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NY: DICK’S to Invest $100M, Hire 466 for New Distribution Facility

20 Jul, 2016


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced DICK’S Sporting Goods, Inc., the nation’s leading sports and fitness retailer, will invest $100 million to build a regional distribution facility at the Broome County Corporate Park in the Town of Conklin. DICK’S investment is creating 466 full-time jobs over the next five years in the Southern Tier. Construction on the 650,000-square-foot facility will begin next month and is scheduled for completion in early 2018. The new DICK’S distribution center strengthens the company's roots in Binghamton, where it was founded seven decades ago, and is aligned with Southern Tier Soaring – the region’s comprehensive blueprint for economic growth. More information is available here.

VIDEO of the Governor’s remarks is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h264, mp4) format here.

A Transcript of the Governor’s Remarks is Available Below:

Thank you. Thank you. What a great day, what an exciting day. I have been in this room many, many times; many, many announcements. But in many ways it comes full circle today and the narrative is complete today. Howard Zemsky said that economic development is a team sport and he’s right. We had a great team on this one. Let’s thank Howard Zemsky. Give him a round of applause. Debbie Preston and Kevin McLaughlin, let’s give them a round of applause. We thank Richard David. Thank you very much for the good work. The whole team that did it, my colleagues in Albany, who made the funding possible, which was not easy. It was an uphill bottle. But your Senator and your Assemblywoman have done a great job. I want to thank Fred and Donna very much for their great work.

First, this is just a great American story, the story of DICK’S Sporting Goods, and how it started, a $300 loan by Ed’s father. They then went from one store to another and the growth ensued. It is a family business and the family stayed together. I love these businesses where the son takes over from the father. I do not know what, but it just resonates with me somehow. The growth has been great we want to thank Kim Myers for advocating for her hometown in this decision. It is a beautiful American story of success, and that is what we all aspire to, and it does our heart good to know that it is still possible and it is still real. The cherry on the cake of the American success story is how well the family has done, how well the business has done; but they remember where they came from and they remember their civic obligations. That my friends, is what makes this really beautiful. Mr. Ed Stack, thank you very much for what you do today.

A $100 million investment, that really is something, 15 football fields, unbelievable – we are excited. We are excited most, we would love to have you back, we are most excited about the jobs, because that is what it is about: it is about jobs, jobs, jobs. If we have opportunity, we are keeping young people here, we’re attracting young people back, businesses are generating revenues, revenues are generating taxes–that allows the local government to thrive, it is all working. If it is the American success story, it is also the story of Upstate New York, which we have talked about over the years. Upstate New York went through very difficult times. There is no secret to that. Somebody said to me in Buffalo once, Howard’s home town, “When it comes to the economy we’ve had a bad 40 years.” I thought he was kidding. He was not kidding. A bad 40 years. Frankly, it has been even more when you think about it. The economy started to turn in the sixties. Manufacturing started to die, and manufacturing started to go overseas, and this country made the decision that we can give away those manufacturing jobs to overseas. It came with the expense of places like Upstate New York. That was their business. They did manufacturing jobs. They did blue collar manufacturing jobs and that disappeared. That started the downward spiral and then there was a tremendous challenge for Upstate New York, which was find a role in the new economy. Find out what you can do in this new economy, okay manufacturing is over, what is your niche in the new economy that is going to make you competitive? What are you going to do in the Southern Tier and Binghamton that they are not going to do anywhere else in this country? Why should businesses come here? That is a very hard task. You are competing with every other state, you are competing with every other region and you now have to figure out what is the entirely new business model for a region. Very hard. We know a couple of facts. It is built on higher education. No business is going to come to an area that does not have a great higher education system. God bless Harvey Stenger and Binghamton University for what they do.

We know, Mr. Stack and I just talked about this, you need a world class infrastructure system. You have to be able to get people in and you have to be able to get people out. You need the roads, you need the bridges, you need the airports, and you need technology. You need a region that works together. Then you need one other thing. You need a partner to invest with you while you are making the transition. That is what Upstate New York did not have. The partner should have been the State of New York. That was the logical investment partner. It should have been the State of New York. The State of New York should have been here and said, “Southern Tier I am here, and I am with you. I am putting my hand out. You come up with a plan, put the businessmen together and then we are going to invest with you to do the retooling to the new economy.” The State of New York did the exact opposite. The State of New York effectively abandoned Upstate New York and was hyper-focused on Downstate New York. What a harsh thing to say, yes. It is also the truth. I also believe if you do not acknowledge the problem, you will never see the solution. By the way, I am from Downstate New York, so I can say it. Downstate New York was the economic engine. Most of the people live in Downstate New York. Downstate New York is the seat of the political power. Most of the Assembly people come from Downstate New York. Most of the senators come from Downstate New York. Upstate New York got short shrift.

You had a senator, who I think about daily, who was a beautiful, beautiful man named Tom Libous. Tom Libous and I were great friends. He is not with us physically today, but he is here in this room. We were in this room together many, many times making announcements. Tom Libous was a Republican. I am a Democrat. People said, “Oh how can you two work together? You are a Republican, you are a Democrat. You are supposed to hate one another.” No, you are not supposed to hate one another, by the way. It was not supposed to be about partisan gridlock all the time. Democrat, Republican, we are both New Yorkers and we are both here to serve the people of the State of New York.

To serve the people of the state of New York, Yankees, Mets, doesn’t mean you have to kill one another you know you can have a difference of opinion. But the bond with Tom Libous was his constant energy that Upstate New York had not gotten its fair share. He was committed to fighting for Upstate New York. I was committed to fighting for Upstate New York. I remember we had a conversation once, well he said to me, “You know, Governor, I don’t get it. You’re from Downstate New York. Why are you so committed to Upstate New York?” I said, “Two reasons. Number one, it’s the right thing to do because Upstate New York has been wronged, so morally it is the right thing to do.” That is the part of the state that needs help. That is where people are in pain and you should go to the place where the people need the most help.

Number two, financially it’s even smart. Upstate, Downstate, this division doesn’t exist. We are one state. We are one set of books. We are one financial entity. If Upstate is not doing well, Downstate is going to pay. It’s in Downstate’s best interest to invest in Upstate New York so Upstate New York prospers and then the whole enterprise is doing better. So as Howard said, I am so proud that we can say, our administration did a 180 from past policies. We’ve invested more money in Upstate New York than any administration in the history of the state of New York, period. Over $25 billion invested in Upstate New York. Regional economic councils, the URI grants, what we are talking about today through the Empire State Development Corporation. It takes money to make money and we will invest with DICK’S Sporting Goods to bring them here. We will have the 400 jobs, we will have the tax revenue, we will have the future, and that is an investment for the state of New York that I am proud to make because you will see. This investment reaps dividends for the state for years to come. For those naysayers who say, “Well you have Upstate New York and the economy passed them by.” They ain’t seen nothing yet. You look at the progress we are making. You look at Binghamton University, what we are doing right here. You look at the beautiful narrative of DICK’S. They were here, they left, they came back. This is a different state than the state they left. These are business men, these are not just romantics. I think he’s a little romantic, Ed, and you get that romantic feel. But he is a business man and he makes the decisions on the numbers. New York is a good investment and a good place for him to do business. He has made that decision, other companies are making that decision. You know it is true because the proof is in the numbers. Five years ago we had a 7.9 percent unemployment rate in the Southern Tier. Today, 4.6 percent. The arrows are headed in the right direction. Your formula is working. The leadership of the REDC is working, we just have to keep it going. Welcome to DICK’S Sporting Goods, thank you Mr. Stack, thank you for being here. 

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