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November 14, 2019 - 1:16pm

Press release:

Financial services firm Edward Jones ranks highest in investor satisfaction with full-service brokerage firms, according to the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Full Service Investor Satisfaction Study (SM), the firm recently announced.

The study measures overall investor satisfaction with 18 full-service investment firms based on eight factors, including financial advisor, account information, investment performance, firm interaction, product offerings, commissions and fees, information resources, and problem resolution. The firm scored 853 in overall satisfaction, 18 points over the industry average.

"What a great honor it is to be recognized for what matters most, which is making a difference in the lives of our clients," said Edward Jones Managing Partner Penny Pennington. "We illustrate the value of the Edward Jones client experience every day and help our clients achieve financially what is most important to them. We can bring something truly special to clients who experience us. This is why we exist."

Edward Jones ranked highest in investor satisfaction by J.D. Power in 2015 (tied), 2012, 2010, 2009, 2007-2005, and in a tie in 2002, when the study began.

The 2019 Full Service Investor Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 4,629 investors who primarily invest with one of the 18 firms included in the study. The majority of the study was fielded in December 2018. For more information, visit jdpower.com/awards.

Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in St. Louis, provides financial services in the U.S. and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm's business, from the investments its financial advisors offer to the location of its branch offices, caters to individual investors. The firm's 18,000-plus financial advisors serve more than 7 million clients and care for $1 trillion in assets under management.

Visit our website at edwardjones.com and recruiting website at careers.edwardjones.com. Member SIPC.

November 10, 2019 - 9:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Amada Tool, batavia, GCEDC, business.
Video Sponsor

Press release:

Amada Tool America celebrated the completion of a 19,000 square-foot addition to its existing Batavia-based facility. Leadership from Amada North America and Amada Tool America convened with local leaders at the facility to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“Amada Tool America has been manufacturing punch press tooling for 54 years," said Edward Dries, chief operating officer of Amada Tool America. "Today we are starting a new chapter with an expansion into the manufacturing of press brake tooling.

“This expansion will supply tooling for the new press brake machines being built in Amada’s brand-new facility in North Carolina. To meet this need, Amada Tool America’s employee number will be increasing to 87 employees, bringing 17 new jobs to this facility. We are proud to be a part of the Amada team.”

Amada is a leading international tool manufacturer and boasts 8,000 employees worldwide. Its Genesee County location first opened its doors in 1965 and specializes in precision sheet metal tooling.

The project featured $8.8 million in capital investment, which includes $6.5 million of new equipment and supports Amada’s growth to 80 workers in Genesee County.

The expansion was supported by Empire State Development’s Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit and the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) incentives.

“Amada has been a staple of Genesee County for more than 50 years and its continued success is what led to this exciting addition to its current facility,” said GCEDC’s Vice President of Workforce Development Chris Suozzi.

“When you consider the sustained success and investment into our community, Amada is the blueprint for the kind of companies that we are looking to attract and grow in Genesee County.”

Amada has been at the forefront of local workforce development efforts, engaging with students from the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, participating in the inaugural GLOW With Your Hands hands-on careers festival, and will soon debut a series of career profiles on the EdgeFactor.com career exposure platform.

November 8, 2019 - 7:15pm

Photo, from left: Joy and Bill Hume Foxprowl Collectibles owners, Shane Dreyer Work Experience participant, and Jeffrey Young Employment and Training counselor.

Submitted photo and press release:

The Genesee County Job Development Bureau announces Foxprowl Collectables as Business of the Month for October.

The Business of the Month was introduced to acknowledge the exceptional work and the results gained by the contributions of local businesses to the development of a skilled workforce.

The bureau congratulates Foxprowl Collectables for being selected as the inaugural winner of this award and we wish them the best for the future. 

Businesses are nominated based on their demonstrated commitment to the growth of our workforce and thus the well-being of the county.

The Business of the Month Award seeks to recognize contributions to providing paid/unpaid work experiences that allow job seekers to gain experience and develop their skills.

We also consider mentorship, career tracks, innovation in recruitment, hiring, and/or retention, utilization of the One Stop Services, and a commitment to workforce retention in selecting our award winner each month. 

Jeff Young, Employment and Training counselor, says he's proud of his connection to Foxprowl Collectables, which is located at 440 Ellicott St. in the City of Batavia.

