Economy and Business news

A new report card gives New York failing grades for much of its infrastructure.

The New York Council of the American Society of Civil Engineers has issued its first report card on infrastructure, giving the state an overall grade of "C-."

But while the state received a grade of "B-" for parks and solid waste, New York's roads and bridges were graded "D-" and "D+," respectively.

ASCE Rochester section president Sam Anthony  says one answer is getting Congress to come to come to an agreement on the Highway Trust Fund, which expires in a month.

The latest Paychex | IHS Small Business Jobs Index continued to show slow, steady growth in employment at companies with less than 50 people around the country, but the numbers are still weaker for the northeast, including New York State.

In terms of jobs created by small businesses, New York ranked at the bottom of the list on a state-by-state basis.

Paychex CEO Martin Mucci tells WXXI News that  by comparison, other areas of the country are just doing better right now in sectors like housing and construction. J

AARP has released the results of a survey showing that both Baby Boomers and people from Generation X face some major problems saving for retirement.

Statewide, 52 percent of all private sector workers surveyed said they did not have access to any kind of retirement savings plan through their employer.

Annual Philanthropy Awards in Rochester

Sep 24, 2015

The Rochester Area Community Foundation presented its annual philanthropy awards today, recognizing people who make a difference in our community.

Nick Robfogel, a long-time attorney who chairs the Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation, received the organization's top honor, the Joe U. Posner Founders Award.

"If you don't have a feeling of giving, you don't understand what the needs are of our overall society. And it's clear that there are a lot of people who are not as fortunate as most of us are."

Michelle Faust / WXXI News

Nearly a billion dollars will be invested in the Rochester area over the next several years.

That was a point made by speakers at the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation meeting on the State of the Economy that was held Tuesday.

That money includes about $600 million from the photonics initiative, which involves a technology that uses light and optics in a number of high-tech applications and electronics.

The latest numbers on unemployment for the Rochester saw more improvement.

The jobless rate for the metro area in August was 4.8 percent, down from 5.6 percent a year ago.

State Labor Analyst Tammy Marino says we have been seeing consistent improvement in these numbers in recent months.

"The unemployment rate here in the Rochester area has finally returned to a more normal level; typically for the month of August the unemployment rate tends to average around 5 percent, so at 4.8 percent currently we've finally fallen below that long term historical average."

Alstom, the French multi-national company whose local operations include a facility in Hornell, is expected to be selected by Amtrak for a $2.5 billion contract that would create about 400 jobs in Hornell, and potentially another 350 across New York State.

That according to Senator Chuck Schumer who visited Steuben County today to announce that the Amtrak Board of Directors is expected to select Alstom as the train provider for a program to build next-generation high-speed trains.  The trains would operate on the Northeast Corridor.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  A new poll finds that New York voters support raising the state's minimum wage to $15 per hour. 

The poll released Friday by Quinnipiac University found 62 percent of voters supporting a phased-in increase. Thirty-five percent of the respondents opposed the idea. 

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling on the state Legislature to approve a $15 minimum wage. The administration has already approved a phased-in $15 minimum for fast-food workers. That didn't require legislative approval.

Plans are moving ahead with the effort to establish a photonics operation in the Rochester area after Governor Andrew Cuomo  announced a plan on where the various parts of that project would be located.

Cuomo  was brought into the discussions after a public squabble last month over whether the headquarters for the operation should be located at the Sibley Building, or Legacy Tower, the former Bausch and Lomb Building. 

University of Rochester

After wrangling over where the new headquarters for a new photonics institute will go, the announcement was made by Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday  that it will be at Legacy Tower, which is the former Bausch and Lomb building.

There was a public squabble last month over whether that headquarters should be located at the Sibley Building, or Legacy Tower, and eventually, University of Rochester President Joel Seligman and SUNY Polytechnic Institute President Alain Kaloyeros issuing a joint statement indicating they would be working together on coordinating the photonics efforts.