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Students tour local businesses for National Manufacturing Day

By Howard B. Owens
Oct 4, 2018, 11:15am

More than 200 local high school students, including students from Elba High School at Graham Manufacturing, toured local businesses yesterday for National Manufacturing Day, sponsored locally by the Genesee County Business/Education Alliance.

At Graham, Elba students learned about what the company does and how it does it during a presentation in the company's cafeteria. The students then toured some of the production buildings.

Other companies participating were U.S. Gypsum, Amanda Tool, Oxbo, Orcon, Liberty Pumps, and Chassix.

Update on GCEDC projects for Graham and Yancey's Fancy

By Howard B. Owens
Sep 6, 2013, 9:50am

From Rachael J. Tabelski, marketing and communications director, GCEDC:

Please be advised that the two projects that came before the Genesee County Economic Development Center Board for incentives at the Sept. 5 board meeting passed. The details of the projects are below. Please note that the project summary for Yancey's Fancy has been updated with further details of the project. The board approved an initial resolution which directs the GCEDC to schedule a public hearing on the Yancey's Fancy project and related incentives. As soon as the public hearing for Yancey's is scheduled we will send you the details. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Graham Corporation Expansion
Discussion: Proposed sales tax and property tax abatement.

Graham Corporation would like to renovate the "old" plant area, located at the corner of Harvester Avenue and Howard Street in the City of Batavia. A new bay will be constructed (12,439 square feet) that will enclose the area between two manufacturing bays located facing Harvester Avenue along with renovations of office and manufacturing areas. In addition, a new building (3,800 square feet) will be constructed on the 20 Florence Street campus. This new building will be used for X-ray inspections of welds done during the fabrication process. Graham currently has 311 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees and anticipates adding 30 more over three years after the certificate of occupancy is obtained for these renovations. At the Aug. 1 board meeting an initial resolution was approved to schedule a public hearing. A public hearing was held on Aug. 21 to solicit public comments on the project as the total incentive amount is more than $100,000. No members of the public attended the hearing.

Board Action Request: Approval of final resolution to approve the incentives for the project. The application for the expansion project includes an estimated sales tax exemption of $240,000 and estimated property tax abatement on the incremental increase in assessed value of $243,396.

Historical Look: The last expansion project that Graham undertook and the GCEDC assisted was in 2011. At the time Graham had 278 FTEs and pledged 30 new jobs in three years for a total of 308 FTEs. According to its 2013 application the company exceeded its employment goals and plans to keep growing.

Yancey’s Fancy Project -- *Updated Summary
Discussion: Proposed sales tax and mortgage tax exemptions and property tax abatement.

Yancey's Fancy has updated its project specifications since submission of its original application for incentives. The original application was received by the GCEDC in April. According to the original application, Yancey’s was planning an 112,000-square-foot expansion at its existing facility, 857 Main Road in Corfu. After moving forward with planning and permitting for the expansion, the company has decided to build a new facility within the Buffalo East Technology Park (BETP) located in Pembroke. Yancey’s Fancy would like to purchase approximately 12 acres within the BETP, and build a 112,000-square-foot facility. The capital investment is estimated to be $18.2 million.

The company plans to keep its artisan cheese operations and retail store in the current location (857 Main Road), and to undertake an expansion at this location as well. The second part of the project will include the addition of 3,500 square feet at the 857 Main Road location where they will install a new reverse-osmosis system. The instillation of a reverse-osmosis system will allow whey produced during the cheese-making process to be dried and sold. Currently, whey is transported by local farmers at a cost to Yancey’s. By utilizing reverse-osmosis technology, it is possible to concentrate the solid content enough to sell whey to processors and animal feed operations. Recent technological advances also allow the water removed from the whey to be pumped back into plant operations. These advances, as well as the expansion of the town and village sewer system, have made the reverse-osmosis project a viable opportunity in the overall growth strategy that Yancey’s Fancy in undertaking. The capital investment of this project is estimated to be $2.5 million.

The total capital investment for Yancey’s project is estimated at $20.7 million. The company currently has 108 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees and expects to add 50 more over three years after the certificate of occupancy is obtained for this new facility. Due to the changes in the project, a new public hearing will be held to solicit public comment on the incentives sought by the company, as they are more than $100,000 in savings.

