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If Xerox Cuts Staff, How Does Rochester Cope?

Although there is a lot of concern among local employees and public officials about what the future may hold for area Xerox operations once the company is split in two, one expert says there sometimes can be a silver lining to the transformation of these large manufacturing companies.

Kent Gardner is chief economist at the Center for Governmental Research, or CGR, and spoke about the issue on Connections with Evan Dawson on WXXI on Friday.

He notes that even if there is downsizing, like has happened at Xerox, and Kodak and Bausch and Lomb in past years, often some of those people will start their own high-tech companies.

"In many cases when we've seen people leaving those big companies, what they have done is they have gone out and seeded other companies in the community and on balance, it's been positive."

Gardner says he is aware of a number of companies that have been started by former Kodakers.

Xerox has not yet talked specifics on any potential layoffs, but did say in its announcement it is hoping to see nearly two and a half billion dollars in cost savings over a three year period.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.