Empire State Development news and press releases

See all the official press releases from Empire State Development.

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Press Release

Tuesday, December 4, 2018 - 2:33pm
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that optics manufacturer Rochester Precision Optics will expand its headquarters in the Town of Henrietta, Monroe County, adding more than 200 new jobs to the region. The company's growth will accommodate two new projects—the relocation of an infrared research and development company from Florida acquired by Rochester Precision Optics in May, as well as the addition of 20,000 square-feet at the facility to increase production across the company's plastics, glass, coating, diamond turning and IT divisions. During the expansion, Rochester Precision Optics will retain the 275 jobs currently held at the John Street site. "By actively engaging with the private sector and incentivizing growth, companies like Rochester Precision Optics continue to expand their operations in New York, strengthening regional economies and creating good-paying jobs across the state," Governor Cuomo said. "This expansion project is a testament to the unique assets of the Finger Lakes and to the Finger Lakes Forward plan which is fostering innovation and transforming the region." "We are continuing to strengthen the economy of the Finger Lakes with the expansion of Rochester Precision Optics," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "It's clear that this region is being recognized as a leader around the world in photonics and other high-tech industries thanks to our focus on growth and innovation. With this investment, we are bolstering New York's reputation as a great place to do business, and creating high-quality jobs for Upstate New York." The planned expansion is being supported through a $1 million Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative Grant, and up to $2 million through the Excelsior Tax Credit Program in exchange for job creation commitments. The project is expected to be completed in late 2021. Monroe County and Greater Rochester Enterprise also assisted with this project. The total project cost is more than $20.4 million. Read the full press release here. 
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Press Release

Monday, December 3, 2018 - 2:07pm
Empire State Development (ESD) today announced the completion of the Compassion Coalition’s “Your Bargain Grocer," a new 12,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art grocery store located in downtown Utica, Oneida County. The new, larger space incudes a commercial kitchen to prepare and provide healthy, ready-to-eat meals for their customers and will support the creation of 10 new jobs. ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “Supporting businesses that promote community growth are vital to our economic development mission, and Your Bargain Grocer is a walkable, affordable and accessible grocery store in downtown Utica that promotes local growers and provides healthy choices for residents.”   Compassion Coalition invested $3.5 million into the new facility – their first brick and mortar retail location at 1110 Lincoln Avenue – which is 10 times the size of their original location. They plan to create 10 positions in addition to their current workforce of 14 employees. Compassion Coalition works closely with both Working Solutions “Second Chance” program to provide jobs for people with a criminal record and the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees to support newcomers to the city to fill their vacant positions. ESD has agreed to provide up to $600,000 through a performance-based capital grant, recommended by the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council (MVREDC) during Round V of the Governor's regional council initiative. Mike Servello Sr., Founder and CEO of Your Bargain Grocer, said, “We are thankful to Empire State Development and all of our partners in New York State Government who have helped us tremendously and have enabled us to complete this transformational project. Our focus has always been on serving those in our communities who are often overlooked, and this store will bring new opportunities to serve those in desperate need.” Your Bargain Grocer aims to promote food accessibility and equality at the new store, while using the profits to support targeted programming that generates a positive regional impact. Programs such as their teacher resource center, mattress giveaways, pop-up grocery stores and agency-related services are all funded through the store. Your Bargain Grocer has spent the past eight years at a smaller location dedicated to solving the issue of food waste in America. According to the USDA, 40 percent of all food produced in the U.S. is wasted each year. By working with vendors across the country to buy overages of product and food and vegetables, Your Bargain Grocer can sell fresh, healthy products at 30-50 percent off retail and extend the buying power of customers.  MVREDC Co-chairs Dr. Dustin Swanger, President of Fulton-Montgomery Community College, and Lawrence T. Gilroy III, President of Gilroy, Kiernan & Gilroy, Inc. said, “On behalf of the Council, we proudly support the relocation and expansion of Your Bargain Grocer, allowing the Compassion Coalition to extend its reach by providing more low-cost food and creating new jobs to benefit the community.” Senator Joseph Griffo said, “I am pleased that the Compassion Coalition’s expansion of its Your Bargain Grocer store is completed. This larger, updated and more modern space will allow the organization to continue to do the great work it already does while also providing residents with access to healthy food options and creating jobs. I would like to congratulate Compassion Coalition and its partners on the completion of this this worthwhile, meaningful and significant endeavor that will benefit the entire community and region.” Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi said, “This new project the state is investing in brings many benefits, including providing affordable, healthy food for residents of West Utica and the downtown district.  It will also create new job opportunities for area residents. After doing an excellent job serving residents of the Utica area from its original site for a number of years, Compassion Coalition now will expand its role helping to fight poverty and improve nutrition from a new, much larger facility in the heart of Utica.” Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente said, “Compassion Coalition provides affordable and healthy food to areas of Utica that need it most. With the opening of a larger, Your Bargain Grocer in Utica, we are tackling the problem of food accessibility head on.” Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri said, “Compassion Coalition is a great partner which makes fresh and healthy food available to our community. With an investment by Empire State Development, Compassion Coalition will be able to expand and improve food accessibility. I thank ESD for its support and Compassion Coalition for enhancing the quality of life for our residents.” About Empire State Development Empire State Development (ESD) 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. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of "I LOVE NEW YORK," the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov/  and www.esd.ny.gov.   Contact: Kristin Devoe | Kristin.Devoe@esd.ny.gov | (800) 260-7313 ESD Press Office | pressoffice@esd.ny.gov | (800) 260-7313
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Public Notice

