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LI aerospace firms win economic development grants totaling $150G

Two Long Island companies have won state economic development grants totaling almost $150,000 for machinery as part of an effort to reinvigorate the region's defense and aerospace industry.

Aerospace parts maker MPI Consulting Inc. of West Babylon got a grant of up to $112,290 to help defray the cost of equipment valued at about a half-million dollars, according to government documents.

Privately held MPI employs 23 people at a 23,000-square-foot facility where it makes parts for companies including Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

A second grant of up to $36,560 went to East/West Industries Inc., a closely held maker of aircraft seats and restraint systems that employs 54 people in Ronkonkoma. Clients include Bell Helicopter, Boeing and Northrop Grumman.

In exchange for the grants, the two companies agreed to meet employment thresholds.

Empire State Development, the state's primary business and economic aid agency, approved the grants from a $1 million fund allocated in 2013 to ADDAPT, the Hauppauge-based Aerospace & Defense Diversification Alliance in Peacetime Transition Inc. The fund is designed to lead to the creation of 70 jobs.

The board of Empire State Development unanimously approved the funding Thursday morning.

Jamie Moore, ADDAPT president, said the $1 million fund was earmarked for small- and medium-size Long Island manufacturers who could meet grant requirements only by grouping together under the ADDAPT umbrella.

"With the bulk of the 3,200 manufacturers in the region being under 50 employees, I felt it was critical to invest in their infrastructure to not only keep them in the region but help them grow," Moore said.

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