The Western New York Power Proceeds Allocation Board (WNYPPAB) has recommended $1 million in funding to four Western New York enterprises, the WNY Women’s Foundation Inc., City Labs Inc., Cobey Inc., and Campus Labs/Higher One Inc.
In total, the latest projects recommended for funding awards are expected to create 158 jobs, result in investments by project applicants of more than $14 million and ensure the long-term economic success of entities in Western New York. The recommendations are expected to be considered by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) Board of Trustees at its October 15 board meeting.
Campus Labs/Higher One
Recommended Award Amount: $300,000
Campus Labs was formed by two SUNY Buffalo students who won a business plan competition for their idea to form a company that develops software to collect information from students that could be used to impact programs and services.
Since growing to serve more than 650 campuses, Campus Labs was bought by Higher One in 2012, which is located in New Haven, Connecticut. With the acquisition, Campus Labs’ stand-alone operation at 210 Ellicott Street has been in doubt and more efficient space must be found in Buffalo for the company to remain.
The company s is working with McGuire Development Company on finding a suitable new space but is also considering relocating the business to Connecticut. Higher One’s projected $1,033,125 project, which will create 36 new jobs and retain 70 high paying jobs, is the type of high-tech company that local economic development officials are trying to attract to Western New York.
WNY Women’s Foundation
Recommended Award Amount: $100,000
The WNY Women’s Foundation, in partnership with Niagara County Community College, will implement years two and three of a pilot workforce training program for at-risk single mothers (MOMS: From Education to Employment Program), which will seek to improve educational attainment and improve the skills and workforce readiness of single mothers, many who are underemployed in the Western New York region.
City Labs Inc.
Recommended Award Amount: $484,835
City Labs Inc. develops and manufacturers Tritium, high energy density, betavoltaic batteries for medical devices, sensors and defense equipment. Due to recent success in gaining customers and creating a market share, the company is preparing to increase to full-scale commercial manufacturing of the latest evolution of its betavoltaic battery. This $11.8 million project, which will create 90 new high-tech advanced manufacturing jobs, will include the leasing of a site in Western New York, followed by equipping the site with advanced manufacturing machinery and equipment.
Recommended Award Amount: $183,950
Cobey Inc., a manufacturer of air and gas compression equipment located in the Buffalo Lakeside Commerce Park, will evolve its equipment manufacturing process into the manufacturing of compressed natural gas (CNG) equipment to serve the Western New York market.
The latest recommendations for proceeds awards stem from legislation signed into law in 2012 by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, known as the Western New York Power Proceeds Allocation Act. The legislation authorizes “net earnings” from the sale of unused hydropower from NYPA’s Niagara project to be deposited into the Western New York Economic Development Fund to support economic development in Western New York. The Fund has accrued approximately $37 million to date. Approximately $14.2 million has been approved for awards by the NYPA Trustees on the basis of earlier recommendations of the proceeds Allocation Board.