Alcoa (NYSE:AA) began construction this week on a modernization project at an aluminum facility in New York state, according to a press release from the New York governor's office.

The project is one of at least $600 million worth of projects that Alcoa has agreed to invest in New York, following a 2009 agreement between the corporation and the New York Public Authority. The terms of the agreement include such trade-offs as guaranteed low-cost electricity for the creation/retention of one job per $15,000 loaned.

In this case, Alcoa has received a $10 million loan and 478 MW of cheap electricity in exchange for modernizing its facility to keep 1,000 workers employed.

"Today's groundbreaking is a major step forward for the modernization project of the Alcoa facility in Massena," said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during the groundbreaking ceremony. "Alcoa is a world-class company that is continuing to spur economic development and make investments in the community.

"Alcoa is pleased to work with the State of New York and the community to ensure that we remain an integral part of the North Country's economic development," said Alcoa Primary Products President John Martin. "Alcoa's commitment to the North Country Economic Development Fund and an Alcoa Foundation grant for workforce development will help build the region's workforce and provide opportunities to energize the economy."

According to the release, Alcoa employs more people than any other company north of Syracuse.