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Empire State Development approves $20 million to fund projects generating economic opportunity across New York

by jmaloni


Wed, Aug 27th 2014 11:20 pm

The Empire State Development board of directors met today in New York City and approved $20.4 million in funding for 30 projects that are spurring economic growth and opportunity in all 10 regions of New York. The projects will directly create 30 new jobs and enable the creation of hundreds more while also retaining more than 2,200 existing jobs.

These targeted investments will leverage more than $41.3 million in private and other public funding to support business expansions and regional tourism efforts, and projects designed to build a strong foundation for future economic growth and job creation.

"The funding approved today stimulates local communities from Long Island to Western New York - carrying momentum that initiatives like the Regional Economic Development Councils and Buffalo Billion started just three years ago," said ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Kenneth Adams. "By investing in these projects, we are fostering opportunity for New Yorkers by providing essential tools to improve business operations and create new jobs. With more than 17,000 new private sector jobs created in July alone, New York's economic progress continues to move in the right direction, supported by the lowest business and middle-class tax rates in a generation, and important state investments that are working."

The board approved the following Regional Economic Development Council award grants:

•The Southern Tier High Technology Incubator - (Southern Tier Region - Broome County) - $7,000,000

•Broome County Government - (Southern Tier Region - Broome County) - $500,000

•Crouse Hospital Baker Neonatal Intensive Care Unit renovations- (Central New York Region - Onondaga County) - $575,000

•Lewis County General Hospital Dialysis Center - (North Country Region - Lewis County) - $300,000

•Town of Ellicottville Regional Water - (Western New York Region - Cattaraugus County) - $268,000

The board approved the following Buffalo Billion grant:

•Buffalo Billion initiative - Buffalo SUNY Research Foundation Burgard High School - (Western New York Region - Erie County) - $3,200,000

The Research Foundation for the State University of New York, an educational corporation that administers externally funded contracts and grants for and on behalf of SUNY, will use a grant of up to $3,200,000 to support the creation of an advanced manufacturing program at the Buffalo City School District's Burgard High School in Buffalo. The foundation will use these funds on behalf of Alfred State College.

This project is part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Buffalo Billion investment development plan to promote advanced technology, manufacturing and smart growth; increase highly skilled jobs; and attract young people to the Western New York region.

The Buffalo Billion initiative, a commitment to invest $1 billion in the Buffalo-area economy, is designed to spur significantly greater private investment and create thousands of new, sustainable jobs, aiding New York in helping the Buffalo area to realize immediate economic growth while setting the foundation for sustainable economic opportunity for future generations.

In June, the governor announced a $3.2 million award from the Buffalo Billion for the creation of the advanced manufacturing program, an initiative to align education and right-skilled training. The five-year high school partnership program will provide the opportunity for incoming ninth-grade students to earn a four-year high school diploma while also earning a two-year associates' degree from Alfred State.

Students who complete the five-year program will have the skills and certifications necessary to be gainfully employed at an entry-level position in the fields of welding, automobile service technicians and advanced manufacturing technology.

The board approved the following Empire State Economic Development Fund grant:

•Eyer Building - (Finger Lakes Region - Monroe County) - $200,000

The board approved the following Economic Development Purposes Fund grants:

•Trudeau Institute - (North Country Region - Franklin County) - $3,600,000

•Xylem, Inc. - (Mid-Hudson Region - Westchester County) - $1,000,000

•Internships.com- (Allegany, Erie, Chautauqua and Niagara counties) - $100,000

Internships.com, a division of CareerArc Group, and the world's largest internship marketplace, will use a grant of up to $100,000 for a portion of the cost of an internship pilot program at seven State University of New York campuses located in Western New York.

As the world's largest internship marketplace, Internships.com brings students, employers and higher education institutions together in one centralized location through interactive tools and digital resources. The company will establish the New York state Internship.com pilot program to support the development of a university-branded online platform to optimize the internship search and placement process for all workforce-ready SUNY students at the following SUNY campuses:

  • SUNY Buffalo State, Buffalo, Erie County
  • Erie Community College, Williamsville, Erie County
  • Niagara Community College, Sanborn, Niagara County
  • Alfred State College, Alfred, Allegany County
  • University at Buffalo, Buffalo, Erie County
  • SUNY Fredonia, Fredonia, Chautauqua County
  • Jamestown Community College, Jamestown, Chautauqua County

Based on the seven SUNY campuses that will participate in the pilot program, more than 62,000 undergraduate students will have access to the internship platform, which will begin development in early September and will be completed by October. Internships.com will also benefit New York businesses by providing increased access to qualified SUNY student interns.

