Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that Rochester Precision Optics will be adding to its facilities on John Street in Henrietta.
The company actually began as the Optics Group at Kodak’s former Hawkeye plant, and in 2005 it was sold and moved to Henrietta. Rochester Precision Optics makes high precision lenses and optic systems, including work on products like night vision equipment.
The company’s president, Randy Shaw, says they do work for both the military and commercial sector, and they have already seen their workforce increase rapidly in the last year or so.
“Military is obviously growing…but commercial is keeping pace; so companies like autonomous vehicles, all need optics. So we’re tapping into a lot of new products that are being developed at this point in time,” Shaw told WXXI News.
Rochester Precision Optics currently employs 275 people. Shaw says that increase of 200 jobs will be spread out over the next five years.
Shaw says this area has a wealth of talent, some of which is being cultivated through the high schools and colleges.
“Rochester is pretty much the center of optical expertise across the country and for our business, this is the perfect place to be.”
As part of their expansion, Rochester Precision Optics is also relocating a research and development business it was operating in Florida, bringing it back to Henrietta.
For their more than $20 million expansion project, the state is providing a $1 million grant and up to $2 million in tax credits in exchange for job creation commitments. Monroe County and Greater Rochester Enterprise also are helping with the project.