“Mr. Hume sets aside time to teach and mentor our customer," Young said. "He is covering all the aspects of his business; and our client is developing many useful transferable skills. His hands-on approach is really benefiting both his business and our client.”

Job Development prides itself on the many business connections that help us to serve our customers. This award is given to commend those most deserving for their hard work and commitment to supporting career goals.

To learn more about how your business can benefit by serving as a work experience site or sponsoring an on-the-job training, please call the Genesee County Job Development Bureau (585-344-2042), and to learn more about Foxprowl Collectables go to their website (http://www.foxprowl.com/).

November 7, 2019 - 5:42pm

Press release:

“Universal Hiring Practices: Hiring Someone with a Disability” will be the subject of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce’s latest business workshop on Nov. 13.

The Chamber has partnered with the Arc of Genesee Orleans to provide training on the benefits of hiring a person with a disability. The workshop will be held at the newly renovated GO TO Hub at Arc of Genesee Orleans, 64 Walnut St., Batavia.

“It is well known that finding and retaining employees is a problem for employers here in Genesee County,” said Tom Turnbull, president of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

“Unemployment is low and the pool of capable workers is shrinking. To meet these hiring needs, local businesses need to explore new and diverse options that are available here in our local communities.”

“Hiring a person with a disabilityis an option employers sometimes overlook but would be wise to consider. This pool of diverse employees will provide a highly productive, community focused, dedicated group of new hires to your employee base.”

The workshop is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. and should last approximately one hour.

This event is free for Chamber and Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District members. There is a $10 charge for non-members.

To register, contact Kelly Bermingham at the Chamber by phone at 585-343-7440 or by email at [email protected].

November 4, 2019 - 3:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Batavia Development Corporation, batavia.
Andrew Maguire

Submitted photo and press release:

The Batavia Development Corporation is pleased to announce Andrew Maguire as the new executive director of Economic Development.

Maguire, a lifelong resident of Batavia, has served the last five years as the clerk-treasurer for the Village of Oakfield.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from St. John Fisher College.

Maguire replaces Rachael Tabelski, who resigned and accepted the City of Batavia Assistant Manager position a couple months ago.

A recruitment search by the BDC Board of Directors brought in potential job candidates from throughout the region.

The board felt that Maguire’s experience with municipal processes, his experience with grant funding, and knowledge of budgets made him the top choice. 

Maguire is set to begin the position on Nov. 18th.

November 2, 2019 - 10:48am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Fleet Maintenance Inc., video, business, batavia, GCEDC.
Video Sponsor

Fleet Maintenance Inc., of West Seneca, is nearly ready to open a new 16-bay, 45,000-square-foot semi-truck and RV service center adjacent to the Thruway, just off of State Street.

It will employ 30 people, so yesterday the Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting for the new location for the growing company.

Company president Deborah Gawron said the service center will be the first such facility next to the Thruway anywhere in New York.

Unique to the facility is a classroom and service bay where students in BOCES can learn about diesel mechanics.

The company invested more than $4.35 million to build the facility, which will also carry $2 million in parts for sale to others who repair trucks and RVs.

Fleet Maintenance received $437,652 in sales tax, mortgage tax, and property tax exemptions from the Genesee County Economic Development Center to help attract the company to Batavia.

November 1, 2019 - 1:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, batavia, Le Roy, GCEDC.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors approved incentives for two capital investment projects in the Town of Le Roy at the board’s Oct. 31st meeting.

Wright Associates is investing approximately $9.5 million to purchase and build-out an existing 139,000-square-foot building on Wright Avenue in Le Roy, and in the process create 125 new full-time jobs in Genesee County.

The company will make significant renovations to the building and property, including the installation of a new roof, updates to the electrical system, improvements to drainage system, installation of fiber optic cable, updates to heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, and other enhancements.

The beverage distribution company, based in Rochester, requested approximately $854,452 in mortgage, sales and property tax exemptions. The project's property, local sales tax and payroll represent a $135.50 local impact for every $1 of benefits.

Wendt Propane Gas Service is investing $1.3 million to build a new 9,600-square-foot facility at the corner of Route 19 and North Road in the Town of Le Roy, creating four new full-time jobs.

The company will be expanding its propane service to local residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural customers.

The company sought approximately $120,000 in mortgage, sales and property tax exemptions. The project represents a $24.50 local impact for every $1 of benefits.

