Empire State Development news and press releases

See all the official press releases from Empire State Development.

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Press Release

Friday, February 28, 2020 - 3:37pm
Former Victorian-Era Church Restored and Transformed into Modern Community Performing Arts Facility Opening Performance Featuring Rosanne Cash Scheduled for Saturday Empire State Development (ESD) today announced the grand opening of Universal Preservation Hall (UPH) in downtown Saratoga Springs, Saratoga County. Through a working collaboration with Proctors Collaborative, the 19th century church has been transformed into a state-of-the-art performing arts, education and entertainment venue. To celebrate the grand opening, singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash will perform the inaugural concert on Saturday, February 29 before a sold-out audience. ESD Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, "Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York State’s regionally focused approach to economic growth is paying dividends. The renovation of Universal Preservation Hall leveraged publicly available funding with private investments to preserve the building's historic architecture while creating a modern performing arts venue that will encourage more people to experience downtown Saratoga." With the restoration complete, UPH offers nearly 700-seats in a theater-in-the-round setting, providing a year-round music and entertainment venue for downtown Saratoga Springs. The Great Hall has been transformed with new seating descending from the rear balcony and ascending into the apse. More than $10 million was invested into the restoration and renovation of the historic facility, including structural work to ensure the building's stability and sustainability, and decorative finishes like the glass-enclosed atrium that showcases the building's heritage. Improvements made to the hall's infrastructure include upgrading the heating and cooling systems to installing theatrical lighting and seating. A new ADA-compliant entrance and elevator ensures that the performance spaces are accessible to everyone. ESD is supporting the transformation with an $800,000 performance-based capital grant, recommended by the Capital Region Economic Development Council during Round V of the Regional Council initiative. The project was also awarded a $750,000 grant through Round 5 of the Restore NY Communities Initiative. The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is providing a $200,000 grant, and is assisting with efforts to obtain up to $3.56 million in federal and state Historic Tax Credits. UPH Executive Director Teddy Foster said, "On behalf of Universal Preservation Hall, we are so grateful for the generous grants from Empire State Development and the state’s Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo. We are excited to share our gorgeous venue with our patrons thanks to the help from New York State." State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, "This project is a wonderful example of an historic building being brought back to life for the 21st century. Parks is proud to have played a role in delivering on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s agenda of protecting and promoting our historic heritage for future generations." CREDC Co-Chairs Ruth Mahoney, KeyBank Market President, and Dr. Havidán Rodríguez, University at Albany President, said, "Supporting the creative economy is a pillar of our regional strategy, and the Council is proud to encourage projects that promote industry growth. We congratulate Universal Preservation Hall on this historic milestone." Senator Daphne Jordan said, "The grand opening of Universal Preservation Hall will continue our Saratoga Springs community’s time-honored, proud tradition of supporting, celebrating and showcasing the arts. I am thankful for Governor Cuomo’s strong support of this project, particularly ESD’s provision of an $800,000 performance-based capital grant, a $750,000 grant provided via the Restore NY Communities Initiative, a $200,000 grant from the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and its help in working to secure $3.56 million in federal and state Historic Tax Credits. These strategic investments and incentives will facilitate Universal Preservation Hall helping artists realize their full potential in creating the next exciting chapter of the performing arts in Saratoga Springs." Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner said, "I want to thank ESD and Parks for supporting the Universal Preservation Hall restoration project and congratulate all who were involved. There is so much history in the Universal Preservation Hall building and it is truly wonderful to see the building transformed into a space that not only maintains that history, but promotes the arts and arts education in our community as well. UPH will surely be a cultural and artistic staple in the heart of Saratoga Springs for years to come" Saratoga Springs Mayor Meg Kelly said, "In a City that is steeped in history, architecture, preservation, the arts, community, and responsible development this project checks all the boxes. We are thrilled to be able to include the magnificent Universal Preservation Hall as the City’s latest addition to its arts and community scene." Originally built in 1871 for the Methodist church to host its annual regional meeting, the church welcomed several notable speakers, including William Jennings Bryan, Frederick Douglass and President William Howard Taft. The Methodists sold the building to the Universal Baptist Church in 1976, who used the facility until it was deemed unsafe. About Empire State Development Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency. 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 NY," 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:  Adam Ostrowski (ESD) | [email protected] | (518) 292-5148 ESD Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313
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Board Meeting

Wednesday, February 26, 2020 - 11:00am
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Press Release

