May 14, 2013


IDA OKs $50K for Byrne training

Staff Reporter

The Cortland County Business Development Corp. unanimously approved $50,000 to help Byrne Dairy train workers for its planned yogurt and cheese plants and visitor center at the Finger Lakes East Business Park in Cortlandville.
Byrne Dairy plans to create 78 jobs over five years after a $30 million construction project to create a 40,000-square-foot yogurt plant, a 10,000-square-foot cheese plant and a 10,000-square-foot visitor center.
Sixty of the positions are dairy manufacturing jobs and 18 are tourism-related jobs, according to the BDC’s resolution.
Byrne Dairy is planning two job fairs in July and September, but the times, dates and locations are not yet finalized, wrote Karen Niday in an email Monday.
The $50,000 will fund a training “boot camp” for employees working at the facilities; dairy manufacturing, sanitation and safety certificate courses for workers through Cornell University; and Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES and Tompkins Cortland Community College technical and instructional courses for employees.
The funds can be spent on other training programs as well.
Byrne Dairy will use the state Department of Labor and “local job training resource support staff” to create the programs, according to the resolution.
Local training staff would include the Cortland Works Career Center on 99 Main St, Niday said.
The money for the training will come from a BDC restricted special projects fund, wrote Niday.
“This is what that fund is intended for and we think it’s a good application of those dollars,” said Garry VanGorder, executive director of the BDC and the Cortland County Industrial Development Agency.
In March, the IDA approved a 20-year tax break agreement that will save Byrne Dairy nearly $3.5 million on the project.
Byrne Dairy purchased an option to buy the 127-acre business park in November for nearly $1.2 million and 10 acres of the neighboring Osbeck farm for about $9,500 per acre.
The business park was finished in the fall of 2011 and construction costs totaled nearly $4.2 million.
The county provided $750,000 to the IDA to purchase the 127-acre property and Cortlandville invested $400,000 in the park to cover infrastructure costs — both will be reimbursed by the $1.2 million purchase price.
An additional $3 million was invested in the park by state economic development funding, the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


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