Cornell, Griffiss, Northern Safety among state funding recipients

By NEWSChannel 2 Staff

Empire State Development’s Board of Directors met Thursday in New York City and approved $26.2 million in funding for projects that will create nearly 150 new jobs and retain more than 1,000 jobs throughout the Empire State. This funding will leverage $119.5 million in additional investments to support business growth and lay the groundwork for future economic growth and job creation. 

“Across the state, businesses are busy growing and creating new jobs for New Yorkers, and great new initiatives are taking off because of the actions taken by the Board today,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. “By making strategic investments in high growth industries and partnering with renowned academic institutions to advance our workforce, we are building a strong foundation for our economic future.” 

The Board approved the following New York Works Program grant: 

New York Container Terminal, LLC (New York City Region – Richmond County) – $15,000,000

New York Container Terminal, LLC (NYCT) is the largest container terminal in the State of New York and the largest private employer in Staten Island. NYCT and the Port Authority anticipate entering into an extension of their lease agreement of the Howland Hook facility through December 31, 2029. Under the terms of the lease extension, NYCT will commit capital investments over the life of the lease to build on the $375 million that the Port Authority has invested at Howland Hook since 2000. To complement the Port Authority’s commitment, this $15 million grant will retain at least 250 full-time permanent jobs and enhance the competitiveness of this vital maritime shipping facility in New York Harbor. 


The Board approved the following Economic Development Fund grants:

Mediacom Communications Corporation (Mid-Hudson Region – Orange County) – $1,000,000

Mediacom, the nation’s eighth-largest cable television company, is one of the leading cable operators focused on serving smaller U.S. cities, providing video, high-speed data, phone and broadband communication services to nearly 3 million homes across 22 states. The company, which considered moving its operations to office space in New Jersey before ESD stepped in with a $1 million performance-based grant, recently completed construction of its new 110,000-square-foot headquarters and 12,000-square-foot storage building in Blooming Grove, Orange County. The grant of up to $1 million supported the construction of the new headquarters, which has enabled Mediacom to expand its operations and keep 250 jobs in New York State.


DichroTec Thin Films, LLC (Finger Lakes Region – Monroe County) – $250,000

DichroTec Thin Films, LLC, a manufacturer of optical coatings and color filters used in the lighting, energy, automotive, and home sectors, recently completed its project to ensure that more than 20 jobs were kept in New York State instead of being lost to company liquidation. The funding approved by the Board today will be used to reimburse a portion of the cost of building renovations, purchase of machinery and equipment, and the purchase of assets of Applied Coatings Group (ACG). This grant, which enabled DichroTec to purchase ACG, keeps jobs in New York State and makes improvements to the company’s plant in the Town of Chili to foster long-term viability and economic growth. DichroTec currently employs 27 people, exceeding the goal of creating 23 new jobs, including former ACG employees.


Rand Machine Products, Inc. (Western New York Region – Chautauqua County) – $150,000

Rand Machine Products is a precision Computer Numeric Control (CNC) machining and threading specialist that manufactures and assembles custom-made metal components for specialized machinery. The company also manufactures an affordable sheet metal brake used in auto racing applications. Rand operates at three Chautauqua County facilities, and its market includes the railroad, pipeline, mining, hospital, trucking, brass hardware and defense industries. The performance-based grant of up to $150,000 will go toward property acquisition, building construction and renovation, and purchasing and installing new machinery and equipment at one of Rand’s Western New York sites. Grant and tax requirements stipulate that Rand retain 92 jobs and create ten more by January 2014, and maintain those 102 jobs through 2021. Without help from ESD, Rand would have likely sold its operation, which would have taken 92 jobs out of New York State.


The Board approved the following Economic Development Purposes Fund grants:


Cornell Cooperative Extension (Mohawk Valley Region – Oneida County) – $557,570

Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) is a partnership among federal, state, and local governments, the national land grant system, and Cornell University. CCE has 56 offices across New York State including the Oneida County office. Approximately 170 Cornell-employed faculty and staff work collaboratively with 500 locally-employed professional extension educators aiming to enhance economic well-being and quality of life all over the state.

