Spirits high as GlobalFoundries breaks ground on new plant

It took about five seconds to cap off more than three years of planning as a who's who of political and business leaders gathered in Malta to sink ceremonial shovels into a pile of dirt, symbolizing the official start of construction on a much-anticipated microchip factory at the Luther Forest Technology Campus.

According to speakers, the building of GlobalFoundries' Fab 2 is the cornerstone in what is to be an unprecedented period of innovation, growth and prosperity for Upstate New York, particularly in the Capital District.

Governor David Paterson said that it took him some time to come around to the potential of Fab 2, and he flat out opposed the idea in conversations with then Gov. George Pataki.

"I told him I thought this would be one of the poorest investments we could make," said Paterson.

But at the groundbreaking on Friday, July 24, Paterson was one of many to espouse the idea that Fab 2 is just the beginning for Saratoga County.

"We are going to attract so many new businesses," said Sen. Charles Schumer. "Firms from around the country and around the world are going to look here now."

Planners expect that one day, microchip customers and material suppliers will be located at LFTC in order to be near Fab 2.

The area is already home to a number of high tech businesses and with the arrival of Fab 2, more and more people are referring to Saratoga County as Tech Valley.

"We're very fortunate that from the get go we have tremendous partners in technology in this area," said GlobalFoundries Board of Directors Chairman Hector Ruiz. "We chose this location for one reason: people."

Outside the air-conditioned tent, earthmoving equipment was continuing the work started over a month ago to make the 223-acre site ready for construction. What was formerly a dense forest has been rendered bare to make way for the 1.3-million-square-foot facility, where cutting edge processes will be used to create 28 nanometer scale microchips for use in electronics.

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