Tech, innovation and advanced manufacturing are coming to New York State and growing here, thanks to a deep and diverse talent pool and to a statewide, strategic approach to economic development that is building the innovation economy and creating jobs all around the state. From Amazon and Bausch and Lomb to Datto and Velan Studios, this fall’s company announcements are a mix of national and global companies growing in New York and New York-grown companies expanding both at home and beyond.
Amazon’s NYC HQ Home: Amazon announced earlier this month that it has chosen Long Island City, Queens, as the site for a new corporate headquarters. The headquarters will create 25,000 good-paying jobs–with an average annual salary of more than $150,000–over the next decade, with potential growth of up to 40,000 jobs over the next 15 years. The project, the largest economic development project in NYS history, is projected to deliver $186 billion in economic impact over the next 25 years and includes plans for onsite workforce training, publicly accessible waterfront space and infrastructure improvements as well as a new school. An environmental review, planning, design and approvals process will include public meetings and a Community Advisory Committee advisory body to the project.Bausch + Lomb Expanding in Rochester: The global eye health company plans to grow its contact lens manufacturing business in Rochester and the addition of production lines that support manufacturing of the company’s disposable silicone hydrogel daily wear contact lenses. This month’s announcement noted that the company, which currently employs more than 1,000 people at its North Goodman site, is expected to begin expansion of that facility later this year. The growth of the Rochester site will create 100 new jobs.
Applied Materials and NYS Advancing R&D: Applied Materials, a leader in materials engineering, is partnering with New York State to establish the Materials Engineering Technology Accelerator (META Center)—an advanced R&D facility for high-tech research and further growing the Capital Region as a global materials engineering research hub. ESD and the State University of New York (SUNY) announced the public-private partnership earlier this month. ESD will provide a five-year, $250 million capital grant for the SUNY Research Foundation to purchase and install tools at the facility, on the SUNY Polytechnic Institute campus in Albany. The partnership is an inaugural project for the recently announced New York Center for Research, Economic Advancement, Technology Engineering and Science (NY CREATES). Applied Materials will pay more than $100 million in leases to develop the facility, part of their $600 million investment in the campus. Applied’s venture capital arm will also co-invest $20 million with partners to support early-stage businesses in Upstate New York.
IDEX Health & Science Optical Center of Excellence: The Finger Lakes region’s growth as an optics, photonics and imaging hub is building with this month’s opening of IDEX Health & Science’s new Optical Center of Excellence in Henrietta, which will support the company’s life science, semiconductor and defense businesses. The company made the decision to grow in the Finger Lakes rather than move out of the area, meaning retention of 186 jobs and creation of at least 34 new full-time jobs. IDEX Health & Science installed high-tech machinery, clean room space and equipment at the new 100,000-square-foot-site as part of its expansion project.
Wayfair’s Southern Tier Opening: Leading e-commerce retailer Wayfair has opened a sales and service center in Big Flats, Chemung County, with plans to create up to 450 new full-time jobs ranging from management to service. The company renovated a vacant building at Corporate park and held its grand opening last month. The Boston-based company, founded by two Cornell University graduates, employs more than 9,700 people worldwide.
Dutchland Plastics Grows in NY: The country’s leading contract manufacturer of custom rotationally molded – or “rotomolded” – plastics products officially opened its new 50,000-square-foot facility in the Village of Canastota in Madison County last month. The company, headquartered in Eastern Wisconsin, makes products for the recreational, food and beverage and marine industries, from coolers to canoes. The Central New York expansion will create at least 42 new full-time jobs over the next two years and retain 23.
Studco Building Systems Expands North American HQ: The specialized state-of the-art ceiling systems manufacturer is planning to double its current facility in the Town of Webster in Monroe County, adding an additional 56,000-square-feet. The company, founded in Australia more than 40 years ago, established its North American headquarters in the Finger Lakes, at Webster’s Boulder Industrial Park, in 2005 in order to better serve U.S. and Canadian customers. The expansion project, announced last month, is expected to create up to 18 new jobs over the next five years and retain 62.
Velan Studios Grows Video Games in the Cap Region: Video game developer Velan Studios, whose creative staff has created hundreds of games selling millions of copies over the past 25 years, is expanding its Troy operations. The startup, founded in 2016, announced in September that it will fit out approximately 7,600 square feet of space with equipment for the expansion, which will incorporate an open concept supporting collaboration and innovation. Velan Studios will invest more than $630,000 in the expansion, creating at least 49 jobs over five years, and building on the Capital Region as a growing industry cluster for video game development.
Datto Grows in Rochester’s Innovation Zone: Founded in 2007, by RIT graduate Austin McChord, the global leader in backup and disaster recovery services and business management now has 22 offices and more than 1,400 employees around the world. In September, the company announced its $5.25 million expansion to five floors inside The Metropolitan in Rochester’s Downtown Innovation Zone. All of Datto’s 225 Rochester employees are now working in the new location, and the expansion will lead to at least 350 high-tech jobs at the site. The announcement dovetailed with the Governor’s announcement of a new $25 million Finger Lakes Forward Venture Capital Fund, providing early-stage capital investments for startups in high-tech industries.