A grant of up to $557,570 will enable Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County to lead an 18-month concerted statewide effort to maximize agricultural and food exports, and also contract an Export Agent to oversee a direct marketing campaign to maximize the export of New York State agriculture and food products. This initiative will allow the development of unique New York State exports across the country and around the world—particularly to China, which has a huge market of willing buyers. The first eight months of this program are expected to create $500,000 to $750,000 in revenue from exports to China alone.

President Adams said, “New York is truly a global state. This initiative will bring made in New York products to markets around the world and help establish the Empire State as a major international exporter once again.”


National Pipe & Plastic (Southern Tier Region – Broome County) – $400,000

National Pipe & Plastic is a manufacturer of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe for residential, agricultural, commercial, municipal, and export markets. It is one of the largest PVC pipe producers in North America, pumping out 250 million pounds of pipe annually between its Vestal facility and its plant in Greensboro, NC. The company’s headquarters here in New York recently added capacity for ten million pounds of high-density polyethylene pipe per year, and National Pipe is moving all of its New York manufacturing and shipping operations from its current plant in Vestal to a larger facility in Endicott.

Up to $400,000 from ESD will help the company purchase and install new machinery and equipment. It considered several locations, including Canada, to carry out its project, and also could have moved operations to its Greensboro facility, but with an incentive proposal and financial help from ESD, was able to stay in New York State. This grant will help keep more than 170 jobs in New York State, and National Pipe will be able to expand product lines, become more competitive, and improve manufacturing efficiency. The fiscal benefit to New York State is estimated at more than $3.3 million.


Tech Valley Communications (Capital Region – Albany County) – $250,000

Tech Valley Communications (TVC), a leading provider of high speed internet services and technical support for businesses throughout the Northeastern United States, has invested substantially to build a state-of-the-art fiber optic communications network across the region. TVC’s major customers include Verizon, Sprint, First Niagara, and Albany Medical Center. After acquiring segTEl, a New Hampshire based company, TVC was actively pursued by the State of New Hampshire to relocate its international headquarters there, but decided to keep its headquarters in the Capital Region after ESD offered a grant of up to $250,000. This assistance enabled TVC to purchase new machinery and equipment, retain 69 existing jobs, and create 63 new jobs in the Capital Region. While the total investment in TVC by the State of New York is $250,000, the financial benefits to the New York State government are projected to total nearly $6 million.

TVC recently completed the renovation and expansion of its headquarters in Albany and has already created 20 new jobs. Within the next five years, TVC will nearly double its current workforce – adding more jobs to the Capital Region’s economy and benefiting the local community by raising more tax revenue.


Northern Safety, Inc. (Mohawk Valley Region – Herkimer County) – $200,000

Northern Safety, a direct mail business that manufactures and delivers medical and first-aid supplies to local companies in Frankfort, has more than 200 employees in New York State and about 200 more in facilities in 13 additional locations around the country. Its customers include leading businesses in the manufacturing, construction, mining, chemical, and oil and gas industries. ESD is providing a performance-based grant of up to $200,000 to assist Northern Safety in growing its manufacturing enterprise by customizing a variety of its products. The funds specifically are supporting the renovation and expansion of the company’s Frankfort facility to include embroidery and imprinting equipment, as well as new software, hardware, and upgrades to an existing building. The project will make Northern Safety one of the largest manufacturers in the region, retain 209 existing jobs and create 50 new jobs.


The Board approved the following Regional Council award grants:

PathStone Corporation (Finger Lakes Region) – $2,000,000

Founded in 1969, PathStone Corporation is a community development and human service organization that provides services to low-income families and economically depressed communities across the country. PathStone builds family and individual self-sufficiency by strengthening farm workers and rural and urban communities. This $2 million grant will enable PathStone to operate a revolving loan fund in the nine county Finger Lakes region that is designed to address the needs of micro enterprises and small businesses. These businesses use local assets and resources, and represent a major segment of the local job market.

President Adams said, “Small businesses and micro enterprises are the backbone of New York State’s economy, and our support will enable PathStone to help businesses grow, create jobs and drive our economy forward.”


