FOLLOWING HIS DIRECT ADVOCACY, SCHUMER DELIVERS $2.6 MILLION TO UPGRADE ROME’S GRIFFISS BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY PARK, ATTRACT NEW EMPLOYERS, CREATE NEW GOOD-PAYING JOBS, & SUPERCHARGE THE MOHAWK VALLEY’S ECONOMIC RECOVERY
Schumer Personally Wrote To Commerce Secretary Raimondo To Advocate For The Award To Build Essential Infrastructure At The Former Griffiss Air Force Base To Attract New Businesses
Schumer Created EDA Grant In American Rescue Plan With Projects Like Griffiss’s In Mind; Funding Will Replace Aging Infrastructure To Strengthen Rome As A Hub For Economic Development In The Mohawk Valley
Schumer: EDA Investment In Griffiss Business & Technology Park Is A Win-Win-Win, Attracting And Supporting Major Employers, Creating Jobs, & Strengthening Local Economy
Following his direct advocacy, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced that the Griffiss Local Development Corporation (GLDC) has been awarded a $2.6 million grant through the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) American Rescue Plan (ARP) Economic Adjustment Assistance program. Schumer said that this funding will upgrade essential infrastructure at the Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome, NY creating 30 new, good-paying jobs, attracting new businesses and strengthening the local economy in the Mohawk Valley.
“I am proud to have secured this $2.6 million to upgrade the Griffiss Business and Technology Park and supercharge the Mohawk Valley’s efforts to attract new businesses, create good-paying jobs, and strengthen the local economy,” said Senator Schumer. “Griffiss represents the single largest concentration of high-paying employment opportunities in the Mohawk Valley and this federal boost will give Rome the modern infrastructure it needs to accelerate our economic recovery and help Oneida County grow.”
“Griffiss has evolved into an economic engine, employing over 6,000 people and driving the economy of the Mohawk Valley and surrounding communities,” said Steven J. DiMeo, President of Mohawk Valley EDGE. “To capitalize of the momentum already generated at the Park, it is critical that GLDC upgrade the physical infrastructure of their real estate away from the legacy U.S. Air Force centralized steam system. All new development at the Park since 2010 has opted to use natural gas sourced heat due to its efficiency and lower cost. This grant will not only help our existing business grow, but will allow the Park to bring in additional companies and employment.”
“Energy efficiency is an important element to any business seeking to relocate or improve existing business operations at the Griffiss Business and Technology Park. This EDA award will allow GLDC to install natural gas boilers at several different installations in the Park. This is a smart investment of American Rescue Plan funds as it will service many different business interests at the Park and enhance the quality of energy available to those businesses. We thank Senator Schumer for shepherding this funding request through the EDA,” said Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo.
“This $2.6 million federal investment in Oneida County’s Griffiss Business & Technology Park will enable us to significantly upgrade the park’s heating system and meet the demands of the ever-growing businesses and organizations that call it home,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “We thank the U.S. Department of Commerce for these funds, and look forward to the further expansion that will result.”
“Since 1995, Griffiss Local Development Corporation (GLDC) has attracted more than $921 million in public and private investment to Griffiss Business and Technology Park,” said Elis DeLia, Chair of GLDC. “Today, Griffiss represents the single largest concentration of high paying employment opportunities in Central New York and we thank the US Department of Commerce and the US Economic Development Administration for their support to help Griffiss Park continue its growth trajectory with upgrades to its aging facilities.”
Specifically, this funding will upgrade Griffiss’s outdated central heating system with reliable natural gas boilers. Schumer explained that 7 office buildings in the Griffiss Business and Technology Park, formerly the Griffiss Air Force Base, have old legacy U.S. Air Force centralized steam systems for heat, which has both exceeded its useful life and become expensive to maintain. Since 2010, all new developments at the Park have opted to use natural gas-sourced heat due to its efficiency and lower cost, but the aging infrastructure in other sections had hampered further development. Now, thanks to this Schumer-secured EDA funding, Griffiss will be able to replace the aged steam infrastructure with affordable, reliable, and efficient heat that will reduce costs, help retain existing tenants, and will prepare more than 200,000 square feet of office space for new business investment.
Griffiss represents the single largest concentration of high-paying employment opportunities in the region. Average salaries of technology workers exceeded $100,000 in 2020 and today’s funding will boost the Park as a major economic engine in the Mohawk Valley. In addition, the EDA investment will be matched with $645,200 in local funds and is expected to generate $200,000 in private investment.
This project is funded through a $500 million set aside in EDA’s Economic Adjustment Assistance program that Senator Schumer secured as a part of the American Rescue Plan to accelerate economic recovery from the pandemic and help communities like Rome put people back to work through projects designed to strengthen the local economy and make the region more competitive for good-paying jobs and new business investment.
A copy of Schumer’s original letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo appears below:
Dear Secretary Raimondo:
I am pleased to write in support of the application submitted by the Griffiss Local Development Corporation (GLDC) to the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA).
Since 1995, GLDC has been successful in this mission by attracting more than $829 million in public and private investment to the park. Today, Griffiss represents the single largest concentration of high paying employment opportunities in Central New York. Average salaries of technology workers exceeded $100K in 2020. Total employment at the park is expected to reach 6,000 by the end of 2021. Griffiss has evolved into an economic engine, driving the economy of the Mohawk Valley and surrounding communities.
With funding, GLDC will upgrade the heating systems in 7 office buildings located in the Griffiss Business and Technology Park. The 7 office buildings in need of heating system upgrades depend on a legacy U.S. Air Force centralized steam system. The steam distribution infrastructure has far exceeded its useful life and is becoming increasingly more expensive to maintain. As these costs rise, the customer base for steam is dwindling. All new development at the park since 2010 has opted to use natural gas sourced heat due to its efficiency and lower cost. In addition, both Oneida County and the U.S. Air Force have embarked on programs to convert their facilities to natural gas, drastically reducing the future demand for steam and forcing the burden of maintaining the infrastructure to fewer, and smaller companies.
These buildings, which are owned and maintained by GLDC, are leased to multiple private companies (Assured Information Security, Peraton, BAE, CUBRC), many of which support various aspects of the Department of Defense through contracts with the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate. The lease revenue generated represents a significant source of funding enabling GLDC to continue its chartered mission of redeveloping the former Griffiss Air Force Base as a Business and Technology Park.
I applaud the Griffiss Local Development Corporation for their foresight, and sincerely hope the application meets with your approval. Thank you for your consideration.
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