The GCEDC board also voted to accept an application for incentives from Fraser-Branche Property LLC which is seeking to purchase and renovate the YWCA building on North Street in the City of Batavia.

The company will renovate approximately 8,700 square feet of the 13,000-square-foot facility for an expansion of Three Little Birds Pediatrics, and is proposing to lease back the remainder of the facility to the YWCA and two other existing tenants.

The total project capital investment is $1.4 million. Fraser-Branche Property, LLC is seeking approximately $105,000 in mortgage, sales and property tax exemptions.

The project will be part of the Batavia Pathway to Prosperity (BP2) program. Since the project is seeking more than$100,000 in incentives, the GCEDC will conduct a public hearing.

“These are three exciting projects for Genesee County, and especially the Town of Le Roy and City of Batavia,” said GCEDC Board Chair Paul Battaglia. “It’s great to see both the high level of capital investment being made and the number of jobs being created.”

November 1, 2019 - 1:19pm

Press release:

The Board of Directors the Genesee Gateway Local Development Corporation (GGLDC) passed a budget for Fiscal Year 2020 at its board meeting Oct. 31.

The budget anticipates cash outflows of approximately $2.6 million.

“The mission of the GGLDC is to foster local economic development by making real estate development investments that prepare sites in Genesee County for new corporate tenants,” said Don Cunningham, chairman of the GGLDC.

“The GGLDC also provides strategic investment funding to support the GCEDC’s ongoing economic development and workforce development programs.”

The anticipated 2020 expenditures of the GGLDC include operations and maintenance for the MedTech Centre building, site/corporate park maintenance, an economic development program support grant to the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC), continuing to support a dedicated workforce development consultant, and professional services.

Other significant items include:

  • An $820,000 pass-through grant from the New York State Department of Transportation that furthers the ability of the tenants of the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park (Ag Park) to access rail;
  • $450,000 in debt service payments supporting development at the MedTech Centre campus;
  • and $728,000 in expenses related to wastewater treatment facility upgrades in the Village of Corfu in partnership with the Town of Pembroke, supporting the Buffalo East Technology Park.

A major source of revenue is rent of $680,000 from the MedTech Centre facility. Additional cash receipts will include $376,000 in principal and interest payments from several companies repaying loans made in previous years.

“The GGLDC will continue to actively market our shovel-ready parks in collaboration with the Genesee County Economic Development Center in 2020,” Cunningham said. “We have been working on a few projects that we anticipate will come to fruition by the end of 2020.”

November 1, 2019 - 1:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, hepatitis A, vaccine, food-service workers.

Press release from the GC Health Department:

The Genesee County Health Department has recently been awarded a grant to provide the hepatitis A vaccine to food-service workers at NO COST to them or the employer.

In Western New York and across the United States, foodborne outbreaks of hepatitis A have occurred as a result of infected food-service workers.

Brenden Bedard, director of Community Health Services for Genesee and Orleans counties, understands the severity of hepatitis A and the effect it can have on a business and community.

“Hepatitis A is a serious issue because most food-service workers will spread the infection before even knowing they have the disease," Bedard said. "A food-service worker can spread the virus to customers or other staff by contaminating surfaces, utensils and/or food, which can make unvaccinated individuals very sick.

"By offering the vaccine to food-service workers, we can prevent unnecessary illness from spreading in the community.”

Hepatitis A is a contagious (spreadable) liver infection that is caused by the hepatitis A Virus (HAV). It is typically spread through the feces (poop) of infected individuals.

Someone can become infected by consuming food or drink that has been contaminated by feces as well as having close personal contact with a person who is infected, or use of injection and non-injection drugs.

The symptoms of HAV may include sudden onset of fever, loss of appetite, nausea / vomiting, stomach pain, dark-colored urine and jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes). HAV usually does not have signs or symptoms until the second week of infection and is the most infectious during this time.

The good news is that hepatitis A can be prevented through vaccination!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the vaccine has a 94- to 100-percent efficacy rate.

The hepatitis A vaccine is a two-dose series that is administered six months apart. As the vaccine is not required to attend school or daycare, many people have not received it.

Currently six local restaurants, totaling 54 food-service workers, have taken advantage of this opportunity for themselves and their employees who chose to receive the vaccine. The restaurants who have participated thus far have all expressed gratitude knowing their employees can protect themselves and their customers from the hepatitis A virus.

