UTICA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - Some Central New York leaders are angry after President Trump sends message to leave the region if you're looking for work.
His message was simple- just pack up your things and move out. It's a comment he made in an interview with the Wall Street Journal regarding a factory opening in Wisconsin instead of Utica.
The President said, "I'm going to start explaining to people: when you have an area that just isn't working like Upper New York State, where people are getting very badly hurt, and then you'll have another area 500 miles away where you can't get people, I'm going to explain, you can leave. It's ok. Don't worry about your house."
In Utica, a particularly disappointed leader had a vision for a huge, undeveloped plot of land just outside the city. Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr. saw the 400 acres as the perfect spot for a major tech company.
"We never had the opportunity to show them the site or to make a real pitch to them from our point," says Picente. That's because after an email and phone call to Foxconn Technology Group, Picente never heard back. He was heading up the efforts to bring the tech giant and all $10B and 13,000 jobs, to Utica.
Following Wednesday's comments by President Trump, Picente took to Twitter saying he was "sad" and "disappointed."
"We've been working very hard to turn Oneida County around, as well as other parts of Upstate, and to have a sitting president tell people to leave is, as I said in my tweet, sad, and I had hoped for better. I think everybody hoped for better," adds Picente.
Despite the disappointment of President Trump and Foxconn executives deciding to take things to Wisconsin, Picente says they're still looking for a business to take over the massive plot of land, and bring jobs to Central New York. "People are working up here and they're hard working and they have a great work ethic compared to a lot of other areas," Picente adds. "I can look out my window and point to businesses that have been here 40, 50, 100 years that are successful and employing a lot of our people."
He would like to keep pointing and keep adding up the years and the jobs.
At the time this article was written, Picente was still waiting to hear back from President Trump on Twitter.
Congresswoman Claudia Tenney says she hopes the comments by President Trump were taken out of context and invites him to CNY to see the struggle first hand.
We have also reached out to Congressman John Katko's office for comment. We have not heard back yet.
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