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Syracuse Manufacturer Makes Difficult Relocation Decision Saving & Creating Local Jobs

Jason Chen/WAER News

A long time Syracuse plastic maker seems to be bucking the trend of the declining manufacturing sector in Central New York. But it hasn’t come without some help from the state. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul stopped at the expansion of Tessy Plastics in Van Buren today to announce $13.5 million in aid.  Hochul says they’ve learned from the successful experience in Buffalo and believe Syracuse can have the same results.

“Takes a little while to plant the seeds, do sight selection, to lure the businesses there, get them to expand and now all of a sudden we are now seeing literally thousands of jobs, and that area is one of the high growth areas in our nation. So what the Governor wanted to do was use the model from Buffalo and see if we can fix a place that’s the most hardest hit region of our state. We can do it in Syracuse, we can do it in Rochester and now we are starting to see the benefits of that.”

Hochul says Tessy’s $31 million project is a great success, because it ensures 100 new jobs, and retains about a thousand others.

Credit Jason Chen/WAER News
Kathy Hochul speaking about Tessy Plastic's new expansion in Van Buren, NY.

“You can’t beat the quality of the work force you have here. There is a loyalty, there is a strong work ethic and to move your operations to an entirely different state in the South, that’s a risk that you have to consider. It also is a gut check to have to realize that there’s a lot of good hard working people here who call this company their home since their father started it back in 1973.”

Tessy President Roland Beck says it would certainly be cheaper if they move the operations down to South Carolina, which offered them a generous relocation package. But he says it’s really difficult to replicate the business elsewhere after having 43 years of relationships with local contractors and suppliers.

Credit Jason Chen/WAER News
Tessy Plastic president Roland Beck speaking at Van Buren, NY location.

“Is my quality going to get better? Is my service going to get better? Will those stay the same, get better, or be worse? And I’m like, ‘Well It’s not going to get better down there. It might stay the same and it might get worse.' That’s our most important asset, our quality and service.”

The 250-thousand-square-feet expansion is scheduled to be completed next spring.

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.