Any food-service worker employed in Genesee County can receive the vaccine.

By receiving the vaccine, you are also protecting yourself from getting the virus if you come in contact with dishes and/or utensils that may have been contaminated by a customer or coworker.

Restaurants that participate in this opportunity will receive a certificate honoring their commitment to protecting the health and safety of their workers and customers.

Restaurants or food services workers who are interested in receiving the Hepatitis A vaccine should contact the Genesee County Health Department immediately as this opportunity is ending on Dec. 31. The supply is on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, please call the Genesee County Health Department at 585-344-2580, ext. 5555. The department is open Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

For more information on the hepatitis A virus, click (PDF) here.

October 31, 2019 - 11:22am

Press release:

O’Lacy’s Irish Pub & Eli Fish Brewing Company have worked together and created a custom-made beer, hoping to show the public and business community that its not always about competing, but when you work together, both businesses can benefit!

On Tuesday, Nov. 5th , 5-9 p.m., O’Lacy’s Irish Pub will be hosting a kick-off party for the new hazelnut porter that has been custom made for O’Lacy’s Irish Pub by Eli Fish Brewing Company.

The collaboration was inspired as Kent Ewell (owner, O’Lacy’s), Chris Hoffman (bartender at O’Lacy’s) and Matt Gray (wwner, Eli Fish) were discussing the large amount of draft beer that O’Lacy’s sells.

“We should make you your own custom brew,” Gray said. “You pick the type (lager, ale etc.) and flavor if you wish and we can make it."    

After reviewing what was currently on tap at O’Lacy’s, Ewell chose a hazelnut porter, which is named appropriately, “Old Sod Hazelnut Porter.”

After sampling the test batch, Ewell said, “I think this is very unique and something people will enjoy.” 

At Tuesday's kick-off party, pints will be on special for $3.50. Come on out and try the new “Old Sod Hazelnut Porte,r” which pairs perfectly with O’Lacy’s Reuben sandwich and famous homemade chips and dip.

October 30, 2019 - 4:16pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Le Roy, GCEDC, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors will consider approving incentives for two capital investment projects in the Town of Le Roy and an application for incentives for a project in the City of Batavia at the board’s Oct. 31st meeting tomorrow.

Wright Associates is requesting incentives for a proposed $9.5 million capital project that would include the purchase of an existing 139,000-square-foot building on Wright Avenue in Le Roy. The beverage distribution company based in Rochester in seeking approximately $854,452 in mortgage, sales and property taxes. (Previously, Wright's project was estimated to cost $8.9 million, but additional costs in the final application pushed the projected total to $9.5 million.)

The project would create 125 new full-time jobs in Genesee County.

Wendt Propane Gas Service is requesting incentives in order to build a new 9,600-square-foot facility at the corner of Route 19 and North Road in the Town of Le Roy. The company will be expanding its propane service to local residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural customers. The company is seeking approximately $120,000 in mortgage, sales and property taxes.

The project would create four new jobs.

The GCEDC board also will consider accepting an application for incentives from Fraser-Branche Property LLC, which is seeking to purchase and renovate the YWCA building on North Street in the City of Batavia.

The company will renovate approximately 67 percent of the 13,000-square-foot facility and is proposing to lease back the remainder of the facility to the YWCA and two other existing tenants.

The total project capital investment is $1.4 million. Fraser-Branche Property LLC is seeking approximately $105,000 in mortgage, sales and property taxes. The project will be part of the Batavia Pathway to Prosperity (BP2) program.

The GCEDC Board meeting will take place at 4 p.m. Thursday at its offices at 99 MedTech Drive in Batavia. The meeting is open to the public.

October 29, 2019 - 12:56pm
posted by Billie Owens in hemp growers, agriculture, business.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the establishment of the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program.
 
This program, as required by the 2018 Farm Bill, creates a consistent regulatory framework around hemp production throughout the United States.
 
“At USDA, we are always excited when there are new economic opportunities for our farmers, and we hope the ability to grow hemp will pave the way for new products and markets,” Secretary Perdue said.
 
“We have had teams operating with all hands-on-deck to develop a regulatory framework that meets Congressional intent while seeking to provide a fair, consistent, and science-based process for states, tribes, and individual producers who want to participate in this program.”
 
