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Skills gap hobbles manufacturers (access required)

Mike Forbes, founder of Forbes Precision Inc., operates a machine in his shop. (Velvet Spicer)

When James Kosowski’s best employee moved away this year he contemplated closing up shop. The staffer was irreplaceable, not only because of his experience and aptitude, but because the manufacturing sector’s growing skills gap has left the industry reeling. “Finding ...

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Datto growing fast (access required)


The Lite-Brite wall hasn’t been installed yet. But there’s a cubicle that has been turned into a ball pit. And the kitchens are stocked with free snacks—cereal, pistachios, wasabi peas, granola bars and others—on each floor of Datto’s offices in The Metropolitan. Those features, colorful décor, and the multiple monitors on every desk, along with televisions screens broadcasting sales closed and Seinfeld episodes, declare this is a high-tech company with a youthful bent. And like most youth, it’s growing rapidly. So rapidly that when the company merged and was acquired for $1.5 billion earlier this month, the founder, Austin McChord, was able to hand over a $50 million donation to his alma mater and one of the biggest suppliers of his employee pool—Rochester Institute of Technology.

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Geneva works on self-improvement (access required)


On the northern shores of Seneca Lake lies a small city that is at once bustling and quaint, its downtown thoroughfare lined with both trendy businesses and charming antiquities. The City of Geneva—situated in eastern Ontario County on the border of Seneca County—is in the midst of a renaissance, the catalyst of which is a city manager who has spent a decade working alongside a group of business owners and community leaders who are deeply committed to revitalizing their city of 13,000.

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Readers pick Lake Ontario flooding as the biggest local business story of 2017 (access required)

Flooding on Lake Ontario shoreline in May 2017 (AP)

The flooding that ravaged the coastline of Lake Ontario was the top local business story of 2017, according to a Rochester Business Journal survey of readers. The flooding began in April after three big rainstorms caused the lake level to rise to more than a foot and a half above normal. Many people blamed the flooding on the International Joint Commission’s Plan 2014, which regulates water levels and flows for Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

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Hood set to invest in upstate (access required)


Work is underway on a shuttered dairy plant in Genesee County, and when the new HP Hood LLC manufacturing facility opens in 2019, its benefit to the state is expected to top $334 million. Hood, a dairy company based in ...

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Luxury electric vehicles rare here (access required)

Porsche, already with a couple of hybrid vehicles on the market, plans to release the Mission E in 2019. (Provided)

As automakers rev up production of plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles, Rochesterians are flocking to dealerships. But area drivers may not be ready for the luxury versions of those vehicles yet. “Rochester is not a particularly good market for a ...

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Rochester Precision Optics a sign of sector’s success (access required)

Polishing machine at RPO

It's no surprise that Rochester's manufacturing sector is a shadow of its former self. The companies that once defined the Flower City, and led to its status as one of the first "boomtowns," have faced rapid downsizing and exodus from the city. Kodak, Xerox and Bausch & Lomb no longer serve as the economic backbone they once did. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Rochester's employment in the manufacturing supersector has been on steady decline.

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Much ado about Parcel 5

Parcel 5

Drive down East Main Street during any hour of the day and you will surely pass the desolate site where Midtown Mall once stood. Of course, it's not always quite so desolate. During Rochester's beloved Fringe Festival and the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, the humble 1.2 acre plot of land swells to life, brimming with dance, laughter, musical vigor and, occasionally, monstrous balloons liberated from the contentious plot of land, hovering in the night sky above. Parcel 5, as it's referred to, has been possibly the most highly debated subject in the City of Rochester over the past couple years. Every time the City Council takes up the subject, citizens pack the room, voicing their concerns about the future of the site.

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