Board Action Request: Approval of an initial resolution to set a public hearing for the Yancey’s Fancy project. The estimated sales tax exemption is valued at $638,608, and the estimated mortgage tax exemption is valued at $233,388. The new building and land located within the Buffalo East Technology Park will have an estimated property tax savings of $686,314, and the incremental increase in assessed value that will apply to the additional square footage at the 857 Main Road location will have an estimated property tax savings of $49,022. The total estimated property tax exemption is valued at $735,336.

Graham buys nuclear industry parts maker

By Howard B. Owens
Dec 16, 2010, 2:26pm

Batavia-based Graham Corp., which made its name and money supporting oil exploration and drilling, is moving into the nuclear industry.

Yesterday, Graham announced the acquisition of Michigan-based Energy Steel for $18 million.

The newly acquired company, with 52 employees, is expected to remain in Michigan and no layoffs are expected.

Graham tapped into its $71 million cash reserve to make the purchase, according to the Buffalo News.

Raises reported for Graham executives

By Howard B. Owens
Mar 17, 2010, 4:59pm

In a filing with the SEC, Batavia-based Graham Corp. announced raises for its senior executives, effective April 1, according to the Rochester Business Journal.

Pay for CEO James Lines jumps 3.8 per cent, from $265,000 to $275,000.

Three percent increases were given to Jeff Glajch, vice president–finance and administration and chief financial officer, to $216,000; Alan Smith, vice president of operations, to $183,536; and, Jennifer Condame, controller and chief accounting officer, to $132,613.

Batavia's Graham Corp. continues forward momentum in 2010

By Howard B. Owens
Mar 12, 2010, 12:43pm

Batavia-based Graham Corp., which in 2008 saw the price of its stock drop from $50 per share to under $10 in the space of about three months, continues a string of good news in recent months.

This week Graham announced a quarterly dividend of two cents and another $6 millions in orders.

The orders have come from multiple sources around the world and include work for steam surface condensers installed in the U.S. and Asia.

The first order will be sent to a municipal waste-to-energy project in the U.S.

Graham wins $25 million contract, with work to be done in Batavia

By Howard B. Owens
Dec 18, 2009, 11:07pm

Graham Corp. announced today that it has won a $25 million contract to produce parts for a new Navy aircraft carrier, and that the engineering and manufacturing will be done in Batavia.

Graham will construct four steam surface condensers for Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, which is building a second carrier in the Gerald R. Ford class.

The carrier, designated CVN 79, has not yet been named.

Revenue from the contract award will hit the Graham books in in fiscal 2012, which begins April 1, 2011, and will continue into fiscal 2014.

Graham Corp. announces new contracts totaling $16 million

By Howard B. Owens
Oct 30, 2009, 9:09pm

Batavia-based Graham Corp. today announced more than $16 million in new contracts.

Graham manufactures equipment critical oil refineries and the petrochemical industry. The  new contracts are for two refineries in the Middle East and a fertilizer project in Asia.

James R. Lines, Graham`s President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "It is encouraging to see increased purchasing activity in our international markets, particularly in Asia and the Middle East, where we expected the recovery from the global recession to begin. We are also seeing renewed quoting activity in South America. However, we do not believe our markets are in full recovery, and we continue to expect non-uniform order levels for several more quarters."

Less than a month ago, Graham laid off 15 local workers.

Graham Corp. announces millions in new orders

By Howard B. Owens
Apr 1, 2009, 6:55am

Batavia-based Graham Corp. announced new orders worth about $3.5 million for surface condensers to be installed in two oil refineries in India and South Korea and a fertilizer production facility in the United States.

The orders follow quickly another $5 million in sales for the company's ejector systems, according to the Democrat and Chronicle.

CEO James Lines said:

"While we expect the global recession and tight credit markets to continue to affect the pace and timing of new order placement ... we view the potential bookings pipeline favorably," Lines said. "We believe the long-term fundamentals supporting increased global demand for energy are solid."

News roundup: Batavia's Graham Corp. lays off 14 employees

By Philip Anselmo
Jan 15, 2009, 11:30am

Dan Fischer reports on WBTA this morning that Batavia manufacturer Graham Corp. let go 14 full-time employees yesterday. Most of those who received the pink slips were in the engineering department, Fischer says. A brief statement that was issued to the radio station did not give any reason for the layoffs, which were figured at about 5 percent of the total workforce.

