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GCEDC Celebrates Annual Meeting

Mon, Apr 29th 2024 08:00 am

BATAVIA, NY – The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) celebrated another successful year of economic development activity, including 11 projects that will generate up to $700 million in economic impact in Genesee County, at the GCEDC’s annual meeting.

The gathering of over 230 stakeholders and partners was thanked for their role in growing Genesee County’s economy, including Friday’s announcement that Edwards Vacuum has started construction of a $319 million semiconductor dry pump manufacturing campus the STAMP mega-site. 

The meeting also was a celebration of the service and leadership of Steve Hyde as President and CEO of the GCEDC, who announced Friday that would be retiring in July from the GCEDC after over 21 years as the organization’s professional leader.

“It’s always difficult to put into few words all of Steve’s achievements,” said GCEDC Board Chair Pete Zeliff. “Over 20 years as President and CEO, Steve and Genesee County have accomplished significant economic growth and prosperity of the community with all of these projects, investments and new jobs. It’s appropriate that the announcement of Steve’s retirement comes on top of the start of construction at STAMP of the Edwards Vacuum project as STAMP is the cornerstone of Steve’s vision for Genesee County as an advanced manufacturing hub.”

Following a video featuring well wishes from past board members, community leaders, and economic development partners, Hyde reflected on the support given in pursuing economic growth, led by the Genesee County Legislature, GCEDC board members, municipal and community leaders.

“That has been our ‘True North’ for over 20 years now - to build back manufacturing and create more and better jobs for our residents and children,” Hyde said. “Because of your support, we’ve developed and activated 8 shovel-ready industrial park sites. Existing businesses have expanded, and new businesses have chosen Genesee County. Thousands of youths have been guided through career-focused workforce programs.”

During Hyde’s tenure, the GCEDC has completed over 500 projects generating over $2.5 billion in investment, supporting thousands of careers both created and retained by businesses.

Notable among partners recognized at the annual meeting was Empire State Development (ESD), the GCEDC’s Economic Development Partner of Year. ESD Senior Vice President of Strategic Business Development/Global NY Jeff Janiszewski accepted the award and provided the event’s keynote address.

Mark Masse, GCEDC Senior Vice President, led the proceedings with remarks highlighting the successful projects underway in Genesee County. In addition to Edwards Vacuum’s construction, Genesee County in 2023 welcomed the announcement of a $120 million expansion by HP Hood at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park, and completion of major distribution, healthcare, manufacturing, and equipment operations.

Masse also noted that National Grid completed a significant milestone to support STAMP’s current and future tenants by completing a powerline re-route that supports the first distribution line from the 600-MW substation being constructed at STAMP.

“It may sound like a broken record, but 2023 was another hugely successful year for our county and 2024 is already off to a strong start,” said Masse.

Hyde said the projects underway after years of development, planning, and implementation reminded him of a sentiment he has shared frequently during his time at the GCEDC, “economic development is a marathon, not a sprint.”

 “I can see the finish line for me getting closer, but this is not the end of the race,” Hyde said. “It’s really the beginning. The assets for continued economic growth and success have been built. I hope that in years to come, we can look back at this moment as the humble start of something even greater.”