A New York City Department of Small Business Services (SBS) grant will allow selected businesses to provide training to employees, resulting in better expertise, yielding of new skills and an average wage increase of nearly 9 percent.
SBS awarded a total of $415,838 to 11 businesses in New York City including five in Queens. Schneps Publications, Inc., which produces The Queens Courier, among other publications, is one of the recipients.
Another one of the benefactors of the grant, which will cover up to 70 percent of the cost, is the Woodside-based National Elevator Cab & Door Corp (NECD).
“We have come a long way,” said Executive Vice President Jeff Friedman. “2009 was our busiest year ever and we had to expand our workforce by 10 percent. We won the contract for the Freedom Tower elevators and started an entirely new product line.”
NECD was founded in 1929 by Friedman’s grandfather Arthur Gabriner. Over the years it has endured fierce competition and become a top supplier for projects nationwide. It was also recognized as “Supplier of the Year” for 2008 by Elevator World Magazine, the industry’s top publication.
The company has about 45 employees in the shop and will train about 15 in various new factory skills, in order to improve the quality of the products built. NYC Business Solutions Training Funds in the amount of $16,760 will be matched by a $12,000 employer contribution.
Most employees have been with the company for over 10 years and have contributed to signature projects like the cabs in the Marriott Marquis at Times Square.
NECD is the first company in the United States to combine interior elevator cab design, doors and frames construction and elevator fixtures production on a large scale. The fixtures, which are the push buttons in the cabs and on the floors in the building, are the latest addition to their line of products.
NECD owns seven patents and has gained an edge over the competition by focusing on the ease of installation of the cabs and doors.
“It’s a very competitive market out there,” said Friedman. “With about 70,000 elevators in New York City alone, work never ceases.”