We left a message at Graham Corp. to find out more. We will be sure to post any more information as it becomes available.

Graham Corp. courting investors

By Philip Anselmo
Dec 11, 2008, 12:26pm

Sean Dobbin, with Rochester's Democrat & Chronicle, spent some time out at Graham Corp. recently. He put together a fine piece on the Batavia manufacturer.

Following a recent drop in the company's stock price, Graham Corp. executives set up a guided tour of the facilities Wednesday for six potential investors.

From that article:

(Chief Executive Officer Jim) Lines told the group, which was a mix of financial advisory executives and private investors, that the company didn't adequately prepare for the economic downturn, citing improper staffing as the reason for some of Graham's struggles. But the company is in the midst of overhauling its in-house processes in hopes of emerging from the recession stronger.

Dobbin picked up on a sense of optimism among the investors.

Investors seemed impressed with Graham's presentation, which included lunch and a question-answer session with the executives. Some saw Graham's stock as a potential bargain. "It was probably too high at $54, but then it got all the way down to $6.85, and now it sounds like it's too cheap," said Gary Lindsley, a private investor from Clyde, Ohio.

The article also includes a couple of good photographs.

Graham CEO explains downturn in stock price

By Howard B. Owens
Nov 9, 2008, 10:37am

About 80 analysts gathered outside Buffalo yesterday to hear pitches from a number of Western New York companies about the soundness of their investments, according to the D&C.

Among those attending, Graham Corp. The Batavia-based company has seen it's stock slide from a 52-week high of $54.91 to close Friday at $13.90.

Graham, a regular presenter at the conference, has seen its stock fall sharply in recent weeks as oil prices plunged. The company makes vital equipment for the oil refining and petrochemical industries.

"This isn't a Graham problem," said CEO James Lines. "The whole energy sector fell out of favor."

Lines told investors that the long-term prospects of the energy industry are strong, pointing to plans for 17 refineries in China alone.

Graham Corp. stocks take a hit

By Philip Anselmo
Nov 6, 2008, 8:45am

Batavia-based manufacturer Graham Corp. has seen its sales slow in the second quarter after so many months of strong growth.

From the Buffalo News:

The troubles in the financial market and the plunge in energy prices are taking a toll on Graham Corp.’s sales and orders, but company executives said Tuesday they don’t think the slowdown will last long.

Investors, however, had a more bearish view, focusing on the company’s slowing sales growth and flat profits during the second quarter and causing Graham’s stock to plunge by 27 percent, or $5.70, to $15.25.

Graham Corp. is no more immune to the current credit crisis than anyone else, it would seem.

Because of the upheaval in the energy and credit markets, which have made it difficult for independent refinery operators to borrow the money needed for expansion or upgrade projects, Graham’s new order bookings fell by 15 percent in the summer quarter. Lines said he also expects orders to be “light” during the final three months of the year.

Still, (Graham's President R.) Lines said Graham’s customers continue to work on new projects and noted that the company still has ample opportunities to bid on future work.

Don't expect any economic slowdown to slow down the company's own verve. Lines is already talking aquisitions.

With nearly $43 million in cash on its books and virtually no debt, Lines said he sees the ongoing economic upheaval as creating an opportunity for Graham to use its solid financial position to make acquisitions, although asking prices remain high.

Graham is interested in deals that would be less than $100 million in size and broaden the company’s line of custom- engineered products for the energy industry, ranging from refinery projects to the renewable energy field. The company also is interested in deals that would expand the company’s geographic footprint, he said.

Graham Corp. makes top ten in Forbes list of best small companies

By Philip Anselmo
Oct 13, 2008, 9:34am

Recognitions keep on coming for Batavia's Graham Corp. The vacuum and heat transfer manufacturer has climbed 100 spots on the Forbes list of the 200 Best Small Companies and cracked the top ten, landing at No. 10 and boasting a 41 percent return on equity for the past 12 months. Forbes had this to say of the company:

Graham Corp., in Batavia, N.Y., makes pumps, condensers, vacuum and heat transfer equipment for heavy industry, especially oil refineries. Revenue increased 31% last year and the backlog 40%. The domestic, Canadian and Middle East markets are booming. The 72-year-old company has branched into Suzhou, China.

Graham got a nod from Business Week earlier this year, making the list of the fastest growing small companies.

