Eight things you need to know on topics related to Saratoga County's economy.
8 @ 8 is a newsletter filled with eight things you need to know on topics related to the economy in Saratoga County, New York. You can expect to see 8 @ 8 in your inbox twice a month. If you have content you'd like us to share or have a topic you'd like to see more of, let us know and we'll work to include it in a future edition! - The Saratoga Partnership Team
1. GlobalFoundries Breaks Revenue Record at Malta Complex
The  GlobalFoundries  computer chip manufacturing complex in Saratoga County surged past expectations a year ago, as revenue grew more than 33%, accounting for the first time for one-third of companywide sales. Despite an industry forecast projecting a 10% decline in worldwide chip sales in 2019, the $15 billion manufacturing plant in Malta is on pace to finish this year with record sales again.   Peter Benyon , who became general manager of the Malta complex on July 1, after spending the last decade running GlobalFoundries' Fab 7 plant in Singapore states, "It's all about producing high-quality, high-yielding wafers on time." If you ask Benyon where he plans to focus his attention in 2020, he rattles off delivery costs, quality yield and operational fundamentals. "The [biggest difference between] what I am doing here and Singapore is we don't have to build a team from scratch," Benyon said. The talent is already here, he said, pointing to a Malta workforce of more than 3,000 that includes engineers and managers who have worked at nearly every other major chip design and manufacturing company in the world. Read more here .
2. Capital Region's Newest Transportation Service: a cross between ride-hailing and the bus
The  Capital District Transportation Authority  has kicked off a pilot for a "microtransit" service  dubbed Flex . The system of eight-passenger vans will drive along flexible routes determined by requests for pickups and drop-offs made through an app. The service is meant to fill gaps in more suburban areas where traditional bus service doesn't reach or doesn't draw many riders. Towns throughout Saratoga County, where employers have  struggled to hire workers without a bus line , could also be prime for microtransit, CDTA CEO  Carm Basile   told the  Albany Business Review in May. Read more about how this transportation service can assists communities that are "transportation deserts".
3. Teens Need to Know They Can Make Money in Trade Careers
With unemployment at a record low and skilled tradespeople (like plumbers, electricians, welders, machinists, and more) are retiring from the workforce faster than their skills can be replaced. The skills gap across America is widening and the demand these professions are endless. Family Circle contributor, and single mom of three, Katie Bingham-Smith, makes the argument that teens need to know they can make money (good money) in a trade career. There are ample, good paying jobs in advanced manufacturing and the skilled trades available throughout Saratoga County and the Capital Region with affordable workforce training options to support them through WSWHE BOCES , Hudson Valley Community College , SUNY Adirondack , SUNY Schenectady and more. Isn't it time, that parents and teens, give the trades a chance? Tell us your thoughts!
4. Zippia Names Capital Region 4th Best Job Market in 2019
Zippia named the Albany-Schenectady-Troy MSA the nation's 4th Best Job Market. The hottest job markets are spread throughout the country- with the top 10 having locations on both coasts, the midwest, and the south. Each region was ranked 1 to 377 in four categories: Unemployment Rate, Change In Unemployment Rate, Wage Change, and Current Average Wage. “While government jobs still account for a decent chunk of employees, Albany is known for its thriving tech scene. The technology scene is supported by universities that help fuel the local economy." Click here to read more. (credit CEG)
5. Urban Growth Via Satellite Imagery
Change can seem slow. A new building rises, one floor at a time. A new subdivision breaks ground with two homes, and then four. A new transit line is planned, and years pass. What it all adds up to can be hard to see. But zoom out — way out — and it’s clear that the last decade has brought remarkable transformation to many communities. It's visible from 400 miles above: Vast new exurbs have been carved from farmland, and once-neglected downtowns have come to life again. The tech industry has helped remake entire city neighborhoods, and it has dotted the landscape with strange new beasts, in data centers and fulfillment hubs. Check out these urban transformations via high resolution satellite imagery.
6. The Economics of Unused Giftcards
According to the Hustle, for the 13th straight year, the holiday gift of choice were gift cards. In 2019, Americans purchased an estimat ed $171B worth of these plastic cash substitutes, ranging from $500 prepaid Visa cards to Starbucks, Dunkin', Target...the list goes on. Gift cards are so popular that they account for 55% of the average shopper’s entire annual gift budget. Over the past 10 years, more than $1 trillion in gift cards have been sold. Between 2005 and 2015 alone, unredeemed gift card balances amounted to an estimated $45.7B . Despite what appears to be a windfall for retailers, retailers claim they make more money when consumers spend their cards citing that people who redeem gift cards end up spending more than the value on their cards, purchase items at full price, and the card encourages someone to shop in a store they wouldn't normally frequent . Click here to read a full breakdown.
7. SUNY ADK Office of Continuing Education rolls out Spring Catalog
SUNY Adirondack Saratoga is positioned to offer higher education and workforce development support to the growing economic center of Saratoga County. This spring semester they will be rolling out programs for budding entrepreneurs; notary training; the hospitality, tourism and craft brewing sector with t heir Beer Server & Enthusiast  course , and Python for Data Analytics which the Saratoga Partnership co-sponsored with SUNY ADK and Albany CanCode; and more. Learn more about professional development opportunities for both you and your team on their online course catalog . Pre-registration required; call 518.743.2238 or email to register today. Need customized workforce training for your team? Contact Erin Krivitski, PsyD, Assistant Director for Workforce Innovation & Training at 518-832-7604.
8. Five Bold Urban Design Projects That Made Cities More Fun, Clean, and Accessible in 2019
Whether adapting to climate change, trying to be more inclusive to underserved populations, or updating their infrastructure with new technology, cities around the world are serving as laboratories to test bold ideas. Some cities are already in the future and are using their corners of the world to make our planet a little bit better. From floating neighborhoods to the world’s first combination ski slope-power plant; here’s a look at some of the most fun and interesting urban innovations of 2019.