Inside DICK'S Sporting Goods distribution center in New York's Southern Tier.

DICK’S: Fostering a Lifetime of Sports

April 12, 2021

The story of DICK’S Sporting Goods — a national retail chain that employs more than 3,400 people in New York State alone — is one of perseverance and gumption. In 1948, an 18-year-old named Dick Stack was asked by his boss at a local Army surplus store in Binghamton, N.Y. to make a list of items that would lure fishing tackle clientele. That list ultimately inspired Stack to open his own bait-and-tackle shop, that in just 10 years, grew to include sales of sporting equipment; the same mix of items that DICK’S stocks today at its stores around the country.  

In 1984, Stack’s son, Ed, took charge of the business, and together with his siblings, expanded into a chain across 47 states, with five major distribution centers. The fifth center opened in January 2018 in Broome County, in New York’s Southern Tier, where it all began. And in 2019, the distribution center expanded and became the company’s first-ever direct to consumer fulfillment center. In a span of just three years, the distribution and fulfillment center brought over 530 additional full-time jobs to the Southern Tier region. DICK’S sells equipment for nearly every sport — from running to swimming, lacrosse and softball — and believes strongly in the values that playing sports instill in kids and adults. Thanks to their distribution centers, that equipment is readily accessible, a key aspect of the sporting goods business, explains George Giacobbe, DICK’S Senior Vice President of Supply Chain. 

“The DICK’S customer likes to have options for how and when they buy and receive the products they need,” Giacobbe says. “DICK’S addresses that through its omni-channel approach, offering customers the ability to shop in-store or online – and to have what they’ve ordered delivered to their house or available at the store for pick up. We are where they want us to be.” 

Like the company’s other distribution facilities, the center in Conklin prioritizes using the “newest designs and technology to optimally move goods,” Giacobbe notes. “When researching a location for a fifth center, our team found that Conklin was a perfect place because of its business-friendly environment, and the quality and reliability of the workforce.” Plus, he says, “the opportunity to bring jobs to DICK’S hometown” was an exciting aspect of the new location in the southern part of the county.

A Distribution Center with Roots

“We’re a proud employer,” Giacobbe says, referring to the company’s focus on employees and its long relationship to New York State. The Southern Tier facility was picked, in part, due to Conklin’s proximity to the I-81 corridor, a primary north-south travel and commuting route, which is “a huge benefit” for the company’s distribution work.

In 2015, the Southern Tier was awarded $500 million as part of the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, geared toward helping Upstate cities thrive. Recent Southern Tier projects have focused on growth in areas including agriculture and quality of life projects such as the Watkins Glen International Speedway, currently undergoing upgrades to attract tourists.

The approximately 650,000-square-foot Conklin distribution center occupies 65 acres on a 123-acre site. 

The expansion of the distribution center added an additional 250,000 square feet to house DICK’S first in-house fulfillment center. The center features over six miles of conveyor and showcases technology that is the latest in ecommerce order fulfillment, including 134 robots that place product into a grid of 97,000 bins. Prior to the fulfillment center, the facility completed about 2,000 online orders a day; now, it completes 18,000+ orders on an average day, with ability to process a much higher amount during peak fulfillment season. 

The Hometown Advantage

Giacobbe says the company feels a broad commitment to sports, plus a very personal one in the places where it does business. “We take pride in becoming active members of the community,” he says, and that pride is manifested through company initiatives and support for community athletic programs. The company also cites the developmental benefits of playing sports. “We believe sports build character, increase confidence, motivate kids to stay in school and aim for higher education,” Giacobbe adds.

To that end, since 2014, DICK'S and The DICK'S Foundation have given over $100 million in funding to youth sports teams in need through the Foundation’s Sports Matter initiative. “Throughout the years, we have given over one million youth athletes the chance to play and raised awareness” about the value of sports, Giacobbe adds.

“DICK’S Sporting Goods was born in Binghamton, and we’ve never forgotten that,” said Giacobbe. "To be able to bring jobs to this region through our distribution center, to still operate stores here – including store #1 – and to be able to give back to the Southern Tier communities means so much to us. It’s our history – but also a big part of our future.”

SUNY Broome Community College President Dr. Kevin Drumm Named New STREDC Co-Chair

April 13, 2020

Dr. Drumm Succeeds Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger as the Council's Academic Representative

The Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council (STREDC) today announced that Dr. Kevin Drumm, President of SUNY Broome Community College, has been appointed as Co-Chair of the Council, effective immediately. Dr. Drumm succeeds Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger who has served as the Co-Chair of the council since 2013. Dr. Drumm joins Judy McKinney Cherry, Executive Director, Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED) on the council as the STREDC continues working to grow the economy in the eight county Southern Tier region which includes: Broome, Tioga, Chenango, Delaware, Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Tompkins counties.

