SCHUMER ANNOUNCES: STUDENT LOAN COMPANY, COAST PROFESSIONAL, WILL NEARLY DOUBLE WORKFORCE, CREATING OVER 200 NEW JOBS IN GENESEO; IN JUNE 2015, SENATOR SUCCESSFULLY LOBBIED DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO ENSURE COAST COULD KEEP NEW 5-YEAR CONTRACT; ELIMINATION OF CRITICAL FED CONTRACT WOULD HAVE BEEN DEVASTATING TO LIVINGSTON COUNTY
In June 2015, Threats Loomed That U.S. Department Of Education Could Break A Pending Contract With Geneseo Company, Coast Professional; Schumer Immediately Intervened & Convinced Top Education Officials To Move Forward With Pending Contract – Paving The Way To New Jobs
With New Contract Secured, Coast Will Begin Construction in 30 Days To Nearly Double The Size Of Its Geneseo Facility & Workforce
Schumer: New Fed Contract Means Over 200 New Jobs for Geneseo
During a visit to Geneseo, NY, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, joined by the President of Coast Professional Inc., Roxanne Baker, made the major announcement that the company will hire more than 200 new employees and nearly double the size of its workforce, due, in large part, to a new government contract that Senator Schumer helped assure. This announcement comes on the heels of Senator Schumer’s efforts to ensure Coast Professional, with facilities in Geneseo and the Town of Henrietta, did not lose this pending contract due to federal red tape.
In June 2015, threats loomed that the Department of Education could eliminate a critical pending contract with Coast, which could have been devastating to Coast’s operations in Livingston County and the Town of Henrietta. Following this news, Schumer fought to ensure that didn’t happen. Schumer successfully urged U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to honor the 5-year contract awarded to Coast, and give the company a fair opportunity to address any performance concerns.
“Coast Professional has been absolutely critical to the Upstate NY economy – and these additional 200 jobs will surely cement its place as a staple in the Livingston County business community. That’s why I fought to make sure the Department of Education did not renege on the five-year contract that has kept this company in business and allowed it to flourish,” said Senator Schumer. “Coast’s nearly doubling of its workforce will allow the company to help more student borrowers out of debt and continue as a critical engine of economic development in the Finger Lakes area.”
Coast Professional, Inc. opened in Geneseo in 2008. The company grew quickly and became a large part of the Livingston County business community. In 2013, Coast opened a second location in the Town of Henrietta. Schumer explained that, Coast is one of a few small business companies that the Department of Education contracted with in order to conduct student loan rehabilitation work, under a 5-year contract beginning in 2009. When that contract ended in 2014, the Department of Education put a bid out for a new 5-year contract. Coast bid on this opportunity and was selected by the Department of Education as one of 11 small companies to win the contract, which was set to start in August 2015. In the intervening time, the Department of Education provided month-to-month contract extensions with Coast until the new pending contract could begin in August 2015. But then, in February 2015, Coast, along with a few of the other companies, was abruptly cut off. In February 2015 the Department of Ed abruptly terminated its contracts with several student loan contractors, including Coast, without first giving the companies a chance to address the Department of Educations’ concerns that these companies had a higher rate of performance violations than other contractors. This spread uncertainty about whether or not the Department of Education would try and rescind the new pending 5-year contract set to start in the summer of 2015.
Schumer said this was tragic for the Geneseo-based company and, without the month-to-month extensions, Coast had to downsize. Many worried that a rescinded 5-year contract would be the final blow dealt to Coast, despite the fact that Coast was rated by the Department of Education as the highest performing Small Business Contractor under the 5-year contract that began in 2009 and despite the Department of Education awarding Coast the highest rating of “Exceptional” on its annual reports in the five years leading up to February 2015. Therefore, Schumer stepped in and advocated for Coast. Through the spring and summer of 2015, Schumer made several calls with Department of Education officials to push the agency to let Coast defend its work, take corrective action if necessary and to keep the upcoming 5-year contract. Following his efforts, in June 2015, the agency confirmed for Schumer that it determined it would not rescind the new 5-year small business set-aside contract that Coast won, but would take steps to ensure contractors had “adequate quality control mechanisms” in place before starting the new 5-year contract. By September 2015, Coast had satisfied the Department of Education that it had adequate quality controls in place and the new 5-year contract began in October 2015. Over the past year, Coast offered jobs back to every worker it was forced to let go during the tumultuous time in 2015. Almost all of those workers came back and have now been rehired and currently Coast now 275 employees in Geneseo and Henrietta which is more than it employed prior to February 2015.
Now that this 5-year contract is in full-swing, Schumer today announced that Coast is doing better than ever and will begin construction on a 15,000 square foot expansion to provide space for the additional 200 workers it will hire. Construction will begin within the next 30 days and the new workers are expected to be hired over the next two years. Schumer said this is great news for the regional economy and students who are having trouble paying back their loans. Coast’s contract for student loan rehabilitation allows the company to help people who have defaulted on their student loans repay them, so that these students can go back to school or continue their education. In addition, by helping the borrowers repay, Coast helps return money to taxpayers.
As college costs have skyrocketed, so have the number of students who require loans to afford the opportunity to attend the college of their choice. Roughly 60 percent of students now take loans of some form to pay for college. However, last year, 6.5 million Americans defaulted on their student loans—a rate that has tripled since 2003. Coast helps people make paying back their loans manageable so that they don’t default on these loans. Schumer said that, as Coast begins to expand their facilities and hire more employees, they will be able to work with more people who are paying off their loans.
Schumer was joined by Coast Professional Inc. President Roxanne Baker, Coast President CEO Brian Davis, Coast employees, and local elected officials
“Coast Professional, Inc. offers our sincere gratitude to Senator Schumer,” said Roxanne Baker, President of Coast Professional Inc. “As a lifelong resident of New York and growing up in a small town community I have a keen awareness of how important these jobs are to the community, the economy, and the local workforce. As a result of Senator Schumer’s assistance to Coast, we were able to maintain and grow these highly sought after careers with excellent compensation and comprehensive benefit packages. Coast leadership, our employees and all of our families are incredibly grateful for the Senator’s unwavering support.”
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