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Press Release

Monday, December 12, 2022 - 4:34pm
Funding Kicks Off Statewide Comprehensive Broadband and Digital Equity Planning and Stakeholder Engagement to Support Closing the Digital Divide Awards are First Step Towards New York Receiving Full Allocation of Broadband Funding from Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that New York State's ConnectALL office has been awarded $7.2 million through the U.S. Department of Commerce's Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment and Digital Equity Act programs. Over the coming months, ConnectALL will use these funds to engage New Yorkers across the state to produce comprehensive statewide broadband deployment and digital equity plans. These plans will provide the roadmap for the state's utilization of Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funds to close New York State's remaining digital divide. "Access to affordable, reliable internet is no longer a luxury - it's a necessity for connecting individuals to employment, education, and essential government services," Governor Hochul said. "This funding from the Biden-Harris administration will help to keep New Yorkers connected and build our digital infrastructure for the 21st century economy. I want to thank our federal partners for making this investment in our state, and I look forward to continuing that partnership to expand digital equity and ensure that high-speed broadband is available to all." Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said, "Internet for All initiatives will increase the affordability of Internet services with the goal of providing New Yorkers with equitable Internet access. I thank Governor Hochul for her work in expanding Internet access to address the needs of unserved and underserved communities." Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "We are pleased to receive these vital awards from the federal government to advance Governor Hochul's ConnectALL agenda. We look forward to working with our partners in every region of the state to advance a statewide plan and unlock the federal funding to support critical broadband programs." The $1.1 billion ConnectALL initiative, announced by Governor Hochul in her January 2022 State of the State Address, is New York State's largest-ever investment in broadband, aimed at transforming the state's digital infrastructure to connect all New Yorkers through the internet. Through investments in data collection and mapping, targeted grant programs, updates to deployment policy, and statewide stakeholder engagement, ConnectALL will help New Yorkers gain access to improved broadband service and the greater economic, education, health, and civic engagement opportunities it provides. Read the full press release here.  
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Press Release

