Investing in Coeymans, creating new jobs, and helping those with need
By Mark Westcott for TCI of NY
During the height of the Covid pandemic last summer, TCI NY was deemed an essential industry for New York state and was allowed to stay open. Their customers are the power companies and utilities that keep our lights on. This little-known company located right here in our back yard is making a big impact.
“We were fortunate to remain open, but it was a challenging time for everyone not knowing the outcome of the pandemic and working to keep people safe,” says Brian Hemlock, President TCI NY. “We decided to continue moving forward expanding our business and increasing efforts in the community to help people with need.”
Investing in Coeymans and Creating New Jobs
TCI's first plant in Coeymans opened on September 14, 2014, and the company hasn’t looked back since. Last August TCI built a new expansion facility a 35,000 square foot, state of the art addition that added new capability to the existing plant. New jobs were created. Jobs that used to go out of state were brought to Coeymans.
“When we came to Coeymans, we only had 10 employees. Now we have 40 and as far as we are concerned, this is only the beginning,” said Mr. Hemlock. “We have a philosophy to promote from within. This shows our people they can move up through hard work.”
Brett Margiasso came to TCI through the Albany BOCES program affiliated with RCS High School. He interned two years ago, was hired full time and now is responsible for offloading all the trucks containing transformers.
“It’s a huge responsibility,” says John Barr, Operations Manager. “Brett inspects the product and determines what can be salvaged and repurposed. It can be very demanding. He is twenty years old.”
“The expansion shows when local government and industry work together, there is nothing we cannot achieve,” said George McHugh, Coeyman’s Town Supervisor. “The result of this collaboration is good paying jobs with benefits to employees, many of whom are Coeymans residents.”
Tom Bronchetti, TCI’s Controller says, “Our operation is beneficial to the regional economy through our employment, tax payments and spending with other local businesses. TCI pays a living wage with strong benefits.”
Providing jobs in the community promotes growth and stability for all of those who live in the area. The company pays approximately $75,000 per year in local taxes, and spends more than $250,000 annually with local businesses, from grocery stores and diners to gas stations and hardware stores.
Recycling and the Environment
“We strongly believe in our obligations to our neighbors and to our community,” says Mr. Hemlock. “We are committed to operating our business in a manner that is safe, unobtrusive to our neighbors and protective of the environment.”
Today, 99% of all the materials from transformers are recycled, re-purposed or refurbished. It used to all go into landfills. It is a true American success story. One that has benefitted many lives and protects the environment.
Hard Hat meets Textbook
TCI works with RCS High School to create good paying internships that can lead to full time jobs upon graduating from high school. The company awards scholarships to RCS High School Seniors, supports the school’s drama and athletic programs.
“We decided to pay students because they do a great job and deserve to be compensated,” Mr. Hemlock says. “We require the students to keep their grades up while working here.”
Lisa Patierne, Principal at RCS, said, “It’s a great partnership and a great opportunity for students who elect not to go to college. TCI gives these students worked based learning opportunities through internships that can lead to a promising career.”
Committed to Community
Every year TCI assists the Riverview Baptist Church annual Block party, youth programs and summer camp. The campers learned how TCI built its state-of-the-art facilities and how electrical transformers are recycled. They meet administration and operations staff, some of whom are family members and neighbors of the campers.
Pastor Roxanne Booth said, “It’s important for our kids to see what’s on display at TCI. It is a national company proud to be in Coeymans and a successful, growing business operation. Plus, the folks at TCI make it a fun excursion.”
TCI and its employees also work with Helping Harvest, VFW Post 9594, RCS Library, Ravena Rescue Squad, The Historical Society, and the Ravena Friendship Festival.
TCI goes to the utilities with specialized trailers to pick up transformers and then off loads them at the plant where they go onto highly modernized production lines to separate the materials. The process requires highly skilled workers who are trained and educated. There needs to be strict attention to detail. It has been challenging finding people to fill the slots.
“Many businesses including ours are struggling to find the workers to run our operations,” says Mr. Hemlock. “I felt we needed to do something drastic and decided a training center was essential to creating a sustainable pipeline of workers for our businesses.”
Mr. Hemlock approach Carver Laraway from Carver Companies to partner on a new initiative. The Joint Training and Certification Center is now in the development stage to provide training and job opportunities to underserved communities in the region.
“What will make the JTC Center unique is the combination of paid internships, multiple certifications and upon successful completion of the program a guaranteed job offer,” said Mr. Hemlock.
The company is committed to Coeymans and will continue to invest in the community with further expansion plans in the works.
TCI NY is a member of RCS Community Business Association. Member businesses get complimentary blog posts on our website. Please contact RCSbizassoc@gmail.com for more details.