2022 28th Edition: January 10 - January 14
Entering 2022 on a More Positive Note

Looking at the national economy and the business climate for Orange County in 2022, it would be easy for me to focus on the headwinds we face, such as inflation, supply chain problems, COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. However, I believe those negative forces are temporary issues that will be addressed in due time.
I would rather point out some positives taking place here and elsewhere that indicate a much brighter future for the nation and Orange County is on the horizon in 2022 and beyond.
While headlines indicate businesses are pushing back their return to office programs due to the spread of COVID-19, many scientists believe the latest rise in infections, due chiefly to the Omicron variant, will decline sometime later this month or in early February. In fact, major meeting planners seem to be banking on that forecast and are planning large in-person events for late February and early March, including the Site Selectors Guild Annual Conference to be held on March 2-4th in San Diego, CA and the NYSEDC Economic Development Conference, which will be held from February 28-March 1st in Albany.
Here are some other items that should instill confidence in the Orange County economy this year:
  • The new cannabis law in New York State is fueling significant investment in Orange County and surrounding counties in the Hudson Valley. For example, firms such as PharmaCann, urbanXtracts, GreenThumb and CITIVA are spending millions of dollars on projects here, including at the Warwick Valley Office and Technology Corporate Park, which has become a hub for this burgeoning industry.
  • Orange County has benefitted greatly from the Consolidated Funding Application program this year. The state has recently entered its fourth round of funding awards with a total of 14 county-based businesses applying for funds for their projects.
  • Governor Kathy Hochul doubled down on infrastructure investment in her State of the State address. As we report in this newsletter, the governor has directed the New York State Department of Transportation to expedite the conversion of Route 17 to I-86 and begin the environmental review of that initiative, which is to include the study of the addition of a third lane in Orange and Sullivan counties. This is a major victory for the 17-Forward-86 Coalition and I believe will lead to major investment in interchange upgrades and the addition of a third lane on this vital highway in the not too distant future. Federal funding will be available for this project thanks to the recently passed multi-year federal infrastructure bill.
  • The governor is also calling for an historic investment in clean energy and green infrastructure, bridge, highway and wastewater projects and is also putting a $4-billion environmental bond act before the voters this November. These projects will fuel economic growth and employ tens of thousands of workers in the construction and energy sectors.
  • We all know that the airline industry has been battered by the pandemic and as a result the hoped-for growth at New York Stewart International Airport has been stalled. However, with some carriers recently announcing additional service at the airport and new marketing efforts underway by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey promoting Stewart, the skies are clear for the resumption of growth there.
I am pleased to report that a new committee is being formed for Stewart Airport—The Stewart Air Service Development Committee (SASDC)—and my colleagues, Heather Bell-Meyer, President of OC Chamber and Amanda Dana, Director of OC Tourism and I will unite key Hudson Valley business and tourism stakeholders to:
(1) build awareness of NY Stewart International Airport (SWF);
(2) identify community support channels for new and current SWF air service and;
(3) to expand air travel operations at SWF through active assessment of the ongoing air travel needs of the region. 
We are only 13 days into the new year, and we have reason to believe that 2022 will outshine 2021. We’re here for you so stay connected!

My very best,
Maureen Halahan
From Left to Right:
OCP President & CEO, Maureen Halahan; Garnet Heath President & CEO Scott Batulis; OCP Chairman of the Board, Michael Gilfeather
From Left to Right:
Choice Films - Tony Glazer & Summer Crockett Moore; Umbra Studios President Ted Doering; OCP President & CEO, Maureen Halahan; OCP Chairman of the Board, Michael Gilfeather
From Left to Right:
OCP President & CEO, Maureen Halahan; Montefiore St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital President & CEO Joan Cusack-McGuirk; OCP Chairman of the Board, Michael Gilfeather
Orange County Partnership Stages 35th Annual Event
Approximately 550 people gathered at the Barn at Villa Venezia in the Town of Wallkill for the Orange County Partnership’s 35th Annual Event on Dec. 7.
The 2021 Annual Event was highlighted by the presentation of the Partnership’s 2021 Awards that included:
Spirit of Innovation Award
Ted Doering
Umbra of Newburgh
Quality of Life Award
Joan Cusack-McGuirk
Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital
Scott Batulis
Garnet Health Medical Center
The program also featured the annual award from the Alliance for Balanced Growth.
Golden Shovel Award
Medline Industries, LP

Other highlights of the evening included a stirring rendition of the National Anthem by Kaitlynn and Michael Lancellotti; welcome remarks by Orange County Partnership President and CEO Maureen Halahan; the Chairman’s address by Partnership Chair Michael Gilfeather and an upbeat and light-hearted update on the current Orange County economy by Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus.

