WXXI AM News

Initial Economic Impact of Photonics Hub Expected Over Next 3 to 5 Years

Mar 17, 2016

The head of a local business recruiting firm says the news that two photonics technology firms are coming to Rochester is the first of many such announcements we're likely to hear in the next three to five years.

Governor Cuomo announced yesterday that Photonica, which specializes in video display monitors, and Avogy, which makes chargers for laptops and other devices, will be relocating in Rochester as part of the photonics hub.

Mark Peterson, president of Greater Rochester Enterprise, is putting a finer point on the governor's estimate that the two companies will create 1,400 jobs.

"The individual companies will have lower job numbers than that, but what these companies will also bring with them are supply companies and other tools. And there's also a huge multiplier effect,” he said. β€œOne of these reasons why we're chasing these kind of high tech manufacturing jobs is that for every manufacturing job you create, rather than a service sector job, you create three to four additional jobs."

Peterson said the state's $40 million investment in facilities and equipment at the Eastman Business Park for the two companies is crucial because the firms would not be able to afford those costs alone at this stage in their development.

"I would just encourage to be patient and understand that it's going to take a while to ramp these companies (up),” Peterson said. β€œ It's great that they're coming; it's great that we're on a path, but now we're have to roll up our sleeves and do the real work of getting these companies ramped up creating the jobs."