February 22, 2012

Gillibrand Welcomes Asteelflash To Owego, Offers Tools to Grow Company, Expand Manufacturing Capabilities

Gillibrand Commends Manufacturing Company’s Decision to Operate Existing Owego Facility, Preserve 150 Local Jobs

Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand welcomed AsteelFlash, a multi-national electronic manufacturing company, to Owego, NY, offering resources to ease the company’s transition to the region, and ensure its success and growth. AsteelFlash recently acquired Owego-based Catalyst Manufacturing Services, a contract manufacturer that produces electronic equipment for the medical, defense and aerospace industries, and employs 150 people in the city of Owego. In a letter to Gilles Benhamou, President and CEO of AsteelFlash, Gillibrand expressed her enthusiasm for AsteelFlash’s decision to continue to operate the Owego facility, and encouraged the company to take advantage of tools available to manufacturers to stay competitive and expand operations.  

“This is great news for Owego,” said Senator Gillibrand. “AsteelFlash’s presence in Owego will foster continued growth in the high-tech manufacturing sector throughout the region and create jobs. I’m very pleased with the company’s decision to keep the existing facility up and running and I look forward to working with them to ensure their success.” 

“We understand they plan on growing the business here in Owego," said Doug Barton, Tioga County’s Director of Economic Development and Planning. “We are very excited about the opportunity.” 

Gillibrand has worked on a number of proposals to ensure New York’s companies have the support they need to be competitive and create new jobs. In an effort to spark growth in high-tech manufacturing, Gillibrand has proposed legislation that would create a Made In America competitive grant program to help retool companies to better compete in the global marketplace, a program that could benefit AsteelFlash in their transition to the region. 

Below is the full text of Senator Gillibrand’s letter to Gilles Benhamou: 

Dear Mr. Banhamou, 

I recently became aware of your acquisition of Catalyst Manufacturing Services in Owego, New York and want to welcome you to the state’s Southern Tier region, where I am sure you will be very pleased with our talented workforce.  

As you move forward with this endeavor, I would like to offer our office as a resource for your transition.   I am working on a number of proposals to ensure our companies have the support they need to be globally competitive and create new jobs.  Specifically, I have introduced a plan to spark more growth in high-tech manufacturing in New York by creating a Made In America competitive grant program to help retool manufacturers for the thriving fields of advanced manufacturing, offering resources that AsteelFlash would be able to take advantage of in any efforts to expand your manufacturing operations in New York State.  

In addition to my efforts legislatively, I would be more than willing to help make any introductions between you and economic development officials in New York and within the federal government to discuss any assistance programs that may be available to keep all 150 people employed at the former Catalyst plant as well as expand the Owego operation to create further jobs. 

            If my office can be of any assistance or if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to my staff member, Jon Cardinal, at (202) 224-7074. I look forward to working with you.