Economy and Business news

Xerox is cutting nearly three dozen trucking and loading dock workers at its Webster campus.

The company filed a notice with the State Labor Department stating that 35 workers will be laid off by the end of July.

These are unionized workers, and the company says that it usually outsources corporate trucking services at its other locations around the world, so it will be moving to that model in Webster as well.

The company does say that due to retirements and seniority bumping the actual number of layoffs may be lower.

Let's talk about economic development competitions.

This year, the Finger Lakes region has the opportunity to compete in two - the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, or the URI, and Round V of the Regional Economic Development Councils. The REDC is not a new concept, but its incorporation with the URI this year means there are plenty of opportunities for the Finger Lakes - and other regions - to get a piece of the pie(s).

 A 10-million dollar initiative designed to spur economic development in small towns and cities has named Webster as one of 50 quarterfinalists in the national competition.

It's called the America's Best Communities" challenge, and Matt Chatfield from the Webster Coalition for Economic Development says various corporations have made available a top prize of 3-million dollars in an effort to improve economic development within a community.

He says Webster has a lot going for itself.

Ginna Nuclear Power Plant

The New York State Public Service Commission is holding hearings next week about a plan that would allow for the continued operation of the Ginna nuclear plant in Wayne County. But it would cost consumers more money.

According to the PSC, the three-and-a-half year agreement would cost the average residential customer an increase of about $3.89  a month on their electric bill.

Alex Crichton

To help celebrate its 40th anniversary, Conifer Realty cut the ribbon Tuesday on its new headquarters in the Gleason Works Building on University Avenue in the city.

“What we do everyday and what we’ve been doing the last forty years is provide safe, decent, affordable housing for families in need,” said company CEO Tim Fournier.

CFO Tim Johnson  says they looked at 20 different locations, but found all they needed was at the Gleason Works Building.

Governor Cuomo has announced additional companies that will be joining the START-UP NY program. START-UP NY creates tax-free zones at colleges and universities for businesses that start, expand or move to New York. 

Cuomo says the 17 companies will create 343 jobs and join 93 businesses that already participate in the program.

Among the companies in the Rochester area that will take part in this latest phase of the program are three at the University of Rochester that will create a total of 59 jobs. All three are software companies.

The harsh winter put a damper on new home construction in the first quarter.

Chief Executive Officer Rick Herman says they couldn't get building starts into the ground because of the cold winter weather in January, February and March.

But he says last year's winter was also very rough, and new construction rebounded.

Herman says they expect an even larger adjustment this year, and there's plenty of activity in the marketplace.

There are a couple of name changes going on at Kodak Alaris. 

That's the company that was spun off from Kodak a couple of years ago. There are two basic divisions in Kodak Alaris and both are getting new names. What was called Document Imaging,  basically the scanner business, is now called  the Information Management division.

Dolores Kruchten is president of that division and she says the name change reflects the fact that the unit is not just selling scanners, it is also using software and services to help companies manage their information.

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The latest numbers from the New York State Labor Department show another drop in the local unemployment rate. The Rochester metro saw a jobless rate of 5.5 percent in March, down from 6 percent in February, and 6.4 percent in March of 2014.

State Labor Analyst Tammy Marino says there has been a steady decline in the number of people who are unemployed.

"The number of unemployed individuals fell by nearly six thousand during the past 12 months and this comes on the heels of nearly five years of uninterrupted job growth."

Oil & Gas Prices Rising

Apr 20, 2015
WXXI photo

Gasoline prices around Rochester have jumped about a nickel the past week, according to

Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan says as oil prices have risen the past week, gas prices are following.

He says there are a number of other factors, including a drop in domestic production, a smaller than expected build in oil inventories and the switchover to the summer fuels, especially in the northeast.

But gas prices now in Rochester, on average 2-dollars-59 cents a gallon, are still about a-dollar-20 lower than they were a year ago at this time.