For Frances Youney, president of C.Y. Concepts Inc., your safety is her only business.
C.Y. Concepts is a safety consulting company that for nearly two decades has helped to reduce accidents, injuries, Occupational Safety & Health Administration fines and workers’ compensation costs to area businesses.
A Greece native, Youney, 58, started the business shortly after her former employer closed its doors.
“I told my husband I was going to stay at home and he said, ‘Not if you want to eat out every night,'” says Youney, who did some work on safety issues at her previous job.
So Youney took safety training classes, became a safety inspector and started her own business in 1987. Husband Carl, a retired engineer, also helps Youney, offering advice and guidance about the industry, tapping his experience in the construction business.
Today, C.Y. Concepts’ owner works with some 300 contractors who she thinks of more as family than customers. The adoration appears mutual. One safety director for a local manufacturing company told her C.Y. Concepts is one of the best-kept secrets in Rochester, she says.
Youney and her 12 staffers service large area companies, such as Xerox Corp. and Eastman Kodak Co., but also work for others, including landscapers, golf courses and even cemeteries.
Most of her customers come from referrals from other clients who have worked with C.Y. Concepts or from insurance companies, she says.
From the beginning, Youney says C.Y. Concepts had a competitive advantage.
“I knew all the contractors, so I knew who to go to,” Youney says, adding that she received support from contractors and those at Xerox who she did some work for in C.Y. Concepts’ early days.
She also credits George Gotcsik, director of the SUNY College at Geneseo Business and Development Center, who provided assistance, and SUNY Geneseo students, who helped design company brochures.
C.Y. Concepts provides safety training for all divisions of labor, including general industry, manufacturing, retail, health care, and residential, commercial and specialty construction.
Youney’s staff includes general industry and construction specialists, all certified and or licensed in their field of expertise, that offer full- or part-time staffing.
Located at 10 Vantage Point Drive, the company offers employee-safety training and classes, safety audits, job site inspections, written safety programs and more. It is not uncommon for Youney to go to a work site, wearing her signature pink cowboy hard hat.
While there are other safety companies out there, Youney says C.Y. Concepts stands apart for a couple of reasons. The firm offers on-demand training. A company can call her in the morning, say they need training immediately and C.Y. Concepts can accommodate the client’s needs, Youney says.
One of her mottos is, “If you need it … we can make it happen.”
C.Y. Concepts also provides some online training, which Youney expects to expand shortly. She stays connected with customers via monthly newsletters.
Business is booming, Youney says. She declines to disclose revenues but says the company continues to grow.
Future plans include a more aggressive marketing effort, particularly aimed at small manufacturing or tool-and-die companies.
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11/26/04 (C) Rochester Business Journal