Tioga Hardwoods Moving With Help From NYSEG

- A Tioga County lumber company is expanding its business with the help, in part, of a NYSEG grant.

Tioga Hardwoods in Berkshire has received over $230,000 in economic development money from the utility.

It offsets the cost to Tioga Hardwoods of upgrading its electrical infrastructure as the business expands.

More power was needed to add 4 drying kilns, which season the wood, stacking equipment and an industrial chop saw.

Tioga Hardwoods President Kevin Gillette says the increased production allowed it to add five new full-time jobs with additional capacity to add another five to six in the near future.

"We're using a fair amount of power here every month. You need the infrastructure to grow. It's great to have all of the other parts of the business, but without the power and the infrastructure for the power, we're kind of dead in the water here," said Gillette.

The 15-year-old company began with just two people in Tioga Center, then grew to 29 when it moved to the former school building in Berkshire. It now employs 42.

NYSEG Economic Development Manager Joe Rizzo says the grants are all based on the cost of new infrastructure for businesses that need more power.

"It doesn't have to necessarily mean a physical and footprint expansion. If they're looking at adding more equipment, and that results in more load growth for the business and the community, we can evaluate a project on that as well," said Rizzo.

Tioga Hardwoods sells lumber made from trees harvested in our region, including sugar, soft and red maples, black cherry, ash and red oak.

It has significantly increased its number of exports in recent years, selling its products in China, Japan and other parts of Asia.

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