Background:
 
Later this week, an interim final rule formalizing the program will be published in the Federal Register that will allow hemp to be grown under federally-approved plans and make hemp producers eligible for a number of agricultural programs.
 
The rule includes provisions for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to approve hemp production plans developed by states and Indian tribes including: requirements for maintaining information on the land where hemp is produced; testing the levels of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol; disposing of plants not meeting necessary requirements; and licensing requirements.
 
It also establishes a federal plan for hemp producers in states or territories of Indian tribes that do not have their own approved hemp production plan.
 
The interim final rule becomes effective upon publication in the Federal Register. Following publication, USDA invites public comment on the interim rule and the information collection burden. A preview of the rule is posted on USDA’s website.
 
USDA also developed guidelines for sampling and testing procedures that are being issued concurrently with this rule. These documents provide additional information for sampling agents and hemp testing laboratories.
 
More information about the provisions of the interim final rule is available on the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program webpage on the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) website.
 
Once state and tribal plans are in place, hemp producers will be eligible for a number of USDA programs, including insurance coverage through Whole-Farm Revenue Protection. For information on available programs, visit here.
October 29, 2019 - 12:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Empire Access, fiber optic services.

Press release:

Empire Access has launched state-of-the-art fiber optic Internet, phone and security services in Victor. Empire now provides super high-speed service, offering up to 10X faster connections than cable Internet services. This new fiber service is being offered to both residential and business customers.

“We’re thrilled to offer our lightning-fast fiber optic Internet to homes and businesses in Victor. Fiber optic technology provides a much faster, more reliable Internet service,” said Jim Baase, chief operating officer for Empire Access. “This recent expansion in Victor utilizes the Ontario County fiber optic network (Axcess Ontario) that Empire Access acquired in 2018.”

Empire fiber optic service offers the Victor area a unique opportunity and a clear technological advantage. Many areas comparable to the size of Victor currently do not have an option to access fiber pptic Internet.

Fiber optic service is far more reliable and not prone to slow-downs plagued by cable. Each customer has their own dedicated connection and is not affected by congestion and weather.

Empire Access features very affordable plans priced below competitors’ offerings for gigabit and 100 Mbps Internet. Gigabit offers speeds up to 1,000 Mbps and is perfect for video streaming, gaming and downloading large files.

Along with fiber optic-based Internet service, Empire also offers a complete array of communications and security services –

  • Home and business phone service – including various plans with business options including toll-free numbers, phone systems, voice mail and more
  • Security and home automation – such as 24/7 video monitoring and in-home or business-based automation, the ability to remotely manage security, lock and unlock doors, control appliances, adjust heating/cooling and more from a smartphone, tablet, or computer
  • Advanced business services – enterprise Wi-Fi, business email, audio and video conferencing, dark fiber and metro Ethernet

Empire Access is part of a locally/family-owned and operated company; rooted from a telephone company founded in 1896. The organization has long been recognized for their knowledgeable, reliable and responsive service. Live customer support is available 24/7/365.

To see if Empire Access fiber optic service is available in your neighborhood, please call 800-338-3300 or visit www.empireaccess.com.

About Empire Access

After starting in 1896 with one telephone line in Prattsburgh, NY, Empire Access has grown significantly as a family-owned, locally based communications provider serving large areas of Upstate New York and Northern Pennsylvania.

Today’s Empire offers a wide range of products and services from basic phone service to customized phone solutions, scalable high-speed fiber optic Internet, basic to enhanced digital TV service and advanced security solutions. Responding to a variety of business and consumer needs, Empire continues to expand into new areas while retaining a strong focus on local, personalized customer service. In 2017 and 2018, Empire Access was awarded Best Internet Service Provider in the Southern Tier region of New York.

Empire Access offers fiber optic service in Arkport, Batavia, Bath, Big Flats, Burdett, Canandaigua, Canisteo, Corning, Dansville, Elmira, Elmira Heights, Geneseo, Geneva, Hammondsport, Hornell, Le Roy, Montour Falls, Mount Morris, Naples, North Hornell, Odessa, Prattsburgh, Penn Yan, Victor, Warsaw, Watkins Glen, and Waverly in New York and Sayre, Athens, South Waverly and Troy in Pennsylvania.

