North Country leaders say manufacturer’s expansion will benefit region

Published: Mar. 2, 2021 at 4:55 PM EST
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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) - A North Country business is hoping its latest expansion will put Plattsburgh in the global spotlight. Our Kelly O’Brien explains why one manufacturing company thrived during the pandemic.

“One of the untold stories so far is really the amazing resilience of our manufacturers in the region,” said Garry Douglas of the North Country Chamber of Commerce.

The yearlong pandemic has put a dent in many businesses across the country, but a Canadian manufacturer focused on HVAC and green innovation in Plattsburgh is making moves to expand their only U.S. plant.

“We are looking at Plattsburgh as our next big growth area,” said Vince Canino of Smardt.

Smardt first arrived in Plattsburgh 11 years ago but has roots across the world. The company makes heating and cooling systems used in data storage facilities, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. Their equipment is vital in keeping those businesses running and aims to keep energy use down.

“Smardt’s oil-free chiller technology provides those revolutionary energy savings anywhere from 20% to 40%,” Canino said.

“The state has made major commitments to fostering green manufacturing and the green economy here in the state,” Douglas said.

The plant in Plattsburgh employs about a dozen people but the company hopes to double that over the next year.

Tuesday, the plant expanded to include a training facility. The training will happen 12 times a year, bringing in up to 20 people per session from around the globe as they learn the technology behind the Smardt systems. The company hopes the training facility will encourage local young people to sign up and learn the trade.

“Facilitate maximum partnerships with some of our resources like Clinton Community College and CV Tec, both for their continuing and growing manufacturing operations,” Douglas said.

“It’s a very valuable trade and a very challenging trade. Actually, it’s a very good way to earn a living,” Canino said.

Local leaders say these out-of-town visitors will benefit the whole region by shopping locally, staying locally and using the international airport on the same grounds where the plant is located.

“Hopefully, when you have people come here, I’m hoping they will find and love a little piece of the North Country and they may find their way back here,” Plattsburgh Town Supervisor Michael Cashman said.

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