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A Good Fit

Company fills void left in county

January 29, 2012
By MIKE ZUMMO , The Leader Herald

AMSTERDAM - Over the last year, Embassy Millwork has moved into the space in the Edson Street Industrial Park that was once occupied by Universal Custom Millworks and filled a void left by Universal's shutdown in November 2010.

"They're still in that custom millwork business," said Ken Rose, director of the Montgomery County Development Center. "They'll be able -and already have - to hire the staff that worked at Universal. Plus, in that business, it's decent wages for this area."

Rose said, Embassy Millworks and it's sister company, ProZone Lockers, moved into the former Universal space in the first quarter of last year and when they moved into the area brought 33 jobs into Montgomery County, again some of the void left by Universal's departure.

Article Photos

The main building of Embassy Millworks and ProZone Lockers is shown at the Edson Street Industrial Park in Amsterdam on Thursday.

The Leader-Herald/Mike Zummo

Sixteen jobs were retained from the company's former plant in Scotia, and 17 jobs will be created over the next two years.

Embassy didn't do it alone.

In November, the Business Development Center approved a $300,000 loan to the company. According to a news release, the company will use the loan money to acquire machinery and equipment for use in the Amsterdam location.

It also was awarded money through the Mohawk Valley Regional Development Council, established by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to spur economic development throughout the state. According to the news release from the state, $1.3 million was awarded to Embassy Millworks, which specializes in high-end locker-room construction under ProZone, and kitchen, bath and custom designs, to pay for the acquisition and to renovate the Universal Custom Millworks Building, located at 3 Sam Stratton Road.

There are three buildings on the Embassy and ProZone's site. Rose said the companies are using two of the three buildings, but the company will not be using the third.

"We're going to work with them with regards to that space," he said.

Both Embassy Designs and ProZone Lockers are owned by Mike Caruso, a Schenectatdy native who has been in the millwork industry for 33 years, according to the company's website.

He came into the industry while he was in high school and got a job doing wallpaper, painting and carpentry for a contractor. He opened Embassy Millwork in 2005 and it merged with BR Woodworking a year later to become Embassy Designs.

Before the merger, Embassy completed a new locker room for the Shenendehowa varsity ice hockey team, spurring the 2007 creation of Embassy's athletic-sports locker room products, known as ProZone.

Today, the company has put lockers in the ESPN TV studio, the State University of New York at Geneseo, Yale, Union College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, among others.

Caruso could not be reached for comment for this story.

Mike Zummo is the business editor. He can be reached at



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