ProAmpac opens Collaboration & Innovation Center in Ogden

Artist rendering of the ProAmpac global Collaboration & Innovation Center in Ogden, N.Y. near Rochester that opened with a July 14, 2021, ribbon-cutting event attended by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and other New York State and local officials and regional business leaders.
Artist rendering of the ProAmpac global Collaboration & Innovation Center in Ogden, N.Y. near Rochester that opened with a July 14, 2021, ribbon-cutting event attended by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and other New York State and local officials and regional business leaders.

Cincinnati-based global flexible packaging leader ProAmpac this week opened its new, state-of-the-art Collaboration & Innovation Center in Ogden.

“This is ProAmpac’s new home for product development, rapid sample prototyping and evaluation of new packaging, as well as a training hub for customers and employees,” said ProAmpac Founder and CEO Greg Tucker.

Tucker said the new 35,000-square-foot CIC offers three unique capabilities to help customers address their packaging challenges:

• The Design and Sample Lab (DASL), a customer collaboration, teaming resource that has been ideating and designing new packaging concepts and printed prototype samples since 2014. The new lab was relocated from its former home in Ohio.
• The Packaging Lab, enabling product developers to evaluate and combine advanced materials for performance and sustainability. The lab is equipped for filling trials and testing, shelf-life studies, packaging-testing and sizing for stability testing and pouching studies.
• The Analytical and Physical Packaging Lab is a centralized corporate physical and analytical testing resource. Previously, this work was done at multiple ProAmpac production facilities and is now centralized, with new testing capabilities, in Rochester. The lab holds environmental chambers for hard-to-hold testing, as well as new upgraded analytical testing capabilities including SEM, FTIR, and DCS for film analysis.

The CIC was constructed on ProAmpac’s Rochester campus and adjoins the existing production facility — one of the company’s nearly 50 global manufacturing sites. ProAmpac has more than 5,800 employees, supplying more than 5,000 customers in 90 countries, officials noted.

“ProAmpac’s new Collaboration & Innovation Center will create up to 40 new good jobs and spur innovation in Monroe County,” said Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who was in Rochester Wednesday for the facility’s opening. “New York State is proud to attract and support companies like ProAmpac that are manufacturing important products right here in Rochester as we build back stronger and more sustainable than ever.”

Empire State Development is assisting ProAmpac’s innovative project with a $ 350,000 capital grant and up to $1 million through the Excelsior Jobs Program in exchange for job creation commitments. New York Power Authority, which already is providing 140 kilowatts of low-cost power through the ReCharge NY program to the firm to retain its existing jobs, is supporting the expansion project with an additional 40-kilowatt RNY power allocation. Monroe County and Greater Rochester Enterprise also are assisting the company.

The total project cost was placed at $8 million.

“ProAmpac’s Collaboration and Innovation Center opening in the Greater Rochester, New York, region is a testament to the extensive packaging expertise, talent and world-class R&D resources available here,” said GRE President and CEO Matt Hurlbut. “Rochester, New York’s long history of innovation in this sector will support ProAmpac’s goal to develop and prototype new packaging solutions for its clients.”

Established six years ago, ProAmpac ranks as the second-largest North American packaging company based on flexible packaging revenue. It ranks number one in flexible packaging innovation, number one for the breadth of flexible materials and number one in sustainable packaging options, according to Tucker.

“Our CIC is a one-stop center providing our customers with a resource that helps them address their packaging product development needs including product design, testing, graphic design and filling. I am confident this facility will help greatly reduce the time required to go from concept to commercialization,” said Adam Grose, chief commercial officer.

CIC is the permanent home for LEAD ProAmpac Academy, where ProAmpac offers customers and employees twice-a-year training in extrusion, lamination, printing and other flexible-packaging technologies, especially sustainability.

“ProAmpac’s Collaboration & Innovation Center demonstrates the company’s ongoing commitment to Monroe County by boosting the local manufacturing sector and providing top-quality jobs,” said ESD Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler. “Forward-thinking projects like this one, creating a hub in the region for global packaging design, will help to ensure a more sustainable future for New York.”

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

Geneva co-packing manufacturer to expand, create 21 jobs

Assured Edge Solutions, a custom vegetable processing and co-packing company, plans to grow its manufacturing operations at the Cornell Agriculture and Food Technology Park in Geneva. The initiative will create up to 21 jobs and retain 14.

