Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced $100,000 in federal funding for the Southern Tier West Regional Planning and Development Board. The funding was allocated through the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). The Southern Tier West Regional Planning and Development Board will use these funds to implement the Manufacturing Productivity Improvement Program, which will provide technical assistance to small- and medium-sized businesses in the areas manufacturing, process improvement, and customized training. It is anticipated that over 600 businesses will participate in these business development activities. Moreover, fifteen companies will receive contracted technical assistance, which will lead to the retention of 600 area jobs. These funds will allow businesses and manufacturers in the area to adequately address issues with labor productivity, business productivity, and various business certifications.
“This much-needed funding will create and retain jobs by providing the Regional Planning and Development Board that oversees Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and Allegany Counties with business experts that can help our manufacturers be as productive as possible,” said Senator Schumer. “This funding is an investment in our local businesses, so that they may be even better equipped to handle the technological challenges of tomorrow. By providing these funds and experts to our companies, we will be able to retain hundreds of local jobs.”
“This is an important investment for our local businesses,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Unlocking the potential of our small businesses is one of the best ways to spur economic growth in our nation. I am pleased the Southern Tier West Regional Planning and Development Board will get funding to train and provide technical assistance to help sustain and grow our local manufacturing industry.”
“We’re very grateful to be receiving this grant from the ARC. This will allow Southern Tier West to work with the three county IDAs and other business development entities to make a meaningful impact on the manufacturing sector across our region,” said Richard Zink, Executive Director for the Southern Tier West Regional Planning and Development Board. “The aim of this program is to provide expert consultants to our manufacturing companies so they can be as productive and competitive as possible in their area of expertise.”
The Appalachian Regional Commission grants are awarded to local governments, agencies, non-profits and schools, in order to be used for economic development initiatives in the Appalachian Region.