ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Optimation Technology is joining forces with Re:Build Manufacturing to bring more manufacturing capacity back to the United States.

Optimation President and CEO Bill Pollock discussed the partnership Wednesday during our Greater Rochester Enterprise Why ROC conversation.

“Re:Build Manufacturing is a pretty new company,” Pollock said. “It’s the brainchild of a man named Jeff Wilke and several of his friends who go together. Jeff until recently was the CEO of Amazon Commerical — so that included Prime, Whole Foods, Alexa, and some others. He got this idea that if he left there he could start U.S. manufacturing and rebuild some of the manufacturing infrastructure that’s disappeared over the last 20 or 30 years. They raised a lot of equity and they have been buying some high-tech manufacturing firms.”

That process led the entrepreneur to Rochester. “They found Optimation because we’re all about ‘Made in America’ but we also have designed, fabricated, and built a lot of different manufacturing companies — some for venture firms just starting up and some for senior companies that have been around for a long time like Kodak, Corning, 3M, and so forth,” Pollock said. “The idea is that we will be supporting automation and improvements and upgrades to their existing companies and other companies that they add to the family. At the same time, we’ll continue to look out to other companies that are our present clients and continue to work with them. We anticipate that we’ll be doing a lot of building new plants for total manufacturing of a variety of products that will be decided should be made here in the U.S.A.”

The timing for this venture comes as the U.S. is facing major supply chain issues, resulting in longer delays in products reaching their destination. The goal, according to Pollock, is to help eliminate those delays.

“Obviously, in the beginning, it’s going to be slow, but we can see — first of all — from COVID last year there were essential and critically important pharmaceutical and medical things that we just couldn’t get because of the supply chain issues. And now it’s pretty much anything,” Pollock said.

“You want to buy a washing machine, you want to buy a car — a lot of stuff you cannot get in a short time frame any longer and so there are more and more suppliers, manufacturers who would like to have products made here, at least part of the product made here so you can have a shorter supply chain and a less expensive supply chain. So that’s the essence of the goal and it seems more achievable than it has in the last decade or so because so much stuff is moving offshore for a long, long period of time.”

New ownership will bring changes to Optimation, but Pollock said those changes will benefit local workers. “Re:Build Manufacturing is doing this for the long-term,” Pollock said. “What they have now renamed as Re:Build Optimation Technology is in a much stronger position and we really do need to expand and hire more employees. There have been no layoffs with this transition. They’ve improved the benefits – more vacation, a better 401(k), those kinds of things — with the intent of rewarding the employees we have but also in terms of recruiting. So at this point, we are looking for tradesmen, electricians, pipefitters, and welders — anything in the industrial trades.”

“At the same time, we’re looking for engineers, project managers, electrical engineers, control engineers, chemical engineers, and machine design engineers because we can see a rapidly expanding opportunity,” Pollock said. “That’s what it means for Rochester and for the Optimation employee base.”

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