“The Cornell Agriculture and Food Technology Park in Geneva, with its focus on agribusiness-related biotech research, has been instrumental in Assured Edge Solution’s continued growth,” said Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President and CEO Eric Gertler in a statement. “Their collaboration is a great example of what can be achieved when our top-tier universities partner with New York state businesses.”

Assured Edge will move from its current location on the campus into a new building that will begin construction soon, officials said.

ESD is assisting Assured Edge with the expansion project with up to $150,000 through the Excelsior Tax Credit Program. Ontario County and Greater Rochester Enterprise Inc. also collaborated on the project. The total project cost for the relocation has been estimated at $201,000.

The expansion of the second building at the technology park is being supported by a $1.47 million federal EDA grant and a $500,000 Consolidated Funding Application round five grant from ESD; both incentives were awarded to the Cornell Agriculture and Food Technology Park.

“We are very excited to be able to partner with Empire State Development to expand our operations as well as remain local here in the city of Geneva,” said Assured Edge President Dan Rao. “We identified the area’s need to have small to mid-size custom vegetable processing and co-packing capabilities and as a result, our company has grown significantly. We look forward to this next phase of growth.”

Assured Edge was founded in 2012 and produces custom ingredients and co-packs for a variety of customers. Operations range from raw ingredient processing to custom blend manufacturing. The company also partners to co-pack organic frozen vegetables for a major local retailer. Assured Edge has run the manufacturing operation at the technology park since 2017.

“As chairman of the Tech Farm Board and as the economic development director for Ontario County I am happy to learn of the state’s support for Assured Edge Solutions,” said Ontario County Industrial Development Executive Director Mike Manikowski. “AES, headed by its CEO Dan Rao, has been a tenant of ours for several years now. We welcome their growth and see them as an anchor tenant for Tech Farm 2. The innovative products that AES produces have added to the Finger Lakes agricultural bounty and provided good stable jobs for the city of Geneva and Ontario County. Working in partnership with the city, county and state, the Tech Farm continues to add new innovative ag, food and beverage businesses to our area.”

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

Premier Packaging to expand, add 37 jobs

Premier Packaging Corp. plans to move into a 105,000-square-foot, newly constructed facility in Wiregrass Business Park in the town of Henrietta.

The company, which provides paper board packaging to some of the country’s largest digital photofinishing, food packaging and medical device companies, also plans to purchase new machinery and equipment. Premier Packaging has committed to creating up to 37 new jobs as part of the expansion project, while retaining 52 jobs.

“The Greater Rochester New York region’s packaging assets and expertise, along with a competitive cost of doing business, made our community the perfect location for Premier Packaging Corp.’s expansion,” said Greater Rochester Enterprise Inc. President and CEO Matt Hurlbutt in a statement.

Empire State Development is assisting Premier Packaging by providing up to $700,000 in Excelsior Tax Credits in exchange for job creation commitments. Monroe County, Rochester Gas & Electric and GRE also will assist with the company’s continued growth. The total project cost has been placed at $6.2 million. Premier Packaging expects to be operational in the new space by the end of 2021.

Jason Grady
Jason Grady

“Premier’s continued success is the result of our team’s dedication and commitment to quality and customer care. Leading with this customer-centric approach has paved the way for expansion through new business opportunities and continues to strengthen our organization’s culture. We look forward to the next phase of expanding and investing in our products, service, and team,” said Premier Packaging President and DSS COO Jason Grady. “We are grateful to ESD for providing Premier with an opportunity to advance our business. As a multinational company we had several options when considering a new location, but with the help of ESD and NYS, we are fortunate to continue to call this area home. The Upstate New York and Finger Lakes region is an ideal place for us to operate our business, service our customer base and further expand our offerings.”

Premier Packaging was founded in 1989 and was acquired by DSS Inc. in 2010. DSS is a multinational company, operating businesses in consumer packaging, blockchain security, direct marketing, healthcare, medical real estate and securitized digital assets. Premier has been a market leader in providing innovative and secure solutions for consumer paperboard packaging for more than a quarter of a century.

