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Publisher's View


Herb Carpenter

Our region has a long, proud history of manufacturing — think Georgia Pacific, PACTIV, the former Imperial Wall coverings and more. But following the closure of PAFB nearly three decades ago, our manufacturing scene exploded. Today the more than 50 manufacturing facilities in the North Country provide approximately 9,000 jobs.

In this issue of Strictly Business, we offer you a look at four of the companies that are turning out the commodities that keep people and products moving. And we offer a preview of two cooperative ventures that are training local residents for jobs that will support additional manufacturing growth.


Our cover article features Alstom Transit, formerly Bombardier Transit, a producer of rail cars for the national and international market. The company’s impact on the area’s economy is significant. With 345,000 square feet of production, test track and warehouse space across three facilities, Alstom currently employs 250 and anticipates employee growth in 2024 of more than 35 percent.


PACTIV/Evergreen may be one of the area’s best kept secrets, but the products it turns out are destined for some of the largest food service companies in the world ­— McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Wendy’s, and Wawa. Estimated production each month exceeds 30 million pieces. Like other manufacturers in the area, PACTIV is looking to increase its current employee level of 145 in 2024.


Our look at BETA Technologies, an aerospace manufacturer headquartered in South Burlington, introduces not only its Vermont operation, but also its New York venture. Located on the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base, BETA is testing its aircraft using the flight line and will soon be painting each one on this side of the lake. Don’t miss our terrific piece about the pilot project between BETA and CV-TEC that is training local students for jobs of the future.


Every manufacturer has product to move and that’s where Adirondack Pallet comes in. Family-owned and located in Rouses Point, the company is turning out wooden pallets at an amazing rate and delivering them to New York, Vermont and New Hampshire. You will learn about how the pallets are made and the environmental requirements the company must meet.


Our article about the Clinton Community College Welding Program shows what can be accomplished when a community works together for everyone’s benefit.


This month’s Insight article features CJ Madonna, the General Counsel for local manufacturer Schluter Systems. CJ has had a storied career in the North Country and offers his understanding of what makes work and life worthwhile.


We can all use help dealing with human resource issues and Holly Black shares her expertise with ideas for recruitment and retention.


Garry Douglas wraps up this issue with his take on “Chambering” and “Advanced Chambering” and what it can mean for the North Country business community.


Manufacturing is a major driver of the North Country’s economy. The efforts of the Chamber of Commerce’s North American Center for Excellence in Transportation provide leadership on a scale that proves again and again that working together can produce amazing results.

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