The upstate economy took another significant blow today as General Motors announced it will close its fuel cell plant in Honeoye Falls, just south of Rochester.
The decision means the 220 salaried employees who worked in the research and development facility won’t be employed in the area. The company said most of the employees will be offered the opportunity to transfer to the Global Powertrain Engineering Headquarters in Pontiac, Mich., the Democrat and Chronicle reports.
“This decision has significant business advantages for the company,”said Kim Carpenter, GM spokeswoman.
“For example, it will enable GM to capitalize on synergies with the rest of the powertrain and vehicle organizations. The majority of the GM employees will be offered the option to relocate in Michigan.”
The news comes after Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. announced just last week that it military completions center in Big Flats, Chemung County, at year’s end—a loss of 570 jobs.
The Honeoye Falls facility had for years been hailed as a prospective boom for the Rochester area and a linchpin to its innovation economy. But the facility appeared to struggle as questions rose about the potential for hydrogen-powered vehicles.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has made reviving the upstate economy his top initiative, but the two latest factory closures are a hit to that message.
Still, the newspaper reported that Carpenter said the business environment in New York compared to the environment in Michigan was not a factor in the decision.