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Frequency Electronics plans to hire 116 as part of $3.5M expansion

Frequency Electronics Inc. in Uniondale on Nov. 22,

Frequency Electronics Inc. in Uniondale on Nov. 22, 2011. Credit: Barry Sloan

Defense contractor Frequency Electronics Inc. hopes to increase its local workforce by more than 80 percent, or 116 jobs, as part of planned improvements to its Uniondale headquarters and factory, officials said.

The public company is seeking a $152,000 sales-tax exemption from Nassau County on the purchase of construction materials, equipment and other supplies needed to complete the $3.5 million project.

Frequency makes timing and synchronization devices used in satellites, missiles and drone aircraft. Its products also are found in the global positioning system (GPS) operated by the U.S. Air Force and widely used in auto navigation devices.

Thomas Stringer, Frequency’s site-selection consultant, said last week the company needs to hire additional engineers and other technical workers to take advantage of new programs established by the recent federal military spending law.

However, “we have some problems on the Island,” he told a meeting of the county’s Industrial Development Agency. “We do not have enough of these engineers and these technicians, and these old-line skills that we used to have.”

Stringer, of BDO Consulting, said, “We have to recruit people in, most likely. To do that we need a better and more significantly advanced facility.”  In July, Frequency extended its lease at 55 Charles Lindbergh Blvd. in Uniondale through September 2029, according to a securities filing.

The IDA’s board of directors last week voted unanimously to begin negotiating a sales-tax exemption with Frequency. Final approval could come later this year, said board chairman Richard Kessel.

In addition to help from the county, Frequency is seeking tax breaks from Empire State Development, the state’s primary business-aid agency.

In return, the 56-year-old company would add 116 jobs over five years to its local payroll of 140. The new jobs would pay, on average, $76,000 per year, excluding medical insurance and retirement benefits, according to an application for IDA aid.

Frequency also has operations in California, Russia and China. It recently moved production work from New Jersey to Uniondale and sold its Belgium subsidiary. In July, executives said they are “reviewing options to divest or wind down our Asian subsidiary.”

In May, Frequency appointed a new CEO, Stanton Sloane, to succeed founder Martin Bloch, who remains the company’s chief scientist and executive chairman of the board of directors.

Frequency reported a loss of $24 million for the year ended April 30, compared with a loss of $5 million a year earlier. Revenue totaled $39 million, down from $50 million in 2017.

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