ADVERTISEMENT

BATAVIA – The Genesee County Economic Development Center celebrated one of its most successful years in an annual report Friday at the agency’s annual luncheon.

About 200 business leaders and government officials heard Liberty Pumps’ Charlie Cook, agency chairman, hail the center as “the most progressive economic development agency in New York State.” Last year saw 38 projects closed with an investment of $125 million and the creation or pledge of 400 jobs.

More than half those jobs came from two yogurt makers in the new Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park. Alpina Foods opened last fall and has a staff of 50. Muller Quaker, whose $206 million plant is nearing completion, will hire at least 184 people. The two firms enabled the center to far outstrip its 2012 goals of 126 jobs and $18.7 million in investments.

The annual report was presented by CEO Steven G. Hyde before an audience that included Rep. Chris Collins, State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer, Assemblyman Stephen M. Hawley and County Legislature Chairwoman Mary Pat Hancock.

Other successes of the past year included the agency’s assistance to many businesses, ranging from dairy cooperative O-At-Ka to Darien Lake Theme Park.

National Grid was recognized at the luncheon as an “economic development partner” for its assistance at the center’s Ag Park.

Hyde said goals for this year include making the Buffalo East Technology Park near Thruway Exit 48-A shovel-ready and acquiring land for the Science Technology Advanced Manufacturing Plant on more than 1,200 acres in the Town of Alabama.