CHENANGO – Being a small manufacturer is stressful. There are production deadlines to meet. Commodities and raw materials subject to price swings and trade wars.
Rules and regulations to abide by. And yet, there’s always a certain subset of the population willing to take on these challenges and keep driving the economy forward. You could say they’re a little stubborn – refusing to break under the waves of these manifold and unceasing demands.
Chenango County is a little stubborn too. It stubbornly recouped and held onto it’s pre-recession manufacturing jobs while the rest of New York State flagged. In 1990 manufacturers employed approximately 4,800 people here, or 2 percent of the non-farm workforce. At the same time manufacturing made up only 12 percent of the State’s non-farm workforce. A slow decline between the late 1990’s and 2009 led to a low-point of 3,100 jobs.
Beginning in 2011, manufacturing experienced a striking rebound throughout the county, regaining and maintaining the 4,800 mark in 2014. At the same time, most other counties in New York lost hundreds or thousands of manufacturing jobs and have yet to recover. Manufacturing currently makes up 26.5 percent of Chenango’s non-farm workforce, while New York’s percentage has dropped to 4.6 (NYSDOL).