October 28, 2019 - 4:24pm

Press release:

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, in collaboration with Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, will be offering a CDL Training Program for Genesee County agriculture producers and their employees for Class A and Class B licenses.

This training program is designed for producers and farm employees that have some experience with commercial truck operation.

An informational meeting will be held on Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m. at the Genesee County Cornell Cooperative Extension building at 420 E. Main St., Batavia.  This meeting will explain how the program works and answer any questions you may have. The required training materials and medical forms will also be passed out at this time.

Classroom instruction dates are Dec. 10 and 11, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Cornell Cooperative Extension building, 420 E. Main St. in Batavia.

Drive times will be scheduled with the instructor at a later date.

Class A drivers must be at least 21 years of age and Class B drivers must be at least 18 years of age.

Full payment (check or cash) is due at the class on Dec. 10. The cost for Class A is $775 and the cost for Class B is $600.

Registration is required and will be accepted until Dec. 3 or until the class is full. Class size is limited.

For more information or to register, please contact Jan Beglinger at 585-343-3040, ext. 132.

October 24, 2019 - 11:46am

Press release:

The Genesee Country Farmers' Market @ The Downtown Batavia Public Market will close for the season at 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 25th.

It is located on the corner of Bank Street and Alva Place in the Downtown Batavia Business District. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. -- today (Oct. 24) and tomorrow.

The season began June 7. Though locations have changed, the market has been provided the freshest locally grown fruits and vegetables as well as specialty artisnal items to the greater Batavia area and Genesee County for 45 years.

The Market would like to thank everyone that helped to make the 2019 market a success: our loyal customers, generous sponsors, the City of Batavia, and the Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District (BID).

October 23, 2019 - 2:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in hemp, CBD, agriculture, business, senator charles schumer.

Press release:

On a conference call with reporters and in the midst of an industrial hemp explosion across Upstate New York — triggered by a Schumer-championed provision in the recently passed Farm Bill — U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue guidance and allow producers to fully take advantage of the popular cannabidiol (CBD) market and also protect consumers.

Even though CBD products have gained popularity since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the farming, manufacturing, and selling of industrial hemp, Schumer explained that the FDA has yet to set regulations or safety requirements for CBD derived from hemp.

According to Schumer, the lack of federal guidance and clarity is sowing chaos for both consumers and in the rapidly-emerging Upstate New York industrial hemp industry, which saw sales of CBD products surpass $200 million nationally in 2018.

To address this lack of clarity, to protect consumers, and to allow the industrial hemp industry to maximize job creation from this cash crop, Schumer urged the FDA to expediently issue guidance on the classification, labeling, quality, marketing, and sale of CBD products.

“CBD is brimming with potential to be a billion dollar industry across New York State, bringing along countless jobs and truly meaningful economic development with it. But before that can happen, farmers, growers, producers, consumers and vendors need to know exactly what the rules of the road are and right now they’ve got no idea,” Senator Schumer said.

“That’s why I’m calling on the FDA to do its job in a timely manner and issue guidance related to CBD classification, labeling, quality, marketing, and sales. And once the feds spell out these ABC’s of CBD, the industry will seed and grow from one corner of the state to the other, many jobs will be created in the industrial hemp space, and farmers will be able to safely cash in on this cash crop.”

CBD is one of the two main chemical compounds that can be found in the cannabis plant. However, CBD is not psychoactive, meaning that it cannot get a person high—like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the other chemical compound found in many types of cannabis plants, primarily marijuana. CBD products have become exceptionally popular in the marketplace, with estimated sales of CBD-containing products, such as oils, gummies, balms, lotions, and capsules, surpassing $200 million in 2018.

According to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, there are currently just under 500 people, businesses, and organizations spread across New York State licensed to grow and process industrial hemp.

According to news reports, roughly three-quarters of those licenses were approved for the purposes of cultivating and extracting CBD. Currently, there are 18,000 acres of land licensed for industrial hemp growing in New York State, with 14,000 designated for CBD cultivation and extraction.

Furthermore, of New York’s 62 counties, 56 are home to industrial hemp farms and related growing operations. Schumer says these figures show just how much potential CBD products have to boost the economy across New York State, should clear guidance on CBD be issued by the FDA.

