Clinton Community lands first Start-Up NY tenant
Clinton Community College has landed its first firm through the Start-Up New York program.
CCC Vice President for Institutional Advancement Steven Frederick said Prelco, a Quebec-based manufacturer of specialty glass products, has leased 10,000 square feet at 30 Bridge Road in the Village of Rouses Point.
The effort to attract the company to Clinton County was a collaboration between the college and the Development Corp, he said, and has been ongoing for about nine months.
Based in Riviere-du-Loup, Quebec, Prelco has been in business for more than 50 years. It has annual sales of about $100 million (Canadian) and employs approximately 700 people at 11 locations.
The three main markets for its glass products are commercial and industrial architectural structures, transportation equipment and military applications.
Prelco Assistant Director to the Vice President Michel Morin said there will be five employees to start in Rouses Point, with work done on one production line to make windshields for recreational boats.
“We plan to start production by the middle or end of May,” he said.
Morin said he conducted interviews with Clinton Community students during the recent Technology Conference and Career Fair at the college on March 9 and looks forward to giving some of them jobs with the firm.
If sales go as projected, he said, they would add a second shift with another five employees.
Frederick said the firm has also indicated internship opportunities would be available, another of the benefits of the business/education partnerships fostered through Start-Up NY.
Morin said Prelco’s plans also include a second production line for windshields and windows for transportation-industry clients, as the company already does business with Prevost Car and Bombardier.
That line could get rolling sometime in 2017, with 10 employees to start and the potential for a second shift with another 10 employees, he said.
The Start-Up NY incentives were a major factor in the decision to expand into New York, Morin said, especially the chance for employees to avoid state income tax for up to 10 years.
Employee retention is a problem that many companies face, he said, and that incentive makes it more likely that workers will stay with the firm for at least that long.
Morin said they were also attracted by the upcoming Advanced Manufacturing Institute coming to Clinton Community. Groundbreaking for that center is expected soon; it is expected to be operational by fall 2017.
Of particular interest, he said, is the chance to access 3D printing technology that is expected to be available at the institute. That is a big help in the design of many of the products manufactured by Prelco, he said.
The move is also expected to help Prelco clients such as Prevost and Bombardier meet increased U.S. content provisions that are predicted to reach 70 percent by 2020, and to reduce transportation costs of shipping product from their Quebec plants.
Morin said the chance to be part of the growing transportation equipment manufacturing cluster in the area also played a part in their decision.
“That could open other markets to us as well,” he said.
Prelco’s lease includes an option for up to 40,000 square feet, Morin said.
Matt Boire of CDC Real Estate said he worked with Prelco and the other parties from the start to find a home in Clinton County, including the introduction to property manager David Bray.
Prelco was attracted to the site because of the location near the border, space flexibility and even proximity to the lake.
“They are a great fit for the region’s transportation cluster,” Boire said.