ESD's financial assistance to the company will further promote economic development by supporting job creation and retention in Western New York through the provision of a new venue for internships, which will provide training and may lead to long-term employment opportunities. This project is consistent with the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council's plan to strengthen the connections between education and training to businesses and jobs in the region.

•Village of Frankfort's Small Business Assistance Program (Herkimer County) - $50,000

The Board approved the following Restore New York Communities Capital Grant:

•City of North Tonawanda - Teddy Bear Building, City Incinerator (Niagara County) - $500,203

The City of North Tonawanda will use a grant of up to $500,203 as reimbursement for a portion of demolition and building renovation costs for the rehabilitation of the vacant city incinerator facility for future commercial use and the conversion of the vacant Teddy Bear Building into a mixed-use structure.

The City of North Tonawanda's downtown redevelopment plan identified locations in need of significant rehabilitation or demolition in order to spur economic growth and revitalize the city's historic downtown business district. The municipal commercial redevelopment project is a multi-step city revitalization project consistent with the city's plan, and focuses on supporting, expanding and improving visitor services and cultural gems while improving the market for sustained commercial activities, removing blight and creating future economic development parcels.

In 2007, the city applied for Restore NY funding to assist in gap financing for the redevelopment of four locations identified in the plan and redevelopment program. In 2008, it was awarded $500,203 in funding for the demolition of the long-vacant city incinerator and the renovation of the vacant Teddy Bear Building, allowing for the city's ongoing strategy to build and sustain healthy neighborhoods by leveraging a variety of public and private resources.

Following the demolition of the city incinerator, Competition Transmission, a local auto repair business, has moved its operations to a site across the street, increasing the business' visibility to vehicular traffic and providing space for its future growth.

By rehabilitating the Teddy Bear Building, the once vacant historical structure can now be used by residents, businesses and tourists.

The board approved the following Market NY grants:

•Market NY Grant Program - Regional Tourism Marketing Competition (Various Regions) - $3,204,801

In 2013, round III of the governor's Regional Economic Development Council competition included up to $10 million for Market NY, a program that supports regionally themed New York-focused projects. Market NY helps to bolster tourism growth by promoting tourism destinations, attractions and special events, and also provides funding for tourism facilities in New York. The Market NY program and each funded proposal will work to support the Regional Councils' long-term strategic plans for economic growth in the regions, as well as to attract visitors to New York.

Funding is available for projects intended to create or retain jobs and increase tourism in a community or region. It is allocated among the state's 10 regions, each represented by a regional council and based on each council's development and implementation of a five-year strategic plan that details a comprehensive vision for economic development and specific strategies to implement that vision. Grants are awarded to projects identified as significant, regionally supported and capable of stimulating economic investment through attraction of tourists to the dedicated area.

The ESD board of directors approved $3,204,801 today, making these funds available to 19 regional marketing tourism projects in the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Central New York, Mohawk Valley, New York City and Long Island regions, some of which also serve multiple regions. Each grantee has identified and prioritized regional marketing tourism projects that support the Regional Council's strategic plans for tourism and will coordinate with New York state's "I Love New York" tourism division to maximize the overall program impact statewide.

The following grants were approved: 

  • Syracuse Convention and Visitors Bureau (multi-region) - $370,000
  • Niagara Tourism & Convention Corp. (multi-region) - $300,000
  • Long Island Wine Council (Long Island) - 285,000
  • Catskills Tourism Marketing to New York City (multi-region) - $270,000
  • Children's Success Fund (Finger Lakes) - $250,000
  • National Baseball Hall Of Fame (Mohawk Valley) - $234,000
  • Alliance for Coney Island (New York City) - $225,000
  • Visit Rochester (Finger Lakes) - $200,000
  • Wildlife Conservation Society (multi-region) - 211,750
  • St. Joseph's College (Long Island) - $197,551
  • Tioga County Tourism (Southern Tier) - $100,000
  • Adirondack North Country Association (multi-region) - $100,000
  • Lakes to Locks Passage Inc. (multi-region) - $100,000
  • Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages (multi-region) - $82,500
  • Parks & Trails New York Inc. (multi-region) - $80,000
  • Cayuga Lake Wine Trail Inc. (multi-region) - $50,000
  • Visit Buffalo Niagara (Western New York) - $50,000
  • Catskill Center for Conservation & Development Inc. (multi-region) - $49,500
  • Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce (multi-region) - $49,500

More information about the Market NY projects is available here.

The next meeting of the board of directors will be in September.

Empire State Development is New York's chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov). The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the state and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies.

For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.

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