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Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Announces AJL Manufacturing Moving Forward wtih Expansion in Rochester

(June 01, 2012)

Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Announces AJL Manufacturing Moving Forward wtih Expansion in Rochester

The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council today announced that AJL Manufacturing Inc., a contract manufacturer with expertise in manufacturing low-to-mid volume, high complexity products involving precision sheet metal fabrication and electromechanical assemblies for high-tech industries, is moving forward with the first stages of the $287,715 Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits award it received as part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative. This project will increase capacity and manufacturing capabilities, and has the potential to create and retain nearly 140 jobs with a total project cost of more than $2 million.

“Our council recognizes that tax credits are an important economic development tool that provides companies with the financial leverage needed to expand and hire new employees,” said Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair and University of Rochester President Joel Seligman. “AJL Manufacturing is receiving these tax credits because it is in line with the council’s goals of accelerating our region’s transformation to a diverse, knowledge-based economy by optimizing the region’s performance in advanced manufacturing. I look forward to working with AJL in the future as this project progresses.”

“This project—like other projects recommended by the FLREDC—optimizes the New York State Excelsior Jobs Program to accelerate job growth throughout the region,” said Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair and Wegmans Food Markets CEO Danny Wegman. “AJL Manufacturing Inc. is making a sizable investment in equipment and people and should be commended for commencing this major project to remain competitive.”

AJL has operations that include laser cutting, CNC machining, Mig/Tig Welding, robotic welding, bending/forming, pem insertion and complex assembly. It serves customers in the medical, mail-stream equipment and commercial air technology solutions industries. Outsourcing to China and other overseas locations has been the single largest reason for loss of programs and the accompanying revenues.

“AJL manufacturing has been in the contract manufacturing business for 43 years. Through those years we have seen this industry change, and it is our mission to stay at the forefront of this evolution,” said Al Porter, CEO of AJL Manufacturing. “In order to achieve this, we have determined that we must have the latest technologies which will enable us to compete in a global marketplace. The Excelsior jobs programs will help us to achieve our goals of investing in the future not only with equipment, but also with people. We have made a commitment to invest in the future of manufacturing at AJL and in New York State. We are very excited that the Finger Lakes Regional Development Council has recognized AJL Manufacturing with the Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits and look forward to working together for economic strength in the future.”

AJL is in line to be the recipient of a great deal of outsourced work in the next two years. That business will have a significant increase in AJL’s current. In order to integrate these new projects into AJL’s existing facility, it is imperative that the company increase both its capacity as well as its manufacturing capabilities. The purchases that are part of this project are multi functioned machines that will allow AJL to run more than one operation in a production run. This will reduce set up times, material handling, queue time and inspection time. Quality will be improved as the machines can interface with their networks and run/change programs easily.

Last year, a total of $785 million was awarded through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) for job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans. As part of that process, AJL Manufacturing Inc. was awarded $287,715 in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits from Empire State Development.

“Governor Cuomo’s Regional Council process is assisting us leverage private funds to build on our state’s economic development budget,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. “The manufacturing that AJL Manufacturing does may have been outsourced to China and other overseas locations if not for the assistance of the Consolidated Funding Application and the Excelsior Jobs Program. For that fact, I thank the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Council for singling AJL out in its strategic plan and saving critical jobs and investment.”

"The Regional Economic Development Councils were formed to help align State economic development dollars with regional priorities, and that's exactly what we've done with this project," said Rochester Mayor Thomas Richards. "While the City of Rochester's economy is different than it was a generation ago, the story of AJL Manufacturing proves that we still have great potential to provide good paying jobs for our highly skilled workforce. And the success of this company demonstrates that manufacturing is alive and well in our region."

The Excelsior Jobs Program, established in Chapter 59 of the Laws of 2010, provides job creation and investment incentives to firms in such targeted industries as biotechnology, pharmaceutical, high-tech, clean-technology, green technology, financial services, agriculture and manufacturing. Firms in these industries that create and maintain new jobs or make significant financial investment are eligible to apply for up to four tax credits. The Program encourages businesses to expand in and relocate to New York while maintaining strict accountability standards to guarantee that businesses deliver on job and investment commitments. Program costs are capped at $500 million annually to maintain fiscal affordability and ensure that New Yorkers realize a positive return on their investment. Firms in the Excelsior Jobs Program may qualify for four new, fully refundable tax credits. Businesses claim the credits over a 10 year period. To earn any of the following credits, firms must first meet and maintain the established job and investment thresholds.

To learn more about each regional council and their economic development plans, visit www.nyworks.ny.gov.

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