Railex has announced plans to add a second train service to transport produce from Wallula, Wash. across the country to stops in the Northeast through Rotterdam.
The expansion will bring up to 20 new jobs to Rotterdam, adding to the current 120-member workforce it established four years ago when the shipping giant moved its Northeast base to the Rotterdam Industrial Park.
It's fitting that Schenectady County, home to the first railroad in the nation, will continue to serve as the Eastcoast hub for Railex, said Susan E. Savage, Chairwoman of the Schenectady County Legislature. "This move is a sign of the continued and steady progress of job growth in our county."
The Rotterdam site consists of a 200,000-square-foot office and refrigerated distribution complex. County officials said the expansion in Rotterdam brought approximately $40 million worth of investment in the area.
"Rotterdam is experiencing a great economic revival," said Savage, who credits the county's economic development plan.
County Legislator Joe Suhrada, R-Rotterdam, also credits Town Supervisor Steven Tommasone and other Rotterdam officials for their work with Railex.
"This is not something the county has done alone," said Suhrada. "Town representatives deserve equal praise for the economic development in Rotterdam."
Tommasone said he remembers when he was a member of the Town Board and the Railex project first came to his attention.
"We were on the bottom of the list for that site," said Tommasone, "But the town very aggressively pursued Railex along with representatives from Metroplex because of the enormous opportunity it brought to Rotterdam."
Tommasone also said Railex and other companies in Rotterdam's Industrial Park bring jobs to the area and increase the tax base in the western end of town.
Since October 2006, Railex has been transporting potatoes, onions, apples and other produce from Wallula to Rotterdam. From Rotterdam, the produce is dispersed throughout the Northeast to customers including the Price Chopper supermarket chain, Hannaford supermarkets and Sysco foods.