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  • Tuesday, December 13, 2016
    Hi-Lite Group Receives Grant to Establish Global HQ
    Project Could Spur Additional Development in JCIDA New Business Park
    WATERTOWN, NY-- The Hi-Lite Group, LLC, an international leader in airfield safety solutions, has been awarded $1.27 million in New York State grant funding. This award will help offset the costs associated with moving their worldwide headquarters to the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency’s new business park near the Watertown International Airport.  
    Also known as Hi-Lite Airfield Services (Hi-Lite), the company’s expertise includes visual aids (striping & signage), pavement maintenance (inspections, resurfacing and rubber removal), airfield pavement inspection training, and winter operations. The Company is family-owned and was started in 1989.  The corporate office is currently located in Adams Center, with additional facilities on Route 12F.  Their vision is to be the world’s leader in airfield safety management.
    The company currently operates in 43 states (with satellite offices in Virginia, Georgia, Florida, and Texas).   Hundreds of airports around the globe have trusted the Company to provide quality service and an incredible finished product that exceeds FAA and ICAO regulations.
    Local officials were excited by the award, and believe the project will complement the work by  airport manager Grant Sussey to position the airport for future growth.  Many capital improvements have been made recently including a critical runway expansion to accommodate larger jets. Scott Gray, Chairman of the Jefferson County Board of Legislators said, “The Watertown International Airport, as a regional asset, is an important component on our economic development infrastructure. The enhancements to the airport including the future airport business park will continue to strengthen our economy and create good jobs for the residents of Jefferson County.  As an advocate on the REDC I am pleased with a recent announcement of the Hi-Lite grant award. They are a stellar worldwide company in our community, and this will continue to allow for future growth of their company and creation of important jobs.“
    "Hi-Lite Airfield Services is a perfect example of a company that is ready to grow and create new opportunities for people in the North Country," said Senator Patty Ritchie. "I was pleased to support this project and am thrilled it will receive funding through the REDC program. I look forward to seeing how it opens the door to new opportunities that will continue to revitalize our region."
    "This project is fantastic news for the region. This project is a critical component that can serve as the cornerstone that can lead to future development of the business park at the airport. This project will not only create local jobs, but it is a knowledge- and technology-based
    business that will bring people from around the country and potentially around the world to Watertown for training”, stated Assemblywomen Addie J. Russell, who also supported the project. 

    The new headquarters will provide meeting rooms and new technologies to enhance worker productivity and collaboration between departments.   In addition to office space, the company plans to establish an international training and testing facility (Hi-Lite Academy) to educate new employees and airfield personnel from around the world on aviation industry issues such as airfield maintenance, safety management, and winter operations.  The company also plans to integrate warehouse space, a hangar, and equipment maintenance facilities as a means to consolidate the company’s local operations to a single location.  Through a public-private partnership with the airport, Hi-Lite will also utilize an abandoned runway at the outer edge of the airport property for outside training activities and for R&D work such as runway friction testing and new product development.  The new facilities will be a “show case” for Hi-Lite’s domestic and international customers.
    David J. Zembiec, Deputy CEO of the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency noted, “This is great news for the county, as Hi-Lite could have easily re-located to one of the other states where they operate. It’s great to be able to keep this home-grown success story here.”
    Total estimated project cost: $6,397,500
    State grant funding:               $1,279,500
    Jobs retained:                         92
    Jobs to be created:                 40