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Funding Will Be Used To Support BDCC’s Research And Development And To Create A ‘Forest Economy’

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced $1.5 million in federal funding to Alfred State College (ASC) in Alfred, New York. The funding was allocated through the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) for the Biorefinery Development and Commercialization Center (BDCC), the center will be a major “launching pad” that will leverage natural resources like wood to create sustainable businesses and facilitate the growth of a “New Forest Economy” in the United States. The funding will be used for to support equipment, training, and new jobs in the region.

“This is great news for Alfred State and the entire Southern Tier. This federal investment will help bring 15 new businesses and 125 good paying pay jobs to the Southern Tier and push this region’s economy into the future,” said Senator Schumer.  “The work done at BDCC will help create a ‘New Forest Economy’ by working with local partners and using the region’s abundant natural resources to spur long term economic development. I will fight tooth and nail to make sure Alfred State College continues to have the resources it needs to leverage the region’s workforce and grow private enterprise.”

“ Alfred State College knows the ARC funding for the BDCC project will have high impact by supporting equipment , training and developing a network across the ARC region. Developing the proven Hot Water Extraction process in the BDCC will allow Alfred State to lead in the biorefining development and training in the region through the partners in the network,“ said Craig R. Clark, PE, PhD, Vice President for Economic Development, Alfred State College.

“This award is a blueprint for new jobs, fresh opportunities, and a robust economic future for New York’s Southern Tier.” said ARC Federal Co-Chairman Earl F. Gohl.  “It is part of a strategy to bring added capital into the Region, and help the region prepare to globally compete in manufacturing, technology, construction, and a variety of other industry sectors.”

Schumer explained the Southern Tier continues to be one of the most economically distressed areas of the Northeast. Alfred’s BDCC project offers an opportunity to reverse this trend by utilizing the area’s rich natural resources.

The Appalachian Regional Commission is a regional economic development agency that helps grow local economies by improving water and sewer systems, increasing school readiness, expanding access to health care, investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, assisting local communities with strategic planning, and providing technical and managerial assistance to emerging businesses. ARC grants are awarded to local governments, agencies, non-profits and schools, in order to be used for economic development initiatives.

Schumer’s letter to Acting Assistant Secretary Guevara appears below: 

Thomas Guevara

Acting Assistant Secretary

U.S. Department of Commerce

Dear Acting Assistant Secretary Guevara:

I am pleased to write in support of the application submitted by Alfred State College to the Economic Development Administration’s Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance grant program.  Alfred State College will utilize the funding to establish a Biorefinery Development and Commercialization Center (BDCC).

The BDCC will facilitate the growth of the “New Forest Economy” in the United States, while investing a struggling region of New York State at the same time. The BDCC is designed to proliferate new technologies in the private marketplace, while simultaneously acting as a research/development hub and biotechnology incubator. Alfred State College envisions the BDCC as a public-private “launching pad” for commercialization of these new technologies and products – with the potential to spur economic development in the Upstate New York region. Additionally, the facility is the only in the United States that will manufacture clean, acid-free cellulosic nanomaterial (CNM), among an array of other products.   

The Southern Tier, at the northern tip of Appalachia, continues to be one of the most economically distressed areas of the Northeast. The BDCC project offers an opportunity to reverse this trend by combining the region’s abundant natural resources with much needed capital. As Western New York’s leading technical college, as well as the economic development arm of Allegany County, Alfred State College is uniquely positioned to both leverage the region’s workforce and resources to grow private enterprise. I applaud Alfred State College for its foresight, and sincerely hope the application meets with your approval.