Washington, DC – U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $1.5 million in federal funding to Alfred State College (ASC) in Alfred, New York. The funding was allocated through the Economic Development Administration (EDA) for the Biorefinery Development and Commercialization Center (BDCC). The senators said the center will be a major “launching pad” that will leverage natural resources, like wood, to create sustainable businesses and facilitate the growth of a “New Forest Economy” in Upstate New York.
“This is great news for Alfred State and the entire Southern Tier. This federal investment in the exciting, new Biorefinery Development and Commercialization Center will help build on Alfred’s continued success, bring good paying pay jobs to the Southern Tier and push this region’s economy into the future,” said Senator Schumer. “This vital federal investment will allow BDCC to continue its work in creating a ‘New Forest Economy’ by working with local partners and using the region’s abundant natural resources to spur long term economic development. I am proud of the role I played in securing this funding, and will continue to fight tooth and nail to make sure Alfred State College continues to have the resources it needs to leverage the region’s workforce and grow private enterprise.”
“This federal investment for the Biorefinery Development and Commercialization Center will help expand Alfred State College’s innovative research in sustainable energy production,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The BDCC will help create new jobs in the Southern Tier and ensure that the region can utilize its natural resources to support long-term economic growth. I will continue to support projects that keep New York colleges and universities at the forefront of scientific and economic progress.”
The senators explained that Alfred’s BDCC project is an opportunity to capitalize on the area’s rich natural resources to make a lasting impact on region’s economy. The center will lead the way for commercialization of new technologies and products and help spur economic development and job creation across the region.
Schumer has long fought to bring federal investments to the Southern Tier. Last year Schumer announced $1.5 million in Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) funding for training equipment, and to support 150 jobs across the region to help develop the Hot Water Extraction process in the Biorefinary Development Commercialization Center. These critical investments will allow Alfred State to be a leader in the biorefining development and training through established partners in the network.
EDA provides funding to distressed communities to assist in their efforts to develop strategies, infrastructure, and programming important to economic growth and job creation. EDA grants are awarded based on the application’s merit, the applicant’s eligibility, and the availability of funds.
A copy of Schumer’s letter appears below:
Acting Assistant Secretary
U.S. Department of Commerce
Dear Acting Assistant Secretary Guevara:
I am pleased to write in support of the application submitted by Alfred State College to the Economic Development Administration’s Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance grant program. Alfred State College will utilize the funding to establish a Biorefinery Development and Commercialization Center (BDCC).
The BDCC will facilitate the growth of the “New Forest Economy” in the United States, while investing a struggling region of New York State at the same time. The BDCC is designed to proliferate new technologies in the private marketplace, while simultaneously acting as a research/development hub and biotechnology incubator. Alfred State College envisions the BDCC as a public-private “launching pad” for commercialization of these new technologies and products – with the potential to spur economic development in the Upstate New York region. Additionally, the facility is the only in the United States that will manufacture clean, acid-free cellulosic nanomaterial (CNM), among an array of other products.
The Southern Tier, at the northern tip of Appalachia, continues to be one of the most economically distressed areas of the Northeast. The BDCC project offers an opportunity to reverse this trend by combining the region’s abundant natural resources with much needed capital. As Western New York’s leading technical college, as well as the economic development arm of Allegany County, Alfred State College is uniquely positioned to both leverage the region’s workforce and resources to grow private enterprise. I applaud Alfred State College for its foresight, and sincerely hope the application meets with your approval.