Tuesday, February 25, 2020 - 11:19pm
“Tesla informed us that they have not only met, but exceeded their next hiring commitment in Buffalo. As of today, Tesla said they have more than 1,500 jobs in Buffalo and more than 300 others across New York State. ESD will perform the necessary due diligence to verify the company’s data. “This count does not include the Panasonic positions and — while their operations were co-located at RiverBend — there was no incentive package between the state and Panasonic. We understand that Panasonic has made a corporate decision to move away from global solar products, but this action has no bearing on Tesla’s current operations nor its commitment to Buffalo and New York State, according to Tesla.  “While the New York State Department of Labor stands ready with its Rapid Response Team to ensure that any employees who are impacted by Panasonic’s decision are connected to opportunities and resources available in the region, Tesla has indicated that it intends to hire as many Panasonic employees as it can going forward. “We look forward to continuing to grow employment at the RiverBend site with Tesla.” Contact: Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313
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Press Release

Tuesday, February 25, 2020 - 1:45pm
Round 1 Grant Recipients Projected to Create More Than 100 Jobs and Invest $17.5 Million in Three Years Research Talent Recruitment Program is Part of New York State's $620 Million Life Science Initiative Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the application period is now open for the third round of the New York Fund for Innovation in Research and Scientific Talent, or NYFIRST. The $15 million medical school capital-funding program encourages the recruitment and retention of exceptional life science researchers through grants to support establishing or upgrading laboratories, and by providing working capital to cover costs for staff and specialized equipment. Governor Cuomo also announced that the first cohort of grant recipients, awarded in 2018, is projected to create more than 100 jobs within the program's first three years. "Life sciences is a fast-growing industry that is important not only to our economy, but to our very own personal health," Governor Cuomo said. "Continuing to attract the best and brightest in this field to New York is critical. We're proud to support the effort to find solutions to pressing medical challenges and help save lives." NYFIRST recruits and retains life science professionals focused on translational research, which builds on basic scientific research to find new ways to diagnose and treat medical conditions. According to the Associated Medical Schools of New York, NYFIRST Round 1 grant recipients are projected to create more than 100 jobs in the program's first three years, with an average salary of nearly $66,000. AMSNY also estimates that approximately $17.5 million in total institutional matching funds will be committed; and a return on investment for every State dollar of $6.50 in economic activity through institutional capital investments and additional grant funding brought to New York. To encourage the recruitment of world-class translational researchers to medical schools in New York State, NYFIRST makes a maximum grant of $1 million available to eligible institutional applicants to modernize, renovate and upgrade laboratory facilities, to purchase specialized laboratory equipment and to support research staff. Program grant awards are made through a competitive grant solicitation until funds are fully committed. Grantees are required to provide $2 in matching funds for every $1 of NYFIRST program assistance. Scientific talent recruited or retained must demonstrate a history of translational research and be actively pursuing research on an innovative solution for an unmet clinical need. The researcher is also required to demonstrate a clear path to commercialization with the potential for significant life sciences economic development benefits in New York State, such as increased patent applications and patentable discoveries; increased recruitment/retention of medical school faculty focused on translational research; or an increase in the number of life sciences jobs created or retained. Applications and guidelines for the third cohort are now available at https://esd.ny.gov/ny-first-program. The first cohort of NYFIRST recipients included three institutions: Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, also in New York City, and the University of Rochester, in Rochester. For the second cohort, five institutions were recommended to receive NYFIRST grants; grant agreements with these institutions are being finalized. Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, "ESD is strongly committed to building a robust life science industry in New York State. NYFIRST will continue to attract nation-leading researchers whose innovative research offers the potential to create jobs and expand this vital industry for New York's future." Read the full press release here.
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Press Release

