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GCEDC Support Aids New York's First EV School Bus Hub

Fri, Sep 22nd 2023 12:00 pm

BATAVIA, NY – New York Bus Sales welcomed over 150 people to officially open its doors on a newly constructed $6 million mixed-use 20,000 sq. ft. facility today in the town of Batavia.

The facility is intended to support school districts and bus operators across Genesee County and the Western New York and Finger Lakes regions to convert their fleets from diesel fuel to all-electric as required by legislation in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) by 2035.

Based in Chittenango, New York Bus Sales is the largest Blue Bird school bus dealer in the state. The Batavia facility will service customers, including school districts to help transition their bus fleets from diesel fuel engines to all-electric bus fleets. New York Bus Sales has full-service maintenance facilities in Syracuse and Albany.

“Our new location in Genesee County allows us to serve the Western New York and Finger Lakes school districts as we work together with New York State to deliver clean energy solutions to local students and families,” said John Johnston, Operations Manager of New York Bus Sales.

GCEDC, National Grid aid investment and vision

New York Bus Sales worked with the Genesee County Economic Development Center to find a strategic location that fit their facility requirements on Saile Drive in Batavia and approved financial assistance at a Board of Directors meeting in December 2021.

“This project builds on the green business economy being built at STAMP, the Pembroke Industrial Corridor, the many community solar projects across the county, and other renewable and clean energy projects in the economic development pipeline,” said Steve Hyde, President and CEO of the GCEDC.

National Grid assisted in the installation of charging stations and technology as part of the company’s Electric Vehicle (EV) Make-Ready Program. This program provides funding for up to 100% of the electric infrastructure costs for approved projects.

“Our Make-Ready Program provides a range of technical assistance and funding for electric vehicle charging projects across our upstate New York service territory,” said National Grid Regional Director Ken Kujawa. “Working with New York Bus Sales is a great example of a company making a commitment toward innovation and sustainability while reducing greenhouse gas emissions while supporting New York State’s climate emission mandates.”

Connecting locally trained professionals to emerging market

The new facility will create 24 new jobs in Genesee County. New York Bus Sales is seeking candidates for service and automotive tech roles and will have the opportunity to hire from the skilled and educated workforce pool from Genesee County and surrounding regions, including students participating in the Genesee Valley BOCES Deisel Tech Cohort program.

“Whether you are a recent Diesel Tech BOCES graduate or an experienced technician from another industry, we have good-paying positions available and can provide career pathways through certification programs and other training,” Johnson added.  “We look forward to working with employment and workforce training organizations across the region to fill these career-sustaining jobs.”