Niagara Falls Powers Growth of Green Jobs
In May, Empire State Development (ESD) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) announced an economic development package for Globe Specialty Metals in Niagara County, bringing 500 new “green collar” jobs to the area. The package includes a major allocation of low-cost hydropower from the Niagara Power Project that will serve as the linchpin for the reopening and expansion of Globe’s manufacturing facilities in Niagara Falls.
“This is another demonstration of our resolve to revitalize economic development in Upstate New York,” says New York Governor David Paterson. “This project signifies how powerfully competitive New York State can be in attracting businesses when we pool our resources-in this case, low-cost hydropower through NYPA and an Empire Zone incentive through Empire State Development.”
Alan Kestenbaum, chairman and CEO of Globe, says, “This project will be a cornerstone for New York to realize its goal of making the state a major center for production and research for renewable energy and, in particular, solar energy products.”
Twenty-five percent of Globe’s upgraded silicon production from its new Niagara Falls facility will be used to attract new solar panel manufacturers to New York state, thus spurring the development of the “green collar” industry in Western New York.
Globe will reopen the existing Highland Avenue silicon production facility in Niagara Falls and invest in upgrading the equipment to produce approximately 30,000 tons of metallurgical grade silicon annually. In addition, it will build a new 100,000-square-foot facility in Niagara Falls to annually convert its metallurgical grade silicon into 4,000 tons of solar grade silicon, enough to produce 500 megawatts of solar power. ESD and NYPA created an incentive package that provides Globe with 40 megawatts of hydropower over five years and up to $25 million in Empire Zone benefits for up to 10 years. The company will provide a capital investment of $60 million.
Medical Center Expands, Quickens Rochester’s Pulse
Earlier this year, the University of Rochester Medical Center announced a strategic plan that calls for a $500 million investment over the next five to 10 years.
The plan proposes the construction of a Clinical and Translational Science Building to house research and training programs, in addition to a $259-million expansion of Strong Memorial Hospital, a 52,000-square-foot, off-campus ambulatory surgery center. The economic impact of the plan will include 771 new jobs at the medical center, 1,000 permanent jobs in the community, and an average of 1,400 construction jobs per year associated with various projects through 2015.
The plan’s medical focus includes investment in the research of stem cell and regenerative medicine, biomedical imaging, and genomics, among others. Research funding for the medical center is estimated to increase by $50 million over current levels as a result of these new investments.
Gourmet Guru Stays True to Its NY Roots
In May, the New York City Industrial Development Agency (NYCIDA) approved an array of financial assistance options for Bronx-based Gourmet Guru, an organic and specialty foods provider. The company plans to invest $4.9 million by renovating a 27,000-square-foot facility in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx. This growth will create 26 new jobs.
According to the NYCIDA, Gourmet Guru received approval for city and state mortgage recording tax benefits worth $123,481, as well as city and state sales tax exemptions totaling $54,438 for the acquisition, renovation, and equipping of its Bronx site. A City Land Tax Abatement of $144,505 and a City Building Tax Stabilization valued at $1,761,854 were also approved.
“Supporting local businesses by helping them to expand is crucial to maintaining New York City’s role as a small business center,” says Seth W. Pinsky, chairman of the NYCIDA.
Gourmet Guru has been operating in the Bronx for the last ten years. The company began with a 1,000-square-foot facility in Hunts Point and, with IDA assistance, will be able to expand while remaining in the same neighborhood. Gourmet Guru investigated sites in New Jersey and, while costs would be lower there, ties to the Hunts Point community far outweighed potential savings.
Hunts Point is the world’s largest food distribution center, boasting more than 800 industrial businesses and 25,000 workers.
Company Continues 96-year Commitment to Olean
In June, the Dresser-Rand Company received a $2 million grant from Empire State Development to construct a new technology center, set to open in 2009, in Olean, NY. The funds will allow the company to retain its existing technology-related employees in Olean while creating 120 new jobs. Dresser-Rand plans to invest $14.7 million in capital to build the new facility, and the company can apply for up to $8 million in tax credits over a multi-year period due to its Empire Zone location.
The company has been manufacturing in Olean since 1912, but currently has facilities spread across an expansive campus. The new technology center will allow the company to consolidate its staff in research and development, product engineering, and project management into a state-of-the-art work environment where the company’s engineering development can be closer together and more productive.
“As one of the largest private sector employers in the Southern Tier and Western New York with more than 2,300 employees, Dresser-Rand’s decision to retain and expand its operations in Olean was critical,” says Governor David Paterson. “With ESD support, we are helping ensure that Dresser-Rand is able to compete in the world marketplace and keep jobs here in Upstate New York. It is imperative that New York State be at the forefront of international business development if we are to realize our goals for revitalizing the Upstate economy.”
A supplier of turbines and rotating equipment, Dresser-Rand has New York manufacturing operations in Olean, Wellsville, and Painted Post. Prior to receiving grants from ESD, the company had considered moving its technology staff and much of its office personnel to its headquarters in Houston, TX, where most of its management staff is based. But the company has received strong support from state and local elected officials throughout the years, as well as previous assistance from ESD. Most recently, Dresser-Rand accepted a $1 million grant for the retention of 448 employees at its Wellsville plant.
The company also has international facilities in France, Germany, India, and Norway.