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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 2005


NYC DEPARTMENT OF SMALL BUSINESS SERVICES ANNOUNCES $565,000 IN STATE GRANTS TO TRAIN 800 WORKERS AT NEW YORK CITY COMPANIES

14 Companies from All Five Boroughs to Receive Grants For Upgrading Employee Skills

New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Robert Walsh and New York State Department of Labor (SDOL) Commissioner Linda Angello today announced $565,000 in job training grants for 14 private-sector companies in New York City to upgrade the skills of 800 workers. The funds, administered by the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) are called the Building Skills in New York State (BUSINYS) and Skilled Manufacturing Resource Training (SMART) grants and are intended to enable companies to help their employees stay competitive in the global economy. SBS promoted both programs and provided technical assistance to companies applying for grants.

“Mayor Bloomberg has led the way for making New York City more business friendly, and these grants are another great resource for the City’s businesses and workers,” said Commissioner Walsh. “Today, new technology can cause industries to change overnight. In order to stay competitive, businesses need highly-trained employees with a flexible skill set. We are also very excited to be working with the State Department of Labor—giving New York City’s businesses access to an even larger array of grants and incentives. These training grants provide employers with this competitive edge, while giving New Yorkers the skills to be successful in their careers.”

“With Governor Pataki’s help, New York's workforce is among the most highly-skilled in the nation, and these grants are helping to ensure that we continue to make significant investments in our workforce," said Commissioner Angello. “Through our grant awards and other job training initiatives, we are helping Metropolitan New York businesses build a solid foundation for their future right here in the Empire State.”

One of the grant recipients is Showman Fabricators, Inc., a set manufacturer for theatre productions and television shows based in Long Island City, Queens. Showman’s clients have included the television stations ESPN and The Food Network and the recent Broadway shows A Streetcar Named Desire and The 25 th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Showman will receive a grant of $37,475 to train 30 of its workers in lean manufacturing.

“I think our desire to invest in our people really sums it up,” said Michael Cioffi, co-president of Showman Fabricators, which has been in business for 18 years and grown into one of the industry leaders for set construction. “When we first considered moving our business from Brooklyn three years ago, New Jersey looked like a good prospect, but our instincts told us to stay. The people and the energy of the city would benefit our company’s bottom line more than anything else. New York State and New York City came together and helped finance the purchase of our building and now they are both coming together to help train our people. Our instincts were correct!”

Showman’s training grant will enable it to improve production efficiency by training 30 workers in lean manufacturing techniques, which are designed to eliminate as much unnecessary waste as possible and reduce cost by improving operational performance. Showman expects the 30 participants to receive wage increases of $1.50 to $2.00 per hour at the completion of the training, which will be conducted by the Industrial & Technology Assistance Corporation.

Another grant recipient is Eriksen Translations, Inc., a leading language services provider based in Downtown Brooklyn. Eriksen supplies comprehensive translation services to Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, law firms, international organizations, educational institutions, health care facilities, and other translation companies. Eriksen’s grant will enable it to provide computer software training to 23 of its employees.

“It is vital to Eriksen Translations’ rapidly expanding business that we are on the cutting edge of technology,” said President & CEO Vigdis Eriksen. “Our entire staff is eager to take advantage of the software training opportunities made possible by the BUSINYS grant.”

SBS, through its NYC Business Solutions Hiring and Training initiative, provides technical assistance to companies applying for these grants through one-on-one counseling available at its NYC Business Solutions Centers in each of the five boroughs. To date, a total of 31 NYC businesses in all five boroughs have secured more than $1.2 million in BUSINYS and SMART grants to train approximately 1,600 New Yorkers. The following 14 companies are the most recent to receive grants:

Company Location Award
Employees Trained
Grant
BBG Technical Services, Inc. Manhattan $ 50,000
40
BUSINYS
Eriksen Translations Inc. Brooklyn $ 41,241
23
BUSINYS
International Filing Company Queens $ 49,950
138
BUSINYS
New York Container Terminal, Inc. Staten Island $ 49,997
51
BUSINYS
Padilla & Company LLP Queens $ 49,791
10
BUSINYS
Safe Horizon, Inc. Manhattan $ 50,000
300
BUSINYS
Showman Fabricators Inc. Queens $ 37,475
30
BUSINYS
St. Vincent’s Midtown Hospital Manhattan $ 50,000
9
BUSINYS
T-Systems North America, Inc. Manhattan $ 37,565
31
BUSINYS
Wolf-Gordon Inc. Queens $ 25,400
40
BUSINYS
D.W. Haber & Son, Inc. Bronx $ 40,705
32
SMART
Icestone, LLC Brooklyn $ 37,470
25
SMART
Liberty Brass Turning Co., Inc. Queens $ 15,995
39
SMART
Panorama Windows, Ltd. Bronx $ 29,885
32
SMART

About the BUSINYS Grant:

The BUSINYS grant provides up to $50,000 to businesses to support training for incumbent (employed) workers in specific skills needed by a business or industry that leads to potential career growth and increased wages. Applicants must demonstrate that the training will result in the workers’ acquisition of transferable skills or an industry-recognized certification or credential. The State evaluates applications based on local relevance to their particular labor market region, overall impact on the target population, cost and program design.

About the SMART Grant:

The SMART grant provides up to $50,000 to small to medium-sized firms in the manufacturing sector to train new and incumbent workers. The purpose of the SMART grant is to strengthen and support the manufacturing sector in New York State by providing funds to train workers in that sector in process improvement and/or productivity techniques.

In addition to these grants, SBS offers a wide range of customized recruitment and training services for companies hiring new employees. More information on these programs is available by calling 311 and asking for NYC Business Solutions or visiting www.nyc.gov/smallbiz.



  Contact: Ben Branham (212) 513-6318