“The statewide Regional Economic Development Councils have brought together local stakeholders in academia, business, education, and non-profits to spearhead economic development projects in their communities,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Chair of the statewide Regional Economic Development Councils. “The Southern Tier REDC has invested in clean energy, manufacturing, and infrastructure projects to strengthen the economy of the region and create new job opportunities. I congratulate Dr. Kevin Drumm, President of SUNY Broome Community College, as the new co-chair of the Southern Tier REDC, and thank longtime co-chair Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger for his tireless efforts. Dr. Drumm’s experience and knowledge will help to advance the Southern Tier Soaring development strategy and continue the momentum of growth now and in the future.”

STREDC Co-Chair, Judy McKinney Cherry, Executive Director, Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED) said, "Harvey Stenger’s leadership and dedication to the regional council has simply been transformative for the Southern Tier region. I am incredibly grateful for his tireless commitment to the council. Our success as a council has been grounded in his belief that the collaborations at and beyond our table are key to driving real, lasting economic opportunity in region and thanks to his innovative ideas the Southern Tier region is indeed soaring. I can think of no one better to take over for Harvey than Kevin Drumm, who will bring a new set of ideas to the table that will help us to further our focused mission for the region.”

STREDC Co-Chair and Broome Community College President Kevin Drumm said, “I am honored to assume this role on behalf of the Southern Tier. I would like to thank the Governor for this exciting opportunity and also to thank my colleague, President Stenger, for his several years of leadership in the role.”

Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger said, “Serving as co-chair of the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) has been a great honor. I’ve enjoyed working with so many individuals committed to improving the economic vitality of the region and am immensely proud of the many successes we’ve achieved. This program can be a model for other states and has fundamentally enhanced the quality of life in the Southern Tier and throughout New York. Kevin Drumm has been intimately involved with much of the work of the Council and his leadership will place the Council in good hands.”

Dr. Drumm became the seventh president of SUNY Broome Community College in February 2010.  During his tenure, he has overseen a dramatic transformation of SUNY Broome’s campus including the construction of the $21 million Natural Science Center and the transformation of the downtown Binghamton’s historic Carnegie Library into the SUNY Broome Culinary and Event Center, training students for future careers in the hospitality industry. Before coming to SUNY Broome, he served as president of the Northern Wyoming Community College District from 2004-2010. Prior to becoming president of NWCCD, Dr. Drumm was Vice President for Enrollment/Student & Public Affairs at Springfield Technical Community College in Springfield, Massachusetts. Dr. Drumm’s career also includes working in a variety of student services and academic affairs positions at community colleges, universities and private colleges, ranging from Student Life Director and Assistant Academic Dean to Vice President for Student Affairs at a New Hampshire community college.

The REDC process has transformed New York State government's approach to economic development, creating a statewide framework for bottom-up, regional economic growth and streamlining the state funding application process. Established in 2011 as a centerpiece of the governor's strategy to jumpstart the economy and create jobs, the Regional Councils replaced the state's old top-down approach with one that is community-based and performance-driven. Through nine rounds of the REDC competition, the Southern Tier REDC has delivered $702.3 million for 764 projects.

To learn more about the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council, click here.

Accelerating Southern Tier Soaring 

Today's announcement complements “Southern Tier Soaring,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $7.4 billion in the region since 2012 to lay for groundwork for the plan – attracting a talented workforce, growing business and driving innovation. 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 Binghamton, Johnson City and Corning as a destination in which to grow and invest. Now, the region is accelerating Southern Tier Soaring 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 10,200 new jobs. More information is available here.

About the Regional Economic Development Councils

The Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative is a key component of Governor Cuomo's approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources.

After nine rounds of the REDC process, more than $6.9 billion has been awarded to more than 8,300 job creation and community development projects consistent with each region's strategic plans, projecting to create and retain more than 240,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.

 

Contact:
Shari Voorhees-Vincent | [email protected] | (585)399-7055
ESD Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313

Empire State Development Announces Expansion of Ithaca Community Childcare Center

November 4, 2019

Ithaca Community Childcare Center Will Expand Capacity and Services to Address Barriers to the Workforce for Parents by Providing after School and Part-Day Toddler and Pre-K Programming 

Investment Complements “Southern Tier Soaring” - The Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

Empire State Development today announced the planned expansion of Ithaca Community Childcare Center located in Ithaca, NY in Tompkins County. Ithaca Community Childcare Center will expand capacity and services to address barriers to the workforce for parents by providing after school and part-day toddler and pre-k programming. This expansion will add classrooms, a gross motor space, relocate the front entrance and offices for better security and centralize operations to respond to the growing demand for quality and affordable childcare in the greater Ithaca area.

Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and CEO and President-Designate Eric Gertler said, “Many families across the state have limited access to affordable, quality childcare, especially in more rural areas where spots are limited or far from home and work, which creates a real challenge for working parents. This investment towards the expansion of the Ithaca Community Childcare Center makes economic sense and is a necessary component of supporting working families and growing the local economy.

Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Harvey Stenger, President of Binghamton University and Judy McKinney-Cherry said, “Often one of the biggest challenges for families in the region is finding child care, and tackling this challenge is one of our biggest priorities. This investment in Ithaca Community Childcare Center is just the beginning of identifying and implementing long term solutions that help families access childcare in their community - allowing parents to work with peace of mind that their children will be in good hands.”

This $3.9 million project at Ithaca Community Childcare Center will add 7,375 square feet and renovate 2,436 square feet of existing space at their Warren Road location which will include four new classrooms and a gross motor skills room.  To assist with the expansion and renovation, the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council has awarded a Round VIII Empire State Development Capital Grant in the amount of $790,000. Construction is expected to be completed in early 2021.

Ithaca Community Childcare Center Executive Director, Sherri Koski said, "We are excited about the opportunity that this grant has provided us to better meet the needs in our community. Currently there is an inadequate amount of child care in our area. This scarcity has impact beyond families, significantly impacting employers, businesses and the region as a whole. This project is an important step in addressing the childcare issues that so many are facing today." 

Senator Tom O’Mara said, “The expansion of the Ithaca Community Childcare Center is a critical piece of an ongoing community and workforce development strategy that will help strengthen families, attract and expand local businesses, and create local jobs.  It’s an important project deserving of this significant state investment.”

“I couldn’t be happier at this significant investment of state funding that will expand services at the Ithaca Community Childcare Center,” Assemblymember Barbara Lipton said. “Access to quality and affordable childcare is a major issue for the constituents of my Assembly district, and I’m pleased that childcare services are now being recognized as a critical component of our workforce and economic development goals. I applaud everyone who was involved with making this project a reality and I want to offer my thanks to the Governor, as well, for his recognition of the need for childcare across New York State.”

Martha Robertson, Chair of the Tompkins County Legislature said, “For people across the skills and education spectrum, child care is one of the most serious barriers to employment in Tompkins County. Parents struggle to find and keep affordable, quality child care, and many simply decide not to work outside the home as a result. We’re delighted and grateful that Empire State Development is recognizing the urgency of this issue with this grant to the Ithaca Community Childcare Center, and we congratulate IC3 on this important milestone.”

Accelerating Southern Tier Soaring 

Today's announcement complements “Southern Tier Soaring,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $6.2 billion in the region since 2012 to lay for groundwork for the plan – attracting a talented workforce, growing business and driving innovation. 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 Binghamton, Johnson City and Corning as a destination in which to grow and invest. Now, the region is accelerating Southern Tier Soaring 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 10,200 new jobs. More information is available here.

Contacts:
Kristin Devoe | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313
Shari Voorhees-Vincent | [email protected] | (585) 399-7055
ESD Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313

Governor Cuomo Announces Hornell as $10 Million Southern Tier Winner of Fourth-round Downtown Revitalization Initiative

October 9, 2019

State to Collaborate with Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council to Revitalize Hornell's Downtown

Part of Governor's Comprehensive Approach to Transform Communities into Vibrant Neighborhoods and Boost Local Economies

Downtown Revitalization Investments Complement "Southern Tier Soaring" - The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that Hornell will receive $10 million in funding as the Southern Tier winner of the fourth round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. As in the first three rounds of the DRI, one municipality from each of the state's 10 regional economic development regions is selected as a $10 million winner, marking another overall state goal to target $100 million in funding and investments to help communities boost their economies by transforming downtowns into vibrant neighborhoods where the next generation of New Yorkers will want to live, work and raise a family.

"With this funding Hornell has a great opportunity to enhance its downtown area and secure better quality of life for the residents, along with a more robust economic future for the region," Governor Cuomo said. "We have seen a remarkable resurgence across New York's Southern Tier communities as a result of strategic investments through programs like the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, and we will continue to work with and empower these communities as they work to make the most of their local assets."

"With funding from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, Hornell will be able to reimagine its future and invest in key projects to grow the local economy," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "I've been to DRI communities across New York, and have seen firsthand the transformation that occurs with this targeted investment. The City of Hornell will now begin a planning effort to support local projects and attract businesses to the area, helping to boost the entire Southern Tier region."

Read the full press release here. 

Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council Submits 2019 Progress Report

Council Endorses 26 Priority Projects for Round IX of Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council Initiative

October 2, 2019

The Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council (STREDC) today announced it recently submitted its 2019 Progress Report to New York State to meet the October 1 deadline. The progress report details the council’s achievements in implementing its strategic plan and reflects the region's progress on efforts to ensure sustainable and long-term growth in the eight-county region and to leverage the region’s advantages in key industry sectors. The STREDC represents an eight-county region composed of Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins counties.

In furtherance of these goals, strategies and initiatives, the report recommends 26 priority projects to advance the region’s growth objectives. These projects represent up to $23 million in requested state funding, leveraging more than $109 million in private and other funding for total project expenses of more than $133 million. Detailed information about the STREDC’s 2019 Progress Report can be viewed on the STREDC website.

"We have provided our annual progress report to the state," said STREDC Co-Chairs Dr. Harvey Stenger, president of Binghamton University; and Judy McKinney Cherry, executive director of Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED). "We are measuring the performance and progress of our strategic plan and implementing strategies that will be used to achieve economic development success now and in the future, ensuring the region continues to soar for years to come."

Round IX of the REDC initiative will award more than $750 million in state funding and tax incentives, including up to $150 million in capital grants and up to $75 million in Excelsior Tax Credits for projects and activities identified by the Councils as regional priorities in their communities. Additionally, over $525 million from state agency programs will be awarded through the CFA process. Funding awards will be announced by the end of the year.

The REDC process has transformed New York State government’s approach economic development, creating a statewide framework for bottom-up, regional economic growth and streamlining the state funding application process.  Since 2011, the first year of the initiative, over $6.1 billion has been awarded to more than 7,300 projects that are projected to create and retain more than 230,000 jobs statewide. Through eight rounds of the REDC competition, Southern Tier REDC has been awarded $613.3 million for 655 projects.

2019 REDC Competition

In 2019, all 10 REDCs will be competing for a designation as a Top Performer. Five Top Performers will be selected and will receive a share of $100 million in Empire State Development Capital Grant funding, with the remaining five regions receiving a share of $50 million in Empire State Development Capital Grant funding. Each region will also be eligible for up to $75 million in Excelsior Tax Credits.  Each region will also receive $10 million to implement projects identified through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, and projects from all 10 regions submitted through the CFA will be eligible for over $525 million in other state agency funds.

About the Consolidated Funding Application

As part of Governor Cuomo’s efforts to improve the state’s economic development model, a NYS Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) was created to streamline and expedite the grant application process. The CFA process marks a fundamental shift in the way state resources are allocated, ensuring less bureaucracy and greater efficiency to fulfill local economic development needs. The CFA serves as the single-entry point for access to economic development funding, ensuring applicants no longer have to slowly navigate multiple agencies and sources without any mechanism for coordination. Now, economic development projects use the CFA as a support mechanism to access multiple state funding sources through one application, making the process quicker, easier, and more productive. To access the CFA, please visit https://apps.cio.ny.gov/apps/cfa/.

About the Regional Economic Development Councils

The Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative is a key component of Governor Cuomo’s approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.

Contact:
Shari Voorhees-Vincent | [email protected] | (585) 399-7055
ESD Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313

Governor Cuomo Announces Ribbon Cutting on $14 Million Centerpiece Project of Elmira Downtown Revitalization Initiative

September 18, 2019

West Water Street Mixed-Use Development Now Officially Open for Business in Downtown Elmira

Investment in Downtown Revitalization is Important Component of "Southern Tier Soaring," The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the City of Elmira has officially opened the doors on this centerpiece project of its Downtown Revitalization Initiative effort. Developer Park Grove Realty constructed a 65,000 square-foot, mixed-use development at 100 West Water Street downtown. The $14 million project included commercial and retail space and features 51 units of market-rate housing units, all of which are occupied. The West Water Street Project will also soon be home to a new coffee shop which will be run by Capabilities, an organization that empowers and assists people with disabilities

"As we focus on reenergizing Elmira's city center, the West Water Street project will help ensure that the Southern Tier continues to soar, laying the foundation for future growth and development across the entire region," Governor Cuomo said. "Today's ribbon cutting is just another testament that our Downtown Revitalization Initiative is working to boost local economies all across the state."

"Downtown Elmira is rich in culture and history, and we are building the momentum of excitement, growth, and prosperity in the area," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "I was proud to announce Elmira as a Downtown Revitalization Initiative award winner, along with the winning projects as part of the DRI and return again today to mark the opening of the West Water Street development. The project added 51 market-rate apartments, which are already fully occupied, along with new businesses in commercial and retail space. The DRI is helping to make Elmira's downtown more accessible and business-friendly, while increasing the use of the Chemung waterfront to enhance quality of life and strengthen the economy."

Read the full press release here.