Griffo to SUNY Chancellor: All state college students should eat with flatware made in New York

State Sen. Joseph Griffo is calling upon the State University of New York to begin using on all its campuses dining flatware products that are “Made in New York.”

With the Governor already proposing a “Buy New York” initiative for state entities to purchase products made in New York, Senator Griffo believes it would be a good first step to ensure that all SUNY students will eat their meals with flatware already manufactured in New York.

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer has recently recommended that the White House use dining products made by Sherrill Manufacturing, the owner of Liberty Tabletop in Oneida County and the nation’s last maker of flatware products. If the White House is being urged to use such products, then certainly the state’s largest college system should utilize a New York-based product whose primary competition is manufactured in Asia, Senator Griffo said.

But currently the State University of New York at Buffalo is the only SUNY school that utilizes Sherrill Manufacturing’s American-made flatware. In a recent letter to SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, Senator Griffo expressed his belief that the rest of the SUNY schools should follow UB’s lead in supporting New York’s business owners.

“Our SUNY schools are funded by New York tax dollars and primarily attended by New York’s residents, so it should go without saying that SUNY schools should take pride in the fine products that are manufactured right here in our state,” said State Senator Joseph Griffo, R-Rome.  “As more and more people today are seeking to purchase locally-made products, we should do everything we can and lead by example to show that we stand with our local manufacturers. The more we can support these hard-working employees, the more we can strengthen our local economies and sustain our jobs across the state.”

“We would be honored to supply the SUNY system with our quality flatware that is made right here in Central New York,” said Gregory Owens, co-founder and CEO of Sherrill Manufacturing Inc./Liberty Tabletop.“We believe in supporting New York businesses, and that is why we purchase everything possible locally. We source our buffing compound from Divine Bothers in Utica, our flatware chests from McGraw Wood Products south of Syracuse, and our boxes from Earlville Paper Box Co. Inc. Our website was designed and is maintained by MPW Marketing in Clinton and our professionals are all local as well. It seems only fitting that the SUNY system should support businesses that manufacture their products in New York in order to keep those dollars churning within our state economy.”

The following is the text of Senator Griffo’s letter to SUNY Chancellor Dr. Nancy Zimpher:

January 30, 2017

Dr. Nancy L. Zimpher
Chancellor, State University of New York
SUNY System Administration
State University Plaza
Albany, NY 12246

Dear Chancellor Zimpher,

After losing about five million manufacturing jobs since 2000, the U.S. has experienced a rallying call to bring back more local manufacturing. In fact, Governor Cuomo’s proposed budget this year is seeking the procurement of locally-manufactured goods in all state contracts.  

As you may recall, I have had previous conversations with your administration concerning locally-manufactured products, and today I would again like to encourage you to contract with these small manufacturers to place their products on all SUNY campuses, namely Liberty Tabletop flatware products made by Sherrill Manufacturing – the last remaining flatware manufacturer in the United States, based right here in Sherrill, N.Y.

Based on what the Governor has proposed, I think it would set a good example for a state-run entity like SUNY to act on principle by opting to support an American-made manufacturer based in New York. The University at Buffalo is already supporting Sherrill Manufacturing, so I am respectfully calling upon you to review the contracts of all SUNY campuses so that each and every one can invest in a great New York State-based manufacturer of flatware.

I look forward to your response regarding this matter.

Sincerely,

Joseph A. Griffo

Senator, 47th DistricT

CC: H. Carl McCall, Chairman, SUNY

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