For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Geise
January 23, 2024
$842 Million in New Investment, 574 New Jobs, 2,314 Retained Jobs Resulted from CCIDA Assistance
JAMESTOWN, N.Y.: — At the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency’s (CCIDA) meeting on January 23, 2024, Mark Geise, Deputy County Executive for Economic Development and Chief Executive Officer of the CCIDA, discussed the economic development team’s top 10 accomplishments in 2023, as well as their top 10 goals for 2024. Geise proclaimed that 2023’s numbers were unprecedented in the history of the CCIDA’s 50+ year existence, even topping 2022’s $500+ million in activities. Geise’s comments were made during the presentation of the CCIDA’s just-published 2023 Annual Report.
Geise explained that during 2023, the CCIDA Board approved and/or assisted 34 projects, which will result in a total investment in Chautauqua County of $842 million, create 574 permanent jobs, retain 2,314 jobs, and has and/or will create hundreds of construction jobs. These activities included, but are not limited to, the approval of loans for businesses, incentives for development projects, and the procurement of grants.
Some of the key accomplishments of 2023 include: $452 million Cummins Engine Internal Expansion; $250 million Wells Ice Cream Plant Expansion; Weber Knapp Purchase by Local Ownership ($21.4 million); Purchase and Development of lithium-ion Battery Manufacturer Electrovaya ($42.5 million); acquisition of the Conagra/CCIDA Facility in Dunkirk by Refresco to create a Northeastern US Distribution Center ($13 million); creation of a Brownfield Remediation Revolving Loan Fund ($720,000); Broadband Expansion to unserved and underserved communities (approximately a $60 million project); adoption of recommendations brought forward by the New York State Authorities Budget Office (ABO); creating a $16 million Shovel-Ready Industrial Site in Ripley; continuing the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Small Business Marketing Assistance Program ($650,000+); and development of a Talent Attraction/Retention Marketing Campaign.
Geise explained that the CCIDA Annual Report focuses on what he considers to be the top 10 accomplishments resulting from activities undertaken by the CCIDA/County Economic Development Team in 2023, as well as the top 10 aspirations for 2024. In addition to the previously-mentioned projects approved by the CCIDA, Geise also discussed ongoing activities of the Chautauqua County Partnership for Economic Growth, which helped catalyze almost $30 million in resources being secured for high-priority economic development initiatives throughout the County; provided assistance in the form of marketing grants to 80 businesses throughout Chautauqua County from the County’s ARPA allocation and Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation funding (more than $600,000); and continued collaboration with the Cities of Jamestown and Dunkirk, including assistance with the City of Dunkirk’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) application (to name a few).
In terms of aspirations for 2024, Geise discussed his desire to continue to concentrate on reactivating key properties located throughout the County, i.e., Furniture Mart, Silver Creek School, Lakeshore Hospital, Truck-Lite; continue to acquire large parcels of land for the expansion of shovel-ready site offerings; continue to work with the City of Dunkirk, New York State, and NRG in getting the mothballed NRG facility back into productive use; continue to work with ImmunityBio in getting the Dunkirk facility fully operational; roll out the nearly-completed County Marketing and Branding Strategy (including new websites) to help address population decline and supply businesses with much-needed labor; and continue to be proactive in terms of business attraction and expansion (to name a few).
“2023 was unprecedented in terms of the breadth and size of projects assisted by the CCIDA, as well as job retention and creation,” explained Geise. “It is my opinion that our economic development team, which includes the County Department of Planning & Development, the Chautauqua County Partnership for Economic Growth, and community partners, is unparalleled across the state. Once again, the collective team was able to knock it out of the park, which is due to the unwavering dedication of an extremely capable staff, volunteer board members, community stakeholders, and volunteers. I vow that we will continue to be aggressive and intentional as we advance the ball as it relates to economic development, thereby creating and retaining good jobs for families throughout the County.”
Gary Henry, Chairman of the CCIDA Board of Directors, echoed Geise’s sentiments when he said, “Congratulations to the entire economic development team for all of your dedication and hard work. We have a great relationship with the business community, the municipalities, and the County, and this has proven to be true in the substantial impact that we continue to make throughout the County year after year. A special thanks to the volunteer CCIDA Board and Loan Committee, as well as the staff and every entity involved with economic development in Chautauqua County for making 2023 a great year.”
Chautauqua County Executive Paul “PJ” Wendel said, “I am thrilled with the work being undertaken by the CCIDA and the extended economic development team, which includes the Partnership for Economic Growth and the County Department of Planning & Development. I commend Mark Geise and the County/CCIDA team for their laser focus on Chautauqua County’s upward trajectory. As I’ve said many times since the pandemic hit us, our comeback will be greater than our setback, and the CCIDA’s 2023 tally of accomplishments has proven this sentiment to be true.”
The CCIDA/CREDC 2023 Year-end Report & 2024 Work Plan can be found on the CCIDA website: CCIDA.com.
About CCIDA – The CCIDA is an economic development organization authorized and empowered by the State of New York to make Chautauqua County a better place to work, live, and visit. It facilitates development by attracting new businesses, while promoting the retention and expansion of existing businesses. Assistance in the form of incentives – tax abatements, low interest loans, and bond financing – enhances the opportunities for job creation and retention by our businesses. For more information visit www.ccida.com.