GRE anticipates strong 2019

Local News

Greater Rochester Enterprise expects more new jobs will come to the region in 2019.

GRE President & CEO Matt Hurlbutt discussed the trend Wednesday during our Greater Rochester Enterprise Why ROC conversation on News 8 at Sunrise.

Hurlbutt began with a look back to a successful 2018. “We had what we call 20 project wins last year, which means that we’ve had 20 companies that we either brought to the region or helped them expand in the region and they announced over 1,500 new jobs and the retention of over 2,600 jobs in the area of the companies that we helped expand,” he said. “So, a very good and busy year for us.”

Several high profile expansions highlight the local growth. “Bausch + Lomb’s investment of a hundred new jobs is big, and then we look at companies like LiveTiles and Employee Channel which are new to the region that are expanding,” said Hurlbutt. “LiveTiles has a $17 million investment, 500 new jobs planned. Employee Channel is going to hire about 30 and I think they could very well move past that. And then we’ve got companies like Optimax and Rochester Precision Optics expanding, and IEC Electronics and Cantel Medical also expanding in the region, so that’s great.”

Hurlbutt explained the messaging GRE uses to help companies put down roots or expand locally. “It goes back to talent. It’s an outstanding community. We’re a college town. It’s the colleges and universities, as well as the research assets we have, and it’s an easy place to do business. It’s easy to connect with those university assets as well as company to company and we’re in close proximity to markets, and a lower cost of doing business from those major metros.”

When it comes to 2019, Hurlbutt said, “I always like to think that we can surpass the prior year. We did that when you look at 2018 to 2017, so I’m always hopeful we can do that. We’re working on a project now that is confidential – Project Hawk – that has 500 new jobs potentially, as well as Project Cosmo which is another 70 new jobs, and a project called Lion that has about 20 new jobs – again, competitive with other states like Ohio, as well as cities like Boston, San Francisco and other tech hubs – but I really believe that we’re going to win those deals and we have many more that are coming on board as well.”

A big part of GRE’s focus is enabling companies to make important local connections. “We have a tagline we like to talk about – we connect you to the right people and the right resources to help your company expand in Rochester – and we are really one phone call away from an expert that can help you with everything from economic incentives, to workforce talent, research and development, supply chain and even legal matters a company may be working through, as well as – obviously – financing for the company’s expansion,” Hurlbutt said.

To learn more about Greater Rochester Enterprise and its economic development efforts, visit

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