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      New hope for New Process Gear factory

      For years New Process Gear has been scaling back and shedding jobs. The Dewitt auto plant, currently owned by Magna International, once employed thousands but now has only a few hundred employees and is expected to shut down this year.

      As the operation winds down, an interesting possibility has been discussed behind the scenes. There is now hope that the factories of past could be the key to future jobs. Two years ago the D'Arcinoff Group announced they were looking at former auto factories in upstate New York for their new wind turbine parts operation. On Thursday, Senator Chuck Schumer said he believed the New Process Gear site and Central New York are a good fit for the fast growing turbine industry.

      "The closeness to Albany where G.E. makes its wind turbines and is growing - they just added 500 new workers in Schenectady - means we should have a good chance to bring this company to Syracuse and I've told them I will do everything I can help them locate here," said Schumer.

      At Serres Donut Shop in East Syracuse, the possibility of new jobs in the old plants brought some smiles to the counter. Several customers were hoping the area could finally see an economic boost.

      "This will help the local job economy and we've lost a lot of things around here and that will be just wonderful," said Fred Carlton.

      Today the D'Arcinoff Group's CEO said he couldn't discuss specific sites. Michael Darcy did say they have made a great deal of progress with New York legislators and work on finalizing sites that can be rapidly converted to the type of work they need to do. He also added that New York State offers not only usable facilities but also an existing trained workforce that is underutilized.

      "I hope to be able to announce something in the very near term - which I think will please a lot of people just in terms of how much we're able to bring to the table and how far we can go forward with this across New York," said Darcy.

      In 2009, the D'Arcinoff Group said they were interested in the New Process Gear site and the former General Motors plant in Massena. At the time, Darcy said his company hoped to employ 12,000 workers at those two plants and at other smaller sites.

      With plans still in the works to close the New Process Gear plan in DeWitt, we're getting new insight into what may be in store for its future.

      Magna International, which owns NPG, has said it is moving forward with plans to close the factory, which makes parts for trucks and SUVs.

      Now, the head of D'Arcinoff Group, says his company has "moved a great deal further forward" with plans to bring part production facilities to New York state. CEO Michael Darcy says the company is especially interested in former auto parts factories. NPG is currently winding down operations, and has told the State Labor Department it will close this year.

      In 2009, the D'Arcinoff Group said they were interested in the New Process Gear site and the former General Motors plant in Massena. At the time, Darcy said his company hoped to employ 12,000 workers at those two plants and at other smaller sites.

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