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Funding released for projects that will spur economic opportunity in four regions

ALBANY - Funding for four projects that will spur economic opportunity across Western New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley and Long Island has been approved by Empire State Development’s (ESD) Board of Directors. The $5.4 million will finance projects will create nearly 40 new jobs and retain more than 200 existing jobs. This funding also will leverage more than $21 million in additional investments to support business growth and lay the groundwork for future economic growth and job creation.

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

The Board approved the following Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) award grants:

Jacobs Institute – Priority Project (Western New York Region – Erie County) – $4,000,000
The Jacobs Institute (JI), a medical research and development center focusing on fostering innovation in patient care and economic development, will use a grant of up to $4 million for a portion of furniture, fixtures, and equipment expenditures to furnish the newly-established Centers for Innovation and Entrepreneurship – the first center for entrepreneurship in the heart of a clinical facility in the United States. The project will create 25 new full-time permanent jobs by January 1, 2016.

Hofstra University – Priority Project (Long Island Region – Nassau County) – $1,000,000
Hofstra University, a private, nonsectarian, coeducational institution of higher learning located in Hempstead, Long Island, will use an ESD grant for a portion of the cost of facility renovations and the purchase of machinery and equipment for Hofstra University’s School of Engineering building.

ORAFOL Precision Technology Center (Finger Lakes Region – Monroe County) – $200,000
ORAFOL Precision Technology Center, Inc., a producer of specialty tooling used to manufacture microstructured optical films and plastic lenses, will use a grant of up to $200,000 to help fund a $12 million project that includes the construction of a 48,000-square-foot addition to the company’s facility to create a tooling center for North American operations.   As a result of this project, ORAFOL will retain 60 existing jobs, including 29 that were at risk, and create seven new jobs. The company has already exceeded this number, having created nine new jobs.

Gehring Tricot – Priority Project (Mohawk Valley Region – Herkimer County) – $200,000
Gehring Tricot Corporation, a designer and manufacturer of a variety of knit and woven fabrics for diverse industries including medical, sports, safety, aerospace, apparel, and the military, will use a grant of up to $200,000 for a portion of the cost of the purchase of machinery and equipment. To date, the company has completed replacement of the roof on the Hough Street facility and purchased $600,000 of new machinery and equipment. Gehring will retain 149 jobs and create seven new jobs, two of which have already been created.