Schumer pointed out that the FDA is responsible for protecting public health, and guidance related to CBD is desperately needed to ensure that products on the market are safe. He also said that consumers rely on the FDA to conduct timely and appropriate oversight of new and emerging ingredients, like CBD, and that guidance from the agency would provide crucial direction for manufacturers seeking a pathway to develop safe and credible products for consumers.

Schumer argued that the market for CBD products is rapidly growing and that the agency must expedite its efforts to promote accuracy and transparency within the CBD industry. Specifically, Schumer called on the FDA to provide an outline of its plans for a regulatory framework related to CBD, as well as a timeline for when comprehensive enforcement policies for CBD products will be finalized and implemented.

The Schumer-backed Hemp Farming Act of 2018 was introduced by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Ron Wyden (D-OR). It passed and was signed into law as part of the 2018 Farm Bill. This legislation:

  • Removes industrial hemp from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act;
  • Empowers states to be the principal regulators of hemp;
  • Allows hemp researchers to apply for competitive federal grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); and
  • Makes hemp farmers eligible to apply for crop insurance.

Industrial hemp is a type of cannabis plant that is grown largely for industrial uses, but it can also be used for food, oil, and cosmetic products. Hemp contains a very small amount of THC, typically between 0.2 and 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis, and while from the same species of plant as marijuana, the two plants have varied widely in use.

However, due to the existence of THC in hemp, Schumer explained, both plants were considered “controlled substances” under federal law, meaning the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was the primary regulator for hemp production.

Schumer argued that this narrow view has undermined the crop’s agricultural and economic potential. With the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 passed by Congress and signed into law last year, this unnecessary roadblock has been lifted, and industrial hemp’s significant potential to become a cash crop in Upstate New York’s will be unleashed.

Below is the full text of the letter Schumer sent to Acting Commissioner Norman Sharpless.

***************

Dear Acting Commissioner Sharpless:

We write today to ask that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urgently clarify and implement regulations for cannabidiol (CBD) derived from hemp. Since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill (P.L. 115-334), which paved the way for industrial hemp cultivation and marketing, farmers, processors and retailers across the country are eager to enter this new market and leverage its potential. With new products containing CBD becoming available nearly every day, your agency’s lack of an official stance on this ingredient remains confusing to manufacturers and potentially dangerous to consumers. It is now imperative that the FDA finalize and implement a comprehensive regulatory framework for CBD, including guidance on the classification, labeling, quality, marketing, and sale of CBD-containing products, to ensure each manufacturer is producing safe and effective products for consumers. In accordance with your agency’s July statement regarding CBD oversight, we expect an update on your activities no later than 90 days from today’s date.

The CBD industry has exploded in recent years. Estimated annual sales of CBD-containing products were over $200 million in 2018, and CBD oils, gummies, balms, lotions, capsules, and other products are broadly available and widely advertised in stores and online. However, as the CBD industry expands, the lack of clarity and regulation around CBD use has created significant confusion and uncertainty among stakeholders in every segment of the supply chain. It is crucial that the FDA remain proactive in its duty to safeguard public health, protect consumers from potentially unsafe products, and provide a predictable pathway to market for producers and manufacturers.

Purveyors of CBD-containing products attribute a wide range of health benefits to this ingredient, including relieving pain and anxiety, preventing seizures, treating post-traumatic stress disorder, and easing inflammation. But consumers still lack answers to questions about the potential risks, including adverse side effects and drug interactions, associated with CBD.

Consumers rely on the FDA to conduct timely and appropriate oversight of new and emerging ingredients, and guidance from the FDA would also help manufacturers to develop safer, more effective, and more credible products for consumer use. The market for CBD products is rapidly outpacing the FDA’s current regulatory efforts, and your agency clearly must expedite its efforts to promote accuracy and transparency within the CBD industry. It is imperative that any comprehensive regulatory framework for products containing CBD provide straightforward guidance to manufacturers and retailers who wish to incorporate CBD into new products.

Consumers and manufacturers of this fledgling industry are counting on regulatory oversight and certainty that only the FDA can provide. Your efforts to date have been woefully inadequate. Within 90 days please provide our offices with an outline of your agency’s current plans for a specific regulatory framework related to CBD along with a timeline for when comprehensive enforcement policies for CBD products will be finalized and implemented.

Thank you for your attention to this matter and we look forward to your response.

U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer

October 23, 2019 - 11:50am

Press release:

Genesee Community College is delighted that the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce (GCCC) received the New York Community College Trustees' Business/Industry Partnership Award.