Monday, December 3, 2018 - 11:00am
Village of Newark Valley Restore IV Capital Projects
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Public Notice

Monday, December 3, 2018 - 9:30am
Tioga County IDA- Weitsman Shredding Capital Project
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Press Release

Thursday, November 29, 2018 - 5:00pm
Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) and Canalside Management Group (CMG) invites the public to its eighth Annual Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting at Canalside from 3 to 10 p.m. on Friday, November 30.  This year’s celebration takes place at The Ice at Canalside presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York. The celebration will feature live music, children’s activities, local food vendors, an on-ice skating performance and more. The evening’s highlights are the lighting of the beautiful Canalside holiday tree and a visit from Santa Claus, both courtesy of Manpower Group and Mayer Brothers. “As a Western New Yorker, I know that the best part of Canalside is that it is a year-round destination, with activities for every season,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “The holiday season is indeed a very special time at Canalside, with the ice rink open for skating and winter sports, the holiday artisan market, and the tree glowing bright on our magnificent waterfront. I look forward to another great winter season at Canalside, and I can’t wait to put on the skates and try out the ice.” ​ “The holidays are a time when Canalside truly shines,” said ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia. “On behalf of Governor Cuomo, I invite visitors from near and far to enjoy all our waterfront has to offer during the beautiful winter season.” “Holiday fun for the whole family is a fast-growing tradition at Canalside,” said Rich Entertainment President Jon Dandes.  “The waterfront comes alive with activity each winter as skaters circle the ice, music fills the air and thousands of lights create a winter wonderland in the heart of Buffalo.” Santa Claus will arrive at the corner of Marine Drive and Main Street at approximately 6 p.m. to light the tree and will stay on site for visits with good little boys and girls until 9 p.m.  The 45-foot Canalside Holiday Tree will be lit at approximately 6:30 p.m.  It will be decorated with more than 6,000 lights along with gold, silver, white and blue ornaments.  The tree will be surrounded by a festive holiday landscape that will create a picture-perfect setting for skaters and others looking to enjoy the season.  A variety of food and beverages will also be available for purchase from local food vendors. "Skating at Canalside has become a beloved winter tradition here in Western New York," said Julie R. Snyder, Vice President, Corporate Relations, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York. "We are thrilled to welcome our community back to the Ice as we kick-off our fifth season as the official health plan of the Ice at Canalside." Open ice skating will be available until 10 p.m.  The cost is $6 for ages 13 plus, $4 for ages 6-12 and free for 5 and under.  Skate rental is $4.  Ice Bumper Cars can be rented for $7 for 7 minutes. Those who bring a new winter clothing item for the Buffalo City Mission will receive a $1 discount on skate admission. More information on the schedule of events, parking and updates can be found at http://www.canalsidebuffalo.com.  Visitors are encouraged to take the NFTA Metro Rail to the Erie Canal Harbor Station stop. Parking is also available in adjacent parking ramps and lots surrounding Canalside and the KeyBank Center. The Ice, created under the leadership of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, provides visitors with a skating surface that is bigger than two NHL rinks, with three unique bridges, and more than 20,000 square feet of pedestrian towpaths.  This season winter visitors once again be able to enjoy curling, ice bikes and other winter activities. Ice at Canalside Hours of Operation for 2018-2019 season: 3 to 7 p.m.: Wednesday/Thursday 3 to 10 p.m.: Friday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.: Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.: Sunday Rates for the 2018-2019 season: Ice Admission, Adult (13+) - $6.00 Ice Admission, Child (6-12) - $4.00 BCBS Ice Admission - $5.00 Skate Rental - $4.00 Season Pass, Single - $59.00* Season Pass, Family of 4 - $139.00* Curling - $10-$15 per person – depending on time   *BlueCross BlueShield members can receive $1 off admission and skate rentals by showing their insurance card.   **Please note hours may change during school breaks and on holidays, as well as during inclement weather.  Visit Canalside’s website or facebook and twitter accounts for the most up-to-date hours.** About Canalside Canalside is a growing regional destination and entertainment district, situated on 21 historic acres along downtown Buffalo’s emerging waterfront on the Buffalo River. Canalside earns its name from its storied past when the Erie Canal Harbor was built in 1825 as the western terminus of the Erie Canal. Until ten years ago, the land was barren and inaccessible, but the area has been reclaimed by the state’s Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation and developed with millions of dollars in public and private investment. With more than 1,000 yearly events and nearly 1.5 million annual visitors, Canalside is fast becoming the go-to place for in- and out-of-towners of all ages to learn, play and relax. Contact: Pamm Lent (Governor’s Office) | pamm.lent@esd.ny.gov | (716) 846-8309  Erin Marra (Canalside) | erin@canalsidebuffalo.com | (716) 807-8090
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Blog Post

