Empire State Development's board of directors recently met in New York City and approved nearly $12 million in funding for nine projects that are spurring economic growth and opportunity across New York. These targeted investments will leverage more than $144 million in private and other public funding to support small businesses, community and downtown revitalization, regional tourism, and projects that are designed to build a strong foundation for future economic growth and job creation.
The state's investments will directly create at least 706 new jobs and retain more than 1,640 existing jobs in the Empire State.
"The funding approved by the board shows how ESD is taking action to support key projects statewide that create economic and employment opportunities for all New Yorkers," said Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Kenneth Adams. "By supporting high-growth industries like technology and manufacturing, and by improving our communities through infrastructure investment and tourism promotion, these projects are generating economic activity from Long Island to Western New York, and paving the way for future growth."
The board approved the following regional council award grants:
The board approved the following economic development purposes fund grant:
The board approved the following "New York Works" capital grants:
•Ford Stamping Plant - (Western New York Region - Erie County) - $5,000,000: Ford Motor Company, one of the largest manufacturers of automobiles and commercial vehicles in the world, will use a grant of up to $5,000,000 as reimbursement for a portion of the cost to upgrade machinery and equipment at its Buffalo stamping plant in Western New York. The project is consistent with the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council's goal to retain jobs while contributing to the region's strong and longstanding manufacturing industry. This project will retain 640 jobs through January 2018 and allow the Buffalo stamping plant to remain open, competitive and viable for future production growth.
Ford is headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan. The company is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange and has approximately 166,000 employees in 77 locations in 24 countries. In 1950, the Buffalo stamping plant, one of Ford's stamping plants in North America, began manufacturing metal stampings and welded sub-assemblies for the company's automotive car and truck assembly plants. Today, it produces doors, quarter panels, hoods and fenders for Ford's trucks and passenger vehicles. It is one of five U.S. Ford stamping plants, but the only one not located in close proximity to or in a Ford manufacturing/assembly facility.
In 2012, Ford began evaluating the future of the Buffalo stamping plant, as it was the only stand-alone stamping plant remaining, with all others closed or integrated with assembly facilities. Ford notified ESD that, if the Buffalo facility were to remain operational, the company would pledge a significant capital investment to allow the Buffalo stamping plant to manufacture new product lines, securing its long-term presence in Buffalo. ESD responded with incentives totaling $7 million, including a $5 million capital grant and $2 million in tax credits through the Excelsior Jobs Program, which the company accepted. Without ESD's assistance, the Buffalo stamping plant could have been closed and resulted in the loss of 640 jobs in Western New York.
The project involved renovations and consisted of design, build and installation of automation and support for several press lines, new assembly lines and manufacturing aids.
The board approved the following downtown revitalization fund grant:
The next meeting of the board of directors will be in December.
Empire State Development is New York's chief economic development agency. Learn more are www.esd.ny.gov.