Low-cost Power Allocation Supports the Retention and Creation of 262 Jobs and up to $4 Million in Capital Investment for Mohawk Valley Furniture Company
Albany, NY (March 14, 2014)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that his ReCharge NY low-cost power program is anchoring a 170 year-old furniture company – Harden Furniture – allowing the firm to retain and create a total of 262 jobs and invest up to $4 million for capital improvements to its operations. Harden Furniture was awarded 1.38 megawatts (MW) of ReCharge NY power in support of their current electrical needs and a possible future expansion.
Representatives of the New York Power Authority (NYPA), which administers ReCharge NY (RNY) and Harden Furniture were joined on Friday by local elected and economic development officials at the company's McConnellsville saw mill and manufacturing plant in Oneida County. The oldest furniture builder in the United States, Harden designs and builds high-quality, functional, and environmentally responsible home furnishings.
“Through this allocation, New York State is helping to modernize a 170 year-old local business with hundreds of skilled jobs so it can stay where it started: Upstate New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “The ReCharge NY program has been vital to supporting this kind of economic development and modernization in Upstate communities. I am pleased to see that a business like Harden Furniture has been able to succeed by participating in the ReCharge program and becoming more environmentally conscious.”
The Governor signed legislation in 2011 to launch RNY and help businesses and other enterprises lower their operating costs and spur economic development. The program offers contracts lasting up to seven-years for lower-cost power and reserves at least 350 MWs for upstate businesses and institutions, 200 MWs for business attraction and expansion, as well as up to 100 MWs for not-for-profit organizations. For reference, one MW is enough electricity to meet the needs of up to 1,000 typical homes. Statewide, more than 383,000 jobs – largely for retention – are linked to RNY.
Greg Harden, President Harden Furniture, said, “Like many businesses in New York, Harden Furniture was hard hit by the national economic downturn in 2008. We recognized that we had to restructure our business model if we were to survive and continue to provide over 200 families with good paying jobs. But we couldn’t do it without state government partners that understood the challenges faced by the business community. The ReCharge New York program, and the Governor’s insistence upon innovative economic development solutions, has reinvigorated our optimism for the future of Harden Furniture, its employees and the families in the Mohawk Valley.”
A total of 60 businesses in the Mohawk Valley region and 3 not-for profit enterprises are benefiting from RNY allocations in return for their retention and creation of nearly 14,000 jobs.
To locate Mohawk Valley Recharge New York recipients please click here.
Gil C. Quiniones, president and CEO, NYPA said, “With its focus on quality and sustainability, Harden Furniture is representative of some of the best qualities that New York State has to offer. Governor Cuomo’s Recharge New York program is ensuring Harden, a venerable family-owned business, remains a vital part of the Mohawk Valley economy in the years ahead.”
“The Governor’s ReCharge NY program is helping Harden Furniture and businesses across the state to improve their bottom line and turn the savings from lower operating costs into new jobs for New Yorkers,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. “Harden Furniture is a longtime staple of the Mohawk Valley economy and employs hundreds of hard-working New Yorkers. Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s commitment to supporting business and growing the Upstate economy through the Regional Council initiative and programs like ReCharge NY, this family-owned manufacturer will continue to thrive here for years to come.”
Senator Joseph A. Griffo said, “I applaud Governor Cuomo for having the vision that resulted in RNY. His partnership with the New York State Legislature and New York State businesses as exemplified by the ReCharge New York program means that jobs stay in the Mohawk Valley and families will continue to grow and prosper in the community.”
Senator David J. Valesky said, “RNY has fundamentally changed the landscape of how we do business in the Mohawk Valley thanks in large measure to Governor Cuomo’s aggressive transformation of economic development programs. The hundreds of thousands of jobs protected by the ReCharge New York program are testament to his efforts on behalf of businesses.”
Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush said, “As a business owner, I am intimately familiar with the pressure businesses face each day to remain competitive and keep their doors open. The ReCharge New York program and the success of the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council, demonstrate Governor Cuomo’s solid commitment to investing in and planning for the resurgence of the upstate economy.”
Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente said, “Thirty five Oneida County businesses are currently receiving low-cost ReCharge New York power. These enterprises are representative of the many industries that are thriving in Oneida County, from traditional manufacturing to the design of high-tech solutions to protect our national security. RNY is an outstanding example of how Governor Cuomo’s emphasis on public- private partnerships is helping upstate businesses remain competitive and grow jobs.”
“Preserving and building upon the abundant natural and geographic resources of the Mohawk Valley and securing a rewarding quality of life for all, is a cornerstone of the region’s strategic priorities,” said Robert E. Geer, Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council co-chair, and acting president, SUNY Institute of Technology, and Lawrence T. Gilroy III, Mohawk Regional Economic Development Council co-chair and president, Gilroy, Kernan & Gilroy, Inc.
Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said, “As vice chair of NYPA’s Board of Trustees, it has been a privilege to be personally involved in ensuring the success of Governor Cuomo’s ReCharge New York program. From Western New York to the tip of Long Island, the results are abundantly clear. RNY is protecting jobs and spurring economic development as is a clear sign that New York State is truly, Open for Business.”
Harden Furniture, a fifth generation, family-owned furniture manufacturer, produces handcrafted casegoods and upholstered furniture that are designed to become family heirlooms. The company’s only manufacturing facility is in McConnellsville and it provides jobs for 252 highly skilled crafts people. Electricity is more than 20 percent of the company’s total cost of production.
Half of the 910MW of power under RNY is low-cost hydropower from NYPA's Niagara and St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt hydroelectric projects in Lewiston and Massena, respectively. The remaining 455 MW is power secured by NYPA from wholesale market sources. A total of more than 1,200 applications have been reviewed by NYPA staff, in consultation with the Governor's ten regional economic development councils for multiple rounds of allocations. The applications were submitted through a Consolidated Funding Application process that the Governor established for apportioning state financial incentives and resources for spurring economic development.
In addition to jobs and capital investments, the various statutory criteria for considering RNY applications include the extent to which an allocation would be consistent with existing regional economic development strategies; an applicant's risk of closure or curtailing operations; the significance of the applicant's facility to the local economy; and its commitment to energy efficiency.