By Bera Dunau Staff Writer
The Daily Star
---- — Economic developers in Delaware County are seeking a federal grant to renovate the former Becton Dickinson facility in Hancock, with the aim of bringing a call center — along with a possible 600 jobs — to the site.
The grant would be awarded under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program. It would be given to the Delaware County Office of Economic Development in conjunction with a partnership with Data Control Group (DCG), a private company that is deciding whether to add a call center in Hancock or in Texas.
The application is for $610,000.
DCG is a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualfon, a data processing company. DCG already has part of its operations in Delaware County.
Should the Hancock site be chosen, the site would undergo two phases of renovation and expansion. The first phase is estimated to bring 200 jobs, while the second phase is estimated to bring an additional 300 to 400 jobs. The HUD grant would help to offset some of these renovation costs, primarily during the second phase.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., lent his support to the effort by sending a letter to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan on Tuesday expressing his support for Delaware County’s application.
In a statement released to the media Tuesday, Schumer said: “This federal investment would help sign, seal, and deliver a new call center to Hancock, and ring in hundreds of good-paying jobs and work opportunities for residents in a community that desperately needs them.”
In this same release, Schumer said that he would “put on the full court press” to secure HUD support.
The Becton Dickinson facility, which manufactured surgical scalpels, closed down in 2002, resulting in the loss of hundreds of jobs.