Made in New York? Forget it, as state loses to others

In the middle of New York’s rich dairy farm country rises two mammoth white buildings where the nation’s Greek yogurt fad took hold. On little more than a whim and a Small Business Administration loan, Hamdi Ulukaya reshaped an industry, taking an abandoned Kraft plant located almost in the center of New York to hatch Chobani, the nation’s leading maker of the protein-packed product a little more than 10 years ago.

Now employing about 700 people, this production facility hums from morning until night, producing thousands of Greek yogurt cups to be shipped across the nation. Demand for production workers is so great many Chobani employees make the daily 40-minute drive from Utica to fill the factory’s personnel needs.

Welcome to Chenango County, where manufacturing employment has grown by more than 40 percent, albeit from a small base of 3,400, over the past six years.

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