FISHKILL, N.Y. -- More than 1,200 Gap, Inc., employees are back at work after a new "pop-up" facility has opened at the site of the devastating fire that destroyed a company warehouse in August, announced New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Construction of the temporary facility was made possible with $2.65 million in state funding and was completed in time for Gap Inc. to prepare for the upcoming holiday shopping season, he added.
The company has committed to rebuilding the fire-damaged distribution center beginning in January.
"From day one, New York stood with Gap Inc. and worked tirelessly with state and local leaders to ensure more than 1,200 workers remained employed at the Fishkill distribution facility," Cuomo said. "That’s what New Yorkers do – we work together, we grow together and we succeed together, and I commend the Mid-Hudson Valley communities for supporting each other through this hardship."
On August 30, the morning after the fire, Empire State Development and the State Department of Labor began working with Gap Inc. to assess damage, determine immediate needs, and ensure all workers remained employed at the Fishkill facility.
During this time, Gap Inc. has continued to provide all employees full wages and benefits and not one employee was let go as a result of the fire. In addition, of the more than 1,200 employees affected by the fire, approximately 400 returned to work just one week after the devastating event.
"We are proud to have been a part of the Fishkill community for the last 16 years," said Jim Young, vice president and regional general manager of Distribution Operations for Gap Inc.’s Global Supply Chain Team. "As we look ahead to rebuilding better and stronger than before, this grant will help accelerate our recovery efforts. We appreciate the incredible support from Governor Cuomo, the Empire State Development Corporation, and local leaders, and we look forward to our continued partnership. On behalf of our employees here in Fishkill and the customers we serve, thank you."
In the days and weeks that followed the fire, the state worked with Gap officials to determine next steps for the company, its employees and the Fishkill community., Cuomo said.
After weighing relocation options, Gap Inc. decided to remain in New York State, building a temporary “pop up” facility with $2.65 million in state funding. The facility, which opened on October 10, allowed the remaining 900 employees to return to work and additional seasonal employees to be hired in time for the holiday shopping season.
"Keeping jobs here in our community remains my highest priority,” said Senator Sue Serino. “I thank the Governor for immediately responding to our call to keep Gap employees working. Extending this tax credit will give Gap, Inc. the time that it needs to get back on its feet following the devastating fire and ensure that these jobs remain local.”
Gap, Inc. opened its 3.2 million square-foot distribution center 16 years ago in Dutchess County, and in 2014, Cuomo announced Gap's decision to further expand in New York State. The company made a commitment to create 1,200 new jobs and invest $96 million to renovate and expand its operations in the Hudson Valley.
The blaze severely damaged a 1.3-million-square-foot facility used to receive, sort and ship Gap and Banana Republic merchandise to stores throughout the Northeast. Additionally, a 1.9-million-square-foot building used for packaging Old Navy merchandise remains structurally secure after suffering smoke damage from the fire.
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