For the past two years, state leaders have been trying to entice Magna International to keep the New Process Gear plant in Dewitt open, to save 1400 jobs. Last year, the New York State Economic Development Assistance Program pledged $5 million to that end. That was on top of a package of incentives worth $32 million negotiated by state lawmakers in 2007. But, Magna had to put up $50 million of its own money to re-tool the plant to make transmission cases for the cars of the future.
According to Senator John DeFrancisco, Magna never came through. "It's a terrible thing for our area." said Defrancisco, "The state stepped up to the plate; it just didn't work out."
DeFrancisco said the money was never spent.
Just last week, the Metropolitan Development Association announced a $75,000 grant that raised hope that the plant would stay open. The grant would have allowed Magna to form a partnership with Clarkson University to develop a light weight carbon fiber transmission case. This week, when Magna announced it would close the plant, the MDA voided that grant.