Sen. Schumer pushes for $3.4 million in funding for Alstom’s Hornell facility

Corning Bureau

HORNELL, N.Y. (WETM) – U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer issued a letter to United States Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo calling for $3.4 million in funding for the expansion of Alstom’s manufacturing facility in Hornell.

The funding would come through the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) for improvements to the Shawmut Industrial Park in Hornell.

Schumer says the project would create 250 new jobs at the Hornell facility following their $1.8 billion contract to supply rail cars to Metra in Chicago.

“Following the unprecedented hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic on local economies across the state, it is critical now more than ever to make bold investments to create new jobs and bring new investment to communities. Alstom’s plan for expansion at the Shawmut Industrial Park would make the Hornell facility one of the only manufacturers of stainless steel rail passenger carbody shells in the U.S., bringing a surge of economic activity to the region while strengthening America’s manufacturing might,” said Senator Schumer. “This project is poised to be a win for Alstom, a win for Upstate New York, and a win for American industry, so Secretary Raimando I say all aboard!”

Schumer said the funding would be used for critical site improvements necessary to accommodate the expanded workforce such as aiding construction of a new building, utility relocation, a new parking lot, lighting, new sidewalks, and other infrastructure enhancements.

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“As a true American manufacturing company, we proudly stand ready to provide American-made solutions for our customers today, such as Metra, as well as future customers as we support a national transition to a sustainable future,” said Jérôme Wallut, President, Alstom Americas. “We are greatly appreciative of the support from our federal, state and local partners working on behalf of Alstom and Hornell, including the Hornell IDA and Senator Schumer, and applaud our partners’ efforts to develop a strong Hornell that benefits communities across New York and the United States, creating sustainable rail manufacturing jobs and developing a nation-wide industrial supply chain.”

A copy of Schumer’s letter to Secretary Raimondo appears below:

Dear Secretary Raimondo,

I write on behalf of the Hornell Industrial Development Agency’s application to the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to support essential improvements to the Shawmut Industrial Park in Hornell, NY for the expansion of Alstom’s manufacturing facility. This funding is integral to the development of a site that will allow Alstom to build a U.S.-based manufactured rail car shell operation, strengthening the domestic supply chain, while also ensuring continued job growth in Steuben County and New York’s broader Southern Tier region. 

Alstom is one of the world`s leading transportation companies specializing in the manufacturing of high-speed rail and transit cars. They employ an estimated 4,700 total workers in the U.S., with their new rail passenger car manufacturing facility located in Hornell, NY employing over 800 workers. Earlier this year, Alstom was awarded a large contract to construct the steel carbody shell of bi-level rail passenger cars for the Chicago Metra Commuter Rail system. Previously, Alstom imports their rail carbody shells from abroad, but this contract has spurred interest to begin manufacturing these carbody shells in America to reduce costs and simultaneously strengthen their NY operations.

Alstom and the Hornell IDA have worked together to develop a proposal for a new 135,000 square foot manufacturing facility at the Shawmut Industrial Park for building electric fusion welded stainless steel rail passenger carbody shells. This groundbreaking proposal would make Alstom’s Hornell operations  a critical stainless steel rail carbody manufacturers in the U.S. Specifically, Alstom has committed to the City of Hornell that they would finance the construction of the expanded facility with $35 million in direct investment. Notably, this project is also located in a distressed area that would especially benefit from this significant economic investment and job creation. Hornell would use funding provided through the EDA for critical site improvements such as the construction of a new parking lot, lighting, utility relocation, and other necessary facility infrastructure upgrades to accommodate the expanded manufacturing facility.

This project will create an estimated 250 new manufacturing jobs by 2022. To prepare workers for these new jobs, the company plans to utilize existing training and education partnerships with specialized higher education institutions, like SUNY Alfred, Corning Community College, and Alfred University, all of which are in close proximity to Hornell. I have fought hard over the years to support opportunities for growth at Alstom’s Hornell facility, from urging the Department of Transportation (USDOT) to green-light Amtrak’s efforts to work with Alstom in the production of new Next Generation High-Speed trains to securing Federal Railroad Administration permits to keep the production of the Acela fleet on track. This project, if aided by the EDA, would be a massive boost to the U.S.’s overall domestic transportation manufacturing capabilities, as well as to the economic growth of a distressed rural region of New York State.

I applaud the Hornell IDA and the role it continues to play in the economic development of the Southern Tier, and hope its application for funding is met with your approval.

“After more than a year of planning and information gathering our EDA grant application for Public Facilities Improvements has been officially submitted. Senator Schumer and his staff’s support for this effort has been outstanding. This EDA Grant will allow for the construction of a new state of the art stainless steel car shell manufacturing facility in the Shawmut Industrial Park creating 258 new high paying industrial manufacturing jobs. As always Senator Schumer has come through for our Community, State and Nation,” said Shawn Hogan, Executive Consultant to the Hornell IDA.

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“Senator Schumer has been a tremendous advocate for Hornell and workers of Alstom over the years, we are appreciative of his continued to support for this project and many others. The EDA grant will allow for significant site improvements to the Shawmut Industrial Park and supports hundreds of new jobs. Hornell will be one of the very few sites in the U.S. producing carbody shells like this; it is truly amazing and speaks to the power of our wonderful community. Thanks as always to Senator Schumer for continually fighting for the City of Hornell,” said John Buckley, Mayor of the City of Hornell.

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