Why ROC: State of Rochester’s Economy


Greater Rochester Enterprise and the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation will host The State of Rochester’s Economy on October 13 at the Radisson Riverside Hotel in Rochester.

Mark Peterson, President & CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise, and Heidi Zimmer-Meyer, President of the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation, discussed the event and Rochester’s economy Wednesday in our Why ROC conversation.

“I think we’re doing great, actually,” said Peterson of the most recent progress report submitted to the State from the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council.  “The progress report showed an enormous number, over the 90 percent of the projects that have already been funded in the past, are on track and on schedule, and so that’s a great accomplishment.  We really are moving forward.  There’s some tremendous opportunities out there, great things happening, but we still have pervasive poverty in our inner city and in some of the rural communities, and so our big initiatives now are going to be really focused on how do we keep the ball rolling with corporate expansions and recruitment, but also how do we really address the disparity in our economy, and make sure everyone benefits from our growth.”

The State of Rochester’s Economy begins at 8:00 a.m. on October 13 with an expert panel of presenters.  “I think we’ve got a heck of a lineup this time,” said Zimmer-Meyer.  “We’re starting off with Gary Keith, the Senior Economist at M&T Bank.  He kind of speaks plain English in terms of being an economist, so he does a super job, and he’ll lay out how Rochester’s economy, the region, is stacking up against the State and the nation, so we get some sense of where we sit.  The other key folks involved in this are our largest employer, Joel Seligman who is the President of the University of Rochester, and then we’ve got Karen Benjamin who is representing the Small Business Council, and then Mark – Mark Peterson here – will talk more globally about what’s happening in terms of our strategy and the like, so, we’ve got some interesting questions on tap, some of them will be somewhat controversial – how do you feel the changes in the minimum wage are going to impact us here in this region, the recent indictments and what impact that will have on the Photonics momentum.”
Peterson said from his view at Greater Rochester Enterprise, there’s plenty of reason to feel good about what’s ahead for the region’s economy.  “I’m excited about the pipeline we have at GRE,” he said.  “We have over 25 active projects right now, and those projects particularly are centered on some of our key industry pillars that we talked about in our Upstate Revitalization Initiative – agriculture and food processing, and next generation manufacturing and technology – those are two key segments for us, lots of progress going on there, some very exciting new companies that we’ll be announcing shortly, so yeah – we’re pretty excited about what’s happening in the pipeline.”
Zimmer-Meyer said the registration deadline for The State of Rochester’s Economy is Friday, October 7.  For more information and to register online, click here.
For more information about Greater Rochester Enterprise, click here.

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