Friday, December 9, 2022 - 2:14pm
Three WNY Grantees Awarded $25 Million Plan Will Grow WNY’s Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem through Workforce, Innovation and Infrastructure Projects Empire State Development (ESD) today announced that U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Deputy Assistant Secretary and Chief Operating Officer Dennis Alvord visited Buffalo to kick off the projects awarded under the Build Back Better Regional Challenge. The EDA team met with the Western New York Manufacturing Coalition and held a roundtable discussion before concluding the visit with a tour of Buffalo Manufacturing Works and the Northland Corridor. Governor Kathy Hochul previously announced that the ESD Western New York Regional Office was awarded $25 million from the federal Build Back Better Challenge, the EDA’s marquee program under the American Rescue Plan. “ESD welcomes the EDA team to Buffalo to kick off the federal Build Back Better Regional Challenge, and we look forward to the positive effect it will have on Western New York's economy,” said Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight. “This transformational investment will help accelerate the efforts undertaken with our regional partners to develop and scale advanced manufacturing and train a skilled workforce to meet the needs of local industries.” “EDA is pleased to support the efforts of the Western New York Manufacturing Coalition as it works to create jobs, promote equitable economic development, revitalize Buffalo’s manufacturing sector, and build a more diverse workforce in the region,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary Alvord. “We applaud these efforts to transform Buffalo and position western New York for long-term growth and prosperity.” The Western New York coalition charged with implementing the plan that was the basis for WNY’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge winning application is made up of representatives from ESD’s Western New York office and the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council (WNYREDC), in partnership with University at Buffalo Regional Institute (UBRI). The plan includes projects that will scale up existing advanced manufacturing strategies through projects to spark innovation, advance inclusive workforce development, and develop needed infrastructure. Partners include Buffalo Manufacturing Works; Goodwill of WNY; and the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation. The three funded project/program components included in the plan are: Small & Medium Sized Manufacturer Manufacturing Technology Program/Buffalo Manufacturing Works.  This component will involve a program for local Small- and Medium-Size Manufacturers (SMMs) to overcome barriers to implementing technology features at their companies, including collaborative robotics (“cobotics”), to promote economic sustainability and job growth.  Buffalo Manufacturing Works will build an “Industry 4.0” ecosystem—which seeks revolutionize the way local companies manufacture, improve and distribute their products—and leverage partnerships with local SMMs, including hands-on training for upskilling current workers at these companies; programs for high school students to expose them to opportunities in advanced manufacturing; networking events/opportunities to collaborate on best practices on implementing innovation; and securing and fostering actual installations/application of cobotics, artificial intelligence, and other types of innovation at these companies. GoodSkills Career Builder/Goodwill of Western New York.  Working in partnership with employers and trainers, Goodwill will expand a pilot program developed in 2021 to foster career on-ramps in advanced manufacturing for local unemployed/underemployed individuals, focusing on underrepresented and underserved communities in Buffalo and WNY. GoodSkills Career Builder will move these individuals into careers, with support from Goodwill’s activities in recruitment, assessment, training, and actual placement in a new job, with additional support after placement to foster retention.  Northland Corridor Redevelopment Phase 3/Buffalo Urban Development Corporation.  The component will begin to renovate/restore remaining buildings on the Northland Campus to meet growing site demand of this emerging advanced manufacturing hub along Northland Avenue in East Buffalo. Buffalo Urban Development Corporation will redevelop two significant industrial buildings, complete a Clean Energy Microgrid, and enhance infrastructure to: create leasable space for local manufacturers and workforce training opportunities; grow new jobs/businesses; and provide low-cost electricity to the campus and adjoining residential neighborhood to promote equitable development in a distressed community. Today’s roundtable focused on the importance of the Build Back Better Regional Challenge and how it is providing generational investment in regional economies, driving economic recovery and putting communities across the country on the path towards economic competitiveness. The discussion also highlighted each grantee’s plans to foster the creation of and access to high quality jobs in innovative industries and ensure that all communities benefit from skill building, increased wages, and opportunities for advancement.  U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer said, “The $25 million from the Build Back Better Regional Challenge that I fought for and helped secure is a critical down payment to train workers with the skills needed for advanced manufacturing and tech jobs that are a cornerstone of the emerging economy. Training opportunities for workers from East Buffalo and beyond are needed to ensure access to the good-paying jobs from Buffalo’s tech and manufacturing revival are equitable and widely beneficial. I am glad today the Biden administration can see firsthand what I have long known: Western New York will be a central part of the foundation for America’s advanced manufacturing future. Western New York has all the right ingredients to be the nation’s next tech and advanced manufacturing hub, and I will not stop fighting to deliver more federal investment to ensure Buffalo workers secure good-paying jobs building our nation’s future.” Congressman Brian Higgins said, “This $25 million federal award will help propel local workers into meaningful, good-paying careers, advance opportunities for Western New York small businesses, and continue the federal investment in East Buffalo’s Northland Corridor.  We commend Empire State Development, and project partners Goodwill of Western New York, Buffalo Manufacturing Works, and Buffalo Urban Development Corporation, for their success in earning a spot as one of just 21 national winners receiving an award through EDA’s American Rescue Plan Build Back Better Regional Challenge.” Senator Tim Kennedy said, “As we slowly emerge from the pandemic, the federal Build Back Better Challenge is undoubtedly strengthening our economy and our workforce.  By investing in manufacturing, innovative technology, and our long-term infrastructure, the U.S. Economic Development Administration is accelerating the recovery of small businesses and the growth of equitable, dynamic employment opportunities in WNY and across the nation.” Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said, “Thank you to the U.S. Economic Development Administration for recognizing the life changing work taking place here in Buffalo and awarding $25 million in Build Back Better funds to Empire State Development and Buffalo Manufacturing Works, Goodwill of WNY, and the redevelopment of the Northland Corridor/Buffalo Urban Development Corp. Congratulations to all.” City of Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown said, “As the chairman of BUDC, one of the grantees of the Build Back Better Regional Challenge, I look forward to using this funding to help continue the work we’re doing to develop the city of Buffalo. I would also like to congratulate the other Western New York awardees.  The Build Back Better Regional Challenge will support the great work my administration has done to equitably expand opportunities for our city’s residents.” 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 the New York State 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, please visit  www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov. About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)  The U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) mission is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in economically distressed communities to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.  Contact: Pamm Lent | [email protected] | (716) 846-8309 Laura Magee | [email protected] | (716) 846-8239
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Thursday, December 8, 2022 - 10:25am
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Press Release

