The STC region encompasses Chemung, Schuyler, and Steuben Counties in the Southern Tier region of New York State. The agency serves an area of 2,151 square miles. The principal population centers include Bath, Corning, Elmira, Hornell, Watkins Glen-Montour Falls, and Wayland. Manufacturing provides one out of every four non-agricultural jobs in a regional economy that also includes growing retail/wholesale trade and service sectors.
The landscape is characterized by hills having rounded shoulders and steep slopes which rise about 1000 feet from a base of 900 feet mean sea level. The hilltops, representative of the Appalachian Plateau, are generally level and are usually crowned by fields or pasture. Mixed deciduous forests cover the steep hillsides while agriculture and communities vie for the level valley floor.
Three major drainage basins transect the region. The Canisteo and Conhocton Rivers in Steuben County flow eastward to join the Tioga River at Painted Post to form the Chemung River. The Chemung joins the Susquehanna River at Waverly and eventually flows to the Chesapeake Bay. Much of Schuyler County drains northward through Seneca Lake as part of the Finger Lakes drainage system. Small portions of Steuben flow north to the Genesee River/Lake Ontario or to Keuka Lake, another of the picturesque Finger Lakes.
During 2008, the total civilian labor force was 97,500 with 91,700 employed and 5,800 unemployed. Average unemployment was 5.9%. The dynamic economy includes high technology manufacturing and growing retail trade and service sectors. During 2007, the breakdown of employment by sector was:
Manufacturing - 17%; Construction/Mining - 3%; Transportation/Warehousing - 2%; Retail Trade - 13%; Wholesale Trade - 2%; Finance, Insurance, Real Estate 3.3%; Services - 36%; Government - 20.5%; Information 1%, Other 2%
Total Personal Income (TPI) for 2007 was $6,558,923, an increase of 17.3% since 2004. Per Capita Personal Income (PCPI) was $32,165, an increase of 19.0% since 2004 compared to $46,364 for New York State (16.5% since 2004) and $38,654 for the US (20.9% since 2004). Average annual wages for all industries during 2007 $40,282 and the average weekly wages were $775.
Within the agricultural sector, commodity specialization includes dairy, grapes, potatoes, and livestock. According to the 2007 Census of Agriculture, there were 2,345 farms in the region with a total of 503,424 acres or 37% of the land area is in farms. During 2007, the market value of crop and livestoc sales totaled $184,953,000 or an average of $78,871 per farm.
Manufacturing employers by county include:
Chemung County - Anchor Glass, Cameron Manufacturing and Design, Cutler Hammer, Hardinge Inc., Hilliard Corporation, F.M. Howell & Company, Kennedy Valve, Schweizer Aircraft, Synthes, Thomas and Betts, and Vulcraft of NY, Inc.
Schuyler County - BMS Manufacturing, Cargill Salt, US Salt Company
Steuben County - Alstom, Corning Incorporated, Dresser-Rand Company, Gunlocke Co., Inc., Mercury Aircraft, Philips Lighting Company, Storflex Fixtures, Transportation & Transit Associates and World Kitchen
Tourism is an important contributor to the regional economy. The region is the home of the world famous Corning Museum of Glass, with completely redesigned galleries that re-opened in 2000. The Museum's Glass Innovation Center lets visitors find out about the world of glass science, technology, and invention. Other regional tourism attractions include Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen State Park, the Wings of Eagles Discovery Center (formerly the National Warplane Museum), the Glenn Curtiss Museum, the National Soaring Museum, and the Rockwell Museum of Western Art, totally renovated and reopened in June 2001. Finger Lakes Wine Country and the Seneca Lake Wine Trail include many opportunities for tourism and visits to more than 80 regional wineries.
According to the 2000 Census, the region's population of 209,020 is 50.7% female and 49.3% male, a proportion close to that of the nation as a whole. Approximately 6% of the regional population is made up of members of minority groups. Chemung County, the most urban of the three counties, has the highest percentage of minorities at 9%. The Town of Erwin has a minority population of 7.8% (the highest in Steuben County), up from 3.5% in 1990.
15.3% of the region's population is 65 years and over, as compared to New York State at 12.9% and the United States at 12.4%.
In the STC region, 25.3% of the population is under the age of 18, as compared to New York State at 24.7% and the U.S. at 25.7%.