ahead of the curve if you want business to stay here.

We are implementing the same model which was brilliant in the Nano-experience which is the state owns the equipment and the facility. And that was much, much different from any past economic development effort not just in this state but in states all across the country. And it really was a stroke of brilliance.

The state owns the equipment and the facility, so the businesses come for the facility and the equipment and the research. Then, the businesses stay for the cluster of the other companies that are all working on the project and the energy and the collective energy of all those companies. So, in many ways, the state finances the magnet that attracts the companies and then it develops an energy unto itself. It stays in place because the state owns the essential asset of the facilities. So, that model we will continue: $135 million from the state total investment $500 million.

It will generate thousands of jobs and we believe it will have consequences all across upstate New York and certainly beyond the capital district region. And it is part of an overall shift. Because back to the conversation I had with Jeff Immelt we have a New York open for business mentality and we are doing that all across the board. We were the high tax state, that's what people thought about New York and people are smart, if you are going to be the high tax state they are going to leave. Why? Because they can. They are more mobile than ever before and they can shop.

We've reversed that trajectory. Everyone's income tax rate in the State of New York is lower it was four years ago on every income level. Period. Middle class up to 300,000 lowest personal income tax since 1953. Corporate tax rate down to the lowest levels since 1968. Manufacturing tax rate down to the lowest levels since 1917. Right? So the taxes are down, New York is not what you thought it was I said to Mr. Immelt "give New York a second look because we are not the New York that you thought you know." We did that with tax. Anti-business? We totally flipped the dynamic. We are totally pro-business state, we partner with business because the successful regions are not just going to be successful private sector regions they are going to be the regions where the private sector has the best partnership with the public sector.

That's going to be New York, we do that with our Regional Economic Development Councils and then as you heard Start-UP New York takes all of this and puts it on steroids. It is very, very simple. Start-UP New York creates regions all across the state which are the least expensive places to do business in the country. Period. No tax zones. No taxes for ten years, no income tax, no sales tax, and no property tax for any new job created. So, we Jeff Immelt was sitting in his room saying where should we cite, where should we go, where taxes are low. The lowest cost of doing business is in the state of New York. That can't be! It is.

That's where we are today. The proof is in the pudding. You reduce taxes, you become pro-business, you end the anti-business mentalities, Start-UP New York, you work at it, you get aggressive at it and good things happen and you see today the job growth in the state of New York is the proof, over 460,000 in the four years. We are number two in the nation in new job creations since the recession. Number two. Dr. Kaloyeros mentioned the other state, I won't, but we are number two and we are trying harder. 7.4 million New jobs in the state of New York. 7.4 million Private sector jobs in the state of New York jobs today, more private sector jobs than ever before in the history of the State. Four years ago we have a 10 billion dollar deficit, the greatest deficit in the history of the state. Today we have at 2 billion dollar surplus. Last week Moody's increased the credit rating of this state for the first time in 50 years. And Fitch upgraded us to the highest credit rating in the history of the state of New York. We have turned the corner; the arrows are pointed in the right direction and the best yet to be. We had some work to do to turn the ship, but the ship is turned and the momentum is with us and we are going to keep it going and what you saw today is going to resonate across upstate New York. What Nano did for the state 25 years ago this is going to do plus, I guarantee it. And with it is my pleasure to introduce my partner Dean Skelos."

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