Friendly to What Business?
High paying jobs are being created in large numbers right here in the U.S., and in places where the so-called experts say they’re not supposed to happen. On 27 September, for example, five computer chip manufacturers announced they would invest more than $4 billion on advanced research at several sites in New York State. Earlier in September, the drug manufacturer Pfizer said it would build new research labs in Cambridge, Massachusetts, creating some 400 science and technology jobs.
In the middle of a nagging economic slowdown, when businesses are allegedly reluctant to part with mounting piles of cash, these investments are noteworthy, but particularly when a widely read index says these investments creating thousands of new, high-paying jobs, were made in two of the unfriendliest states for business.
In New York, five computer chip companies — IBM, Intel Corp., GlobalFoundries, Samsung, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) — will spend $4.4 billion over five years in upstate New York and the Hudson Valley to design a new generation of semiconductors. The industry is upgrading to a new chip architecture that promises to hold twice the number individual chip elements with lower production costs as the current design.
Of the five companies, only IBM now has a big footprint in New York, including its corporate headquarters and research labs. IBM plans to add nearly 1,000 new R&D jobs to two existing locations and retain another 2,500 positions at those sites. Intel plans to put its regional headquarters for the chip architecture upgrade in Albany, where State University of New York has a large nanotechnology research center. The investment overall is expected to generate 2,500 new science and technology jobs, as well as nearly 2,000 construction jobs to build the new and expanded facilities.
Pfizer’s new lab announced on 2 September is in Cambridge’s Kendall Square near MIT, housing two of the company’s key biomedical research units. The work done at the new Cambridge site will add some 400 jobs, mainly research biologists and chemists. In June, Pfizer said it would put the headquarters for its Centers for Therapeutic Innovation in nearby Boston.Continued on the next page