With the recent announcement by Solar City that job creation at the plant will be drastically reduced, concerns are being raised.
Job projections have been cut by two-thirds, meaning that only 500 of the high tech, good paying positions that were promised are now expected to be available. Jim Heaney of the Investigative Post has been following the progress at Solar City. He says this development affects the cost to taxpayers.
"If you look at the subsidy per job, to build the plant, $750 million, you divide that by 500 jobs. That works out to one-point-five million dollars per job. Now, I've been covering economic development for a long time. One-point-five million dollars per job is a staggering amount of money, just staggering."
Heaney mentioned that Solar City attributed the change in job numbers to automation, an explanation that he views with skepticism. The company believes other job opportunities will become available, but Heaney states that the cost per position remains exorbitant.
The contracts for the project awarded through Governor Cuomo's Buffalo Billion program have become the focus of investigators reviewing the bidding process.