Greater Rochester Enterprise President & CEO Mark Peterson discussed last year’s successes and the economic outlook for 2017 in our Why ROC conversation Wednesday on News 8 at Sunrise.
“There were several big accomplishments this past year,” said Peterson. He cited the $80.5 million award presented by the State to the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council. Peterson also noted the eight GRE project wins in 2016, including American Packaging, Intergrow, Maximus, Klein Steel and Seisenbacher Rail Interiors. Combined the eight projects represent $238 million of new capital investment, creation of nearly 2,500 jobs and the retention of 182 positions.
“We provided them with a one stop shop approach to economic development,” Peterson said of GRE. “We’re a no-cost intermediary that provides business leaders with access to the resources they need to expand in the Greater Rochester region.”
Peterson also commented on the recent news that Photonica will not join Rochester’s AIM Photonics hub. He said he remains bullish on photonics in our community, especially with the December announcement that Eastman Business Park will serve as the testing, assembly and packaging facility.
Peterson is excited as he looks forward to 2017. “Right now we have 28 active projects,” he said. “These projects represents a total of $1.5 billion of new capital investment and creation of 3,621 potential new jobs, if each of these projects comes to fruition. We’re seeing a significant stream of activity from companies in the industry sectors that are real strengths for our region, most notably food and beverage production, advanced manufacturing and energy.”
There are a number of factors that give GRE an advantage when cultivating local economic development. “Availability of skilled labor is at the top of the list when site selectors evaluate where to place a business expansion project,” Peterson noted. “Rochester has a strong pool of talented people available at a competitive wage. This enables us to compete with major innovation hubs such as Boston and San Jose for projects. We’re also in a strategic location – close to major markets such as New York City – without the high cost of a major market.”
To learn more about Greater Rochester Enterprise, visit the GRE website, click here.