After exploring out-of-state options, company will invest $19 million at century-old facility in Oakfield, securing more than 100 jobs
Albany, NY (June 2, 2014)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that United States Gypsum Company, a subsidiary of leading building products company USG Corporation (NYSE: USG), will make a significant capital investment to upgrade its paper mill operations in Genesee County. USG has had operations in Oakfield since 1902 and, after exploring its options at paper mills it owns throughout the country, has decided to invest in machinery upgrades and utility improvements in Oakfield, ensuring the future of the paper mill and retaining 98 jobs in addition to the 12 new positions it will create.
“USG’s decision to strengthen its operations in Western New York is another example that the Upstate economy is coming back,” Governor Cuomo said. “By supporting this expansion, we are securing and creating more than 100 jobs in the region and paving the way for continued growth by an employer with more than a century of history in Genesee County. Our administration is committed to supporting the manufacturing industry which is the backbone of the Upstate economy.”
“We are grateful to the State of New York and its economic development partners for their coordinated effort to create a package of financial incentives that make it possible for USG to reinvest in our Oakfield paper mill,” said USG President and CEO James S. Metcalf. “We look forward to continuing our long history in the community, which has produced an excellent work force for our operations for more than 100 years.”
The Oakfield facility once made USG’s SHEETROCK® Brand wallboard but that operation closed in 2001. The plant now makes the paper for the “back side” of wallboard—wallboard has a front side with a white paper and a back side with brown paper. The Oakfield facility was at a real risk of closure as other USG owned plants have the capability to produce both types of paper.
USG qualified for up to $665,000 in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits and a $400,000 capital grant from the state in return for its proposed $19 million investment and job creation commitments. The company also received an $180,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from New York State Homes and Community Renewal and is currently applying for a grant from National Grid to assist with electrical infrastructure upgrades.
The Oakfield paper mill goes through 250 tons of old corrugated waste daily, making it a major recycler in New York State.
“USG’s investment in Genesee Country sends a strong message that New York is competitive and able to retain the types of businesses that make this state tick,” said ESD President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. “I am pleased that ESD partnered with its fellow state agencies, as well as National Grid, to encourage this leading manufacturer to upgrade its operations in the Empire State.”
New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) Commissioner/CEO Darryl C. Towns said, “Governor Cuomo has charged state agencies to work together on the best strategies that will help communities create jobs. We are proud to work with our partners at ESD to bring CDBG resources to the kind of development project so important to Genesee County and all of Western New York.”
National Grid Regional Executive Dennis Elsenbeck said, “Our Capital Investment Incentive Grant Program was created to help companies who are looking to grow and expand. We are pleased to be working with USG on an application that could bring them up to $250,000 to assist with the necessary upgrades and expansion of their electrical system to meet their needs today and tomorrow.”
Senator Michael Ranzenhofer said, “I applaud USG’s decision to reinvest in its Oakfield facility. The company’s plan to invest $19 million, along with 100-plus jobs, further demonstrates that Genesee County’s economy continues to look brighter and brighter.”
Assemblyman Steve Hawley said, “One of my top priorities as an Assemblyman is helping to create an environment that fosters job growth for our families here in Western New York. The United States Gypsum Company has been an important part of the Western New York economy, and now with this substantial investment they are indicating their intent to stay right here for the long term. I thank the United States Gypsum Company for their partnership with our community and look forward to their future here.”
Genesee County Legislative Chair Raymond Cianfrini said, “I am excited about USG and the state’s investment into the Oakfield plant, which is generating new jobs and providing continuity for its existing employees. USG and the paper mill have been an integral part of the community for more than 100 years, and I am grateful the Governor recognized the need in our community to ensure the viability of the plant for many more years.”