Economy and Business

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - Fast food workers in upstate New York joined nationwide Labor Day strikes, demanding union rights and a $15 minimum wage.  Outside the McDonald's on Rochester's Monroe Avenue, fast food workers and labor supporters gathered in solidarity with the movement. 

Unemployment Rates Stable In Pennsylvania

Sep 5, 2017

New figures from the state Department of Labor and Industry show Pennsylvania's unemployment rate holding steady in July at 5 percent. However, it remains above the national rate of 4.4 percent.

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - A new report from the New York State Comptroller’s office highlights the economic profile of the Finger Lakes region. Speaking from the Wine and Culinary Center in Canandaigua, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli presented the findings based on the nine county area.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Being the only producer of wine flour on the east coast may be lonely, but one Finger Lakes entrepreneur has created a growing business.

If you’ve ever wondered what could be done with all the mashed grapes left over from wine making, Hillary Niver-Johnson did. When SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry graduate realized that making grapeseed oil from the leftover seeds was cost prohibitive, she stumbled on the process of making flour.

“Wine flour is a supplemental flour, not a substitutional flour,” said Niver-Johnson.

A. Sue Weisler /

(WXXI) - There are about 2,100 vacant, city-owned lots in Rochester. Three hundred of them are in the Marketview Heights neighborhood alone. That's where a team of students spent the summer gathering information that can be used to turn some of those abandoned properties into assets for their community.

Courtesy of Governor Cuomo's Office

(WRVO) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that a new $50 million expo center will be built at the New York State Fairgrounds near Syracuse, and work will happen quickly.

A plant in the North Country that produces the famous Philadelphia-brand cream cheese has triggered a mandatory water conservation order in the Village of Lowville, and the issue may have been a result of a misunderstanding between village leaders and the owner of the plant.

MattHurst / Flickr


The Broome County airport is trying to figure out how to keep up in an airline industry focused on big planes and big airports. 

Laura Rosbrow-Telem.

To get more space for people to work, live, and play, the City of Ithaca is looking to the water.

Gabe Altieri / WSKG

The deadline for the final round of funding for New York’s Broadband Program is August 31st.* The funding will cover projects for the last two percent of the state. These are some of the most remote areas, where the terrain can be rough and population is sparse. 

Now that the Mohawk Valley Health System has secured the necessary state funding, designs are underway for its new hospital in downtown Utica. Officials working on the project say the hospital will breathe new life into downtown and make the surrounding area more attractive. But that could come at the expense of dozens of businesses that are already operating in the proposed footprint.

AP Photo/Wayne Parry

HARRISBURG (WSKG) - As lawmakers try to negotiate a budget that'll pass the House, Senate, and Governor, plus fill a $2 billion funding gap, they're also grappling with another issue.  Nearly a year ago, the State Supreme Court declared that a law governing how casinos pay fees to their host municipalities was unconstitutional, and gave lawmakers an ultimatum: fix the law, or it'll be invalidated.  

Stock photo / AP

There's a lawsuit now in New York that could expand the rights of farm workers. Under state law, farm workers aren't allowed to bargain collectively, but the state Constitution may say something different.


BUFFALO (WBFO) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo and several other elected and government leaders drew some laughs, but also some praise as they announced another state investment in the National Comedy Center, which is currently undergoing construction in downtown Jamestown. 

Upstate New York, like the rest of the country, has suffered through decades of job losses in manufacturing. But some manufacturing companies in the Mohawk Valley and Southern Tier can’t find enough skilled workers to fill job openings.

Gabe Altieri / WSKG

Antanisha Garrett likes it in Elmira.


“Coming from a fast paced state like New Jersey, it’s really different," she said. "You can really come here and get your life together.”

President Donald Trump says upstate New York is not working and people are "getting very badly hurt." The president made the comments during a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, suggesting people leave the area in search of better work elsewhere.

Trump's remarks were made while he was talking about Foxconn, a Chinese manufacturer, that he says will open a LCD flat-screen manufacturing plant in Wisconsin.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - Local business leaders are responding to comments made by President Trump about the economy in Upstate NY.  

Union Leaders Rethink Their Approach In PA

Jul 25, 2017
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

HARRISBURG (WSKG) -- Pennsylvania union leaders are attempting to chart a new course after decades of declining membership. As members have dwindled, unions' once-strong political sway toward the Democratic party has also shifted.

President Donald Trump hosted the owners of Oneida County's Sherrill Manufacturing at the White House Wednesday for a "Made in America" showcase. At a roundtable discussion with 20 small businesses, he praised the company's co-owner Gregg Owens for being the country's only remaining silverware manufacturer. 

Payne Horning, WRVO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - An attempt to get the U.S. military to buy utensils solely from an Oneida County factory, the only silverware manufacturer in the country, was unsuccessful, but Sherrill Manufacturing's CEO is optimistic about a meeting the company has at the White House this week. 

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - The Erie Canal has a very big economic impact on New York State, but more needs to be done to make people aware of its importance and how they can enjoy it. 

Dougtone / Flickr

New York State has approved nine projects it will help fund in Oneonta's Downtown Revitalization Initiative. In total, it's a little less than $10 million.

That's the amount the state announced last summer that it would offer to ten cities - including Oneonta - to revamp their downtowns.

After months of brainstorming ideas with residents and coordinating with urban planners from the state, Oneonta city leaders submitted a final proposal earlier this year. Last week, the state announced the final list of which projects would get money and how much.

Solvejg Wastvedt


An upstate dairy co-operative will be taking over the Kraft Heinz plant in Campbell. Governor Cuomo and other state leaders announced the deal late last month. 

Gabe Altieri / WSKG


The final projects in Elmira’s downtown revitalization plan are now official. Governor Cuomo’s office released the list Wednesday. In all, just under $10 million will go to new projects, a zoning update, and a loan program for building owners.

BeyondDC / Flickr

Ride-hailing apps are authorized to operate in upstate New York starting today. Apps like Lyft and Uber had been bound to the New York City area until now.

Ellen Abbott, WRVO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - The impact of the more than a billion dollars the state has invested for economic development in central New York should be kicking in soon, according to state officials. At a ribbon cutting event in Syracuse Thursday, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul took pains to explain how often she has been to central New York in the last 2 1/2 years. 


The owner of Vernon Downs Jeff Gural says without intervention from state lawmakers, his business will close. Gural says the racino and hotel loses about $5,000 every day. That's why he plans to start shutting down the facility, first the casino in September and then the racetrack in November. 


SYRACUSE (WRVO) - A study of the central New York labor market finds a disconnect between people looking for jobs and organizations trying to hire. 

Marguerite Jones / WSKG

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s economic development programs have been criticized for a lack of results. He's said they’ll bring jobs to the state, others argue that’s not happening.