We've got a call into Graham to get some comment from the company on the recognition. We'll be sure to pass that along as it comes to us.

Graham Corp. stock takes hit amid national financial turmoil

By Howard B. Owens
Oct 5, 2008, 7:37am

Batavia-based Graham Corp. hasn't been immune to the recent tumble in stock prices.

The company, which traded at a 52-week high of $109.82 in mid-August, closed Friday at $40.18, only 18 cents above it's 52-week low of $40, achieved in early January.

The stock lost 32 percent of its value in the past week, falling $18.68 per share.

On August 31, the Democrat and Chronicle ran a story noting that Graham was the region's best performing stock for the previous 12 months.

You can read company press releases and see it remains a strong financial performer.

In July, GHM announced a dividend increase and a 2-for-1 stock split to take effect tomorrow.

Graham Corp. will use grant funds for ISO

By Philip Anselmo
Sep 26, 2008, 9:52am

A state grant for $50,000 recently awarded to Batavia-based Graham Corp. will be used to certify the company with the International Organization for Standaridization, better known by its acronym: ISO. In particular, the funds will pay for the consultant who needs to be hired to guide the company through the standardization process and the subsequent training and development in the ISO procedures.

Dan Harvey, Graham's human resources director, said that the company is pursuing its "ISO-9000 quality system" certification. Such certification from the ISO essentially provides a stamp of approval for manufacturers that says the company and its products meet specifications accepted around the world.

"We're still in the process of meeting specifications," said Harvey. "We have not yet reached those. We're still doing some more training and development, and there are different milestones we're looking to acheive."

This kind of grant is called "an insutrial effectiveness grant," according to Stefanie Zakowicz, spokesperson for Empire State Development, the state economic development group that authorized the grant for Graham.

Said Zakowicz:

"The purpose of the grant is to pay consultant fees that provide technical and financial services to help a firm improve its productivity, efficiency and market share. It's only for New York State manufacturers that employ fewer than 500 workers, so small to mid-size. The more employees you have, the more you can get. In their case, at the time of application, they had 280 employees. Anything over 100, would make you eligible for up to $50,000."

Graham Corp. applied for the grant on June 17, of this year. They are on schedule to complete the project by the end of September.

Graham Corp. board member donates $1 million to Rochester art gallery

By Howard B. Owens
Sep 23, 2008, 7:20am

Helen H. Berkeley, the widow of Frederick D. Berkeley III, the former CEO of Batavia-based Graham Corp. (AMEX: GHM) has donated $1 million to the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester.

The donation is intended to transform the gallery's antiquities collection into a showcase of Near and Middle Eastern treasures.

"I've traveled a lot in the Middle East," said Berkeley, former president of the museum's Gallery Council, a volunteer fundraising organization. "You could call me a frustrated archaeologist. I'm delighted to have the opportunity to help with this gallery."

Her gift is one of the largest that the museum has ever received from a single donor.


The future Berkeley Gallery of Ancient Art probably won't debut until November 2009, said chief curator Marjorie B. Searl. Most of the construction will take place next summer — new cabinetry, lighting, humidity controls and alterations to the ceiling and walls. The space already is heavily trafficked by Rochester students on field trips.

"We're looking to provide better interpretation for these ancient collections," said Searl. "In the new gallery, students will understand more about their significance. These user-friendly displays will be integrated into their school programming."

Helen H. Berkeley is a member of the Graham Corp. board of directors. 

Graham Corp. receives $50,000 grant from state

By Howard B. Owens
Sep 21, 2008, 11:01am

Batavia-based Graham Corp. (AMEX: GHM) received a $50,000 grant from the Empire Development board this week, according to a press release.

No word on the grant will be used. We'll see what we can find out Monday.

The grant was part of $67 million package of funds handed out by the agency. The funds are intended to spur economic growth.

Other area grants include:

  • One Aid to Localities grant, totaling $150,000, to World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara for salaries and wages associated with outreach and service efforts in the twelve-county Western New York and the Finger Lakes region
  • $50,000 to the Livingston County Agricultural Society and Fair
  • $50,000 for Erie County Industrial Development Agency (Erie County)
  • $25,600 for Qualicoat Inc. (Monroe County)

Graham was recently named one of Business Week's top 100 small companies. In Q2 2008, Graham reported $27.5 million in revenue and a 20 percent net profit margin. Graham employs 281 people. It's stock currently trades at $69.63.