Gov. Hochul Calls for Environmental Study of Future Conversion of Route 17 to I-86
The prospect of major upgrades—including the construction of what business and government leaders say is a much-needed third lane on portions of Route 17 in Orange and Sullivan counties—just got a step closer.
Although not included in her State of the State speech on Jan, 5, accompanying material given to state lawmakers included a directive from New York Gov. Kathy Hochul to the New York State Department of Transportation to undertake an environmental review of the conversion of Route 17 to federal Interstate 86 (I-86).

Governor Kathy Hochul delivering the State of the State Address
Route 17 Corridor
A map of the proposed Dinosaur Park in Orange County.
Exciting Commercial Projects in Orange County Secure CFA Funding Awards
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced in November that more than $81 million was awarded to support 97 priority projects across New York State through the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative. On Dec. 14 she reported that an additional $196 million had been awarded to support 488 projects (across multiple state agency programs) that participated in Round XI of the Regional Economic Development Council Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) initiative.

Warwick Office Tech Park Reaps Tremendous Return on Investment
During the approval process when some applicants seek public benefits for their development projects, citizens rightly question what the return on investment will be in coming years. A major success story in that regard is the Warwick Valley Office and Technology Park that over a period of 10 years was developed at the former Mid-Orange Correctional Facility in the Town of Warwick.

The return on investment in this project is a testament to the work of economic development officials in Orange County and municipal officials who had the vision to transform what could have been a blighted underutilized parcel into a cutting edge commercial hub that has produced revenue and hundreds of new jobs for the town and the county.

Rendering of Green Thumb Industry's $155-million cannabis production facility
urbanXtracts cuts ribbon on new 18,000 SF processing & development center
Brokers, NAR Bullish on Commercial Markets for 2022 Despite Pandemic
In their latest forecasts for the commercial real estate markets in 2022, brokerage firms CBRE and JLL, as well as the National Association of Realtors, are upbeat on the prospects for most sectors of the commercial real estate market.
They also seem to agree that any recovery of the office market will be determined in large part by the impacts of COVID-19 and any emerging variants.
CBRE in its “U.S. Real Estate Market Outlook 2022” report, released last month, stated that it is “maintaining a positive outlook for the economy and commercial real estate in 2022, despite uncertainty over potential impacts of the COVID omicron variant and other risks. While the new variant will impact the timing of a large-scale return to the office, fiscal and monetary policy remains highly supportive of economic growth. There may be other bumps along the way, notably from the ripple effects of an economic slowdown in China and rising oil prices, but the factors that held back growth in 2021—labor shortages, supply disruptions, inflation and other COVID variants—will ease.

Alfred E. Pilong Jr.
President, CEO
Garnet Health
With the New Year came a change at the top at Garnet Health. Effective Jan. 1, Alfred E. Pilong, Jr. began his tenure as President and CEO of Garnet Health, which includes Garnet Health Medical Center, Garnet Health Medical Center – Catskills, Garnet Health Doctors, Garnet Health Urgent Care, Garnet Health Foundation and Garnet Health Foundation - Catskills.
Pilong replaced Scott Batulis who retired from Garnet Health on Dec. 31, 2021 after 15 years of service. Garnet Health announced the change in leadership last October.
Daniel J. Maughan
President, CEO
St. Luke’s Cornwall
Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall has named Daniel J. Maughan, RN, FNP-C as its President and Chief Executive Officer effective Jan. 1.
Maughan was unanimously appointed by the MSLC’s Board of Trustees as part of the hospital’s progression plan. Maughan succeeded Joan Cusack-McGuirk, who served the hospital for more than 40 years including as its President and CEO. Cusack-McGuirk was honored by the Orange County Partnership at its 35th Annual Awards event on Dec. 7. She, along with Garnet Health Medical Center’s Scott Batulis, received the Orange County Partnership’s Quality of Life Award.
Adam Bosch
President & CEO
Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress
The Board of Directors at Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress has announced the appointment of Adam Bosch to be the organization’s next president and chief executive officer. Bosch, a lifelong resident of the Hudson Valley, worked as a journalist, college professor, and policy analyst across the region before joining the senior leadership team of the New York City water supply system. He will become Pattern’s sixth president since the organization was founded in 1965.
The appointment is a journey back to Pattern for Bosch, who about a decade ago served as Vice President of Research and External Affairs for the organization.
LeChase Center Opens Training Workers in Cutting-Edge Systems to Contain Noise and Dust During Hospital and Laboratory Construction Projects
LeChase Construction Services opened a new training center in December that will be used to teach best practices for containing noise, dust and contaminants during construction projects in hospitals, pharmaceutical research companies and other critical facilities. The mix of classroom and hands-on training in containment barriers, negative air pressure, HEPA filtration and good housekeeping techniques will reduce the risk of cross contamination and provide a safe environment for patients, staff and others while nearby renovations occur.

