Danfoss Silicon Power in Marcy and the Tractor Supply Co. distribution center in Frankfort should be operational by year’s end, company representatives told those attending a Genesis Group luncheon Tuesday on economic development.
And both companies are hiring. Danfoss expects to employ about 300 workers within five to seven years. Tractor Supply, which now has four employees, expects to have about 290 workers by year’s end, said distribution center General Manager Wayne Evans.
The luncheon took place at Utica College. Introducing the speakers, Utica College President Laura Casamento talked about the importance of the region’s economic vitality to the college, which has itself nearly doubled the size of its freshman class over the last decade.
"Everyone wants to be part of a winner and we really believe that our region is winning," she said.
The Tractor Supply jobs will include more than 200 material handlers, 21 salaried jobs (operations manager, supervisors, IT analyst, regional transportation manager), seven clerical positions, 10 maintenance positions, two jobs in transportation and three merge operators, Evans said.
By the first quarter of 2019, the center will serve 260 regional stores and area e-commerce customers, Evans said.
Tractor Supply has been around for 80 years, employs more than 26,000 workers, has almost 1,700 stores and has $7.2 billion in annual sales, Evans said. He also said the company’s mission and values play a big role in how the company operates.
"If you support those values, we’ll find a spot where you fit," he said.
At Quad-C on the SUNY Polytechnic Campus in Marcy, work on the building is finishing up, said Mike Hennessey, Danfoss’ general manager at the site. Sometime around March, the Nano Utica sign on the Quad C building on the SUNY Polytechnic Institute Campus, now occupied by Danfoss, should come down, replaced by a red Danfoss sign, Hennessey said.
Then equipment will get moved in starting in April through the summer, he said.
Hennessey said he expects Danfoss to forge business relationships with a number of local companies that can supply pretty much whatever Danfoss needs.
"Most of the key ingredients are here," he said.
Hennessey described what Danfoss does. It takes silicon carbide chips and puts them into power modules, which function as electronic switches for power conversion and motion control. It also makes power stacks, electrical assemblies that contain multiple power modules. Danfoss sells its modules and stacks for three main types of customers: renewable energies such as wind turbines and solar panels; industries that use AC drives, such as water pumping systems and HVAC systems; and automobiles, in which modules are used for power steering and traction control.
"There are new applications popping up almost daily," he added.