Henrietta, NY According to governor Andrew Cuomo, Rochester Precision Optics will expand its headquarters, adding over 200 new jobs to the region. The company’s growth will accommodate two new projects—the relocation of an infrared research and development company from Florida acquired by Rochester Precision Optics in May, and the addition of 20,000 s/f at the facility to increase production in the company’s plastics, glass, coating, diamond turning and IT divisions. During the expansion, Rochester Precision Optics will retain the 275 jobs currently held at the John St. site.
The planned expansion is being supported through a $1 million Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative Grant, and up to $2 million through the Excelsior Tax Credit Program in exchange for job creation commitments. The project is expected to be completed in late 2021. Monroe County and Greater Rochester Enterprise also assisted with this project. The total project cost is over $20.4 million.
“By actively engaging with the private sector and incentivizing growth, companies like Rochester Precision Optics continue to expand their operations in New York, strengthening regional economies and creating good-paying jobs across the state,” governor Cuomo said. “This expansion project is a testament to the unique assets of the Finger Lakes and to the Finger Lakes Forward plan which is fostering innovation and transforming the region.”
Rochester Precision Optics began as the Optics Group at Kodak’s former Hawkeye manufacturing plant. In 2005, the business was purchased from Kodak and moved to the current facility in the Town of Henrietta. The company designs and manufactures high precision lenses and optic systems and more recently, has been expanding in the infrared products market including thermal imaging, medical devices and other equipment. The company offers a full spectrum of precision optical manufacturing including, Design and Engineering Services, Systems Integration, Optical Assemblies and Supply Chain Management and Overseas Sourcing among several other services.
Randy Shaw, president of Rochester Precision Optics said, “We are truly delighted to receive support from the State of New York along with the assistance and coordination from teams at Greater Rochester Enterprise, the Rochester Chamber of Commerce and the County of Monroe, in order to expand our operations locally. The Rochester area is a critical stronghold for optical science and innovation; support from New York State ensures that we will continue to innovate within the local optics community and keep Rochester manufacturing thriving.”
Empire State Development president, CEO & commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “The partnership Rochester Precision Optics has forged with New York State will not only create over 200 jobs in the Finger Lakes, but also demonstrates that the region is quickly becoming the epicenter for innovation thanks to the community’s highly skilled workforce.”
Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council co-chairs Monroe County Community College president Anne Kress and Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce president & CEO Bob Duffy said, “The continued growth of Rochester Precision Optics further builds on the economic momentum that we have worked so hard to create through Finger Lakes Forward. The plan is working to position our region as a global leader in advanced technology industries. We congratulate this successful company on its expansion which will provide high-quality jobs and careers for the highly-skilled workforce in our community.”
Town Supervisor Steve Schultz said, “We are very excited to see Rochester Precision Optics already expanding in Henrietta. It has been gratifying to see more businesses move in and expand within the town, often thanks to our low tax rate, strong commitment to helping businesses in town, and the close proximity to RIT and the talented graduates they add to our community. And it is personally gratifying as I worked in the industry for 30-years, including working with the Kodak Hawkeye group from which they’ve grown. I look forward to seeing their expansion plans, the new jobs it will bring to the area, and the infusion of collateral business as those 200 employees eat or shop in town.”
Matt Hurlbutt, president and CEO, Greater Rochester Enterprise said, “The GRE team connected Rochester Precision Optics to the right local resources to help them make an informed decision about where to expand their operations. Our regional industry strength in optics, photonics, and imaging, coupled with a highly skilled workforce and affordable cost of doing business convinced Rochester Precision Optics leaders to expand their business in the Rochester, NY region.”