Seward: Senate Grant Will Grow Jobs

James L. Seward

November 01, 2006

A $250,000 state senate grant unveiled today by State Senator James L. Seward will facilitate the growth of a financial services business in Herkimer County, offering the prospect of 300 jobs over the next three years.

Seward announced the grant at the Frankfort offices of Erie Educational Services, a financial loan consolidation processing and local call center, with company CEO Marc Burling, Assemblyman Marc Butler, other state officials, and local representatives. The senate funding supplements private investment projected to reach nearly $2 million.

The company currently employs 40 plus workers, and the senate grant will facilitate expansion of the business and result in the addition of jobs. In addition, the company will seek empire zone status.

"This is about jobs, business growth, and providing jobs for our young people so they can stay here and find the career of their choice. It's good news for Frankfort and the Mohawk Valley," Seward said. "I applaud Marc Burling, a former area resident with business ventures primarily in Florida, for deciding to open a call center here in the valley."

"We are tremendously excited about the re-use of this building here in the center of Frankfort, which otherwise may have gone the way of other such buildings that have fallen in neglect and disrepair," Assemblyman Butler said. "Sen. Seward's grant and Erie's growth are great steps forward for our community and our region as we set about to reinvigorate our local economy."

"The grant announced today by Sen. Seward will be of significant help in our business growth and the creation of new jobs," Burling said. "Erie is pleased to be part of Frankfort and the Mohawk Valley."
Erie Educational Services took over the building in February and has renovated the interior. The company offers the consolidation of college student loans throughout the country from the central call center.

Burling developed some of the unique software that the call center uses, which helps to make the operation more efficient and cost-effective than others in the market . The equipment and services can be applied to other financial services, and CEO Burling says that the potential for growth in Frankfort is tremendous.

"People in the industry have already seen how efficient and effective our services are, even at this early stage in our development. We want to get a good handle on what we are doing now, but as we move forward we are confident other areas in the financial services industry will be available to us," Burling said.

He said that the quality of the local workforce is a tremendous advantage to locating in the valley. Because the service the company provides is available nationally, its stability is independent of factors affecting the local economy.

Burling said that his company has as one of its goals to do business with other local companies.

"This has the potential to be a 'win-win' for the entire valley. I’m committed to this area and its people and I look forward to being a major player in our local economy," Burling said.

The funding is through the state senate and will administered by the Herkimer County IDA.