W.N.Y. Economic Development Projects Win Funding in Final State Budget

Tonawanda plant to receive $1 million
April 14, 2005

Assemblyman Robin Schimminger announced today that the new 2005-06 state budget, which has now been approved by the Governor, earmarks funding for two major economic development initiatives in Western New York.

Schimminger, chairman of the Assembly Committee on Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry, said, "We have succeeded in including special funding in the budget for two local success stories that are creating and preserving jobs in our community. In addition, successful negotiations with the Governor have finalized our reform of the Empire Zones Program and our establishment of a new Regional Partnerships Program that can make the most of each region’s unique strengths and assist high-tech and early-stage companies in developing new products and bringing them to production here in New York State."

American Axle & Manufacturing Tonawanda Forge Plant ($1,000,000). American Axle’s Tonawanda Forge again won Assembly backing for its multi-year training initiative. "I’ve been able to direct comparable levels of legislative funding to AAM/Tonawanda in recent years to support a training program jointly developed by labor and management to address a nearly 80% turnover in the facility’s workforce following AAM’s acquisition of the plant from General Motors," Schimminger said. "AAM has invested more than $160 million in the Tonawanda Forge facility, and intends to build upon that investment in order to secure additional new business from GM and other global automakers and suppliers."

Buffalo Niagara Enterprise ($300,000). The Assembly has again allocated funds for the BNE’s regional business marketing initiative. "The BNE’s advertising campaign and trade show and other promotional activities are designed to expose the Buffalo Niagara region to site selection professionals and corporate decision makers as a desirable location for new or expanding businesses," said Schimminger. "Although the BNE’s recent successes with the Geico, Definity Health, Bass Pro and now Delaco Steel projects are bringing hundreds and hundreds of new jobs to our region, the agency has been hit with sizable cutbacks in local government financial support, particularly from Erie County."

"I am, of course, pleased that I was able to help secure state funding for these important economic development initiatives in Western New York," said Schimminger. "Improving our region’s economy and jobs climate is my top priority."