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LI businesses say they will use state aid to expand

Musical instrument strings are manufactured at D'Addario

Musical instrument strings are manufactured at D'Addario & Company, Inc. in East Farmingdale Thursday, May 1, 2014. Credit: Barry Sloan

Thirty-six businesses on Long Island will share more than $8 million in state aid for building projects, worker training and new equipment.

The money is part of $98.3 million awarded to 121 local projects aimed at creating jobs.

When Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the 2015 Regional Economic Development Council awards in Albany late last week, attention was focused on big developments such as road improvements at the Nassau Hub and a customs inspection station for Long Island MacArthur Airport. But private companies also received substantial sums.

The largest, $1.6 million, went to guitar string maker D’Addario & Co. in East Farmingdale for worker training and new equipment.

“This will help us to remain competitive,” said John D’Addario III, company president. “We plan to do more in-sourcing of the raw materials used for string manufacturing.”

He said the company would expand its wire mill to produce low-carbon steel wire and to do more injection molding of musical instrument accessories.

The expansion project, valued at $5.3 million, will add 27 jobs to D’Addario’s local payroll of 865 people, he said.

Separately, the company hopes next year to begin manufacturing in another Smith Street building, across from its headquarters, that it recently purchased. The additional building is now home to a coffee service and mixed martial arts studio.

Company chief executive James D’Addario is a member of the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council, which endorsed his company’s expansion plan. He abstained from the council vote.

North Harbor Trading Corp. received $1.25 million, the second-largest amount.

The East Northport-based company plans to open a $10 million food processing facility in Riverhead that uses high pressure instead of heat to remove bacteria from food.

The facility would be the first of its kind on the Island and would eventually have 46 workers.

Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC received nearly $100,000 to train 128 employees in production efficiency techniques such as continuous improvement, lean manufacturing and project planning.

The aid comes as the New Jersey-based manufacturer of generic prescription drugs embarks on a three-year hiring plan to add 400 people to its expanded plant in South Yaphank. The company already employs 900 locally.

“We have significantly expanded our [South Yaphank] facility to increase our capacity to produce pills and capsules, as well as provide us the space to produce other dosage forms in the future,” said Nikita Shah, senior vice president of human resources and corporate affairs at Amneal.

The development council also secured funding for programs that aid entire industries, most notably technology startups.

Accelerate Long Island will use $1 million to give grants to startups for equipment and laboratory expansion. Accelerate seeks to speed the commercialization of inventions from local research institutions.

LaunchPad Long Island won $125,000 to provide one-on-one mentoring for entrepreneurs. Small-business owners rent desks or offices at LaunchPad’s five coworking facilities.

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