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Central NY manufacturer decides not to move -- with a little help from the state

Ellen Abbott
Lt. Gov Kathy Hochul, Tessy Plastics President Roland Beck (center) and Henry Beck (right), company founder.

New York state has been able to offer enough incentives to keep one central New York company from moving part of its operation to South Carolina.

Tessy Plastics has two plants in Onondaga County -- one in the town of Elbridge, another in the town of Van Buren. It makes plastics products for the medical industry, but half its business is manufacturing the five plastic pieces that make up underarm deodorant containers.

Things were going well until the companies that make the actual deodorant moved to South Carolina. All of a sudden, Tessy was sending 3,000 trucks a year south, driving up the cost of business. That’s when South Carolina came courting -- offering land, offering to build a new facility. Tessy President Roland Beck had made the decision to go.

"I’m from here; I love it here. I love the people here. And I definitely wanted to stay. But dollars and cents, you know,” said Beck. “And you’re competing with people down there with a shipping cost advantage.”

After he told state officials of his dilemma, they countered, with just enough to keep the company and a $31 million expansion in Van Buren. Lt Gov. Kathy Hochul says it took a combination of $13.5 million in tax breaks and aid to do it.

"It’s well-spent taxpayer dollars, because the ripple effect of 1,000 jobs in central New York. You can’t replace that. You can’t replace a thousand jobs, it would take far too much smaller companies to make up the hole in our economy.”

The expansion should be complete next March. It’s adding 100 employees to Tessy’s current workforce.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.