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. Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership Organizational Transition
On January 8, the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership announced the resignation of Marty Vanags as President, in order to pursue new opportunities. The Saratoga Partnership also announced the appointment of Vice President Shelby Schneider as Interim President, where she will utilize nearly two decades of economic development experience in Saratoga County to ensure the agency’s mission moves forward uninterrupted.
We look forward to working closely with the Saratoga Board and leaders in the public and private sectors to promote a unified, long-term growth strategy for economic development in Saratoga County in 2020 and beyond.  Read the press release here and coverage from Saratoga Today and the Daily Gazette.
2. Albany CanCode Draws Facebook's Attention, and a $50K Grant
Albany's coding boot camp has received a major new investment from one of the biggest players in the tech industry: Facebook. Albany CanCode, a nonprofit that trains nontraditional students in the area, landed a $50,000 investment from Facebook that will go toward expanding the program to the Hudson Valley. It's Facebook's first-ever grant in the Albany region, and the first it will give to a software boot camp like Albany CanCode. Albany CanCode's founder and CEO, Annmarie Lanesey said that with the growth in artificial intelligence and data, the growth in tech sector jobs will be even higher. "We're feeling the shortage now," she said. Previous graduates of the program have secured careers with such companies as Accenture, Goldman Sachs, the New York State Office of Information Technology Services and MVP Healthcare. In Saratoga County, the Saratoga Partnership, in partnership with Albany CanCode and SUNY ADK will launch the first ever Python for Data Analytics. The next round of classes planned for #SaratogaCanCode has been announced and will begin January 28, 2020. Click here for details about registration.
3. Capital Region Child Care Drought May Hurt Economy, But Local Company Buys Daycare To Help Mitigate This Problem With Their Employees
When it comes to juggling work with caring for a newborn or young child, some new parents say they must delay returning to work. Others ask their own parents for help. For low-income families, the Capital Region's  growing child care shortage  forces parents to miss workdays, use uncertified day care providers, or bring babies into work. Brightside Up researchers found severe child care deserts in parts of Menands and Cohoes, and noted that some rural communities in Columbia, Greene, Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties did not have a single day care facility. Those who do find care are often overwhelmed by the financial strain. Millennials, the fastest-growing part of the workforce, are spending 35 percent of income on child care on average, according to Brightside Up. The average cost for center-based care in the Capital Region can be as much as $53 a day or $14,000 annually for an infant and $44 a day or $11,500 annually for a 4-year-old. Locally, w hen Chris Childrose talks to the staff at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals about what's important to them, one topic comes up repeatedly. "Day care," said Childrose, vice president, human resources. To address this concern, R egeneron bought a former child care center near its manufacturing and research facilities in Rensselaer County and contracted with a national provider to run the service, which will only be available to Regeneron employees.
4. Women Now Outnumber Men in the Workforce for First Time Since Great Recession
Labor Department data showed that women held 50.04% of jobs in December, bringing their share of the workforce to 76.2 million. Women gained ninety-five percent of net new jobs added in December - 139,000 jobs compared with the 6,000 that men obtained in the same period. Women now hold just over half of all payroll jobs in America, for only the second time in history. The first was during the Great Recession, when a wave of layoffs hit male workers first, temporarily giving women an edge in the workplace. Click here to read more.
5. Global NY's 2020 Trade Mission to South Africa
Global NY is recruiting NYS small businesses to participate in a trade mission to South Africa June 1-6. A country of 58 million people, South Africa enjoys relative macroeconomic stability, established legal system and a largely pro-business environment. South Africa is a logical and attractive option for U.S. companies seeking to enter the Sub-Saharan Africa marketplace. The trade mission participation fee is $500, and the deadline to apply for the South Africa trade mission is January 30, 2020. For eligible companies, Global NY's State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant can reimburse a significant portion of your exhibit, travel and accommodation expenses. Click here to complete the STEP application.
6. Proximity to rail service to play a bigger role in industrial site selection
A growing truck driver shortage, along with improved efficiency of U.S. rail operations, has more shippers considering rail transportation as a viable alternative to long-haul trucking. As a result, some developers are placing new industrial development projects adjacent to rail access sites. "As companies continue to prioritize clean, green and safe transport of their goods, rail’s advantages are clear,” Executive VP of the Broe Group, Reagan Shanley notes. He also states, "Rail's efficiency is unparalleled, when you consider that rail can move one ton of freight 471 miles with only one gallon of diesel.” Tray Anderson who heads the logistics and industrial services platform in the Americas for real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield also states that shipping by rail used to take longer than by truck due to the time required for train switching, but rail service has since become more efficient, abolishing the time gap. Read more about why industrial developers are increasingly considering rail access in site selection.
7. Albany region executives are confident about 2020 but Labor force remains an issue
The Albany Business Review recently held an economic outlook breakfast with business executives throughout the region. While local business leaders are generally optimistic about 2020, they have a major need to recruit more people to continue their companies' growth. Being able to find and keep good employees ranked among the top five concerns of business people surveyed. Other business concerns: rising cost of doing business; cost of health insurance and other employee benefits; the upcoming presidential election; and the U.S. economy. Click here to read more.
8. Saratoga County gets bond rating upgrade
Moody's Investor Service has upgraded Saratoga County's general obligation bond rating from Aa2 to Aa1, which indicated the county's financial strength and could lower its borrowing costs in the future. According to Moody's, the upgrade to Aa1 reflects Saratoga County's continued financial strength and steadily growing tax base. The growing population and economy have led to growing property and sales taxes which have bolstered the county's reserve position. Total leverage is modest and there are only limited plans to issue additional debt. Click here to read coverage from the Daily Gazette.