In this WXXI Business Report, news of 3 local companies adding jobs:

-Expansion at Thermo Fisher Scientific.

-Li-Cycle, a battery recycling company, is expanding at Eastman Business Park.

-ProAmpac, a maker of flexible packaging is adding jobs and facilities in Ogden.

Also, the latest monthly job growth figures from New York state for the Rochester metro (which show the ongoing negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic)


An Ogden packaging company is expanding, adding up to 40 jobs. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced this week that ProAmpac is building a 25,000 square-foot addition to its existing facility on Manitou Road.

The Collaboration & Innovation Center will focus on packaging development and design and will also host regional and global packaged goods companies and vendors for events and training.

Cincinnati-based ProAmpac is investing $8 million in the center. The company focuses on flexible packaging which includes items like bags, pouches, plastic film and paper.


An expansion by the German-based corporation Henkel will bring another 180 jobs to Geneva.

On Thursday, Henkel announced a nearly $23 million investment in its North American manufacturing facilities. The expansion includes new equipment and other improvements for additional production of Dial liquid hand soap and hand sanitizers in Geneva and also at Henkel’s site in West Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

About $17.3 million of that investment will be for new equipment at the Geneva plant to support production of Dial hand sanitizers and foaming hand wash.

Summer jobs are not what they used to be. Statistics show that far fewer teenagers are working summer jobs. There's a ripple effect on the economy and future employment prospects, and it's also a change in the culture.

Our guests examine the impact of this change:

  • Rainesford Stauffer, freelance writer, and author of the forthcoming book, "An Ordinary Age"
  • Chloe Maloy, rising junior at World of Inquiry School, and lifeguard for the City of Rochester
  • Ari Fybush, rising senior at Brighton High School
  • Z Marvin, rising senior at Brighton High School and part-time employee at Dunkin' Donuts

NEW YORK (AP)  New York state will apply for a federal program for unemployment money now that the state won't have to come up with additional funds to cover a portion of what the Trump administration had originally proposed, state officials said Friday.

Since "the federal government has blinked and will no longer make states provide funding they do not have, New York state will apply for the Lost Wages Assistance program," Budget Director Robert Mujica said in a statement.

WXXI photo

The latest numbers on job growth in New York state continue to show the negative impact of the coronavirus.

Since the end of the Great Recession several years ago, the job growth numbers in the Rochester metro and much of the state, generally have seen gains in the monthly statistics released by the New York Department of Labor.

But with the shutdowns caused by the pandemic, that scenario saw a big shift in the last couple of months.

New York Department of Labor

The latest monthly unemployment numbers are out from the New York State Labor Department, and the Rochester region saw a steep increase in the jobless rate in April, as did many regions around the state.

The unemployment rate for the Rochester metro was 14.9% compared to a 3.7% unemployment rate a year ago.

The number of unemployed people in the Rochester area rose by more than 55,000 over the last year, to nearly 75,000 individuals who were unemployed last month.

Statewide, the unemployment rate in April was 14.5%.

WXXI photo

Recent numbers from the New York State Labor Department show a big downturn in jobs in the Rochester area.

While that’s not a surprise, given the pandemic, one local expert sees some hope for the future.

The monthly job numbers for the Rochester metro and most of the state have shown consistent job growth for several years. But that trend ended in April, with the arrival of the coronavirus, which shuttered many small businesses.

In the latest WXXI Business Report, it looks like the economic downturn could last a bit. A Cornell University economics  professor says that it may take up to a few years for the economy to return to pre-pandemic levels.

Plus, local and regional amusement parks are still closed due to the pandemic, but they are looking at how they might safely open up again when they get the ok.

Also, if you're looking for a job, Spectrum is hiring 'virtually' in the Rochester area.


Jared Valentine used to own a restaurant, and he has marketing experience, but in recent years, he’s been working gigs whenever he can get them. 

After he lost his seasonal job in Zagster’s operations department due to the bike-share company leaving Rochester, he found himself looking for work immediately. 

He recently answered an ad for a per diem position called "COVID relief" with Rochester Regional Health. He said he wanted to pitch in on the front lines of the pandemic. 

His interview started with a phone call.