Thursday, November 29, 2018 - 9:59am
This fall has continued New York State’s commitment to the growth of new talent and diverse voices in the entertainment industry. Unprecedented partnerships, workforce development programs and training facilities are supporting inclusivity and creativity. In a groundbreaking new partnership announced in October between New York State, Bronx Community College (BCC) and IATSE Local 52, a  Film Production Training Program will launch at BCC in winter 2019 to prepare students for careers in New York’s booming film and television sector. The 14-week program, supported by a $375,000 ESD grant, will train up to 100 students annually in union crafts such as property, carpentry and on-set electrical work. Students will gain practical work experience and learn technical skills, such as basic carpentry, tool usage and shop safety, as well as skills addressing workplace communication and behavior, career networking and employer expectations. Announced at the Second Annual Multicultural Creativity Summit on Oct. 2, the program will also assist IATSE in the diversification of its membership. BCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), with students representing approximately 100 countries. A first-of-its-kind effort in higher education, MAGIC Spell Studios held its grand opening on the campus of Rochester Institute of Technology in October. The new state-of-the-art facility will creatively converge RIT’s internationally ranked academic programs in digital media, including film and animation and game design and development, together with high-tech experimental facilities—and support technology development and entrepreneurial activity for regional startups. The cutting-edge facility features include a 7,000 square-foot sound stage, a 180-seat movie theater with a projection booth, a cinema-quality audiovisual system, sound mixing and color correction rooms. Numerous labs and production facilities will also help support RIT’s designation as a NYSTAR-funded Center of Excellence digital gaming hub and  foster the next generation of entrepreneurs in digital gaming, film and animation. Students and recent graduates from around the state met in New York City earlier this month for a one-day intensive workshop known as Pitch NY, hosted by the Governor’s Office of Motion Picture & Television Development (MPTV), the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts and NBCUniversal. During the workshop, undergraduates and recent graduates of New York schools networked with professional filmmakers, writers, directors and producers and attended panels led by industry experts on a number of topics. The participants also got the chance to pitch their creative ideas in one-on-one sessions with industry representatives. Pitch NY, now in its third year, is focused on promoting diversity in the entertainment industry through content and increasing opportunity for content creators.
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Blog Post

Thursday, November 29, 2018 - 9:47am
A portable electric vehicle charging unit that can be delivered on demand via Uber, Lyft or AAA. A smart insole that can monitor the foot’s physiology for early ulcer detection and preventative care for diabetics. A tabletop greenhouse for the sustainable foodie. Mobile technology to help people with autism or cognitive special needs to learn life skills for greater inclusion and independence. A mobile test for fast, accurate nutrition deficiency.  These are just some of the devices and products that emerged as winners in two New York State competitions this fall – 43North and the FuzeHub Commercialization Competition—which highlight entrepreneurship and innovation in New York State and are among a host of competitions statewide across industries and regions. 
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Blog Post

