ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Kodak is committed to being the leader in the print industry and a good steward for the environment.
Eastman Kodak Executive Chairman and CEO Jim Continenza discussed the company’s vision and its home in Rochester Wednesday during our Greater Rochester Enterprise Why ROC conversation.
“Our plan as of today and going forward is to stay in Rochester,” said Continenza. “We’re committed to the community. It’s given a lot back to Kodak and it helped build the company into who we are today.”
Kodak has a global presence but remains drawn to the community where it was founded more than a century ago. “It’s not the weather!” Continenza joked. “But I’m going to tell you it’s the people. Our work group is excellent. Our associates, our people, our vendors, the employment base – the people – they’re smart, they’re loyal. It’s a community. And all of that comes through in what we make and what we develop here.”
The company continues to utilize and reimagine the vast resources at Eastman Business Park in Rochester. “To me that Park is one of the greatest developments in the world and I really mean that,” Continenza said. “We’ve been actually now, in the last couple of years, really repurposing it. We went from shrinking the business and shrinking the Park to now we’re repurposing assets in the Park. We make products there that are not made anywhere else in the world and that skill set resides there. It’s almost unlimited to what we can do.”
Continenza has been Kodak’s CEO since February of 2019. His passion for sustainable initiatives has become a cornerstone of the company’s path forward. “That’s extremely important to me,” he said. “We just recently put my views and the company’s direction – we stated our direction on social media just last week. I grew up in Minnesota, the Land of 10,000 Lakes, right? I grew up where you can actually hunt, fish, and almost drink the water so to me the environment is extremely important and we’re going to carry that forward. When we look at the printing industry, we’re committed to being what I would call the cleanest and most sustainable manufacturer in that space and I think we’re leading by example. When you look at the plates business, there are multiple chemicals that go into printing plates, and harsh chemicals clean that. We’ve invented – not only invented but have what we consider world-class, if not the best, Process Free Plates SONORA, which literally takes plates and just uses water, water! And more interesting enough is that the chemicals that allow us to do that are made in Rochester and only in Rochester. And our inks are water-based. They’re not oil-based. They’re water-based. We’re going to continue down that path. And even inside the Park – chemical recovery – we’re good stewards of the environment and anywhere and everywhere we can apply that stewardship we’re going to do that.”
Innovation and growth are fueling the demand for new employees. “We have over 50 openings in the Park today – 50!” noted Continenza. “And these are good jobs, good long-term jobs. They’re within the manufacturing group, they’re within some new development groups, and some engineering jobs. So we have some very good jobs and we encourage people to go to our website and come apply.”
Go to Kodak.com/go/careers for more information.
We also asked Continenza about Kodak’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s our coverage of that part of our conversation.
Continenza expressed gratitude to the City of Rochester and local universities for their ongoing support of the company. He has a steeled optimism about Kodak’s future. “When I stepped in this role I said three things – we’re going to bring Kodak back to the reputation it deserves – two, improve shareholder value – three, create jobs for the next generation – and that’s what we’re working towards.”
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