Tag Archives: Business Council

With Lower Cost Power Corning Expands Canton Plant

Business Council member Corning Incorporated will expand its facility in Canton in St. Lawrence County creating 40 additional jobs at the site. Corning is receiving a low-cost power allocation from the New York Power Authority to support the more than $21 million capital expansion project. The firm has been allocated 2.1 megawatts (MW) of power, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced today. Corning will add a total of 30,700 square feet to accommodate additional storage and an increase in production of high-fused silica glass used by the semiconductor industry.

Patrick Jackson, Director of Corning’s Global Energy Management, said, “This allocation by NYPA will reduce Corning’s energy cost, which is a major expenditure at the Canton plant.
The Business Council advocates for lower energy costs for New York businesses.

Corning is a world leader in specialty glass and ceramics and has locations in  various parts of New York state. The company is planning to expand its Canton facility by 23,500 square feet to greatly increase production at the facility, which supplies microchips for computers, cell phones and other electronics. A 7,200-square-foot warehouse is also part of the project. Corning is planning a formal ceremony for next month to mark the start of construction on the expansion project.

The low-cost hydropower will be provided to Corning under a seven-year contract and is drawn from a block of St. Lawrence electricity known as Preservation Power. In addition to the new permanent jobs, which are already being added, the capital investments by the company are expected to support dozens of temporary construction jobs.

FIRST Robotics Competitions hit New York

GE

Business Council member Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) hosted the New York Tech Valley Regional FIRST Robotics Competition, last week. The program challenged high school students to use STEM skills to design and build a robot that competed against each other.

Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., Business Council president and CEO, joined RPI President Shirley Ann Jackson and Elliott Masie, CEO of the Masie Center and General Electric Global Research Director Mark Little (pictured) to help the more than 1,000 high school students attending cheer on the teams and encourage them to pursue their math and science skills.

Several Business Council members, RPI, GE, National Grid, Time Warner Cable, and Global Foundries, sponsored the competition.

The Finger Lakes Regional FIRST Robotics Competition will be held next week at Business Council member, the Rochester Institute of Technology and similar competitions will be held next week in New York City and on Long Island.

The Business Council supports and promotes FIRST Robotics as part of our education and workforce development initiative.

Education reform advocate lists reasons to support Common Core

Elizabeth Ling, the director of Education Reform Now, spells out the reasons why the group supports the immediate implementation of the Common Core curriculum standards in New York in an op-ed in the Albany Times Union Ling says “rigorous academic standards are essential to creating an educated workforce and ensuring New York’s long-term economic competitiveness.” Ling’s group is circulating an Open Letter in support of the Common Core that has been signed by a number of business leaders including Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State.

Gaming industry optimistic that voters will approve casino referendum

The Albany Times Union reports today that a leader in the state’s gaming industry, James Featherstonhaugh, is optimistic that New York voters will approve a referendum expanding the number of casinos in the state.

Featherstonhaugh’s comments came at the Saratoga Institute on Racing & Gaming Law, sponsored by the Government Law Center and Albany Law School. 

The Business Council of New York State will participate in the effort to promote passage of the referendum according to Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Council.

Crain’s: Gender equality bill raises concerns for The Business Council

The Business Council is raising concerns about some of the provisions in Governor Cuomo’s newly released Women’s Equality Act. Ken Pokalsky, vice president of government affairs for The Business Council, spoke with Andrew Hawkins of Crain’s New York Business about those concerns which include the protection of an employee’s right to share wage information.

Click here to read more.

The Buffalo News one-on-one with Heather Briccetti

Does The Business Council work well with the Cuomo Administration? Is the business climate improving in New York state? What are the biggest impediments in New York for a business reaching its potential? These are just a sampling of the questions The Buffalo News posed to Heather Briccetti, president and CEO of The Business Council, in a wide-ranging interview recently. She also answered questions about natural gas development, education and health care.

Click here for the interview, printed in the Sunday edition of The Buffalo News. 

Crain’s Op-ed: Fixing workers’ comp

Crain's New York Business logoThe following op-ed was posted by Crain’s New York Business. It zeros in on the high cost of New York’s workers’ compensation system. The op-ed mentions The Business Council’s advocacy efforts to improve that system – efforts that are bearing some fruit.

