In Contract Pharmacal, Albany’s job-making blueprint

Hiring spree: Contract Pharmacal, which now operates 10 different facilities in Hauppauge, has more than doubled its number of employees since 2012, with Albany's help.
By GREGORY ZELLER //

New York might not have the best reputation among national entrepreneurs, but that doesn’t mean an independent business can’t thrive here – and Albany is trumpeting a Long Island success story as proof of the state’s economic-development chops.

On Tuesday, the Empire State Development Corp. and the New York Power Authority issued an update on Contract Pharmacal Corp., a family-owned pharmaceuticals manufacturer that has made several job-creation and facilities-investment promises in exchange for ESD and NYPA financial assistance – and more than delivered on them.

The company – which develops, manufactures and packages pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter drugs and dietary supplements – operates 10 facilities in Hauppauge, including several acquired or renovated with the help of the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency.

In September 2018, the IDA approved a tax-abatement package that would help Contract Pharmacal acquire a 17,500-square-foot manufacturing building and build a 140,000-square-foot extension connecting it to an existing company facility – not the first time the IDA or another government entity has offered the company financial assistance.

The ESDC has committed a total of $8 million in incentives to support Contract Pharmacal’s myriad growth efforts, while NYPA currently provides the company with 1.3 megawatts of ReCharge NY power, which comes partly from clean-gen sources and is traded to companies by NYPA in exchange for job-creation commitments.

In return for the ESD and NYPA support, which dates back seven years, Contract Pharmacal has pledged to create 454 jobs – but has actually created 770, according to ESD, to send its total employment roster soaring past 1,400.

Meanwhile, the manufacturer has privately invested some $71 million in the acquisition and renovation of its 10 Hauppauge locations, which now exceed a combined 650,000 square feet.

Kathy Hochul: Statewide strategy, local rewards.

The stellar numbers made Contract Pharmacal one of the champions of a recent audit of grants provided by the ESD, Albany’s biggest economic-development engine. The Hauppauge company ranked among the companies providing the best job-creation and economic-development returns on the state’s investments.

And not only has Contract Pharmacal more than doubled its workforce since 2012, but that growth has played directly into Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s regional economic-development stratagem, including his big biotech dreams for the Long Island region.

Most importantly, though, the home-grown, circa-1971 company’s success proves that New York – and Long Island in particular – can provide the support emerging companies need to succeed in a 21st century economy, according to Lieutenant Gov. Kathleen Hochul, who toured Contract Pharmacal’s Hauppauge facilities on Tuesday.

“Their continued expansion is part of our ongoing strategy to create good-paying jobs, invest in our workforce and ensure a brighter economic future for Long Island and across the state,” Hochul said. “Contract Pharmacal has deep roots on Long Island and thanks to support from New York State, this innovative company has seen significant job growth.”