Evolve Additive Solutions plans to expand its Metro Park location, adding 60 jobs. The manufacturer will receive tax credits of up to $1 million in exchange for job creation commitments.
“The Finger Lakes region is home to some of the most talent-rich tech companies in the industry,” said Howard Zemsky, president, CEO and commissioner of Empire State Development, in a statement Wednesday. “Supporting businesses like Evolve Additive Solutions will further support our efforts to grow the 21st century economy while creating good-paying jobs and generating new opportunities in the region.”
Founded in 2017, Evolve’s focus is on its additive manufacturing technology known as Selective Thermoplastic Electrophotographic Process on products in the automotive, aerospace, medical and industrial markets. With headquarters in Minnesota, Evolve initially plans to expand the manufacturing space at its Brighton facility by 7,000 square feet, with plans to add another 13,000 square feet in the coming years.
“Our Brighton facility is key to our success and having a first-class facility to attract the best talent possible for materials and process development is essential,” Evolve CEO Steve Chillscyzn said. “We are extremely pleased that Empire State Development recognizes the opportunity our technology can offer to our future customers but also to our current and future employee base in the area.”
In addition to the ESD Excelsior Tax Credit Program incentive, the County of Monroe and Greater Rochester Enterprise Inc. also are assisting with the project. Evolve plans to invest $1.2 million to grow its local operation.
“Evolve Additive Solutions will expand its R&D operations in the Greater Rochester, N.Y., region to leverage the highly skilled imaging and materials technology expertise available in our community,” GRE President and CEO Matt Hurlbutt said.
Optimax Systems Inc. plans to expand its Wayne County facility with a 60,000-square-foot addition.
The $21.7 million expansion will allow Optimax to raise the bar when it comes to supplying optics for its customers and will help the company solidify its brand and credibility in the worldwide optics manufacturing community, officials said Tuesday. As a result of its continued growth, Optimax plans to create 59 new jobs over the next five years and retain 291 positions.
The expansion project is expected to be completed in 2024.
To encourage Optimax to expand in the Finger Lakes, Empire State Development will provide $700,000 through a Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative Grant and up to $1.5 million in Excelsior Tax Credits in return for job creation commitments and retention of hundreds of existing jobs.
“New York State’s strategic investments have supported the Finger Lakes Region’s growth as an optics, photonics and imaging hub, and our commitment to workforce development and 21st century jobs means that companies like Optimax Systems can continue to grow here, with a pipeline to the tech talent they need,” said ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky in a statement.
Optimax was founded in 1991 and has been ahead of the curve in progress in technologies as diverse as fiber optic telecommunications, solid-state lighting, digital photography, displays and diagnostic medicine. The company has worked on key programs in aerospace, government research and defense.
“We are excited that as we grow we can continue to be a part of the great community in Wayne County and do this expansion in New York State. Optimax has made its home in Ontario, N.Y. since 1993,” said Optimax President Mike Mandina. “Constructing this new expansion enables us to build a state-of-the-art facility that can support our technological and employee growth as the largest high-precision optics manufacturer in the United States. We’d like to thank Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development for their support and assistance enabling us to reinvest in upstate New York and build on Optimax’s growing success.”
Less than a year after breaking ground on a 215,000 square foot expansion in the Town of Chili, American Packaging Corp.’s operations are up and running.
American Packaging, a family-owned flexible packaging converter, invested nearly $50 million for Phase One of the expansion plan that is expected to create up to 260 new jobs in the next five years.
“American Packaging’s investment in the region is well underway with production having begun in January 2018,” APC President and CEO Peter Schottland said in a statement. “We couldn’t be any more optimistic about the future of our operations and hope to soon be announcing yet another expansion of this operation.”
In exchange for the firm’s expansion and job growth, Empire State Development (ESD) offered up to $14.7 million in performance-based incentives, including $7.7 million in Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative grants and $7 million in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits. The County of Monroe also provided incentives for the project.
“We are proud to support the significant growth of American Packaging Corp. in Upstate New York,” ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said. “The company’s focus on providing solid job opportunities and contributing to a more sustainable community for generations to come, is yet another example of how the Finger Lakes region is establishing itself as a leader in the 21st century economy.”
The state-supported expansion has enabled APC to hire 70 new staffers, with 40 already working at the site, officials said this week. APC also has 200 employees at its long-established plant on Driving Park Avenue in Rochester.
The company had considered constructing the new manufacturing plant near its facilities in Iowa. When the expansion was announced last June, APC had said it would invest up to $170 million in a 350,000-square-foot facility, and the company expects to hire another 200 staffers when the project is fully complete.
“The expansion in Chili of this incredibly successful company means new opportunities for the town and new jobs for the hard-working people of this region,” Chili Town Supervisor David Dunning said.
APC’s flexible packaging products offer environmental benefits as they use less energy and fewer resources than traditional packaging products. The company has partnered with Rochester Institute of Technology by funding the Center for Packaging Innovation on the RIT campus.
The company was founded in 1902 and serves a number of markets, specializing in flexographic and rotogravure printing and pouch and bag fabrication, among others.
ON Semiconductor Corp. on Wednesday officially opened its $6.6 million expansion at Eastman Business Park, a move that is expected to create 34 new jobs at the facility over the next two years.
The expanded test and assembly operation has been several years in the making, beginning when ON Semiconductor in 2014 purchased Truesense Imaging, a Rochester-based provider of high-performance image sensing devices, for some $95 million in cash.
