Greater Rochester Enterprise President & CEO Matt Hurlbutt discussed GRE’s outlook for 2018 during our Why ROC conversation Wednesday during News 8 at Sunrise.
Hurlbutt began by providing an update on the Rochester and Buffalo bid to lure Amazon’s second headquarters to the region. The joint proposal was submitted to the tech giant last fall. “We’re waiting to hear back,” he explained. “It’s really in the company’s hands now and we do understand they are reviewing every application they got, which I give them credit for. They’ve had 238 applications. And we’re very hopeful because we meet many of the key points that they need, great talent, low cost, close proximity to markets and a great quality of life.”
Just last week Fortune reported Rochester was among the top 10 cities for people placing bets on where Amazon will land. Last fall, Moody’s Analytics reported that Rochester is among the most ideal locations for Amazon’s HQ2. This publicity is helping fuel new initiatives for GRE as well.
In the past GRE has effectively used public/private partnerships to attract business and jobs to the region. That will continue this year. “I think it’s one of our keys to 2018, is even improved collaboration amongst all of our parties, the business community, university leadership, talent development, political leadership as well as the folks who help us do our job in the academic development realm,” Hurlbutt said.
He envisions a prosperous new year for GRE. “I think there are a lot of things going on across the spectrum. We’ve got great technology. We’ve got great people in this community, and an interesting thing people are looking at coming back to New York, alumni from our colleges and universities, so that gives us an advantage on talent. And then we’ve got growing sectors across food and beverage, optics, photonics and imaging, great research and development as well as private companies that are expanding who are here, and they’re helping us spread the word. We’ve gotten a lot of great leads from folks who have been in Rochester, are in Rochester and doing business outside of the area who have connected us with companies that we’re talking to right now about expanding.”
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