SCHUMER MEETS WITH ONE OF CHENANGO COUNTY’S LARGEST EMPLOYERS, UNISON INDUSTRIES TO DISCUSS EXPANDING PRODUCTION & CREATE NEW SOUTHERN TIER JOBS
Schumer Has Long Fought For Key Programs & Funding, Like DOD’s Black Hawk Program, Which Will Keep Unison Manufacturing Key Components of Helicopters That Are Critical To Both National Defense & Sustaining Local Jobs
Schumer Vows To Fight For Southern Tier Jobs
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today toured Unison Industries to see first-hand the design and manufacturing process for producing aircraft components, including those used in the military’s elite Blackhawk helicopter and discussed plans for future expansion. During his visit, Schumer sat down with Unison leadership to discuss ways he can be helpful on the federal level as the company seeks to expand and grow its workforce in Chenango County.
“The engines and critical aircraft components made here at Unison are not only vital to maintaining local jobs and supporting the entire Chenango County economy, but they also help keep our troops serving around the world safe. I have fought long and hard for the kind of funding and federal programs that help support Upstate New York companies, and I will continue going to bat for companies like Unison so we can help companies expand and create good-paying, local jobs right here in the Southern Tier,” said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer.
During his visit to Norwich, Schumer vowed to continue fighting for the kind of funding levels and programs that enable Unison to take on major projects, like the manufacturing of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Black Hawk helicopter as well as its F22 aircraft. Schumer explained that Unison’s 160,000 square foot facility in Norwich is a subsidiary of General Electric (GE) Aviation.
Unison Norwich manufactures power generation and control systems for gas turbine engines and other components that are used in these aircraft. Specifically, the GE T700 engine used in Black Hawk helicopters includes a permanent magnetic alternator that is produced on site. T700 sales accounted for about 8.5 percent of its sales for 2015. Product engineering, new product development and testing is all performed on site.
Schumer explained that, in 2015, roughly 28 percent of sales out of the Norwich plant were for DOD products. Therefore, Schumer said these production lines allow Unison to maintain a strong workforce as well as protect U.S. troops overseas. Schumer vowed to continue fighting for this kind of funding, as Unison is poised to expand and create good-paying, local jobs through 2021. The facility current employs more than 360 area residents.
Schumer was joined by GE Unison Norwich management including Site Leader Dan Ketchum; David Law, Town of Norwich Supervisor; Christine Carnrikee, City of Norwich Mayor; Lawrence Wilcox, Chair of the Chenango County Board of Supervisors; and Steven Palmatier, Chenango County Industrial and Workforce Development Liaison.
“GE Aviation and Unison Industries we are excited to welcome Senator Schumer back to Unison-Norwich. This company has been creating engineering, operations, and manufacturing jobs in Norwich for 70 years. We have an opportunity to continue to grow and we were very pleased have Schumer meet our team and hear our story. We look forward to his continued support with the T700 and help secure funding for growth in the Southern Tier,” said Dan Ketchum, Unison Site Leader.
Schumer has fought to secure the kinds of funding that will help keep Upstate New York companies prospering and expanding. In June, Schumer urged members of the conference committee for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (NDAA) to ensure that robust funding for the Black Hawk program is supported in the final version of the NDAA in order to address urgent Army readiness concerns, while also providing jobs in places like Chenango County. In March, Schumer urged the Senate Armed Services Committee to restore $2.3 million to the Black Hawk program that was initially cut and could have negatively impacted jobs at companies like Unison. In addition, throughout his time as Senator, Schumer helped secure $21.5 million in improvements to Chenango County’s main roadway, which Unison is located on.
Schumer also said he’d continue fighting for other federal programs that could help Upstate New York companies including Unison to expand and create jobs. Specifically, Schumer vowed to fight for the continuation of the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank, which could help Unison in its efforts to grow and tap into other markets in the future. The Ex-Im Bank helps support thousands of jobs and billions in sales for many small- and medium-sized businesses across Upstate New York by providing financing to foreign companies in order to help them purchase U.S. goods. After Schumer’s efforts, Congress re-authorized the Ex-Im Bank in December 2015. In addition, Schumer vowed to fight for the continuation of the federal solar Investment Tax Credit Tax (ITC), which Unison has said it might be interested in pursuing in order to help boost clean energy and create new jobs in Norwich. Congress extended the solar ITC at Schumer’s urging in December 2015.
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