CANTON -- The St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency named its new building at 19 Commerce Lane, the “Ernest J. LaBaff Industrial Building.”
The 15,000 square foot building, the first in the new Canton Industrial Park, was completed this past December. In addition to the IDA’s offices, the facility is home to the St. Lawrence Brewing Company and currently has approximately 6,000 square feet of mixed use space available.
The naming of the building, a first for the IDA, is a recognition and acknowledgment of the impact that LaBaff has had on the Industrial Development Agency and on the economy and quality of life for workers of St. Lawrence County.
First appointed to the IDA in April of 1977, LaBaff has served in various capacities, including Chairman, and is currently the Board’s Vice-Chair.
LaBaff has a history of public service, and is a long-time proponent of economic development for St. Lawrence County.
He is President Emeritus of the Aluminum Brick & Glass Workers International Union and a former member of the St. Lawrence County Legislature (1974-1980; and 1981-1985).
“We are proud to highlight the more than 35 years of service Ernie has provided as a member of the Board of the Industrial Development Agency. Ernie’s efforts have benefited not just the IDA, but the overall economic development efforts in the region and most important, the workers and families of St. Lawrence County,” said IDA Chairman Brian W. Staples.
St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators Chair Jon Putney also spoke well of LaBaff.
“Ernie LaBaff has been a long time advocate for the North Country and we are all better off thanks to his efforts. It is fitting that this industrial building be named in his honor. The work that goes on in this building involves preserving the jobs we have now and working to bring more to St. Lawrence County," he said. "Economic development has been the life’s work of this great man and the Board of Legislators applauds this accolade to our good friend Ernie LaBaff.”
Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand also commented on the LaBaff's career.
"I'm humbled to join all of St. Lawrence County in formally honoring Ernie for his decades of service to the community and the St. Lawrence County IDA. I've enjoyed working with Ernie for over 10 years; he still has the same can-do attitude and passion for the community he had when we first met back in 1998. I hope this new IDA building, now named after him, will bring about even more good things for the people of this great county and that Ernie continues to carry his well-known spark and passion for decades to come," Schumer said.
"I am pleased the St. Lawrence County IDA has chosen to name their new building in honor of Ernest J. LaBaff," said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. "It is a great recognition of Ernie's legacy of dedicated public service."
Congressman Bill Owens also said LaBaff was deserving of the recognition.
“This is a great honor for a man who has tirelessly championed the pursuit of good paying jobs for North Country workers,” said Congressman Bill Owens. “I congratulate my good friend Ernie on this well-deserved recognition of his strong support for economic development and working families in our community.”
“Ernie LaBaff is among the North Country’s most knowledgeable and ardent advocates for responsible and sustainable job growth. As co chair of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council (NCREDC), I value his counsel about the region’s opportunities for private-public investment,” said Anthony G. Collins, co-chair of the NCREDC and president of Clarkson University. “Ernie has also been a stalwart fan of the Golden Knights’ Ice Hockey team at Clarkson through thick and thin. The naming of this facility in his honor is a tribute to his persistent commitment to make our community a better place for all who choose to live, learn and work here.”
New York State Senator Joseph A. Griffo said," I find it fitting that Ernie LaBaff has a building named after him, since he's been a part of the foundation of the Canton and North Country community for a lifetime of service. No one has been a bigger advocate of St. Lawrence County and no one knows its people better than Ernie. I commend Patrick Kelly, the Board and Staff of the IDA, for choosing the best person to name the Industrial Park's anchor building. And I congratulate my friend, Ernie, on this fine honor."
New York State Assemblywoman Addie Russell stated, “Ernie has dedicated his life to improving the lives of his fellow workers. His leadership at the IDA has been an important part of that work. The commitment he has demonstrated to our community and dignity for workers is inspiring and something we should all work to emulate. This honor is a fitting acknowledgment of Ernie's strong and enduring impact on us all."