Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Standing in a Syracuse union hall that will close later this year, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced support Monday for a bill that would allow the U.S. government to slap tariffs on foreign-made auto parts.

United Auto Workers Local 624 and 2149 once supported about 4,000 workers at nearby New Process Gear. The factory, which makes parts for SUVs, is also slated to shut down later this year.

Union leaders say Gillibrand's efforts may be too late for New Process Gear, but they could help other plants in upstate New York.

Zack Seward / WXXI

Kodak's Eastman Business Park (EBP) welcomed its newest tenant Friday. But the park's director says Kodak's bankruptcy is giving pause to some prospective projects.

"I will be honest, some of the very big ones - the $200-, $300 million projects - they've slowed down a bit as they try and determine what perhaps Chapter 11 might mean," EBP Director Mike Alt said Friday. "But most of the other projects are moving forward."

That $300 million project - a biofuel plant headed by the U.S. Renewables Group - is the centerpiece of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council's strategic plan.

Matt Richmond / WSKG

For decades, manufacturers have used 3-D printers to create prototypes. Car designers have used them to create new car models - last year, an entire car was printed. Drug makers print pills with them. One was used recently to replace a patient's jawbone.

These kinds of printers are in widespread use in industry. But because of their cost, they've flown under the radar for the general population.

Now, Cornell University is stepping in with an open source 3-D printer, that promises to bring this high tech manufacturing tool to your garage.

CMMahon / via Flickr

Sealed Air, a packaging manufacturer with about 26,000 workers worldwide, is closing at least two plants in upstate New York.

The company announced Thursday it was closing its Rochester facility.

A filing with the New York State Department of Labor also shows a plant closing in the Schenectady suburb of Scotia, N.Y.

The Capital Region plant will be shuttered by May 20.

About 180 Sealed Air workers in Rochester will lose their jobs. Another 70 will be affected in Scotia. 

Zack Seward / WXXI

A new survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found optimism among the state's manufacturers in January.

According to the monthly survey of 200 manufacturing executives (about 100 respond according to the Fed):

  • General business climate improved by 5 points.
  • New orders rose 8 points.
  • Optimism about the six-month outlook rose 9 points.

Most encouraging, according to Randy Wolken, president of the Manufacturing Association of Central New York, were improvements in the number of manufacturers that expect to hire new workers.