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Brunner, EDA make Medina expansion official

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 March 2014 at 12:00 am

Company says it will create up to 35 jobs

Photo by Tom Rivers – Brunner International is planning a 48,000-square-foot addition to its complex at the corner of Route 31 and Bates Road in Medina.

(Editor’s Note: Orleans Hub previously reported on this expansion project. Today the Orleans Economic Development Agency issued a press release about the expansion.)

Press release
Orleans Economic Development Agency

MEDINA – The Orleans Economic Development Agency announced today, in conjunction with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, that they are working on a local incentives package and permitting to meet the rapid expansion needs of Brunner International.

The $10 million expansion project will add up to 35 new jobs, retain 363 local positions and include construction of a new 48,000-square foot building at Brunner’s Bates Road site.

The new structure will be connected by a breezeway to one of the company’s existing buildings. Brunner currently produces components for heavy-duty trucks and trailers. Fast-tracking the expanded operations plan is critical for Brunner to begin building and shipping products by early 2015 to meet their contractual obligations.

Brunner qualified for up to $750,000 in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits from the state in return for its proposed investment and additional job creation commitments.

“As a premier employer in Orleans County, Brunner International is a significant contributor to the local economy and it is a reflection on the region that this company has chosen to remain in Medina,” Cuomo said. “Creating jobs and growing the Upstate economy continues to be one of our administration’s top priorities. This investment strengthens the manufacturing industry in Western New York, while also securing hundreds of jobs in the region.”

The Orleans County EDA mounted an aggressive campaign to secure the expansion project for Orleans County, amidst strong interest from economic development agencies in other states. Ultimately, Brunner determined that the project would happen at the Medina facility after evaluating multiple sites out of state that would also accommodate Brunner’s strategic partners.

“We were successful in securing the Brunner International expansion in Medina due to outstanding collaboration with Empire State Development, the New York Power Authority and the Department of Environmental Conservation,” said Jim Whipple, Orleans County EDA chief executive officer.

Brunner enjoys an exceptional reputation globally, which Brunner Vice President Brad MacDonald attributes to “the talent and work ethic of Brunner’s employees and the integrity they bring to the operation.”

Provided photo – Brunner International uses automated technology for some of the manufacturing work in Medina.

He added, “We had more confidence in the strength of the talent base in Western New York, so the expansion of our Medina operations is the right choice for Brunner. Local and state officials additionally reinforced that the full scope of the expansion could be more effectively achieved in Orleans County versus other parts of the country.”

While there are still ongoing permitting matters being worked through, Whipple added, “The Town of Ridgeway and The Army Corp of Engineers have also been invaluable partners with the shared goal of working to move the permitting process forward. They understand the need to move expeditiously and made a strong commitment to accommodate Brunner’s enterprising site development time line.”

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Kenneth Adams said, “A strong partnership between government and private industry is what led to the expansion of Brunner International in Medina. New York State’s record of successful manufacturing and technical innovation are two reasons why Brunner, as well as many other thriving businesses, are making the decision to expand their footprint in our state.”

“I salute Brunner’s leadership for making the decision to invest, expand, and create jobs at their current facility,” said State Sen. George Maziarz. “This is a great example of how low-cost, locally produced hydropower can spur investment and strengthen our local economy.”

Assemblyman Stephen Hawley stated, “The expansion of the Brunner facility is great news for the Medina community. This means more jobs in the area for families who have been struggling through the recession. This plant has already been a positive for Medina and Orleans County, and now it will be an even greater asset. I look forward to seeing this expansion through to completion.”

“Brunner International is a long-admired corporate citizen,” Ridgeway Town Supervisor Brian Napoli said. “They understand one of our greatest assets is the work ethic of the people in Orleans County and we appreciate their on-going commitment to this region.”