Industrial Development New York State Style! by Dave Duncan

In January 2010 an announcement was made by the Empire State Development Agency that a new call center in Penn Yan, NY would open and provide jobs for 450 full time workers. On Feb 4, 2011, the call center closed. At the time of the closing there were approximately 145 employees. Penn Yan with a population of 5,200 is in Yates County, 90 miles North West of Binghamton.

 The company that operated the live-operator call center was Data Listing Services LLC, doing business as the Connection. The sole customer of the Penn Yan operation was Clearwire. In less than a year after opening, Clearwire made the decision to establish an off shore operation, probably in the Philippines.
 

Public Contributions

  • The Empire State Development agency earmarked a million dollar grant to the project.
  • The NYS Empire Zone program, provided $485,000 in tax incentives.
  • The NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal provided $250,000 to the Connection for the development of jobs for low and moderate income people.
  • The Finger Lakes Economic Development Center paid $150,000 to pave the parking lot. The Village received $250,000 in Federal Community
  • Development Block Grant funds for the project.
  • Sales tax savings on equipment amounted to $70,000.
  • Other property tax incentives were provided.
     

Poor Paying Jobs for Poor People
 Best estimates are that the Connection paid regular employees less than the average wage in Yates County which is the lowest average wage county in NYS.
Management positions paid better wages but most of the management came from outside Yates County.
 
Who is running the development show? Who should be?
 
The only people not benefiting by the development agencies are the workers and the tax payers. We must reclaim this power.

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