The Rochester area is poised for economic growth in the year ahead. That's the assessment of Greater Rochester Enterprise. Matt Hurlbutt is president and CEO of that business development organization.
He says they worked on 115 projects last year, and currently they have 37 projects in the pipeline, involving either companies potentially coming to the area, or working to expand existing operations.
Hurlbutt says this presents an opportunity for hundreds of jobs coming to Rochester with millions of dollars of investment.
He says one reason companies are considering locating here is because of the talent base, particularly through the area's institutions of higher education.
“19 colleges and universities, over 84,000 students, 19,000; that bodes well for us as people look to talent to drive their future innovations as well as the fact that we are a lower cost area to do business, especially compared to those larger metropolitan areas,” Hurlbutt told WXXI News.
Hurlbutt says the Rochester area has strengths in a number of areas that is bringing interest by companies looking for a place to expand. He says that includes a strong talent pool with experience in areas like software and information technology, medical devices, and optics, photonics and imaging.
Even though recent Census numbers showed that New York is one of 9 states with decreasing populations, Hurlbutt says some of that may be due to people retiring who are leaving the area.
“We see a lot of activity in what some the millennial talent folks who are working, who have some experience and they want to have a great place to live, and a great place to raise a family and access all the assets that we have and we’re uniquely positioned for that,” Hurlbutt said.
He says the Rochester area actually has seen an influx of people in the 20 to 34 year old age range who are either moving to the region, or returning to the area after having moved away when they were younger.