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All LI grant recipients kept job promises, review says

Canon U.S.A. Inc., one of the 28 ESD

Canon U.S.A. Inc., one of the 28 ESD grant recipients, was the top job creator. The company added 462 people to its Americas' headquarters in Melville, seen here on March 8, bringing their total to 1,572. Credit: Newsday / Steve Pfost

All the Long Island employers receiving economic development grants from the state met their job promises in 2018, the third year in a row of 100% compliance, according to an annual review.

Together the 27 grant recipients have created nearly 1,690  jobs since winning support in recent years from Empire State Development, the state’s primary business-aid agency.

Local grantees employed more than 6,400 people in 2018, the third highest among the state's 10 regions after Syracuse and the Hudson Valley, according to ESD's yearly review of employment compliance by grant recipients.

The cost per job, at $3,603 was the second lowest after the Hudson Valley. Statewide, the average was $5,080 per job.

The 27 businesses and research institutions in Nassau and Suffolk counties pledged to maintain or create jobs in return for $23.2 million in grants. The funding went toward equipment purchases and building improvements.

Their 100% compliance rate in 2016, 2017 and 2018 is important because it boosts Long Island's ability to attract more aid, officials said this week.

Cara Longworth, ESD's Long Island regional director, said the compliance rate shows "New York's performance-based programs work. We look forward to continuing our efforts to build a stronger economy for all New Yorkers in the new year."

The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council touts the compliance rate in its annual pitch for state grants and tax credits, vying with councils representing the state’s other nine regions.

Last month, the local council secured $87.9 million for 94 projects in the annual competition, the second most after Binghamton/Southern Tier. Since the contest was started by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in 2011, Long Island has won $727 million for 885 projects, the second most after Syracuse/Central New York.

Besides the Island, only New York City had 100% job compliance in 2018 among grant recipients. The lowest compliance rate, 66.7%, was in the Mohawk Valley.

The top job creator was Canon U.S.A. Inc. which has added 549 people to its Americas' headquarters in Melville, bringing the total to 1,659. The Japanese camera and photocopying giant received $2.65 million toward the construction of the Melville office complex, replacing antiquated offices in Lake Success.

Still, one of the grant recipients had fewer employees in 2018 than when they first received aid, the review found.

Action Machined Products Inc. in Copiague lost one job, going from 10 employees in 2017 to nine in 2018. The aerospace parts supplier received $48,265 from ESD.

However, Action Machined was considered to be in compliance because its 2018 workforce didn't fall 15% below the commitment of 10 jobs, according to an ESD official. 


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