FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 7, 2012
SCHUMER: IT’S OFFICIAL – BAE TO STAY IN THE SOUTHERN TIER, AND WILL SET UP PERMANENT SHOP AT HURON LOCATION
Since Storms Hit Last Year And Caused Serious Damage to BAE Facility, Schumer Has Relentlessly Pressed The Air Force, FEMA, And The Economic Development Administration To Implement A Plan To Keep BAE In The Southern Tier
Today, BAE Signs Lease For Huron Site, the Company’s Home For Foreseeable Future, Keeping Nearly 1,300 Jobs In The Southern Tier – Schumer Announces DOD Support To Ensure Former Facility Doesn’t Become A Blight On The Community
Schumer: BAE’s Future In The Southern Tier Is Now Signed, Sealed and Delivered
Today U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that BAE Systems will maintain their presence in the Southern Tier and will remain at the Huron Campus in Endicott, which has served as their temporary home since last year’s tropical storms wreaked havoc on their former facility. The announcement comes after Schumer successfully pushed the Air Force, FEMA, and Economic Development Administration (EDA) to map out a plan to minimize BAE’s costs, making it affordable for them to stay in the Southern Tier.
After BAE’s Johnson City facility was severely damaged in the flooding, BAE had considered moving out of the Southern Tier, in part due to the high costs of closing down their facility, which is owned by the Air Force. Following the flood, Schumer personally spoke with Defense Secretary Panetta, Air Force Secretary Donley, FEMA Administrator Fugate, and top BAE officials urging them to work together on a plan to keep BAE in the Southern Tier. After repeated calls and meetings, the Air Force committed to helping to pay for a significant portion of the costs associated with closing down the damaged facility, paving the way for BAE to officially sign a lease agreement to remain in Endicott.
“Today’s lease means that BAE and the Southern Tier will be joined at the hip for years to come,” said Schumer. “It also means that nearly 1300 good-paying jobs are going to stay right where they belong, serving as the foundation for our continued economic recovery from Tropical Storms Irene and Lee. BAE decided to stick with the Southern Tier because they know there isn’t a better workforce anywhere in the world. The quality of our workforce is unmatched, and I’m confident that BAE will enjoy its best years right here in Endicott. I want to thank the Air Force, FEMA, and the EDA for making this possible, and look forward to visiting BAE’s ‘new’ home.”
Schumer pressed the U.S. Air Force and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to develop a plan to keep BAE Systems, an employer of nearly 1,300, in the Southern Tier by assuring the company and the Broome County IDA that the federal government will take the lead role in closing down the destroyed facility in Johnson City. Tropical Storm Lee caused millions of dollars of damage to the physical structure of 600 Main, BAE’s federally-owned facility, and caused damage to the company’s equipment and inventory. BAE Systems produced high-tech equipment for a variety of applications within the federal government, including the U.S. military, in its Johnson City facility which is owned by the U.S. Air Force. Schumer successfully pushed the federal government to quickly devise a response plan for the swift disposition of the federal facility, which could include long-term closure or demolition of the building.
After the flooding, Schumer argued that neither the company nor Broome County IDA should be responsible for the orderly disposition of the facility so that both parties can focus like a laser on relocating BAE jobs in the Southern Tier. BAE made it clear to Schumer’s office that as a tenant in a federal building, they cannot be wrongly burdened with the responsibility of shutting down or demolishing the facility if they were to remain financially viable in the Southern Tier. Following personal calls and a meeting in Schumer’s office, the federal agencies agreed that BAE should not be responsible for the costs of winding down the facility. The decision makes it cost effective for BAE to reopen at another facility in the Southern Tier, as opposed to breaking up the work done in Johnson City and sending it to other BAE facilities across the country.
The damage from Tropical storm Lee had forced BAE to seriously explore options to relocate from the Southern Tier. The site has long been plagued by environmental legacy issues dating back decades and the closure or demolition of the facility will likely be a long and tenuous process. Schumer fought to protect the BAE jobs because they will help serve as a centerpiece of the region’s recovery efforts from the September floods.
Schumer today also announced that the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment will work with community leaders to begin planning for the redevelopment of the former BAE facility in Johnson City, now slated for demolition following flood damaged sustained during Tropical Storm Lee. In order to prevent the former BAE facility from becoming a blighted drag on the local economy, Schumer asked DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment to work with Broome County and IDA officials to redevelop the site as soon as it is demolished. With BAE now officially planning to relocate in another facility, Schumer is seeking to minimize the impact on Johnson City businesses which relied on BAE for a great deal of their revenue. Following a meeting in Schumer’s office, the Department of Defense has agreed to help plan for a new use for the old site to ensure that it does not weigh down local businesses. BAE Systems is a global defense and security company that delivers a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and support services. BAE Systems is one of the largest employers in the Southern Tier.