Governor Cuomo Announces ReCharge NY Support for Mohawk Valley Businesses

Low-cost Power Allocation Supports the Retention and Creation of 262 Jobs and up to $4 Million in Capital Investment for Mohawk Valley Furniture Company

Contact Information:
Governor's Press Office
NYC Press Office: 212-681-4640
Albany Press Office: 518-474-8418

March 14, 2014


Photos and Captions

ALBANY-Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that his ReCharge NY low-cost power program is anchoring a 170 year-old furniture company – Harden Furniture – allowing the firm to retain and create a total of 262 jobs and invest up to $4 million for capital improvements to its operations. Harden Furniture was awarded 1.38 megawatts (MW) of ReCharge NY power in support of their current electrical needs and a possible future expansion.

Representatives of the New York Power Authority (NYPA), which administers ReCharge NY (RNY) and Harden Furniture were joined on Friday by local elected and economic development officials at the company's McConnellsville saw mill and manufacturing plant in Oneida County. The oldest furniture builder in the United States, Harden designs and builds high-quality, functional, and environmentally responsible home furnishings.

“This low-cost power allocation is helping to keep a 170 year-old business with hundreds of skilled jobs in Upstate New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “The ReCharge NY program has been vital to supporting economic development in Upstate communities. I am pleased to see that an environmentally conscious business like Harden Furniture has succeeded as a result of participating in RNY, and I am certain that this is only the beginning for businesses in the region.”

“When I first took office, New York State’s business leaders sent a clear message to Albany, ‘Reform the state’s economic development programs and do it now!’ Getting the RNY program up and running was one of my highest priorities,” said Governor Cuomo. “It is gratifying to see that businesses like Harden Furniture have seen a tangible return on their participation in RNY, which has helped them come back from the downturn in the nation’s economy.”

The Governor signed legislation in 2011 to launch RNY and help businesses and other enterprises lower their operating costs and spur economic development. The program offers contracts lasting up to seven-years for lower-cost power and reserves at least 350 MWs for upstate businesses and institutions, 200 MWs for business attraction and expansion, as well as up to 100 MWs for not-for-profit organizations. For reference, one MW is enough electricity to meet the needs of up to 1,000 typical homes. Statewide, more than 383,000 jobs – largely for retention – are linked to RNY.

Greg Harden, President of Harden Furniture, said, “Like many businesses in New York, Harden Furniture was hard hit by the national economic downturn in 2008. We recognized that we had to restructure our business model if we were to survive and continue to provide over 200 families with good paying jobs. But we couldn’t do it without state government partners that understood the challenges faced by the business community. The ReCharge New York program, and the Governor’s insistence upon innovative economic development solutions, has reinvigorated our optimism for the future of Harden Furniture, its employees and the families in the Mohawk Valley.”

A total of 60 businesses in the Mohawk Valley region and 3 not-for profit enterprises are benefiting from RNY allocations in return for their retention and creation of nearly 14,000 jobs.

To locate Mohawk Valley Recharge New York recipients please click here.

Gil C. Quiniones, president and CEO, NYPA said, “With its focus on quality and sustainability, Harden Furniture is representative of some of the best qualities that New York State has to offer. Governor Cuomo’s Recharge New York program is ensuring Harden, a venerable family-owned business, remains a vital part of the Mohawk Valley economy in the years ahead.”

“The Governor’s ReCharge NY program is helping Harden Furniture and businesses across the state to improve their bottom line and turn the savings from lower operating costs into new jobs for New Yorkers,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. “Harden Furniture is a longtime staple of the Mohawk Valley economy and employs hundreds of hard-working New Yorkers. Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s commitment to supporting business and growing the Upstate economy through the Regional Council initiative and programs like ReCharge NY, this family-owned manufacturer will continue to thrive here for years to come.”

Senator Joseph A. Griffo said, “I applaud Governor Cuomo for having the vision that resulted in RNY. His partnership with the New York State Legislature and New York State businesses as exemplified by the ReCharge New York program means that jobs stay in the Mohawk Valley and families will continue to grow and prosper in the community.”

Senator David J. Valesky said, “RNY has fundamentally changed the landscape of how we do business in the Mohawk Valley thanks in large measure to Governor Cuomo’s aggressive transformation of economic development programs. The hundreds of thousands of jobs protected by the ReCharge New York program are testament to his efforts on behalf of businesses.”

Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush said, “As a business owner, I am intimately familiar with the pressure businesses face each day to remain competitive and keep their doors open. The ReCharge New York program and the success of the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council, demonstrate Governor Cuomo’s solid commitment to investing in and planning for the resurgence of the upstate economy.”

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente said, “Thirty five Oneida County businesses are currently receiving low-cost ReCharge New York power. These enterprises are representative of the many industries that are thriving in Oneida County, from traditional manufacturing to the design of high-tech solutions to protect our national security. RNY is an outstanding example of how Governor Cuomo’s emphasis on public- private partnerships is helping upstate businesses remain competitive and grow jobs.”

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said, “As vice chair of NYPA’s Board of Trustees, it has been a privilege to be personally involved in ensuring the success of Governor Cuomo’s ReCharge New York program. From Western New York to the tip of Long Island, the results are abundantly clear. RNY is protecting jobs and spurring economic development as is a clear sign that New York State is truly, Open for Business.”

“Preserving and building upon the abundant natural and geographic resources of the Mohawk Valley and securing a rewarding quality of life for all, is a cornerstone of the region’s strategic priorities,” said Robert E. Geer, Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council co-chair, and acting president, SUNY Institute of Technology, and Lawrence T. Gilroy III, Mohawk Regional Economic Development Council co-chair and president, Gilroy, Kernan & Gilroy, Inc. .

Harden Furniture, a fifth generation, family-owned furniture manufacturer, produces handcrafted casegoods and upholstered furniture that are designed to become family heirlooms. The company’s only manufacturing facility is in McConnellsville and it provides jobs for 252 highly skilled crafts people. Electricity is more than 20 percent of the company’s total cost of production.

Half of the 910MW of power under RNY is low-cost hydropower from NYPA's Niagara and St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt hydroelectric projects in Lewiston and Massena, respectively. The remaining 455 MW is power secured by NYPA from wholesale market sources. A total of more than 1,200 applications have been reviewed by NYPA staff, in consultation with the Governor's ten regional economic development councils for multiple rounds of allocations. The applications were submitted through a Consolidated Funding Application process that the Governor established for apportioning state financial incentives and resources for spurring economic development.

In addition to jobs and capital investments, the various statutory criteria for considering RNY applications include the extent to which an allocation would be consistent with existing regional economic development strategies; an applicant's risk of closure or curtailing operations; the significance of the applicant's facility to the local economy; and its commitment to energy efficiency.

Additional Information on State Incentives for Harden Furniture

The Harden modernization project was awarded a $600,000 Regional Economic Development Council grant from Empire State Development through Round 2 of the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process. The project will upgrade and streamline Harden’s manufacturing methods critical to its survival in this competitive market. The upgrade will help to ensure that this venerable furniture maker will continue to provide heirloom-quality furniture into the future.

Web Quality Video News Conference at Harden Furniture



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B-Roll Harden Furniture Manufacturing Operation



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About NYPA:

■ The New York Power Authority has been designated as the lead entity via Executive Order 88 by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to form a central management and implementation plan to carry out his Build Smart NY plan to reduce energy use by state facilities by 20 percent by 2020. ■ NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.■ NYPA is the nation's largest state public power organization, through the operation of its 16 generating facilities in various parts of New York State, participation in a unique public/private partnership to contract for power from a clean generating plant in Queens, and its operation of more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. ■ More than 70 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. Its lower-cost power production and electricity purchases support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state.■ For more information visit www.nypa.gov and follow us on Twitter @NYPAenergy, Facebook, Instagram, Wordpress, and LinkedIn.


Harden Furniture:

■ 170 year-old -company, fifth-generation, family-owned furniture manufacturer. ■ Oldest furniture manufacturer in the U.S. ■ Produces handcrafted casegoods and upholstered furniture. ■ Strong emphasis on sustainable practices and stewardship of its forestry resources. ■ Provides jobs for 252 highly skilled crafts people. ■ For more information visit www.hardenfurniture.com, https://www.facebook.com/HardenFurnitureInc, https://twitter.com/hardenfurniture, http://www.pinterest.com/hardenfurniture/, http://hardenfurniture.wordpress.com/