“Henrietta has become a hotbed of printing technologies and production companies — often related to the printing degrees offered by RIT — thanks to innovative companies like Premier Packaging. We look forward to the day they open shop in one of the rapidly growing industrial portions of town and are excited that they chose our community for their continued growth,” said Henrietta Town Supervisor Stephen Schultz.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

Wayne County manufacturer to expand packaging lines, add 38 jobs

Flexible packaging firm ABX Innovative Packaging Solutions plans to grow its operations in Wayne County. The company will update its existing equipment, purchase new equipment and undertake infrastructure improvements to accommodate the expansion of its green solution flexible packaging manufacturing operation.

“We offer a unique suite of flexible, sustainable packaging options for customers in consumer, healthcare and specialty markets. Flexible packaging offers exceptional environmental benefits because it uses less energy and fewer resources than other forms of packaging,” said CEO Larry Goldstein.

The Macedon manufacturer will add six new bag lines and relocate a portion of its operations to another building located at the company’s Main Street campus. The upgrades will allow ABX to better serve its customers, including a global consumer products provider of personal care and paper products that has committed to making its products 100 percent recyclable.

“These investments will support our initiatives to drive continuous improvement, higher quality and the use of post-consumer recycled resins in our products,” said company COO Jeff Godsey.

The renovation work is expected to launch this spring with target completion by the summer of 2022. ABX has committed to creating up to 38 new jobs as a result of the expansion, while 378 jobs will be retained.

Empire State Development will support the project with up to $1.35 million through the Excelsior Tax Credit program in exchange for job creation commitments. The New York Power Authority, pending approval by its board of trustees on Tuesday, is supporting the expansion with more than 2.4 megawatts of low-cost power from the ReCharge NY program. Rochester Gas & Electric, Wayne County Industrial Development Agency and Greater Rochester Enterprise are also assisting the expansion project. The total project cost has been placed at a little more than $12.2 million.

“ABX Innovative Packaging Solutions’ growth is another example of the quality workforce in our region,” Wayne County Industrial Development Agency Director and CEO Brian Pincelli said. “ABX is recognized as an industry leader and their products are critical components of our supply chain and economy nationwide. ABX CEO Larry Goldstein recognized the culture, talent, and commitment of our workforce and we couldn’t be prouder to have them here in Wayne County.”

ABX, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, creates and delivers state-of-the-art innovative flexible packaging solutions, engineered and optimized for enhanced performance. ABX has roughly 900 employees nationwide. In addition to its Wayne County location, the company also maintains operations in Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana and Wisconsin.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

IEC receives incentives for new Jetview Drive facility

IEC Electronics Corp. will expand its operations through its purchase and renovation of an 86,000-square-foot facility at 50 Jetview Drive in the town of Chili. The move is expected to create 150 new full-time jobs.

IEC recently received approval for sales tax and mortgage recording tax exemptions from the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency (COMIDA) for the project.

“This significant investment by IEC shows Monroe County is competitive on a national stage and continues to attract interest from manufacturers and other businesses due in no small part to our highly-skilled and expert workforce,” Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said in a statement Wednesday. “Monroe County is a great place to do business, and I am proud to support the redevelopment of this space in the town of Chili. I thank IEC Electronics for recognizing our commitment to business growth and thank COMIDA for its continued support of this county’s economic expansion and advanced technology, engineering and manufacturing projects that utilize our proficient local workforce.”

Based in Newark, Wayne County, IEC provides advanced electronic manufacturing services to leading technology companies that produce life-saving and mission-critical products in the aerospace, defense, industrial and medical sectors.

Officials said the company considered several locations but opted to expand its footprint in the Rochester region, effectively establishing a Rochester-area campus with its new westside location at 50 Jetview Drive. The new facility will complement IEC’s brand new, state-of-the-art headquarters Newark.

IEC is eager to tap into a much deeper, highly qualified labor pool in Monroe County, officials added. Renovations are expected to begin this month and business operations are expected to begin by July 2021. Career fairs and hiring events are expected to take place in the April and May timeframe.

“Access to a talented workforce was a critical factor in IEC Electronics’ decision to expand in Rochester, N.Y.,” said Matt Hurlbutt, president and CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise Inc. “Greater Rochester Enterprise helped IEC Electronics connect with local partners, identify facilities and other resources to help accelerate the company’s growth plans.”

The new Jetview Drive location will become a dual-purpose facility, IEC President and CEO Jeffrey Schlabaum told the RBJ in October, 2020. IEC will move the 50 employees it has at its Emerson Street facility to Jetview, where it will ramp up its precision metals operation. Additionally, the company will establish an electronic assembly operation very similar to the work that’s being produced in Newark.

