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Rochester Precision Optics (RPO), Empire State Development and Monroe County today announced that RPO will invest $10.7 million to expand its Henrietta, New York facility, retaining 144 jobs and creating 151 new jobs. ESD has committed a $750,000 capital grant, while the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency (COMIDA) provided a property tax abatement through its JobsPlus program.
Previously known as Kodak Optical Imaging Systems, RPO manufactures optical components and assemblies used in wide variety of commercial, military and industrial systems. It provides its customers with high precision, optical components and subassemblies and specializes in producing glass molded aspheres utilizing proprietary technology that was previously developed at Kodak. RPO also has facilities in New Hampshire and in Shanghai, China, and did consider out-of-state locations for this expansion.
Noting that the company appreciates the support it has received from ESD, Monroe County and the numerous business leaders who have helped grow its business over the past five years, RPO President and CEO William Hurley said: “Our growth is the direct result of the hard work and dedication of our tremendously talented workforce. We will continue to invest and expand capacity as necessary to meet the increasing demands of our highly valued customers.”
“New York State is a leader in optics and imaging and we are committed to maintaining and expanding businesses in this industry,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. “Companies like Rochester Precision Optics see the value in our highly-skilled workforce, manufacturing base and existing infrastructure. ESD is pleased to have played a role in securing RPO’s future in New York and looks forward to the company’s continued growth.”
“Rochester Precision Optics’ tremendous success illustrates how our economic development programs positively impact companies and the local economy,” said Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks. “The incentives offered by COMIDA five years ago were instrumental in keeping RPO in Monroe County and they’ve continued to grow, invest and create jobs. We thank them for their continued commitment to our community.”
RPO has completely filled its building in West Henrietta and is branching out into other related businesses. For example, RPO now makes molded plastic components and assemblies for its line of lenses and does assembly work in-house. Based on the company’s substantial growth, it has decided to expand its 64,500 square foot facility by adding an additional 43,000 square feet of new space, including clean room space.
RPO’s business operation was once a unit of Eastman Kodak, which decided to eliminate its Rochester based optics manufacturing capabilities in 2005. When Eastman Kodak announced its plans to close this business, RPO purchased its assets, relocated them to its new facility in Henrietta and rehired critical staff. It was at that time that ESD provided RPO a $400,000 grant and inclusion into the Empire Zone Program in exchange for the creation of 75 jobs. RPO currently employs 144 people in Rochester, almost twice as many jobs as were promised.
About Rochester Precision Optics
Rochester Precision Optics was formed in 2005 when it acquired the manufacturing technology, intellectual properties and assets from Kodak Optical Imaging Systems. RPO is a leading optics manufacturer providing components and full optical systems to both defense and commercial markets. Its commercial markets are served by their facilities in Rochester, NY, Londonderry, NH and Shanghai, China. RPO has over 75,000 square feet of modern optical manufacturing space and specializes in leveraging its aspheric optics capabilities to provide lightweight and affordable optical sub-systems.
About Empire State Development
Empire State Development is New York’s chief economic development agency and administrator of the statewide business resource portal New York First (www.NYfirst.NY.gov). The mission of Empire State Development is to promote business investment and growth that leads to job creation and prosperous communities across New York State. ESD also oversees the marketing of “I LOVE NY,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Empire State Development, visit www.esd.ny.gov.