Griffiss Local Development Corporation (Mohawk Valley Region – Oneida County) – $397,500

Griffiss Local Development Corporation (GLDC) is charged with facilitating and coordinating the redevelopment efforts of the Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome, New York. Currently, the Griffiss Business and Technology Park has over 70 employers with more than 6,200 workers. This grant will allow the GLDC to upgrade its facilities to support a new high speed network that is necessary for research operations at the Griffiss Institute—an organization that facilitates the co-operation of private industry, academia, and government to develop solutions in cyber security. With the threat of cyber-attacks on government and private entities at an all-time high, new solutions are needed to ensure the continued protection of our resources. ESD recognizes this and has allowed GLDC to develop a plan that will lead to Rome, NY becoming one of the preeminent locations for cyber-security advancement. All of this is part of the continuing efforts by the State of New York to revitalize the upstate economy by creating jobs and bringing new industry to the Empire State.


Brookhaven Science Associates, LLC (Long Island Region – Nassau and Suffolk Counties) – $320,000

Founded in 1946, Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) is a multipurpose research institution funded primarily by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. BNL’s expertise and world-class facilities help explore scientific questions from the fundamental forces of nature to the complex interactions of ecosystems and the environment. Brookhaven Science Associates (BSA) manages and operates BNL. The grant of $320,000 from ESD will allow BSA to hire employees and market its new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Hub facility. The STEM Hub is a new initiative that focuses on preparing students for a high-tech workforce. The project includes the design and launch of the STEM Hub website and the hiring of two new full-time employees and one part-time employee to conduct research and to staff two Hub locations, one in Suffolk County and one in Nassau County. The Suffolk County Hub is located at Brookhaven National Lab, and the Nassau County Hub is located at the Cradle of Aviation Museum.

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are the pillars of the tech industry. BSA’s goal is to educate a new workforce of employees trained specifically in STEM fields and facilitate the retention and creation of jobs in the tech industry on Long Island. Each Hub will collaborate with STEM partners to identify workforce gaps and build a pipeline of a STEM-educated workforce from Long Island students grades K-12. The initiative will bring together researchers, employers, government and existing workforce collaborations to coordinate and support education and training programs. The STEM Hub will serve as a collaborative operation, providing a one-stop source for businesses, school districts, students, parents, teachers, universities and worker retraining operations to address STEM workforce needs in the region. The program will develop an integrated and effective systemic regional partnership between industry, academia and not ‐for profit organizations to increase the number of Long Island students interested in and prepared for careers in the high-tech and global businesses of Long Island.


Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency (Finger Lakes Region – Monroe County) – $300,000

Founded in 1980, Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency (FLHSA) operates a variety of health programs involving many community stakeholders. Its programs include the African-American Health Coalition, Latino Health Coalition, Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning, and the Healthy Kids Coalition. All of FLHSA’s offices are located in Rochester, Monroe County. This grant of $300,000 has enabled FLHSA to train and deploy Blood Pressure Advocates, similar to community health workers, in four Rochester medical clinics operated by the University of Rochester’s Community Health Center that serve minority and low-income patients in the five zip-code project area. Along with clinical staff, the Advocates interacted directly with people struggling to control high blood pressure. With the obesity and high blood pressure epidemics sweeping the nation, health clinics and workers need every available resource to help them wage the battle to save lives. Additionally, wellness and rising health care costs have become significant issues to employers.  ESD and the State of New York are committed to health of all citizens. The project was completed in June.


The Board approved the following Buffalo Billion Initiative grants:


Robert Moses Parkway (Western New York Region – Niagara County) – $1,500,000

This grant of $1.5 million from ESD will allow the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) to advance to final design a significant project to reconfigure a one-mile section of the Robert Moses Parkway that also serves as the entry road to Niagara Falls State Park.  The effort will ultimately fully open the area and adjoining city neighborhood  to direct access to the Upper Niagara River, visited each year by 8 million people and responsible annually for an nearly half a billion dollars in economic impact to the State.  The project will ultimately result in the replacement of expressway features of the Parkway with a more appropriately-scaled park road, inspired by Frederick Law Olmsted’s “Riverway” that previously ran through this area.  It will both reconnect downtown to the river and create a more beautiful entry sequence for the park itself.  At least four upcoming projects in the adjoining neighborhood, representing over $50 million, are in the offing in anticipation of this long-awaited improvement.  This is just the latest in a long list of initiatives aimed at creating jobs and revitalizing the economy of Upstate New York.