“We are very excited about the acquisition of an additional facility in Monroe County,” said IEC President and CEO Jeffrey Schlarbaum. “This location will serve to consolidate our specialty metals operation along with an expanded electronic assembly operation. We believe this facility will provide the ideal footprint and location to support our growing customer demand and more importantly, provide us access to a larger pool of qualified resources to support what we believe will be ongoing double-digit organic growth.”

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

GRE accepting applications for Economic Gardening program

Greater Rochester Enterprise Inc. is accepting applications for its expanded Economic Gardening program. The program is designed to accelerate business growth across the Greater Rochester region.

Nearly 200 companies have participated in the program to date, creating 1,625 new jobs and revenue growth of more than $340 million.


“We know that small businesses are the backbone of our economy, accounting for 15 percent of the companies and 40 percent of the job growth,” GRE President and CEO Matt Hurlbutt said in a statement. “GRE’s Economic Gardening program connects participating business leaders with the resources they need to generate increased revenue, create new jobs and thrive.”

The program serves private companies throughout the nine-county region and is the only one of its kind in New York state. It is designed to provide local companies with sophisticated, tailor-made technical assistance focused on improving sales and marketing efforts to drive revenue growth.

The program is offered at no charge to participating companies. All program costs are supported by ESL Charitable Foundation, GRE, Monroe County Industrial Development Corp., Rochester Area Community Foundation and the William and Sheila Konar Foundation.

“The GRE team has a long record of success bringing this national program to businesses in our region,” said Howard Konar, a trustee of the Konar Foundation. “The Economic Gardening program helps local businesses get the assistance they need to grow and we are pleased to support it.”

Participating companies must be for-profit and privately held, headquartered and operating in the Greater Rochester region, with between $1 million and $50 million in annual revenue. Companies must employ 10-99 people, demonstrate growth in employment and/or revenue for at least two of the past five years and provide products or services to markets outside of Rochester. Minority and women-owned business enterprises are encouraged to apply.

“We have doubled our investment in this program to ensure that entrepreneurial minority- and women-owned businesses can benefit from all that it offers to help them grow, create new jobs, and use all forms of marketing and social media more effectively,” said Simeon Banister, vice president of Community Programs at RACF.

Participating companies will work with a strategic research team to develop a plan to accelerate their success. Research teams are provided by the National Center for Economic Gardening, a national organization dedicated to supporting entrepreneurship.

“GRE runs one of the premier programs in the country, building Rochester’s economic future, one local company at a time,” said Chris Gibbons, the founder of the National Center for Economic Gardening.

Research teams will perform focused research to help companies:

• Identify qualified sales leads and tap into new and growing markets
• Leverage social media to connect with customers
• Improve online marketing efforts with search engine optimization and website analysis
• Analyze employee temperament to build strong management teams

“The Economic Gardening program is an innovative and highly effective tool that helps emerging businesses grow in Greater Rochester at no charge to them,” said MCIDC Executive Director Ana Liss. “The Monroe County Industrial Development Corp. is pleased to support this important business retention and expansion platform.”

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

Rochester to get new branding

A new effort is underway to build a greater story for the Rochester region.


ROC2025 — an alliance of Greater Rochester Enterprise Inc., Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce Inc., Rochester Downtown Development Corp. and Visit Rochester, as well as the city of Rochester, the State of New York, multiple county officials and higher-education representatives — has launched Greater ROC as a unified brand identity that represents the values of the Rochester region.

Greater ROC is designed to communicate the essence of the region to tourism, business, education, nonprofit, arts and culture, health care and other economic sectors locally and nationwide, officials said.

The initial launch includes a video that will be shown on TV and digital media, as well as a webpage, social media channels, public relations outreach and a toolkit for local organizations and individuals to support and promote the Greater ROC brand.

Joseph Stefko
Joseph Stefko

“The central message of Greater ROC is that Greater Rochester is more than a place and more than geography — and that ‘greater’ is actually what the region and its people are truly made of,” ROC2025 President and CEO Joseph Stefko said in a statement. “The brand embraces the region’s individual strengths to unleash its united potential, tapping the talent, ingenuity and positive energy of Rochester’s many voices, beliefs and experiences. It’s a collective spark that celebrates who, what and where this nine-county region is to ignite a new way forward and a new way of talking about Rochester, and boldly says that this is one region, many strong and made greater by all. It’s galvanizing, empowering, inclusive and about the growth of our community. This new platform boldly asserts — on the local and national stage — that ours is a region on the move.”

