Watch: Alcoa Plans Praised

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Standing outside Alcoa's Massena East plant at mid-day Saturday, Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy declared "We are very, very pleased with this."

If anything, it was an understatement.

Saturday's ceremony capped a whirlwind 18 hours that began late Friday afternoon, when news of Alcoa's decision to modernize its Massena East plant began to leak out.

(Read the main story about the announcement here.)

The company's decision preserves at least 900 jobs - in fact, the number used in Massena Saturday was even higher, a little over a thousand.

"This means people can move forward with their lives, young people can reinvest in the community, keep people here and just move it forward," said Joseph Gray, town supervisor.

To understand how important Alcoa's decision is, you need to know what used to be in Massena. At one time, there were three major industrial plants - Alcoa, Reynolds Metals and General Motors.

General Motors closed completely, and the Reynolds plant became Alcoa's Massena East facility. So if you want a factory job - and the wages it pays - Alcoa is your only option.

"We can keep our quality of life up," said Alcoa worker Martin Blair.

"It means our families are gonna be able to stay in the area, that we won't have to move to follow good jobs."

Alcoa is the largest private employer north of Syracuse, so keeping jobs there should help the region.

"It's gonna provide a boost, not just for the Massena area, but really, for the region," said Addie Russell, D-116th state Assembly district.

Monday, November 24, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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