Arc Gets Late Christmas Gift!
Arc of Seneca Cayuga recently learned that they will be the recipient of a $50,000 award from the Empire State Development (ESD) Grants Program through the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, which uses local assets to drive local economic growth. This grants program was launched in 2011 by Governor Cuomo to provide different regions of the State with the tools to create and implement their own plan for economic growth. Arc’s application was chosen as one of 36 priority projects.
Arc will apply this money toward the cost of a state–of-the-art automatic computer-driven fabric cutting system for their Finger Lakes Textiles (FLT) division. FLT has produced cold weather headgear for the Defense Logistics Agency for more than 20 years and ships about one million pieces each year. The agency manufactures both black knit and fleece caps, which must meet strict specifications prior to being accepted for distribution to newly-enlisted army and naval personnel.
FLT is the exclusive supplier of these caps to the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and the Coast Guard. By investing in their own precision cutting system, FLT can enhance their competitiveness, bring business from out of state back to New York and save at least $200,000 per year.
Obtaining the cutting system is part of the Agency’s strategic plan to renovate and expand FLT, which will enable Arc to become financially sustainable and less dependent on government money, while preserving more than 40 jobs for people with disabilities. The plan includes putting an addition of 4,500 square feet on the existing FLT building, increasing the work space by 50% and allowing for the addition of new employees.
The expansion will also allow Arc to grow its relationship with the Department of Fiber Science and Apparel at Cornell University by exploring new product lines, marketing strategies and developing an internship program.
Arc is also hopeful that this will also enable FLT to take advantage of a long-standing request from the Canandaigua Veterans Administration Hospital to offer employment opportunities to veterans receiving in-patient treatment.
Allen Connely, Executive Director, said “This award of $50,000 is huge because it not only helps us to complete this important project, but also will result in new partnerships and collaboration that will help build a reinvigorating economy.”