Tuesday, February 25, 2020 - 11:14am
Targeted Biocontrol Pest Control Manufacturer Commits to Creating up to 30 New Jobs Investment Complements “Finger Lakes Forward” – The Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy Empire State Development (ESD) announced that bioperformance company GreenLight Biosciences will construct a pilot plant at a building at Eastman Business Park (EBP). The project will create up to 30 new jobs that will support the production of GreenLight’s RNA-based solutions for the agriculture and healthcare industries. This latest project builds on the continued success story that is the rebirth of EBP in Monroe County. The repurposing of the business park remains a top priority of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council (FLREDC). GreenLight Bioscience expects the project to be completed by the end of 2020. “New York State’s strategic investments help position cutting-edge science for commercialization and economic growth,” said Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler. “GreenLight Biosciences and its partners are working to create the next generation of environmentally innovative products, which will create jobs and drive economic activity in Rochester and throughout the region.” The pilot plant will enable GreenLight to bring GreenWorX™, its cell-free biomanufacturing process, to market in order to produce low-cost, high-quality RNA. RNA is a natural molecule found in all living organisms – animals, plants, fungi and humans – that facilitates virtually every biological process of life. The production of RNA through GreenWorX™ will help farmers grow food in a way that is natural and safe by targeting specific pests without harming other species or the environment. GreenLight’s innovations can also be used to accelerate the discovery and commercialization of vaccines and antibody therapies. Founded in 2009, GreenLight Biosciences is headquartered in Medford, Massachusetts, and its research and development efforts are located at Research Triangle Park in North Carolina. “We are disrupting the industry by bringing nature and technology together to develop sustainable, precise biocontrol solutions, and it’s critical that we continue to build a workforce that can carry these innovations forward,” said Carole Cobb, chief operating officer at GreenLight Biosciences. “Eastman Business Park is particularly attractive to us because of the access to talented scientists and manufacturing experts in the Rochester area as well as the the extensive infrastructure and capabilities of EBP.” ESD is supporting the project with up to $600,000 through the Excelsior Jobs Program in exchange for job creation commitments. The total project cost has been placed at $16.6 million. Monroe County and Greater Rochester Enterprise also assisted with the project. EBP, the site where Kodak began manufacturing photographic film and paper more than a century ago, is being reinvigorated and is a significant attraction for businesses of the Finger Lakes region.  Today, the campus supports over 114 companies, employing over 6,000 people. EBP is home to Kodak operations and to innovative companies like DuPont, Plug Power, BEST Test and Commercialization Center, LiDestri Food and Drink and Clearwater Organic Farms among several others. State Senator Joe Robach said, “The addition of GreenLight Biosciences to Eastman Business Park is great news for the Rochester region and the continued growth of our local economy.  Eastman Business Park continues to re-invent itself into a national research, innovation and technology hub, attracting new businesses and creating new jobs for our workforce, with GreenLight being the latest to invest in the Rochester community.” State Assemblyman Peter Lawrence said, “Today’s announcement is another welcome example that businesses are choosing Monroe County due to our highly-skilled workforce and turn-key infrastructure and facilities. Eastman Business Park could not be a more suitable and appropriate location for GreenLight Biosciences which is leading the way in the biomanufacturing industry. This significant investment by the state signals that this project has enormous potential and it is my expectation that GreenLight Biosciences will honor its commitment to creating jobs in the region and reinvesting in our community.” County Executive Adam Bello said, “Monroe County is the ideal place for a company specializing in green technology to expand. Our innovative workforce, infrastructure, resources and affordability are outstanding. And, just like GreenLight Biosciences, we are committed to doing our part to preserve the planet. We are excited about this pilot plant and the jobs it will bring.” Greece Town Supervisor Bill Reilich said, “Greenlight Biosciences is another perfect fit for the growing family of innovative companies making their way to Eastman Business Park. EBP’s formula is working and we’re giving our full support to their efforts to bring new industry, investment, and jobs to the area. Greenlight Biosciences is working to bolster the food and beverage and health care industries, which are among the fastest growing industries in Greece and our neighboring communities. This kind of complementary growth couples EBP’s industrial infrastructure and our skilled workforce, which is a recipe for success. We’ll continue working with economic development partners and prioritizing permits and approvals necessary to bring this project and others like it to fruition.” Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren said, “I am happy to welcome GreenLight Biosciences to Eastman Business Park, which is providing further evidence that Rochester is the perfect location for high-tech job growth. I want to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo and Empire State Development for making this investment in Rochester’s economy through Finger Lakes Forward. Together we are moving forward to create more jobs, safer, more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for our citizens.” Eastman Business Park President and Kodak CFO Dave Bullwinkle said, “We are thrilled that GreenLight Biosciences chose to build their pilot plant here and that they plan to expand operations on the site as they grow.  Our resources are a perfect fit for their fermentation operation, with virtually unlimited water, steam, chilled water and industrial sewer capacity.” Matt Hurlbutt, President and CEO, Greater Rochester Enterprise said, “The exceptional talent in advanced materials and life sciences, coupled with unmatched infrastructure available at Eastman Business Park, made Rochester, New York, the right location for GreenLight Biosciences. Rochester also offers an affordable cost of doing business, which is a competitive asset when compared with more expensive high-tech markets such as Boston.” For additional information about GreenLight Biosciences, click here. Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward  Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $8.07 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture‎ and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in. Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here. ​ Contact: Shari Voorhees-Vincent | [email protected] | (585) 399-7055 Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313
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Press Release

