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New York State Awards Four Firms A Total Of $5.4 Million To Spark Economic Development

Area Development Online News Desk (01/17/2014)
New York State awarded $5.4 million in funding to spark economic development for four projects across Western New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley and Long Island.

Approved by Empire State Development’s Board of Directors, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office said these projects will create nearly 40 new jobs and retain more than 200 existing jobs. This funding also will leverage more than $21 million in additional investments to support business growth.

“With this funding, the State is investing in four projects that will spur new economic opportunities in Upstate New York and Long Island,” Gov. Cuomo said. “From supporting local manufacturing industries to advancing our medical and bioengineering fields, these projects will help create and retain 240 good jobs and leverage millions of dollars in additional investments in these communities. As we work to grow New York’s economy, our initiatives like the Regional Economic Development Councils are continuing to deliver projects that will move each region of the state forward.”

The Board approved the following Regional Economic Development Council grants:

In Erie County The Jacobs Institute, a medical research and development center focusing on fostering innovation in patient care, will use a grant of up to $4 million to equip the newly-established Centers for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

A priority project of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, the project involves the acquisition and installation of specialized equipment and working capital necessary to create; a state-of-the-art medical device prototype facility, an Idea to Commercialization Center to create new devices and techniques and a Training Center for physicians and industry. The Centers will also include a Simulation and Robotics Center for minimally-invasive vascular surgery, a Medical Education Support Center for scientific publishing and broadcasting, a Health and Wellness area, collaborative spaces, and administrative offices.

On Long Island, Hofstra University in Hempstead will use a $1-million ESD grant for facility renovations and the purchase of machinery and equipment for the University’s School of Engineering building. The project includes renovation of an existing 1,355 gross-square-foot facility located on the campus and the acquisition and installation of specialized engineering machinery and equipment. The facility improvements include learning stations in the new laboratory and an internal super-clean room to house the incubators and protect cells from contamination.

The Board also approved the following Empire State Economic Development Fund grants:

In Monroe County, Germany-based ORAFOL Precision Technology Center, Inc., a producer of specialty tooling used to manufacture microstructured optical films and plastic lenses, will use a grant of up to $200,000 to fund a $12 million project that includes; construction of a 48,000-square-foot addition to the company’s facility to create a tooling center for North American operations. As a result of this project, ORAFOL will retain 60 existing jobs, including 29 that were at risk, and create seven new jobs.

In Herkimer County, Gehring Tricot Corporation, a designer and manufacturer of a variety of knit and woven fabrics, will use a grant of up to $200,000 to purchase of machinery and equipment. Its project involves the repair and renovation of three of the Gehring’s four facilities on Hough Street, Lion Avenue, and Ransom Street.

The company will repair the roof and add a new loading dock to the Hough Street facility. The Lion Avenue facility, where the company’s knitting operation takes place, will be renovated internally to accommodate new machinery and equipment, and the Ransom Street facility, which is Gehring’s main manufacturing location, will be expanded by 6,800 square-feet to add manufacturing space for incoming orders. The company has completed replacement of the roof on the Hough Street facility and purchased $600,000 of new machinery and equipment. Gehring will retain 149 jobs and create seven new jobs.

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