The award recognizes the many shared initiatives that have helped create a prosperous community and a great place to live, work, raise a family, own a business, and also draw in students from around the globe for higher education.

GCC nominated the Chamber of Commerce, citing the following examples of the winning partnership between the two organizations.

The BEST Center, GCC's workforce development division and the Chamber of Commerce have worked closely for decades. Consistently sharing news, information and opportunities have helped develop business leads and important networking events that build strong business relationships, as well as essential workforce training to encourage economic growth.

This past spring, the Chamber was instrumental in planning the College's first opportunity to host the NJCAA Men's Lacrosse National Championship game in the new Richard C. Call Arena, laying the groundwork for many other national events in the future.

The GCC Foundation is pleased and proud to have worked closely with the Chamber for years, including the establishment of the Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Fund in 1989. In addition, Tom Turnbull, president of the Chamber, has served on the Foundation's Board of Directors since 2006, including his current role as secretary.

The College has also served on Chamber committees to represent education-related topics and concerns.

Whether it's a long-term commitment such as a scholarship or board service, or a shorter-term opportunity such as a symposium, workshop, or fund and fund-raising gala, the partnership between GCC and Genesee County Chamber of Commerce has long been mutually beneficial. The relationship bolsters both organizations, and enables each to better serve our shared community.

October 22, 2019 - 1:12pm

Press release:

The Genesee County Job Development Bureau would like to announce its Youth Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Program.

Young adults may receive funding for in-demand career training. The program offers opportunities to out-of-school youth ages 16 to 24 years, who face barriers to education, training and employment. The goal is to make it easier for youth to find a job and a career training path. 

The program is looking to help youth -- from the young mother or father who wants to return to school, to a recent graduate that is trying to enter the workforce with no experience; to the young man or woman who left high school and now wants to finish said, Teresa Van Son, director of the Genesee County Job Development Bureau.

"Everyone has their own story and things that have gotten in their way," she said. "We want to help remove some of those obstacles. Our program is here to assist by providing support and guidance that will allow them to participate successfully in education and training opportunities to reach their fullest potential."

Young adults have the chance to participate in training for certificate and degree programs, which will assist in obtaining marketable skills for employment in their desired field of study.

Unsure what career you want? You can explore careers through paid work experience or job shadowing with a local employer.

The benefits and services can include: career counseling and support, tuition, employment-readiness training, and paid work experience. We may also help with limited supportive services including course fees and supplies, mileage reimbursement, driver's training, work clothes or uniforms.

Individuals are eligible to participate if they are between 16-24 years old, meet eligibility guidelines and possess one or more of the following barriers to employment: pregnant or parenting (mother or father), a school drop-out, homeless, foster care and/or aged out, ex-offender, or an individual with a disability.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the unemployment rate is much higher than average for 16 – 24 year olds at 9.1 percent. The education a person receives affects their employment status.

In 2018, among youth (ages 16–24) not enrolled in school who did not graduate from high school, only 51 percent were employed, either full- or part-time. The employment rate goes up from there with each educational milestone a person reached according to Child Trends.

"We want to help our local youth reach those milestones," Van Son said.

For more information, please contact the Genesee County Career Center, at (585) 344-2042 and speak with the youth counselor Lisa Smith or by email at [email protected]

October 21, 2019 - 12:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, edward jones, financial advisors.

Press release:

For the third time in a row, financial services firm Edward Jones was named one of the "PEOPLE" magazine's "50 Companies That Care" and a "Great Place to Work."

Rankings represent feedback from more than 4.5 million U.S. employees. PEOPLE partnered with Great Place to Work, a global people analytics and consulting firm, to analyze employees' survey feedback on how their workplaces make a difference in their lives and communities, and to consider the generosity of each organization's benefits, philanthropic and community support.

Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in St. Louis, provides financial services in the U.S. and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm's business, from the investments its financial advisors offer to the location of its branch offices, caters to individual investors.

The Batavia office is located at 7 Jackson St.. Phone is (585) 345-1773. Michael Marsh is the financial advisor.

The firm's 18,000-plus financial advisors serve more than 7 million clients and care for $1 trillion in assets under management. Visit our website atedwardjones.com and recruiting website at careers.edwardjones.com. (Member SIPC.)

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