Wednesday, December 7, 2022 - 5:06pm
Includes Upgrades to Winter Sports Facilities, New Retail and Dining Areas, Improvements to Raise Environmental Standard for Future Host Cities Newly Renovated Lake Placid Olympic Museum to Open Tomorrow at Lake Placid Olympic Center Tickets to Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games Available Here Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the completion of a $104 million renovation of the Lake Placid Olympic Center ahead of the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games, which will take place from January 12-22, 2023. The renovations, completed by the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority, include upgrades to the Olympic Center's year-round facilities, as well as an all-new retail shop, indoor and outdoor dining area, and a fully updated Lake Placid Olympic Museum, which will open tomorrow, Thursday, December 8. Together, these upgrades mark the completion of final preparations for the Games and will support future winter sporting events in Lake Placid.         "The transformation of the Lake Placid Olympic Center honors the region's rich winter sport history and cements its standing as a global winter sport destination for decades to come," Governor Hochul said. "With these renovations now complete, New York is officially ready to welcome athletes and spectators from all over the world to next year's World University Games. I look forward to seeing the new arenas, shops, and dining areas in-person next month, and I encourage all New Yorkers to buy their tickets to this once-in-a-lifetime sporting event."     The Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games are an 11-day multi-winter sports event and educational festival, which is expected to draw 1,500 athletes from more than 50 countries and 600 universities to compete in 12 winter sports and 86 medal events. Tickets to the Games are available here.      Renovations to the Olympic Center, which is maintained and operated by ORDA, include revitalization of the 1980 Herb Brooks and 1932 Jack Shea Arenas, reconstruction of the James C. Sheffield Speed Skating Oval, an upgraded refrigeration plant, and larger, redesigned guest spaces. The venue's Miracle Plaza will also now have a new retail shop where visitors can purchase gifts and souvenirs and space for indoor and outdoor dining at Roamers Café with incredible views of the Adirondack High Peaks.       Read the full press release here.
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Press Release

Tuesday, December 6, 2022 - 2:19pm
Award-Winning Independent Design and Manufacturing Company Finalizes Move of Headquarters from Brooklyn to the Town of Ulster Empire State Development today announced the grand opening of the new global headquarters for RBW, a lighting design and manufacturing company, in the town of Ulster. In order to meet growing customer demand, RBW has acquired a new 100,000 square foot facility and will invest over $5.4 million for acquisition, construction and renovation and the purchase of machinery and equipment for their operations. Empire State Development has awarded RBW up to $547,500 in Excelsior Jobs Tax Credits in exchange for the retention of 35 and the creation of 49 new, local jobs. Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado said, "RBW has a forward-thinking vision that incorporates sustainability, cutting edge research and development, as well as innovation into their facility and products. We are pleased that they chose to locate their manufacturing facility in the Mid-Hudson Region." Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "RBW is a dynamic and creative company and is a perfect fit for the vibrant and up and coming Mid-Hudson Region. Manufacturing is an important component to the regional economy and RBW is creating beautiful products and their investment is bringing good jobs to Ulster County." RBW Managing Partner Charles Brill said, "RBW is looking forward to growing into its new headquarters for innovation and creativity in Kingston. We’re placing innovation at the forefront of all our projects and letting that mindset lead us. Whether that’s honoring our B Corp commitment and making a positive impact on the planet and our community, or establishing a state-of-the-art Industry 4.0 factory floor, we plan to be on the frontier of it all." RBW was founded in 2008 by Rhode Island School of Design graduates Theo Richardson, Charles Brill and Alex Williams. The three were college roommates sharing a basement studio on the Lower East Side in Manhattan and determined to embark on their design career, started out upcycling found objects to create furniture and eventually lighting fixtures. Early success landed them clients such as Urban Outfitters and eventually Fitbit, Yelp, Uber as well as high-end hotels across the country. From the Lower East Side, the company eventually established their headquarters in Brooklyn and after expanding several times, has set up operations in a new and larger facility in the Mid-Hudson Region that is 8x the scale of their previous headquarters and production space. RBW has renovated 100,000 square feet of their building, located at 575 Boices Lane, which has been largely vacant for the last five years. They added a new roof, solar panels, energy efficient LED lighting, daylight harvesting, dimming controls, and use collaborative robotics. Senator Michelle Hinchey said, "When visionary companies like RBW decide to move their global manufacturing headquarters to small upstate cities like Kingston, it feeds local innovation, delivers good local jobs, and supports the growth of a skilled local workforce — everything we are working towards to firmly establish upstate as a real economic driver. I’m proud to support this momentous grand opening, and I thank RBW for focusing its expansion in Ulster County." Acting Ulster County Executive Johanna Contreras said, "RBW is exactly the type of business we are striving to bring to Ulster County: a manufacturer that looks toward the future, cares for its workers by paying a living wage, and has an environmentally sustainable work model. I speak for the residents of Ulster County when I say thank you for choosing Ulster County for your headquarters." About RBW As an award-winning, independent design and manufacturing company, RBW is an American brand for a higher quality of light. By listening closely to the needs of customers, RBW’s forward-thinking, technology-driven approach invents lighting solutions that are out of the ordinary—products that take on unprecedented shapes or make subtle upgrades on familiar forms. Each collection embodies a distinct personality while upholding the hallmarks of RBW’s family DNA: Intuitive ease and simplicity. Integrity of craft and material. High-quality lighting with a playful point of view. As a Certified B Corp, RBW’s goal is to expand their status as a leader in the lighting design industry and make a positive impact on both the planet and community by upholding the highest standards in social and environmental accountability. Meticulously engineered for a broad range of applications, RBW lighting has been installed all over the world, from the renowned Noma restaurant in Copenhagen to Fortune 500 company offices across the United States. Thoroughly invested in customer success, RBW prides itself on providing excellent service, delivering quickly and reliably, while product specialists faithfully remain on call. For more information, visit: www.rbw.com. About Empire State Development Empire State Development 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 the 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: Kristin Devoe | [email protected] | (518) 414-1087 ESD Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313
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Press Release