Edison Welding Institute (Western New York Region – Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, and Niagara Counties) – $316,605

The Edison Welding Institute (EWI) is a member-based organization that assists mid- to large-sized manufacturers to improve operational efficiencies through innovative welding and materials joining, allied technologies, manufacturing support and strategic services. Founded in 1984, EWI now has over 240 members serving 1,200 locations worldwide. This grant of up to $316,605 from ESD will allow EWI to develop a business plan for the establishment of the Buffalo-Niagara Institute for Manufacturing Competitiveness (BNIMC)—an industry-driven, self-sustaining organization dedicated to increasing manufacturing competitiveness in the Western New York Region. The project is scheduled to be completed by September 2013.


The Board approved the following Minority and Women-Owned Business Development and Lending Program grant:


Carver Bancorp, Inc. (New York City Region – New York County) – $480,000

Headquartered in Harlem, Carver Bank has spent 65 years expanding wealth-enhancing opportunities for the New York City community through its ten city-wide branches. With $600 million in assets and more than 45,000 retail and commercial accounts, Carver Bank employs more than 200 people and is the largest African American- and Caribbean-American-led bank in the U.S. It is designated by the U.S. Treasury Department as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), as more than 80-percent of its deposits are reinvested in the community.

A grant of up to $480,000 will be used as a loan loss reserve to a loan loss reserve to support the Small Business Development Program/Capital Access Program, a joint initiative between Carver Bank, the MTA and ESD, which will facilitate the process for NYS qualified Minority and Women-Owned Business (MWBE) firms to access much needed short term loan capital. The Capital Access Program will provide loans to qualified MWBE construction contractors to bid on upcoming MTA projects. ESD’s funds will help to provide financing for small firms who might otherwise be unable to meet the strict credit guidelines of large, commercial lenders, increasing competition and growing the technical capabilities and business capacities of MWBE contractors. ESD involvement will help ease Carver Bank’s exposure to defaults and enhance the bank’s ability to make additional loans, giving these small MWBE firms an opportunity to bid and win participation on MTA capital improvement projects, which are expected to total $16 million over the next 18 months.


The Board approved the following Downstate Revitalization Fund grant:


Calverton Enterprise Park (Long Island Region – Suffolk County) – $650,000

The Town of Riverhead Community Development Agency (CDA), which pursues and manages grant funding for private development in the Town of Riverhead, will use this funding for the rehabilitation of a rail spur at Calverton Enterprise Park (CEP) – providing a modern truck-rail intermodal freight terminal for Eastern Long Island. The project will improve the transportation system’s physical infrastructure, and will increase access for freight-related transport between shipping and receiving points. In addition to ESD’s grant, a significant portion of the project that rehabilitated a 2.3-mile spur on the existing rail network at Enterprise Park at Calverton (EPCAL) was funded by a federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant administered by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT). EPCAL is home to many businesses that support to east end of Long Island, and this project provides much needed freight rail access and cost effective freight transportation options to companies located at EPCAL and those nearby reducing transportation cost and attracting private investment.


The Board approved the following Restore New York grant:

City of Watertown (North Country Region – Jefferson County) – $2,500,000

The City of Watertown was awarded a Restore New York grant of up to $2.5 million to rehabilitate and reconstruct the vacant Woolworth building into a mixed use facility. The six-story building opened in 1921 in the Public Square District of Watertown, NY. In 2007, indicative of the dire fiscal situation across Upstate New York, the Woolworth building closed its doors for good, and has been vacant ever since. This grant from ESD will allow the City of Watertown to continue an extensive revitalization of the downtown business district. This project, once completed, will add 11,000 square feet of retail space (with an additional 10,000 square feet available in the basement) and 50 residential rental units—all of which will be leased to low- and moderate-income level families. The rehabilitation of the Woolworth building is scheduled to be completed by December 2014.

The next meeting of the ESD Board of Directors will be held in August.


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