Optics manufacturer invests in Henrietta facility, to add 23 jobs

Optics manufacturer Viavi Solutions Inc. is growing its operations in the town of Henrietta, following the acquisition of RPC Photonics last year.

Empire State Development officials said the company would create up to 23 jobs and retain 44 at the new, 30,000-square-foot plant on John Street. The expansion is expected to be completed in February.

“The Finger Lakes region is home to talent-rich companies like Viavi Solutions that continue to expand and create good-paying jobs here, reflecting New York State’s strategic investment in business expansion and regional growth,” ESD Acting Commissioner, President and CEO-Designate Eric Gertler said in a statement.

In May, Imagine Monroe, the county’s industrial development arm, said it had approved incentives for real estate holding company 1050 John Street LLC to construct the building for Viavi. Viavi also received a sales tax exemption on purchases of construction materials for furniture, fixtures and equipment totaling $3.05 million, while 1050 John Street receives JobsPlus property tax abatement, sales and mortgage recording tax exemption on the construction of the $4.55 million building.

The total project cost was estimated at $7.85 million and Imagine Monroe at the time had said it would create five positions over three years.

The new facility replaces the current 17,000-square-foot plant, providing the needed infrastructure for enhanced product development and manufacturing, officials said this month. The additional space will include the construction of a state-of-the-art ISO Class 5 cleanroom.

“RPC Photonics was acquired by Viavi in order to expand our offerings in the 3D sensing space and to leverage its resources in adjacent sectors,” said Luke Scrivanich, Viavi’s senior vice president and general manager for optical security and performance products business. “We look forward to expanding and modernizing our capabilities in Monroe County. This area is renowned for its talent in optics technology and we expect to continue to recruit and hire from the local colleges and universities.”

Viavi focuses its operations on the optical security and performance products business in high-performance custom optics by providing light management solutions for the consumer electronics, automotive, industrial, government and anti-counterfeiting markets.

ESD agreed to provide incentives of up to $400,000 through its Excelsior Jobs Programs in exchange for job creation commitments. Greater Rochester Enterprise also was instrumental in ensuring the company would expand and grow here rather than moving its local manufacturing operations to the company’s facilities in Asia, officials said.

“Being located near two nationally ranked research universities, each with an emphasis on different portions of the photonics industry, Monroe County, and especially Henrietta, is a prime location for a photonics company to expand operations,” Henrietta Town Supervisor Steve Schultz said in the statement. “We are very glad that Viavi recognizes the strength of our area and is willing to invest in the acquisition of RPC Photonics and the expansion of their facilities, which will include the creation of an additional 23 jobs in the industry.”

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