Thursday, November 29, 2018 - 9:35am
New York State has reached its highest utilization rate – 28.62 percent—for Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) in State contracts since 2011.  With MWBEs winning more than $2.5 billion in contracts, this year’s utilization rate not only reflects the country’s highest percentage of state contracts awarded to MWBEs, but also the largest dollar value of contracts awarded.  New York State leads the economic empowerment of MWBEs at every level with MWBEs having been awarded more than $14 billion in New York State contracts since 2011. The utilization announcement was part of the opening session of this year’s Eighth Annual 2018 New York State MWBE Forum: Grow with NYS, held October 3 and 4 in Albany. This year’s Forum featured 43 workshops designed around the theme of “Gather industry intelligence. Gain new relations. Generate new Business.” The annual MWBE Forum supports the Governor’s goals, built on the idea that New York’s growth and stability depends on the success of its small businesses and MWBEs. The Forum helps ensure access to information about billions of dollars in upcoming New York State contracting opportunities and  connects MWBEs to resources for  gaining technical assistance and developing business strategies needed to grow their businesses. This year’s Forum was attended by over 2,000 businesses, state agencies and authorities, and government officials. Throughout the course of the two-day event, attendees were able to visit more than 190 exhibitors, and there were more than 500 one-on-one meetings between MWBEs, prime contractors, and state agencies, as well as  200+ meetings with certification analysts. The Forum also highlighted Empire State Development programs, including the Bridge to Success Loan Program, the New York State Surety Bond Assistance Program and others that  provide MWBEs with low-cost loans, working capital, equity investing and assistance in winning larger contracts and creating jobs. For the first time this year, MWBE firms were able to meet directly with lenders for special one-on-one sessions. The 2018 MWBE Forum also built on New York State infrastructure investment and economic development initiatives, underscoring new upcoming opportunities for MWBE firms. To ensure MWBE participation on the State’s top projects, specific contract opportunities were highlighted at the MWBE Forum:  the Belmont Park Redevelopment; Jacob Javits Convention Center renovation and expansion; John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia Airports Redevelopment; Moynihan Train Hall/ Pennsylvania Station-Farley Complex development and the MTA Capital Plan.
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Blog Post

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 6:34pm
Tech, innovation and advanced manufacturing are coming to New York State and growing here, thanks to a deep and diverse talent pool and to a statewide, strategic approach to economic development that is building the innovation economy and creating jobs all around the state.  From Amazon and Bausch and Lomb to Datto and Velan Studios, this fall’s company announcements are a mix of national and global companies growing in New York and New York-grown companies expanding both at home and beyond.    Amazon’s NYC HQ Home: Amazon announced earlier this month that it has chosen Long Island City, Queens, as the site for a new corporate headquarters. The headquarters will create 25,000 good-paying jobs–with an average annual salary of more than $150,000–over the next decade, with potential growth of up to 40,000 jobs over the next 15 years. The project, the largest economic development project in NYS history, is projected to deliver $186 billion in economic impact over the next 25 years and includes plans for onsite workforce training, publicly accessible waterfront space and infrastructure improvements as well as a new school. An environmental review, planning, design and approvals process will include public meetings and a Community Advisory Committee advisory body to the project.Bausch + Lomb Expanding in Rochester:  The global eye health company plans to grow its contact lens manufacturing business in Rochester and the addition of production lines that support manufacturing of the company’s disposable silicone hydrogel daily wear contact lenses. This month’s announcement noted that the company, which currently employs more than 1,000 people at its North Goodman site, is expected to begin expansion of that facility later this year. The growth of the Rochester site will create 100 new jobs. Applied Materials and NYS Advancing R&D: Applied Materials, a leader in materials engineering, is partnering with New York State to establish the Materials Engineering Technology Accelerator (META Center)—an advanced R&D facility for high-tech research and further growing the Capital Region as a global materials engineering research hub. ESD and the State University of New York (SUNY) announced the public-private partnership earlier this month. ESD will provide a five-year, $250 million capital grant for the SUNY Research Foundation to purchase and install tools at the facility, on the SUNY Polytechnic Institute campus in Albany. The partnership is an inaugural project for the recently announced New York Center for Research, Economic Advancement, Technology Engineering and Science (NY CREATES).  Applied Materials will pay more than $100 million in leases to develop the facility, part of their $600 million investment in the campus. Applied’s venture capital arm will also co-invest $20 million with partners to support early-stage businesses in Upstate New York.   IDEX Health & Science Optical Center of Excellence: The Finger Lakes region’s growth as an optics, photonics and imaging hub is building with this month’s opening of IDEX Health & Science’s new Optical Center of Excellence in Henrietta, which will support the company’s life science, semiconductor and defense businesses. The company made the decision to grow in the Finger Lakes rather than move out of the area, meaning retention of 186 jobs and creation of at least 34 new full-time jobs.  IDEX Health & Science installed high-tech machinery, clean room space and equipment at the new 100,000-square-foot-site as part of its expansion project.
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Board Meeting

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 11:00am
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