“A few years ago when we acquired Truesense, when I first came (to Eastman Business Park), I can tell you it was a little depressing,” said Mark Goranson, senior vice president of global operations. “We saw the old Kodak buildings that were largely empty and we were talking about trying to make this business cost competitive.”
One of the areas ON Semiconductor officials were considering was Japan, Goranson said, because of the cost-effective nature of doing business there. The company’s now Rochester general manager Michael Miller worked with local and state government, Greater Rochester Enterprise Inc. and others to make the move both cost-effective and viable for the long term.
“Many of you know that part of the success in this area comes from the fact that this region—only one of three in the state—won $500 million just a short time ago under an initiative called the Upstate Revitalization Initiative,” Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said at a press gathering at ON Semiconductor this week. “The Finger Lakes Forward initiative has brought new money, new energy and new excitement to this area, and that is part of what we’re talking about here today.”
The state’s investment in ON Semiconductor includes a $4.3 million Finger Lakes Forward URI grant, as well as $1.7 million through the Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit Program, in exchange for job creation commitments.
“These are good-paying jobs that we desperately need in this area so you can support a family (and) send your kids to one of the outstanding educational institutions in this area,” Hochul said. “So this is a quality-of-life place to work.”
Phoenix-based ON Semiconductor is focused on energy-efficient innovations in an effort to reduce global energy use. The Rochester site develops and manufactures image-sensor devices for commercial, industrial and professional imaging applications, including machine vision, surveillance, traffic monitoring, medical and scientific imaging and photography.
The expansion includes both a Class 100 clean room and a Class 10 clean room, a requirement for image sensors. A ballroom design, or open concept, allows flexibility for new products and ease of design change. Automated equipment will help increase output at the expanded facility.
“We understood what it took to keep this facility here. We knew the work that was going to be involved,” Miller said of his pitch to officials. “The grant money that was received … enabled quite a bit of work here.”
The company employs 185 at its Lake Avenue facility and more than 30,000 worldwide. The Lake Avenue facility also houses the American Institute for Manufacturing (AIM) Integrated Photonics headquarters and its test, assembly and packaging facility, which is slated to open later this year.
“One of the things I’m really proud of is the teamwork we have in this community because Mark and Michael and ON, they had choices. The fact that they expanded here makes a difference,” said Bob Duffy, president of Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, noting that the AIM Photonics center was another factor in ON Semiconductor’s decision to expand in Rochester.
“I want to thank Mark for his leadership and for recognizing that there’s no place like Rochester and nobody does it better than Rochester, New York,” Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said. “I want to let you know you have a great team here.”
Warren toured the facility a year ago following a chance encounter with Miller, she noted, a tour that enlightened her to the work being done at the facility.
Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo, who grew up in the Kodak Park neighborhood, said she remembered the area in its heyday, as well as during its downturn.
“To see the transformation and what’s happening now in Kodak Park is a testament to what we all know: that Monroe County and the City of Rochester and the people in Rochester and Monroe County have the heart, we have the spirit, we have the talent,” Dinolfo said. “The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well right here at Eastman Business Park and you are really making it happen.”
The ON Semiconductor project builds on and continues the success and rebirth of EBP, the site where Kodak began manufacturing photographic film and paper more than a century ago. Today, the campus supports about 100 companies, employing more than 6,000 people.
“What this is going to end up doing for us is make us more competitive, because we’ll have assembly test operations here now so we can have faster time to market. We’ll actually have much improved quality because we don’t have to ship the product back and forth,” Goranson said. “So we expect much improved quality operations and costs.
“So with all of these advantages we decided to go with the investment here and expand the factory here, largely due to Michael and his team and the government of New York,” Goranson said.
An old Eastman Kodak Co. campus in Henrietta will have a new tenant this fall.
Innovative Solutions, a cutting-edge software developer, is planning a $2.1 million relocation to a 19,000-square-foot facility on East River Road, repurposing a former Kodak campus. The new space will feature an innovative lab and a tech startup “launch-pad” that will aid the company in supporting up to 12 technology-focused startups and recruiting recent graduates from universities and colleges in the Finger Lakes region.
The project is expected to create up to 15 new jobs and retain nearly 70 jobs.
“Our employees chose this location to be our new home because Riverwood felt right,” Innovative Solutions CEO Justin Copie said in a news release. “We have beautiful hiking trails, paddleboards at the dock to enjoy on the river, a cutting-edge innovation lab to explore and try new things and an incredible ecosystem of other tech-minded professionals to collaborate with.”
To facilitate the move, Empire State Development has offered up to $500,000 in Excelsior Tax Credit program credits, in exchange for job creation commitments.
“By investing in exciting, fast-growing companies like Innovative Solutions we are laying a strong foundation on which we will continue to build our region’s high tech economy and expand access to good paying, 21st century jobs,” State Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle said. “My thanks to Gov. Cuomo for his continued commitment to the Finger Lakes economy and to Innovative Solutions for choosing to grow and thrive in our community.”
Innovative Solutions was founded in 1989 and brings together strategists, engineers, developers and designers in areas including IT consulting, application and database services and virtualization and cloud services, among others.
The company has earned a number of industry and culture awards including being named one of Upstate New York’s Top Work Places and a Great Place to Work.
“We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to change the face of the workplace right here in Rochester,” Copie said.
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