The branding was created following months of interviews and opinion gathering with more than 100 community members and leaders representing a broad cross-section of sectors and demographics about how the region identifies itself.

The Greater ROC initiative supports each of the five pillars that form the foundation of ROC2025’s collaborative model: coordinated capacity-building investments in business retention and expansion; talent strategy; business attraction; downtown growth; and regional branding/marketing.

“Developing a unified Greater ROC brand platform enables us to showcase the myriad assets that make the Greater Rochester, New York, region a competitive and attractive place for tourism, talent attraction, business attraction and retention,” GRE President and CEO Matt Hurlbutt said. “Together, we can amplify the highly skilled workforce, world-class universities and cultural arts that make our community a greater place to grow a business and raise a family than any other high-tech hub around the country.”

Greater ROC encompasses Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates counties.

“I see great strength in our region’s many voices and economic sectors sharing a single message to promote all of the outstanding features that make Greater Rochester an attractive place to live, work and play,” Rochester Chamber President and CEO Bob Duffy said. “With our laser focus on workforce development and talent attraction, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce is pleased to partner with stakeholders across the region to share the message that we are, indeed, ‘Greater’ ROC. I encourage the business community to join the effort as we take our region to new heights.”

One of the key inputs heard frequently during the development of Greater ROC was the importance of hearing from and actively seeking the participation of as many voices and points of view as possible, a concept that’s taken on even more importance given recent events — including the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing dialogue about racial inequity — that have put the collective strength of the region and the world to the test, officials said.

“Like Rochester itself, Greater ROC finds inspiration in our rich business and human tapestry, from farms and Main Street businesses of the Finger Lakes to corporations and startups in our urban center to everyday contributions made by people of all ages, colors, creeds and ethnicities,” RDDC President Heidi Zimmer-Meyer said. “Welcoming unique voices and spurring the movement that Greater ROC seeks to inspire will change how this region thinks about itself, and how the rest of the world thinks about Rochester. Greater ROC represents a totally new and different narrative.”

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

Monro expands offices, plans job growth

Monro Inc. is planning to renovate and add space to its Holleder Parkway headquarters, a move that is expected to add up to 26 jobs.

Empire State Development will provide up to $300,000 in support of the project through the Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit Program. The County of Monroe and Greater Rochester Enterprise Inc. also will assist with the company’s expansion.

Phase 1 of the construction is already underway and is expected to be completed later this summer.

“Monro Inc.’s decision to expand its Finger Lakes headquarters reflects the work we are doing to help established, successful companies grow and create jobs in this region and around New York State,” said ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky in a statement.

Monro has made a number of changes in the last two years. In 2017, the Rochester company underwent a name change from Monro Muffler Brake Inc. to Monro Inc. Later that year, Brett Ponton was named president and CEO, and in 2018 Monro rebranded and began the task of upgrading each of its roughly 1,200 stores.

Earlier this year, the company announced it had extended its footprint to the West Coast with the acquisition of California-based Certified Tire & Service Centers Inc., adding 40 retail stores in San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles, and a distribution center located in Riverside, Calif.

The company refers to its Rochester headquarters as its store support center. Phase I of the new project includes the construction of a 13,000-square-foot expansion on two floors of the existing location. The first phase will add 12 new offices and nearly 80 workstations.

Phase II will include the renovation of existing space to allow for the addition of 10 conference rooms and other enhancements aimed at attracting and retaining its workforce.

“As we continue to expand our footprint to include operations in 30 states, we are pleased to also expand our store support center with economic support from Monroe County and ESD,” said Brian D’Ambrosia, Monro’s executive vice president and chief financial officer.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

REDCOM to expand, add 20 jobs

REDCOM Laboratories Inc. plans to grow its Victor operations, adding some 20 jobs in the process.

Dinah Weisberg
Dinah Gueldenpfennig Weisberg

The company specializes in the design, manufacturing and assembly of circuit boards for secure communication solutions for commercial, military and government applications. REDCOM plans to update its facility to meet customer demand, adding up to 21 jobs over the next five years.