Monday, February 24, 2020 - 4:00pm
Nearly 70 New York State Businesses, Community Colleges, and Community-Based Organizations Receive Funding For Workforce Development Awards Will Fund In-Demand Skills Training for More Than 3,600 New Yorkers Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that nearly 70 businesses, community colleges, and community-based organizations across the state have been awarded $3.1 million as part of the state's historic Workforce Development Initiative. The grant funds through the Department of Labor and The State University of New York will support professional training opportunities for 3,644 New Yorkers, teaching them skills that are in demand from employers. Since launching in May 2019, nearly $12 million has been awarded through the $175 million Workforce Development Initiative, which will provide training to more than 8,200 New Yorkers. "These awards will provide thousands of people with the training and skills they need to compete in today's fast-growing industries, and ready to take on the jobs of tomorrow," Governor Cuomo said. "The state's workforce must adapt in order to take advantage of the rapidly changing economy, and our Workforce Development Initiative is giving New Yorkers the edge they need to succeed." "The number one issue I hear from employers across the state is that they can't find workers with the skills they need for 21st century jobs," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "That is why as part of our historic $175 million Workforce Development Initiative, we are investing $3.1 million in job training programs spearheaded by nearly 70 New York State businesses, non-profits and community organizations that will benefit 3,600 New Yorkers. Whether it's the culinary arts or advanced manufacturing, we are investing and working to close the skills gap and prepare all New Yorkers for jobs today and in the future." Read the full press release here
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Board Meeting

Monday, February 24, 2020 - 2:00pm
With videoconferencing to: Empire State Development – Buffalo Office 95 Perry Street – Suite 500 Buffalo, NY 14203
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Blog Post

Friday, February 21, 2020 - 11:05am
** The March GDC has been postponed. Please visit the GDC conference website for details and updates: https://www.gdconf.com/ ** New York State’s got game. So much so, that at the digital game development industry’s premier industry event in San Francisco from March 16-20, New York will be the first state in the country to lead a statewide pavilion at the 2020 Game Developers Conference (GDC). The pavilion showcases the growth of game development across New York State--home to top companies and iconic games—and to top-ranked university game development programs that are creating a pipeline of industry talent.  Visitors to the New York State pavilion are in for more than a few surprises and some hands-on experiences that highlight all that’s happening in the state’s thriving game development scene. Here are five fantastic things to check out at Booth #N2417:   Get in the game: New York State is home to 10% of the top 50 digital game development undergraduate programs in the U.S.  and some of those top schools will be at the GDC. New York University (NYU), the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)—the state’s university-based Digital Game Development Centers—along with Marist College and SUNY Polytechnic Institute, will showcase their top-ranked game development programs with live demos of games they’ve developed, featuring everything from cats and catacombs to oceans and dungeons—for pavilion visitors to watch and play.   Get ahead of the curve: New York State is home to the nation’s fourth-largest number of video game companies. And the state’s GDC program will be packed with industry programming at the New York pavilion’s presentation space, where visitors can take a seat to hear about the industry in New York State—from representatives of companies, schools, accelerators and regional economic development organizations fueling game development’s growth—and experience game development in action. Get a lay of the land: New York State isn’t just New York City – and while many games are being developed in New York City, pavilion partner EDOs the Center for Economic Growth and Greater Rochester Enterprise, along with many of the top game development schools, will also be on hand to represent and detail the thriving Upstate game culture and industry which stretches to the Mid-Hudson, Capital Region and Finger Lakes regions and beyond.   Get down to business: Representatives of digital gaming companies will also be available throughout the conference to meet one-on-one with pavilion visitors to talk about opportunities for doing business, and finding success, in New York State.   Representatives from Empire State Development, the state’s chief economic development agency, will be on hand to discuss how to help relocate or expand your business in New York State. Get some bragging rights: Visitors will see lots of familiar faces on display at the New York State Pavilion – images from iconic games from Grand Theft Auto to Crash Bandicoot. That’s because these games, along with many others, are among the many that were created in New York State. Come see if you can name them all!  Want to learn more about how New York State can help your digital gaming company succeed? Contact our industry experts at [email protected]
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Board Meeting

Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 11:30am
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Board Meeting

Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 9:30am
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