Building the future of York
A building will soon rise from York’s Northwest Triangle – The York Plan 2.0 Innovation District.
There would be space for alternative manufacturing and robotics research. Spaces for laboratories, prototyping, offices and meetings. Spaces for co-working, startups and community gathering. It could house business accelerators and incubators, as well as retail and micro-housing for students and researchers. Anything that might serve to fuel York’s ongoing transformation to an innovation hub.
Here, the next generation of engineers and mechanics will work on collaborative robots that will be programmed and managed by anyone willing to learn – not just coders or those with a college degree.
That will mean good, walkable jobs in York. And it will be the gateway to the future of manufacturing first at home, then across the country.
York Exponential recently hosted Latinos Unidos of York for a tour of its headquarters on Roosevelt Avenue. (Our York Media)
But the work is just beginning. Thanks to decades of squandered patents and unfulfilled potential, the future has long been moving away from us, McElligott says. Tomorrow is made overseas.
With plans on paper and the jumpstart of a $6 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant, the vision of the Innovation District is springing to life.
“Once the people here put their minds to a job,” he said, “it’s like an unstoppable freight train.”
While robots light up and extend their arms to do the heavy lifting at York Exponential, the work McElligott and his team are doing is just one part of the plan. For it to truly work, he says, it takes all of us.
“Are we going to look at the York Plan and say it’s our history, or will we look at it and say it’s our legacy?” McElligott says. “History is something you look back upon. Legacy is something you live up to.”