WAYLAND — The expansion of a staple business in the local economy is now complete, according to state authorities touting the $2.6 million project to support the addition of 110 jobs at Gunlocke Company in Wayland.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced Tuesday that the commercial furniture manufacturer in the Southern Tier has completed its expansion project, bolstered by state incentives that include a low-cost power allocation from the ReCharge NY program, administered by the New York Power Authority, and a funding award from Empire State Development. Gunlocke is also the first ReCharge NY power recipient to install state-supported electric vehicle charging stations in its employee parking area, directly supporting the Governor's Charge NY initiative to accelerate the installation of EV charging stations in New York State.
"ReCharge NY is supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs across the state and has been an instrumental piece of the state's economic success over the last several years," Governor Cuomo said. "Providing low-cost power to companies like Gunlocke allows them to grow and thrive in New York, spurring the local economy while securing New York's clean energy future for generations to come."
"The expansion of Gunlocke Furniture in Wayland is creating new jobs, further proof the Southern Tier is soaring," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "With state support as part of the ReCharge NY program, Gunlocke also installed electric vehicle charging stations at its facility to help advance New York's clean energy goals. This project will continue to strengthen the economy of Steuben County while helping to ensure a cleaner and greener environment for future generations."
The Gunlocke facility in Wayland was allocated 1,680 kilowatts of ReCharge NY power from the Governor's discount power program, which provides qualifying businesses and not-for-profit organizations with lower energy costs in exchange for commitments to retain or create jobs in New York State. The NYPA power allocation and an ESD funding award of $250,000 are directly tied to the firm's completed expansion project and job commitments.
The expansion, which utilized existing space at the facility, included the installation of equipment that will allow the firm to increase its chair production volume. The expanded facility is also now able to manufacture additional furniture lines that were formerly produced out of state.
Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO, said, "ReCharge NY has been a great success in the Southern Tier, creating more than 1,300 jobs in the region since power was first provided under the Governor's program in 2012. Gunlocke is an exemplary NYPA customer and this expansion project demonstrates both the firm's commitment to stay and grow in Steuben County and its dedication to corporate sustainability policies."
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "The Gunlocke Company has been a staple in the Southern Tier economy for more than 100 years. By relocating its production facilities from Indiana to New York — and committing to create more than 100 new jobs - this storied company will further strengthen the growing momentum we're seeing across the region."
The two dual-port EV charging stations were installed through a program partnership between NYPA and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to provide charging stations to ReCharge NY recipients interested in advancing their business's sustainability and environmental goals. NYSERDA contributed $4,000 per charging port.
Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said, "I applaud Gunlocke for its leadership in recognizing the importance of providing charging stations and enabling employees to purchase electric vehicles knowing they will be able to charge them while at work. By adding more charging stations, businesses are helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and building consumer confidence in the decision to go greener and cleaner to help New York meet Governor Cuomo's ambitious clean energy goals."
Roy Green, Director of Sustainability, Gunlocke, said, "The ReCharge NY program has been a great benefit to Gunlocke and we would like to extend our gratitude to Governor Cuomo, NYPA, ESD and NYSERDA for providing significant support to our expansion project. We look forward to continuing our company's growth in the Southern Tier and expanding our ongoing sustainability initiatives."
Gunlocke has been a NYPA ReCharge NY customer since 2012 when NYPA's Board of Trustees awarded the firm with 1,606 kW of ReCharge NY power, directly tied to Gunlocke's commitment to retain its existing 600 jobs and invest $6.5 million in its operations.
ReCharge NY offers up to seven-year power contracts. Half of the power is 455 megawatts from NYPA's Niagara and St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt hydroelectric power plants, which provide some of the greenest, cleanest and lowest-cost electricity in the state. The remaining 455 MW is power purchased by NYPA on the wholesale market.
So far, 37 businesses and not-for-profit organizations in the Southern Tier have benefited from ReCharge NY, directly supporting the creation or retention of nearly 26,000 jobs and more than $2.1 billion in capital investments.
Statewide, the program supports reduced electricity costs for more than 740 New York businesses and not-for-profit organizations, and has positively impacted the New York State economy by retaining and creating jobs, and sparking capital investment in regions throughout the state.
Senator Tom O'Mara said, "The Gunlocke Company's expansion project, which is creating 110 new jobs in Wayland, has been an important piece of Steuben County's overall job creation and preservation strategy. In particular, the long-standing ReCharge NY economic development power allocations have been vital to maintaining jobs and promoting economic growth and stability in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions. Many local businesses and manufacturers depend on this lower-cost energy to preserve jobs and stay competitive. ReCharge NY helps give employers like Gunlocke the long-term economic stability they need to retain and create jobs, and strengthen the state's business climate."