The federal Economic Development Administration awarded the Hudson Valley Food and Beverage Alliance $3.4 million to construct a workforce and development training center on the Hyde Park campus of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) to help businesses and farmers with future disasters.
The grant, which was finalized May 13, also will be sued to develop a farmers market at CIA.
The region’s one-two punch artists – Tropical Storm Irene and Sandy – spawned the effort.
“Today this massive federal investment is signed, sealed, delivered and officially headed to Dutchess County and local farmers,” U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said. “This powerful partnership connects the CIA and the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corp. (HVEDC) to construct a physical headquarters for the Hudson Valley Food and Beverage Alliance, and will create one of the biggest farmers markets around.”
Schumer said the location would open farm goods to regional food-and-beverage corporations like Westchester-based Dannon and PepsiCo Inc.
“What’s more, this center will serve as a triage center for farmers in the event of future storms and will offer expertise to farmers to mitigate damage to crops and infrastructure before it occurs, while offering assistance to apply for federal grants and resources after disaster strikes.”
The Hudson Valley Food and Beverage Alliance was formed by HVEDC in 2012 to better focus valley marketing efforts specific to food-related industries.
The CIA envisions hosting workshops and networking events at the new center, where 32 full-time workers will be employed. It is expected to open in 2014.