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P R E S S   R E L E A S E  -  -                                                              December 3, 2015

For more info: (518) 563-1000                                       FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


 P R E S S   R E L E A S E  -  -                                                              December 3, 2015

For more info: (518) 563-1000                                       FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



     The North Country Chamber of Commerce is welcoming today's action by the House and Senate to finalize enactment of a five year federal transportation bill, known as the FAST Act.

    "The North Country is in the transportation equipment business," notes Garry Douglas, President of the North Country Chamber, "and the transportation equipment business is largely dependent on federal transportation funding that is set and predictable over a number of years so that transit authorities can make investments in new buses and subway and commuter rail cars with confidence. Congress has now passed a five year bill after a decade of mostly short term extensions which have limited contract opportunities for our companies to compete for and win. This is guaranteed to create more business over the next few years for companies like Bombardier, Nova Bus, Prevost and all of their suppliers."

     "There are now 33 transportation equipment companies in the North Country employing more than 8,100 people," states Douglas, "with several additional companies expected in the coming year. This is why the enactment of a new multi-year bill has been our top priority in Washington this year, including leading a delegation to the Capitol last spring and arranging for our Senators and Congresswoman to visit some of our companies. We thank Congresswoman Elise Stefanik for her understanding of the importance of this bill to our region from the very start, and we thank Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand for their active leadership in the Senate. Senator Schumer and Congresswoman Stefanik were especially engaged on our behalf in successfully impacting several details in the final bill that were important to us."

     In a related action, passage of the DRIVE Act also means passage of the reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, which was attached to the bill. "This has been our second standing priority this year," notes Douglas, "given the North Country's unique status as an international region with growing exports, and with many of our area manufacturers dependent on the services of this federal program to secure foreign deals that support jobs here at home, including important local employers like Plattco and Swarovski. Congresswoman Stefanik was a real champion in the House on our behalf  for North Country manufacturing, exports and jobs."

     The North Country Chamber of Commerce is the largest business and economic development organization in northern New York, linking more than 4,200 employers across Clinton, Franklin, Essex, Hamilton and northern Warren Counties.

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