Monday, December 5, 2022 - 11:00am
Five Downtown Revitalization Projects to Enhance Rochester's Vibrant Culture $10 Million Downtown Revitalization Initiative is Part of a Strategic Goal to Enrich the Community, Promote Business and Create Housing Opportunities Renderings of Projects Available Here Governor Kathy Hochul today announced five transformational projects in the City of Rochester as part of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative Award. The Awards will leverage the community's significant redevelopment investments with new infill projects and redevelopment of historic properties. Renderings of the Rochester revitalization projects are available here. "Through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, we are helping ensure our local partners have the resources they need to enhance New York's downtowns," Governor Hochul said. "With this $10 million award, we are ushering in a new era for Rochester and creating more opportunity for residents as we make the community a better place to live, work and play." The City of Rochester's revitalization is focused on creating an enhanced sense of place with renewed activity and liveliness. The Awards will transform the Downtown Revitalization Initiative by adding housing, lodging accommodations, commercial spaces and public infrastructure improvements. The investments are part of the Governor's ongoing efforts to revitalize the economy and create more opportunities within the Finger Lakes Region. The Downtown Revitalization Initiative is led by the Department of State providing technical assistance as each participating community develops a Strategic Investment Plan identifying specific projects with a unique vision for the revitalization of the downtown area. Read the full press release here.
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Press Release

Friday, December 2, 2022 - 4:15pm
Program will Jump-Start New York's Shovel-Readiness and Increase the State's Attractiveness to Large Employers Informational Webinar for Potential Applicants to be Held on December 15 Application Portal Opens December 15 Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the new up-to-$200 million Focused Attraction of Shovel-Ready Tracts grant program to attract and expand key growth industries in New York State will now accept Letters of Intent from potential applicants. FAST-NY provides certification and grant funding to help prepare key commercial sites across New York State for development in order to attract high-tech manufacturing; interstate distribution and logistics businesses; and other large employers. Empire State Development is accepting Letters of Intent as a first step in the application process and will accept applications on a rolling basis from those who have submitted letters once the application portal opens on December 15. "The new FAST-NY program will further establish New York's standing as a commercial hub by increasing our supply of shovel-ready sites and attracting the jobs and businesses of the future," Governor Hochul said. "With this up-to-$200 million investment, we are helping to supercharge our state's economy and draw in the key industries that bring high-growth, high-wage jobs. I encourage those interested in FAST NY to jumpstart their application by submitting a letter of intent." Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "The announced historic Micron investment in Central New York is proof positive that having a shovel ready site for companies to build on is a smart investment. As these companies look to take advantage of the federal CHIPS and Science and New York's own Green CHIPS program, New York will need additional shovel-ready sites, and FAST NY will help usher in a new era of growth."  Read the full press release here.
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Press Release

Thursday, December 1, 2022 - 3:24pm
Project Will Include Sale of Parcel and Multiple Buildings, Including One of the Largest Buildings on Buffalo's Waterfront Photo of the Property Available Here Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a Request For Proposals to redevelop the building known as Terminal A on Buffalo's Outer Harbor, an approximately 550,000-square- foot building that has been vacant for years. This RFP presents an opportunity for experienced real estate developers to purchase and transform the main terminal and three adjacent buildings into a unique waterfront destination, located at 901 Fuhrmann Boulevard. Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation, a state entity, envisions that the project could potentially include residential, restaurants, office space, cultural attractions and parking. Proposals are due by 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 30, 2023. "Terminal A is a massive vacant structure that has tremendous potential to become a destination that builds on the success of other Outer Harbor improvements," Governor Hochul said. "Now is the time for Buffalo to take advantage of this unique and historic architectural asset, much like what has occurred with large terminals in other waterfront cities. We look forward to seeing the creative proposals submitted for transforming the property into a destination that will attract visitors to the water's edge while also providing a unique place to live and thrive." Empire State Development President, CEO, and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "Governor Hochul's vision for the redevelopment of Terminal A represents yet another step in the dramatic revitalization of Buffalo's waterfront. We have seen how the Outer Harbor has become a must-see destination, benefiting from smart investments that have not only generated jobs, but have created pride in a place where people want to live, work and visit." Read the full press release here.
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