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Long Island's state-aid companies in 100 percent compliance on jobs

Contract Pharmacal Corp. at 135 Adams Ave. in

Contract Pharmacal Corp. at 135 Adams Ave. in Hauppauge on Aug. 23, 2013. Photo Credit: Jeremy Bales

For the fourth year in a row, local recipients of state economic development aid have done a better job of keeping their promises to maintain and create jobs than did businesses anywhere else in New York State.

An audit released last week shows that Long Island had a 100 percent compliance rate in 2013 among 13 projects receiving state grants or loans. Eleven companies and research institutions were involved.

The Adirondacks and Mohawk Valley tied for the worst compliance rate: 73 percent for 11 projects and 22 projects, respectively.

The statewide compliance rate was 89 percent in 2013, down 1 percentage point from 2012's record high of 90 percent.

"At 89 percent, while that may have fallen off a little bit from last year [2012], it's still a very impressive success rate in terms of project compliance," Kenneth Adams, president of Empire State Development, the state's primary business-aid agency, said last week.

The rate was 60 percent as recently as 2003.

Locally, the most 2013 hiring was done by Contract Pharmacal Corp., which added 486 people after receiving a $525,000 grant in June of that year.

The Hauppauge-based drugmaker had promised to create 168 jobs over several years, records show.

Contract Pharmacal produces over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and dietary supplements for pharmaceutical giants and retailers. It had a workforce of 943 at the end of last year.

Of the 11 companies and labs in Nassau and Suffolk counties that got assistance, 10 exceeded employment requirements, according to the Empire State Development audit.

One business -- Johnson & Hoffman LLC -- did not meet its target for the second year in a row but was within 15 percent, which state officials said was allowable. The metal-stamping business in Carle Place pledged to maintain its 2008 payroll of 79 workers in return for a $100,000 grant; it employed four fewer in 2013.

Together, the local aid recipients got $14 million in grants and loans for pledging to employ 3,609. Their payrolls totaled 4,252 last year, including 1,241 new jobs.

The average cost to taxpayers for each job preserved or created on Long Island was $3,320. Statewide, the average cost per job was $3,216.

Ralph Volcy, an asset manager at Empire State Development, said 272 development projects across the state were subject to employment requirements. The state is seeking $3 million in penalties from the 20 found not to be in compliance.

Volcy said the state had collected $3 million of the $3.5 million in penalties assessed last year for failure to meet job goals in 2012.

Since 2001, Empire State Development has gotten back $40 million from businesses that broke employment promises, the audit shows.

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