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Western New York Regional Economic Development Council Announces Ronco Communications in Tonawanda Receives $50,000 to Train Workers in Western New York

$682,000 in Total Training Funds Awarded Across Western New York
(June 11, 2012)

Western New York Regional Economic Development Council Announces Ronco Communications in Tonawanda Receives $50,000 to Train Workers in Western New York

The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council today announced that Ronco Communications in Tonawanda has signed its contract to officially move forward with the first stages of the $50,000 award it received as part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Regional Council initiative. This project will train 25 technical workers to install, configure and troubleshoot networking hardware, protocols and services at the company. More than $682,000 in total training dollars have been awarded by the council to Western New York companies.

"As the lifeblood of a vibrant economy, Western New York's well-trained workforce will help drive businesses here from across the globe, making it a premier destination for economic growth and success," said Empire State Development Regional President Sam Hoyt, who was at Ronco Communications on Monday to meet with company executives and local officials, tour the facility and to see the progress of the workforce training program. "The regional approach to economic development is working, and we are pleased to help Ronco Communications become an even more productive and efficient company."

This training project will advance the company's competitiveness by upgrading employee skills with industry-recognized credentials. It will also help the company expand business opportunities in cutting-edge markets and maintain a productive workforce. Training will also provide employees with the potential for advancement in the future.

"With assistance from the State of New York, Ronco has been able to accelerate the investment we make to our employees," said Ronco Communications President Christopher Wasp. "These investments have kept Ronco a leader in designing, implementing, and supporting technology based solutions that optimize an organizations workforce. This ability has allowed Ronco to grow its business by over 30 percent since 2007 in spite of the recession."

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, Ronco Communications was awarded $50,000 from the State Department of Labor (DOL).

"Both businesses and workers in Western New York are benefiting now from these training dollars and will continue to benefit in the future," said Mario Musolino, Department of Labor Executive Deputy Commissioner and Agency Liaison to the Regional Economic Development Councils. "Using this regional strategy, businesses will be provided with a steady stream of work-ready employees, while workers will obtain permanent employment and skills they will have for the rest of their lives."

The Worker Skills Upgrading Program, administered by the state DOL, provides funds to businesses to train workers in specific occupational skills needed by that business or industry that lead to potential career growth and increased wages. The positions targeted for training must exist and be filled at the time the proposal is submitted.

State Senator Michael Ranzenhoffer said, "The last two State Budgets have made great strides in helping to strengthen our Western New York economy, and Governor Cuomo's Regional Economic Development efforts have continued to build upon this momentum. The Regional Council efforts to retrain workers at Ronco Communications in Tonawanda is another example how we can make New York State and its workforce more competitive so that additional jobs can be created in our community."

Assemblyman Robin Schimminger said, "I am elated that Ronco Communications has been awarded this funding to equip its employees with new skills that will help the company become more competitive and profitable. I look forward to seeing the economy grow and the region's workforce expand as a result of training funding."

To learn more about each regional council and their economic development plans, visit