Novelis expanding, adding jobs in Oswego. Good sign for CNY?

Some good news in Oswego County today as Novelis announces a large $200 million expansion.

The company expects that the expansion project will add 100 new jobs in the Oswego area during the next two years. New equipment will start being used in the summer of 2013. The changes will also increase the amount of aluminum the factory will be able to produce. The new aluminum sheets being produced will be used by the automotive industry.

Plant manager Luc Boivin said "We have to produce aluminum sheets for the auto industry in the USA. Oswego is already producing aluminum sheets." He explained that the auto industry has to meet a federal requirement to produce cars that get 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016. "They have to reduce the weight of the vehicles. But in the USA we like to keep the size of our vehicles. The way to do that is to use aluminum in the car." Boivin said.

Incentives for the expansion are being provided by the Oswego County Industrial Development Agency, Empire State Development and New York State. Michael Treadwell of Operation Oswego County, says the county offered a PILOT agreement on the expansion in which the company will pay a half million dollars for each of the next 20 years. Empire State Development will provide a $5 million grant to reimburse the company for the purchase of new equipment.

Aluminum sheets make cars lighter and more fuel efficient. Demand for the product is increasing as car manufacturers try to meet new fuel standards. New regulations require cars to get more than 35 miles a gallon by the year 2016.

Treadwell hopes the Novelis expansion will help community planners to attract other businesses. "If one company can come in here and grow and expand... it can only bode well in terms of marketing Oswego County and Central New York to other companies." Treadwell said.

Is this a sign that Central New York economy could be turning things around? Or is this deal a flash in the pan? Tell us what you think, leave comments below.