MASSENA - Using shovels made from aluminum, federal, state and local officials turned the first clumps of dirt Monday at Alcoas East Plant to kick off the companys more than $600 million expansion and modernization of their manufacturing facility in Massena.
After years of uncertainty, delay and hurdles on the federal and state level, all thats left is to get shovels in the ground, champagne corks in the air and hundreds of new paychecks signed, sealed and delivered to Alcoa workers, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer said during the noon ceremony.
He was joined by other dignitaries including Alcoas U.S. Primary Products President John D. Martin, Lt. Gov. Robert J. Duffy, Rep. William L. Owens, Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell, Massena Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray, New York Power Authority President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones and NYPA Trustee Eugene L. Nicandri.
The speakers agreed that making the project a reality was a combination of efforts between federal, state and local officials.
We all work as a team - Democratic, Republican, state, federal and local, Sen. Schumer said.
It has been a long time coming. This has been a long, hard road. We couldnt do it without our political friends and community friends, Mr. Martin said.
Alcoa is pleased to work with the state of New York and the community to ensure that we remain an integral part of the north countrys economic development, he said.
Lt. Gov. Duffy called the partnership and modernization huge, saving 1,000 jobs in the process.
Its a huge boost for the north country. The north country needs jobs, he said, noting the number one priority for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is the economic impact in the north country.
Also during the ceremony, Mr. Martin presented a $50,000 check to CITEC, Inc. on behalf of the Alcoa Foundation and a $10 million check to the North Country Economic Development Fund on behalf of Alcoa Inc. Massena Operations.