Spread out job centers and numerous bedroom communities give commuters in the Capital Region exceptional mobility.
With no concentrated destination for work, drivers avoid a lot of the gridlock that larger metro areas or even other upstate cities experience. Travel here is relatively brisk with most commuters spending less than 25 minutes in the car, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The decentralized layout here is unique in New York and an exception across the country, Capital District Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Rocco Ferraro says. While most metro areas revolve around one central city, the Capital Region economy relies on three.
“Each has its own identity,” Ferraro says. As they developed, government-fueled Albany, GE-powered Schenectady and blue-collar Troy formed a spacious network of job centers.
Traffic traverses the entire region pretty evenly, affording choice to Capital Region residents who don’t have to let where they make a living determine where they live. So, the person who prefers a small town and another who opts for the suburbs might both work in Schenectady and travel a similar distance.
Commuters cover just about every direction in the Capital Region. A growing job market in Montgomery County suggests they should look northwest.
Once included in the U.S. Census Bureau’s metropolitan statistical area for the Capital Region, Montgomery County was dropped after the volume of Albany, Schenectady and Troy-area commuters declined. But, this link deserves a second look as the area economy grows.
Established there more than a century ago, baby food giant Beech-Nut still makes its home in Montgomery County. More recently, Target moved in with a large distribution center that covers the Northeast.
A recent survey of the top employers in Montgomery County and the vicinity showed there are some 225 jobs waiting to be filled and plans to add more in the coming year. The available positions cover a variety of industries, including manufacturing, service and retail, with about a third paying $50,000 a year or more.
At less than 40 minutes from Albany and 22 from Schenectady, Amsterdam and its neighboring municipalities could merit some consideration in the Capital Region’s commute friendly region.
“There’s no rush hour traffic and it’s through some of the most beautiful country in the United States, so it’s a pretty enjoyable commute,” says Beech-Nut executive Andy Dahlen, who drives to work each day from Saratoga County about 40 minutes to the north.
That’s something you wouldn’t hear from most of the 86 percent of Americans who drive to work, according to the most recent Census Bureau data. Studies even show it’s one of the most dreaded rituals of the daily routine – and one that can create unnecessary stress.
While traffic jams are relatively rare throughout the Capital Region, an easy drive and pleasant scenery sound appealing.
Ready to improve your commute? Explore job opportunities, read more articles, learn more about working there and take advantage of relevant resources that can help you get hired at the Montgomery Works website.