Task Force Formed On Lasalle Closing

James L. Seward

February 09, 2006

Following a Capitol meeting with officials of Del Laboratories, Senator James L. Seward announced a special task force of state and local officials that would work to provide job retraining for employees and marketing of the LaSalle Laboratories property in Little Falls. The company produces color cosmetics and has employed 350 workers.

Seward, Assemblyman Marc Butler, Mayor Ted Wind, Legislator Keith Davy and others met with the CEO and other top officials of Del Laboratories in Albany Wednesday to convince the company to reverse its decision to close the Little Falls facility in light of the state's benefits available to companies through empire zones, energy savings, and employee training. Company officials indicated that the decision was final, owing to consolidation in North Carolina, outsourcing and market location.

"We pressed them to take a step back, put their decision on hold and take a look at what New York can offer a company to be competitive," Seward said. "Unfortunately, the company never made a serious attempt to evaluate New York's business programs and they indicated no desire now to revisit their decision.

"So we move forward and announce a task force of state local officials that will work together to market the property, help employees in transition, and find new jobs in other companies in the area," Seward said. "The employees will have our full attention."

"While we were disappointed with the outcome of the meeting, it was valuable for us to hear candidly from company officials the details of how the closing of the Little Falls plan fit with the corporate strategy and the reasons for their decision. It is very unfortunate that we could not convince Del Labs to reconsider their decision, but the information that surfaced at the meeting will be useful as we craft plans for the future and work for job retention and creation here in the Mohawk Valley and Herkimer County," said Assemblyman Marc Butler.

"I appreciate Senator Seward hosting the meeting and their willingness to jump in and help the workers at LaSalle and the Little Falls community," said Mayor Ted Wind. "We will work together to find new businesses and new jobs for our area."

Seward announced a local task force that would include the Herkimer County IDA, Empire State Development, Mohawk Valley EDGE, and the state Department of Labor, county, city and state officials.

Those attending the meeting included: Charles Hinkaty, CEO of Del Labs; Steve Brainard, general manager at Little Falls; Cary Newman, Del Labs executive vice president; Pat Lloyd, Del Labs vice president for human resources; Senator Seward; Assemblyman Butler; Keith Davy, county legislator; Mayor Ted Wind; Jim Wallace, Herkimer County administrator; Mark Feane, Herkimer County IDA; Steve DiMeo, Mohawk Valley EDGE; Anthony Picente, vice president, Empire State Development; Kelli Owens, regional administrator, state Department of Labor; Mike Reese, Mohawk Valley Economic Development.