U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that the EDA has accepted a proposal submitted by Binghamton University to retain a Trade Adjustment Assistance Center in New York State. This approval means that $984,934.95 in funding through the federal Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAAF) program will flow to this center. The proposal’s acceptance means that New York State will continue to have its center located in its borders and not be absorbed into another multi state region. The EDA investment will allow the Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (TAAC) – located in Binghamton – to help American companies strengthen their competitiveness in the worldwide marketplace. Specifically, Schumer and Gillibrand explained that this funding would allow the TAAC to build on its long history of providing critical technical assistance to U.S. manufacturing and production firms located in New York, and expand its reach to companies in New Jersey and Puerto Rico all affected by import competition. Doing so will allow these companies to develop and implement projects to regain global competitiveness, increase profitability and create 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 changing world marketplace,” said Senator Schumer. “This center has a strong track record of delivering for companies throughout our state and that is why I advocated to EDA that they retain this center. It has been an important resource for our business community and I wanted to be sure it remains in New York. The significant federal investment 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.”
“This funding provided by the EDA would enable local businesses to unlock new investments opportunities and strengthen their ability to access international markets and expand their operations,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The TAAC in Binghamton will continue to serve as a hub in the region to support the state’s manufacturers so they can more effectively compete in the global economy. The center remains an invaluable resource for entrepreneurs and existing businesses to gain the necessary support to create thriving companies that help revitalize our communities.”
“We are very pleased with the new award that extends our service territory past the borders of New York State to include New Jersey and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The NYS TAAC, operating as part of the economic development initiative of the host institution Binghamton University, has a very successful record in assisting New York State firms that have been trade impacted. Between the period of 2009 – 2013 the Center assisted 52 New York firms. Data collected from these clients indicate that employment increased by 22 percent and sales showed a 47 percent increase after completing project implementations,” said Louis McKeage, Director of the NYS Trade Adjustment Assistance Center.
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 600 manufacturers, delivering over $65 million dollars of assistance to manufacturers of many kinds, including those of wood products, medical products, apparel and jewelry, wine, and other goods.
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 and Schumer supported increasing funding levels for the TAAF program in a Senate Finance Committee markup to extend the program last year.