Crains: Corruption, campaign finance reform and fracking may be hot topics in Albany, but rank-and-file businesses across the state are more concerned about a less sensational subject: workers’ compensation. While it’s not an issue that propels political careers, New York’s system costs a whopping $6 billion a year. Surveys show only health insurance to be a greater worry for business owners.

Workers’ compensation reform happens rarely in New York because powerful vested interests—notably the plaintiff bar—are adept at maintaining what, for them, is a lucrative status quo. Aside from some key changes won by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in this year’s budget, the last significant fix was in the early days of the Spitzer administration. That 2007 change broadened the distribution of money, the vast majority of which had been going to a small fraction of workers injured on the job. But the savings that businesses were projected to realize have been overwhelmed by rising costs that were ignored or even abetted by the Spitzer reform.

With three weeks remaining in the 2013 session, there is little hope that legislators will make any more improvements this year. In fact, the business lobby is currently occupied—as it often is—with blocking bills that would make the system worse. The trial lawyers’ lobby knows its best defense is a good offense, so it pushes poisonous bills that consume the business community’s attention and resources.

Meanwhile, the Cuomo administration has shifted its efforts to improvements it can make administratively. In fact, it implemented one just last week: The Workers’ Compensation Board, after seven months of intensive advocacy by the Business Council of New York State, declared that injured employees can be assumed to have reached “maximum medical improvement” after two years. Even though the healing process for nearly all injuries rarely exceeds eight months, businesses hailed the new policy as a victory because lawyers had been dragging out cases, allowing their “still healing” clients to milk the system for six years of interim payments before starting the 10-year compensation clock established by the 2007 reform.

But many similar quirks remain unaddressed, notably the outdated schedules that dictate how long workers are paid for a given injury. Thanks to advances in medical care, ailments that once persisted for months or years are now fixed in a fraction of that time—yet the gravy train of yesteryear rolls on. That should be addressed this year by Mr. Cuomo, and next year he must press the Assembly again for reforms it denied him in March. The quest for a fair and rational workers’ compensation system continues.

[NOTE: As New York’s employers continue to struggle under the growing costs of the Workers’ Comp system, The Business Council is uniquely poised to make a significant positive impact to the system.  Not only is The Business Council the recognized representative of New York’s businesses by the Administration and the Board, through very regular communication, the Legislature has added our participation in the process into law.]

The Business Council strongly opposes any expansion of New York’s Martin Act.

The Business Council strongly opposes legislation introduced by Senator Tom Libbous and Assemblymember Peter Abbate which would expand New York’s Martin Act, which is already considered one of the “most expansive anti-fraud statutes” in the country. “Among other things, its definition of fraud is broader than that in common law, federal securities law, or other similar state law, in that it does not require a finding of intent to defraud, just the misrepresentation or omission of a material fact.  It also does not require demonstration that an injured party in any way relied on such misstatement or omission in a financial transaction,” stated in a memo released by The Business Council.

Click here to read the bill memo.

 

The Business Council opposes Oil and Gas Drilling Mandates bill

The Business Council released a memo Monday opposing a bill (A,3466/A.6220) submitted by State Senator Tony Avella and Assembly Majority Whip William Colton which would institute a separate series of workplace standards for oil and gas workers and their contractors.

“This bill is just another bill intended to fit into the narrative of those that oppose the expansion of natural gas and oil drilling in New York.” The Business Council has long supported responsible and safe natural gas development in New York.

Click here to read the memo in which The Business Council offers several strong objections to the bill.

Video: Ken Pokalsky, Brian Sampson and Mike Durant on New York NOW

Ken Pokalsky, vice president of government affairs at The Business Council, appeared alongside Brian Sampson, executive director of Unshackle Upstate, and Mike Durant, the New York State Director for NFIB, on WMHT’s news program New York Now. The roundtable discussion led by Casey Seiler of the Times Union focused on their reactions to the state budget and their hopes for the remainder of the legislative session.

Watch Air Quality Concerns in WNY on PBS. See more from New York NOW.