After years of talk, shovels finally met the dirt at the future site of Global Foundries' semi-conductor plant in Saratoga County. All month long, crews cleared the ground at Malta's Luther Forest Technology Campus in anticipation on of the groundbreaking ceremony - the official start for the $4.2 billion project.
The ceremony was more than a decade in the making, bringing in the CEO's, local leaders and politicians past and present that helped make it happen.
"When we first announced transforming the Erie Canal corridor," former Governor George Pataki said Friday, "people wondered if that was possible. This is the largest investment ever made in this state."
The computer chips that will come out of the Global Foundries complex could bring thousands of jobs, jobs that are critical to the future of the Capital Region. There were times, however, when the project looked precarious at best. Advanced Micro Devices, who created GlobalFoundries as a spinoff company, made financial cuts and layoffs.
To help bring the $4 billion plant to the Region, New York has offered up over a billion dollars in incentives. With hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars as incentives on the line,
Governor David Paterson was one of the early nay-sayers, telling the then Governor Pataki, "it would be one of the poorest investments we could make."
Paterson has obviously reversed his opinion since.
Former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno negotiated to bring AMD and its' spin off Global Foundries to Malta. Many people said this would never happen, but it has, capping a great economic accomplishment for the Capital Region.
The construction of the chip fab plant will mean thousands of new jobs. 1,600 jobs will be created during the building phase alone, with 1,400 high technology jobs in the future.
However, before GlobalFoundries opens for operations, engineers, architects and laborers will begin clearing land and installing underground utilities, followed by the construction of the 800,000 square foot facility. The chip fab plant hopes to be completed in 2012 and the facility envisions employing 1,400 workers by 2014 with an additional 5,000 jobs being created at suppliers and other facilities.