U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $889,819.86 in federal funding for the Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (TAAC) Serving New York, New Jersey, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton. The federal funding was allocated through the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms Program (TAAF), and will be used to help American companies strengthen their competitiveness in the worldwide marketplace. Specifically, the funding will allow the TAAC to build on its long history of providing critical technical assistance to U.S. manufacturing and productions firms located in New York, helping them to develop and implement projects to regain global competitiveness, increase profitability and create good-paying jobs.
“The Trade Adjustment Center in Binghamton plays a vital role in saving American jobs by helping New York companies adapt to foreign competition and the constantly-changing global marketplace,” said Senator Schumer. “This center has a strong track record of delivering for companies throughout our state and has been an important resource for our business community. I’m proud to announce this significant federal investment, which will enable TAAC to provide our businesses with the technical skills and expertise needed to give them an edge and compete successfully on the global stage.”
“New York has always been a leader in manufacturing, and we need to do everything we can to make sure our local businesses remain competitive to continue that leadership in the 21st century,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This funding is great news for the Trade Adjustment Assistance Center, which will provide technical support and guidance to local businesses and manufacturers across New York so they can stay competitive in a global economy. Supporting them will help keep jobs local and grow rural economies across the region. I will always work to make sure our local manufacturers have the resources they need to be successful.”
“TAAC at Binghamton plays an important role in supporting struggling manufacturing companies in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico,” said Per Stromhaug, Assistant Vice President for Innovation and Economic Development at Binghamton University. “I want to recognize the work done by our dedicated staff and thank the Economic Development Administration as well as Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for their continued support, so our team can continue this crucial work of assisting US manufacturing through difficult times.”
Schumer and Gillibrand explained that while Upstate New York has experienced a decline in the manufacturing industry over the past few decades, some operations are expanding thanks in part to the work of the NYS TAAC. The Center has worked with small businesses and companies not just in the Southern Tier, but across New York State—from those in rural towns like Greene, to small cities like Oneonta, to our largest cities with manufacturing legacies like Rochester and Buffalo. It has served over 1,400 manufacturers, delivering over $25 million dollars of direct assistance to NY manufacturers and service companies of many kinds, including those of wood products, electronics, machinery, apparel and jewelry, and other goods. In the past year, the NYS TAAC has assisted over 45 NYS firms and provided approximately $500,000 in direct firm assistance.
Through the TAAF program, TAAC’s, like Binghamton’s, provide technical assistance, on a cost-sharing basis, to help eligible trade-impacted businesses create and implement business plans that allow them to remain competitive with imports. Schumer and Gillibrand have long supported the TAAF program. In 2016, the senators announced that EDA had accepted their proposal to keep the TAAC in Binghamton and expand its operations to New Jersey and Puerto Rico manufacturers. Additionally, Schumer supported increasing funding levels for the TAAF program in a Senate Finance Committee markup to extend the program in 2015.