The already shrinking manufacturing sector here in the Finger Lakes just got smaller by 185 jobs.
This week it was announced that Mettler Toledo would be building a $30 million dollar facility, bringing 500 new jobs to a location in Pasco County. The Tampa Bay Times reports that the 250,000-square-foot facility will be located near Tampa.
Mettler Toledo Safeline has deep roots in central Florida, but for the 185 employees who will be asked to relocate with the company to Florida, or find new employment in an already shrinking manufacturing pool in the Finger Lakes — it could be catastrophic.
Viggio Nielsen, who is the General Manager of Mettler Toledo Safeline said that continued growth meant that current operational standards couldn’t be met at their spread out facilities. He said, “We wanted a location where our current staff would be able to follow us and where we could pull new team members from a diverse and well-educated pool.”
While those in Pasco County have called the move “a great day for Florida,” it exposes one fatal flaw that New York has experienced for decades. Manufacturing is dwindling, and as an industry — the numbers are bleak:
The company makes food inspection equipment and reportedly has salaries that range from $40,000 to $75,000 per year.
Details of the deal, which will have moved those precious 185 jobs out of the Finger Lakes — will remain confidential until official reporting takes place. The Pasco County Economic Development Council did suggest that the move was due to their ability to incentivize a move, along with the always-cheaper operational and tax costs associated with doing business in a place like Florida — compared to New York.
Mettler Toledo is described as a “global industry leader,” by those in the industry — which makes the move all the more concerning. It sets an alarming precedent for other companies to continue following the same procedure, which leaves New York in the dust — literally and economically.
Manufacturing isn’t what it was 50 years ago anywhere in New York. However, this is an area where local and state legislators need to start focusing serious energy. Addressing concerns that businesses have about doing business here in New York — particularly upstate New York. While also addressing the concerns that families are left with after these businesses pack up and leave town.
FLX Politics is a feature by Josh Durso taking a critical look at policy in the Finger Lakes. He is the Lead News Editor at FingerLakes1.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.