JAMESTOWN – Less than a year after it was initially announced, a new manufacturing facility is now up and running on Fluvanna Ave. in Jamestown.
On Thursday Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul came to Jamestown to join several local officials and business representatives in welcome New Flyer to its new facility at the former Quality Markets supermarket on Fluvanna Ave.
New Flyer is a Canadian based company that is considered a leading heavy-duty bus manufacturer. The local plant in Jamestown makes component parts for the company, which are then sent to another plant to be used in the final assembly of buses.
Lt. Gov. Hochul explained that getting New Flyer in Jamestown was a group effort between local, regional and state officials. She also said that on Wednesday she was in New York City to deliver the governor’s budget message, and she shared details about the new buses that would be coming to the big apple.
“Guess what got the biggest applause? When we told them that we would be investing in new buses which, little did I know, were going to be made where I was going to be the very next day,” Hochul said. “So there’s a connection here. People are very excited. The fact that this company is responsible for over 2200 buses over the last 20 years, I guarantee you every New York has been on one of your buses.”
Hochul also explained to the more than 30 employees who were on hand that they’re work is going to have a big impact on New York City.
“I admire the innovation of the people at this company, who are becoming the global leaders in new forms of powering our public transportation,” Hochul said. “I can not tell you what a big deal this is, so know that here in Jamestown, your work is having a profound impact all across the country but also in New York City. They’re very excited about what you producing here.”
New Flyer Vice President of Manufacturing Kevin Wood also shared details about how Jamestown was selected as the location for the company’s newest division.
“The reason that we’re in the state of New York is because we want to build buses for the city of New York,” Wood explained. “It’s a competitive advantage for us to be in New York. We also took a look around to decide where do we want to build this facility and it was settled that we would build in Chautauqua County, in Jamestown. That’s a lot to be said, because what we look for is something more than a building, we look at the community we want to invest in and we look toward the people we can invest in.”
Among the partners who helped to bring New Flyer to the area were the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency, the Jamestown Local Development Corporation, Jamestown Community College and its the Manufacturing Technology Institute, the Start-Up NY program, the Buffalo and Erie County Workforce Investment Board, and Shults Real Estate, which owns the building and committed $2.2 million in renovation work on it to prepare for the New Flyer operation.