“As LeChase continues to grow its client base in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, this new ICRA training center will provide a critical skill for LeChase employees and for our subcontractors,” said David Campbell, LeChase vice president. Campbell made his remarks during an event introducing the center to customers, the media and other stakeholders. “With our center, we will train workers to properly use the systems and exercise the care needed to ensure our work does not disturb hospital patients and visitors, and researchers at pharmaceutical companies.”

At the ICRA training center, workers will learn to use temporary hard barriers to contain construction work areas; high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters to remove dust and other contaminants; and techniques for personal protection and cleaning. The barrier walls, made of plastic and aluminum and filled with insulation, reduce sounds by 50%, enough to deaden loud, sharp sounds. The HEPA filtration removes a very high percentage of particulates and creates negative air pressure that draws air into the enclosed construction area, rather than allowing dust-laden air to escape into the occupied areas of the hospital or laboratory.

Trainees will also learn procedures to maximize the effectiveness of the system, including cleaning themselves of dust with HEPA-filtered vacuums before leaving the enclosed construction area, and using sticky mats inside the space to remove and safely secure dust and particulate matter from boots. In addition, training will cover use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and proper housekeeping in this specialized environment.

LeChase, a leading national firm specializing in healthcare, life sciences, education and commercial construction, was among the first firms in Westchester County to invest in the technology and offer it to customers seeking superior infection control, enhanced safety and noise reduction during construction.

“LeChase has already applied this system and technique successfully on important projects at several healthcare centers,” Campbell said. “Our core value is to do the right thing; this fuels our passion to create safe work environments and to deliver excellence for our clients.”

Please visit lechase.com. For a video that showcases the LeChase ICRA Training Center, see this link: https://player.vimeo.com/video/654658948.

About LeChase Construction Services, LLC Established in 1944, LeChase prides itself on offering the capabilities of a large firm while maintaining the personalized service of a small firm. Today, the company ranks among the nation’s top contractors – providing general construction and construction management services in a wide range of industries and on projects of all sizes. With a dedicated team of talented professionals striving to deliver excellence, the firm has earned a reputation for quality, safety and integrity. In addition to serving customers from its operations across the East Coast, LeChase can provide resources to meet the unique needs of clients no matter where they are located. 
President Container Group Launches 'PCG Cares Initiative' To Help Those In Need
New Program begins with pandemic-era contribution of 20,000 containers to food banks, shelters and others.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, food banks, shelters and other service organizations contacted the President Container Group (PCG) requesting corrugated containers for people in need to carry meals and store belongings.
In response, PCG donated 20,000 containers “without a question asked,” said company Vice President Larry Grossbard.
The giving did not stop there. Out of that need, the company has created “the PCG Cares Initiative” to continue helping wherever high-quality, clean and reliable corrugated containers are needed. With its offices in Moonachie, N.J., and its manufacturing center in Middletown, N.Y., the company will help communities in both states with its contributions of packaging, building partnerships such as the one it enjoys with the Center for Food Action in New Jersey.
“Our goal is to help each other, one box at a time,” Grossbard said. “We are all responsible for doing our part to serve the communities around us. By providing corrugated containers, we will provide one more necessary item to food pantries, shelters and other such organizations, helping them stretch their resources further and help more people in need.”

PCG is one of the largest manufacturers of corrugated containers in North America, producing more than 2 billion square feet of corrugated products every year. The new program reflects PCG’s deep concern for its communities and the greater good, also demonstrated by its sustainable practices. The company fabricates its corrugated containers with renewable and recycled source materials when possible, which are manufactured, transported and recycled using renewable energy.

To request containers or inquire about the PCG Cares Initiative, please email [email protected] or call 201-933-7500 ext. 263.
To learn more, visit presidentcontainergroup.com.

About President Container Group
President Container Group is a leading manufacturer of corrugated shipping containers and point-of-purchase displays in North America. It specializes in items for the food and beverage, cosmetic, garment and other commercial industries, and produces more than 2.0 billion square feet of corrugated products annually. President Container, which uses sustainable materials, also customizes your packaging by printing multicolored graphics of the highest quality directly onto cartons. The company’s philosophy is to ensure complete customer satisfaction. Visit presidentcontainergroup.com.  
President Container Group partnered with The SuperHero Project to provide NICU baby graduation boxes for NICU's around the country
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