Oil boom fuels growth for Batavia-based Graham Corp.

By Howard B. Owens
Aug 1, 2008, 7:33am

High oil prices are pushing refinery upgrades and expansion, which is good news to Batavia-based Graham Corp. Its revenue and profits are soaring, reports the Buffalo News.

Graham is coming off a fiscal year where profits and sales were the highest ever by a wide margin. The company’s stock, which traded for just over $10 in January 2007, now stands at $89.

And Graham’s order backlog and new order bookings are running at a record pace, prompting Lines to predict that the company’s growth spurt is far from over, with sales expected to rise by another 15 percent to 20 percent during the fiscal year that began in March. That would push revenues to around $100 million for the first time ever.

The article indicates that Graham is continuing to expand its work force, at home and aboard.

News roundup: Graham Corp. CFO retires

By Philip Anselmo
Jul 2, 2008, 2:24pm

From the Daily News (Wednesday):

  • Graham Corporation's Chief Finanicial Officer J. Ronald Hansen will reture August 1. Hansen has been with the company since 1993. The Batavia-based manufacturer of "vacuum-and-heat exchangers" has seen tremendous financial growth over the past few years.
  • For commentary on the article about Youth Football and the school board, see our earlier post.
  • Construction of the shopping plaza off Veterans Memorial Drive in the town of Batavia resumed after a delay to get the plans for the plaza in accord with state environmental regulations. No mention in the article of the length of the delay.
  • The city's Neighborhood Improvement Committee will meet tonight at 6:30pm in the Council Board Room at City Hall.
  • Virginia Kropf's "Around the Towns" column in today's paper addresses her membership in the "crazy group of older women called 'Red Hatters.'" It's a delight. I look forward to Kropf's columns.
  • Well, I'm sure at least Sen. Chuck Schumer would be pleased with the front page of today's Daily News. In a huge photo that dominates the top half of the paper, the senator almost seems lifesize, a giant among the puny windmills in the distance behind him — yikes! Apparently, he was in Wetherfield looking for support for a windmill bill he's excited about.

For the complete stories, the Daily News is available on local newsstands, or you can subscribe on

Batavia-based Graham Corp among BW's hottest small companies

By Howard B. Owens
May 29, 2008, 8:14am

Batavia-based Graham Corp. (AMEX: GHM) has made Business Week's list of fastest growing small companies.

From the article:

This year's Hot Growth ranking also features a whole lot of heavy metal. Dotting the list are small manufacturers with low-cost structures and the ability to make specialized products that can't easily be copied by foreign rivals. Among the success stories: Graham (GHM), a Batavia (N.Y.) maker of heat-transfer equipment, and Haynes International (HAYN), a Kokomo (Ind.) supplier of specialty alloys used by jetmakers and gas drillers.

This morning, the stock opens at $63.50 per share.  It's 52-week high is $71.58 and 52-week low is $13.45

Graham's 2007 revenue was $65 million, with an EBIDTA margin of 11 pecent. Graham employs 265 people.

The company, which claims no long-term debt and $36 million in available cash, is announcing this week that for fiscal 2008 revenue is $86.4 million.

According to it's corporate history page, Graham was founded in 1936 and moved to Batavia in 1942.  The company went public in 1968.

Jerald D. Bidlack, 71, is chairman of the board, and James R. Lines, 46, is president and CEO.

Business Week's description of the company:

Graham Corporation engages in the design, manufacture, and sale of vacuum and heat transfer equipment used in the chemical, petrochemical, petroleum refining, and power generating industries worldwide. Its products include steam jet ejector vacuum systems; surface condensers for steam turbines; vacuum pumps and compressors; various types of heat exchangers, including helical coil heat exchangers marketed under the Heliflow name; and plate and frame exchangers. These products are available in various metal and non-metallic corrosion resistant materials. Graham Corporation’s products are used in a range of industrial process applications, including petroleum refineries, chemical plants, pharmaceutical plants, plastics plants, fertilizer plants, liquefied natural gas production facilities, soap manufacturing plants, air conditioning systems, food processing plants, and other process industries, as well as power generation facilities, such as fossil fuel, nuclear, cogeneration, and geothermal power plants.

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