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April 2014 Column - Cooperation leads to business expansion


OFFICE HIGHLIGHTS

This month I wanted to talk about a new law I sponsored that will offer additional protections to our seniors residing in nursing homes and will improve access to information that is vital to families that are choosing a nursing home. Ruthie’s Law aims to respond to recent incidents of neglect occurring at nursing homes throughout our community by becoming more proactive and providing more transparency regarding incidents and their causes.  


Erie County Legislator Ted Morton reminds residents that the county hosts two Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off Days every spring.


Erie County Legislator Ted Morton announces that Erie County is seeking local businesses to participate in the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP), coordinated through the Department of Social Services. Through this partnership, businesses provide work assignments and guidance to youths, who are paid through the agency that runs SYEP. 

Legislator Ted Morton today announced that the Legislature has declared April 2017 as Donate Life Month in Erie County.

I wanted to report this month regarding the ongoing contract dispute between the County and AFSCME Local 1095, which represents many of the blue collar workers throughout our county. These workers often work pay check to pay check and in some cases hold second jobs to make ends meet.


Business ribbon cuttings are a grand celebration, commemorating the hard work it took to get to this point. Some business projects faced more hurdles than others, but when these challenges are overcome, and the new business is up and running, there is good reason to celebrate. 

 

Recently the Town of Lancaster welcomed the new business Nutrablend which expanded from Canada. Working in partnership with the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, Nutrablend searched for a suitable location, finding what it needed in Lancaster. Throughout the process Nutrablend has never accepted or requested a single taxpayer dollar, making this a great example of economic development.

 

Our region is often criticized for lack of growth so when a company moves into one of our towns or cities, it is exciting. While New York is still dealing with the issues that hinder business development, there are still steps we can take to support business, especially on the local level.

 

Some important steps were taken to help Nutrablend establish its business in Lancaster and facilitate its plans to expand. Facing some issues that were hindering its expansion, Nutrablend met with the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce, requesting assistance in finding solutions. Lancaster Chamber President John Chmarney reached to out to me to see how I could help.

 

A lack of qualified labor was one of the issues stopping the company from expanding. I placed a call to ECC President Jack Quinn to discuss Nutrablend’s needs and the college is currently working with the company to place qualified graduates and arrange internships. Outstanding local schools and colleges are some of our greatest assets and by simply partnering together, ECC will be able to help Nutrablend meet its demand.

 

Additionally, a lack of public transportation was also prohibiting the company from growing. I worked to connect Nutrablend with the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, which has worked with companies in the past to establish stops at businesses in exchange for financial compensation from the business, to begin the process of establishing a new bus stop at the company. Although a work in progress, I’m optimistic that the NFTA will be able to alleviate Nutrablend’s transportation concerns.     

 

Nutrablend has been a success story in Lancaster as the company continues to grow and add jobs to our community. In fact they’ve been so successful that the company’s General Manager Fred Doxbeck was recently asked to be the guest speaker at the Lancaster Area Chamber of Commerce’s Luncheon held on April 2. I look forward to continuing to work with the Chamber and other stakeholders in our community to help our area grow and flourish.

 

By coordinating with private businesses, local government offices and public agencies can support economic development in a variety of ways that comes at no additional cost to the taxpayer. These partnerships have proven extremely valuable to our community.  

 

As a reminder, if you ever have any questions or wish to discuss the above issues with me, please call 858-8856 or email ted.morton@erie.gov