Empire State Development officials said 140 jobs will be retained. ESD will facilitate the growth with up to $300,000 in Excelsior Jobs Tax credits. The Ontario County Economic Development Corp. and Greater Rochester Enterprise Inc. also will provide assistance for the project.

“REDCOM is still going strong after more than 40 years in business in the Greater Rochester area,” company CEO Dinah Gueldenpfennig Weisberg said in a news release. “We are excited about the growth we see for our business and we look forward to contributing to the Upstate New York economy as we expand our local electronics manufacturing capabilities and the development of our workforce.”

REDCOM was founded in the family’s basement by Weisberg’s father and first CEO, Klaus Gueldenpfennig, with his wife, Brigitte, and five others. Weisberg was named CEO in December 2017.

“REDCOM senior leaders are expanding at their local facility in … Ontario County to capitalize on the highly skilled workforce available here, along with Finger Lakes Community College’s tailor-made workforce development programs,” GRE President and CEO Matt Hurlbutt said. “Combine the available talent with a low cost of doing business and REDCOM had the business case they needed to invest here.”

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

ON Semiconductor Corp. completes $6.6 million expansion

ON Semiconductor has completed a $6.6 million expansion at Eastman Business Park, a move expected to create 34 jobs and retain 185.
ON Semiconductor has completed a $6.6 million expansion at Eastman Business Park, a move expected to create 34 jobs and retain 185.

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. (Photo by Velvet Spicer)
Phoenix-based ON Semiconductor is focused on energy-efficient innovations in an effort to reduce global energy use.  (Photo by Velvet Spicer)

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.

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. (Photo by Velvet Spicer)
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. (Photo by Velvet Spicer)

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.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

Rochester and Buffalo to collaborate on Amazon HQ2 proposal

atoz-campaign-press-releaseGreater Rochester Enterprise Inc. will work with Invest Buffalo Niagara to entice Inc. to locate its second headquarters in the Buffalo-Rochester Metro Corridor.

The collaboration will give officials the opportunity to leverage both regions’ assets.

“As far as Invest Buffalo and Greater Rochester Enterprise, we’ve been working together for a number of years,” said GRE interim President and CEO Matt Hurlbutt. “We see this as a natural progression of working together and a unique response to the opportunity.”

In September, Amazon issued a request for proposals for a project related to site locations for the e-tailing giant’s HQ2. Amazon officials have said the new facility will employ as many as 50,000 staffers with an average total compensation of $100,000 annually. The project is expected to require more than $5 billion in capital expenditures.

InBn and GRE will present an urban campus opportunity for Amazon’s consideration, Hurlbutt said. The proposal is not being made public at this time, he added, and the choice between locating in Rochester or Buffalo will depend on Amazon and its selection process.

“It’s presenting a super-region to them; instead of competing with the Buffalo area, we’re going to be working with them,” Hurlbutt said.

Amazon has requested all proposals be submitted by Oct. 19.

“Over the years, some of the most innovative companies in the world have called Buffalo and Rochester home,” said Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown in a joint statement. “We look forward to seeing that pioneering history showcased in the proposal alongside the recent resurgence that our cities are experiencing, be it through notable downtown commercial and residential developments, tech and startup industry expansion and activity, affordable housing and good jobs, or the newfound urban vibe that has been attracting millennials and working professionals to the region.”

In its request for proposals, Amazon officials noted several prerequisites for its new headquarters. The company has a preference for a metro area with more than 1 million people; a region with a stable and business-friendly environment; an urban or suburban location with the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent; and a community that thinks big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options.

The Buffalo-Rochester proposal will feature dynamic site locations, information on the region’s existing and evolving innovation ecosystem and background on the area’s more than 60 colleges and universities, officials said. The submission will provide detailed responses to the various components of the Amazon RFP, while expounding on several potential proposal differentiators, including the region’s affordability and ease of travel.

“This collaboration demonstrates the undeniable connectivity that already exists between our two great communities,” said Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz in a statement.

Dinolfo and Poloncarz also noted the region’s highly skilled workforce, world-class colleges and universities and strong regional competency in radio-frequency identification, sustainable packaging, flight controls, drone technology, high-performance computing, software development and data analytics as capabilities that will help the proposal stand out.

Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

(c) 2017 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-363-7269 or email [email protected]