B U F F A L O  N E W S


Six area firms get training grants
News Business Reporter
Six Western New York manufacturers will receive a combined $700,000 in training grants from the state to upgrade their workers' skills.

Mod-Pac Corp., a printing and packaging company based in Buffalo, received a grant of nearly $200,000, the largest among the Buffalo Niagara companies, according to Lt. Gov. Mary Donohue's office.

The grants were provided under the SMART 100 program, or Skilled Manufacturing Resource Training.

The other recipients are: Cliffstar Corp. of Dunkirk; Multisorb Technologies of West Seneca; PCB Piezotronics of Depew; Invitrogen Corp. of Grand Island; and General Mills' Buffalo operations. The six companies employ a total of nearly 1,500 people.

The state program's goal is to make manufacturers more competitive. The funds to support the training come from the Federal Workforce Investment Act, administered by the state Department of Labor.

Manufacturing remains an important source of high-wage jobs in the Buffalo Niagara region, but the sector's employment numbers have declined. As of August, the region had 66,000 manufacturing jobs, down 3 percent from a year earlier, according to state figures.

Manufacturers with at least 100 employees in New York state were eligible to apply for the SMART 100 grants. Another set of SMART training grants is available to manufacturers with less than 100 employees in the state.

To be eligible, they must have their headquarters or at least one plant in the state. The grants are worth up to $50,000.

For details on the grants, call the state Department of Labor at (518) 457-0380, or visit the Labor Department's Web site at www.labor.state.ny.us. Applications are due by June 30, 2005.