Corning Incorporated to Invest $139M in Rochester, NY

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced support for Corning Incorporated’s investment to grow its operations in Western New York. The company will expand operations at two Monroe County locations, aimed at meeting demand in the rapidly growing semiconductor market and supporting increasing stability in this vital supply chain. Corning’s expansion efforts will create over 270 new jobs at its Village of Fairport location, which is scheduled to be completed in 2024. This will include the expansion of its administrative and manufacturing facilities, as well as the establishment of a Development and Engineering Center of Excellence nearby. Additionally, the company will equip a new Laser Optics production facility at Jetview Drive in the Town of Gates, which is targeted for completion in 2023.

“Corning has been an important part of the fabric of New York State manufacturing for nearly 170 years as a global leader in specialty glass and ceramics,” Governor Hochul said. “I am proud to support the company’s investments in Monroe County as we demonstrate New York’s continued commitment to fostering the growth of innovative businesses that will move our communities forward and further cement New York as the national hub for semiconductor manufacturing.”

Corning elected to grow the footprint of its Advanced Optics business in the Finger Lakes region since it is globally known as the optics, photonics, and imaging (OPI) capital of the world. It is home not only to the AIM Photonics Testing, Assembly and Packaging facility, but to the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and to over 100 local OPI companies. The region has the skilled workforce, technology base, support network, and resources to optimally launch and grow OPI businesses.

Corning’s investment comes at a crucial time when there is a global shortage of semiconductors or “chips,” which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the start of her administration, Governor Hochul has stressed the importance of ensuring New York State’s role in developing a robust ecosystem in advanced manufacturing.

Wendell P. Weeks, Corning Chairman and CEO said, “Semiconductors are fundamental to virtually all technology we interact with today – from smartphones, to cars, to household appliances. Corning has helped advance the semiconductor industry for more than 50 years, and our expansion will continue to keep us well positioned to support nearly every step of the chip manufacturing process as we respond to growing customer demand. We’re grateful for Governor Hochul’s ongoing support and appreciate that she has made investing in and strengthening semiconductor manufacturing a priority.”

Headquartered in Corning, New York, the company is a large employer in New York with more than 7,000 employees across the state and approximately 62,000 worldwide.

Empire State Development is assisting Corning with the planned expansion by providing up to $5 million in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Tax Credits in exchange for the job creation and investment commitments. Monroe County and Greater Rochester Enterprise are also assisting with the projects. The total project cost for the expansion at both facilities has been placed at $139 million.

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “Both Corning and the Finger Lakes Region are synonymous with innovation, and this latest investment and expansion project reflects the company’s historic commitment to New York State and Monroe County. Companies like Corning can clearly see the strength of the region’s optics industry, as well as the state’s leadership in semiconductor manufacturing. That powerful combination is further fueling a tech ecosystem, supported by a highly skilled and talented workforce, that is creating long-term economic growth and opportunity.”

Senator Chuck Schumer said, “270 new, good-paying jobs and a historic $139 million investment by Corning will supercharge Monroe County, positioning the Finger Lakes as a continued global leader in laser optics and further cementing Upstate New York as a semiconductor manufacturing hub. Rochester’s powerhouse workforce is second to none and ready to build the future of American manufacturing. I applaud Corning Inc. for this major investment that will help drive Monroe County and America’s economic future in tech manufacturing. Rochester is unquestionably already a world leader in the optics industry and this new expansion will lay the foundation to create more jobs, to better secure U.S. supply chains, and to boost the country’s competitiveness for years to come.”

Senator Kirstin Gillibrand said, “This $139 million investment is incredible news for Monroe County. Corning’s expansion of its operations will create hundreds of jobs and bolster semiconductor production right here in New York as chips are desperately needed on a global scale.”

Representative Joe Morelle said, “The optics and photonics industry is critical to maintaining our area’s position as leader in global innovation. I’m grateful Corning has chosen Monroe County for this expansion which will not only strengthen our growing high-tech economy but also create hundreds of jobs locally. I appreciate Governor Hochul’s leadership and look forward to our continued work together to create jobs, grow our skilled workforce, and bolster our region’s economic growth.”

State Senator Jeremy Cooney said, “I am excited to welcome Corning Incorporated into the Town of Gates. As a global, innovative employer, Corning is well-suited to meet the growing needs of the semiconductor industry while fostering economic growth in our region. I am grateful to Governor Hochul for supporting more good-paying jobs in Greater Rochester as a world-renowned leader in optics.”

Assemblymember Harry Bronson said, “I applaud the team at Corning Incorporated for their commitment to our region. Today’s announcement by the company and Governor Hochul shows that the Rochester area has a strong, diverse, and skilled workforce and is in an economic position to create jobs for the future. I look forward to Corning Incorporated growth and the addition of new jobs at two Monroe County campuses.”

Assemblymember Jen Lunsford said, “We are so proud to be home to one of Corning’s world class advanced optics facilities. Corning’s Fairport office performs critical work and provides first class training to create the workforce we need to continue our leadership in the field of optics. The unique skill set of our region’s workers makes this an ideal community to expand into and I am thankful that Corning shares that view. These new jobs in Fairport will provide greater opportunities for our community to grow!”

Assemblymember Demond Meeks said, “As a state representative serving both the Town of Gates and the City of Rochester, I am grateful to Corning Incorporated for delivering meaningful investments to the members of our community. Their expansion reaffirms our enduring legacy as a center for both cutting-edge innovation and leadership. As we work towards revitalizing our city, we must continue to provide well-paying jobs and meaningful careers for the people of Greater Rochester. I want to thank Corning Incorporated for demonstrating its continued commitment to our residents and families for generations to come.”

Assemblymember Sarah Clark said, “I commend Corning for their commitment to Monroe County, recognizing the strength of our region. The Greater Rochester area is primed to support this type of growth, with our flagship universities and our investment in creating a skilled workforce. Thank you Governor Hochul and Empire State Development for your leadership and support to grow our local economy.”

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said, “Corning Inc. is an iconic corporation with a long history of cutting-edge innovation and leadership. Corning clearly recognized the benefits of growing its operations in Monroe County, an area recently named as the place best positioned to jump-start our nation’s innovation economy. Our region’s 19 acclaimed colleges and universities ensure we offer the highly skilled and talented workforce needed to meet the demands of today’s high-tech optics, photonics and imaging businesses. I thank Corning Inc., Governor Kathy Hochul and Empire State Development for their continued investment in our local economy.”

Village of Fairport Mayor Julie Domaratz said, “The Village of Fairport is thrilled that Corning Incorporated has chosen to expand operations here. This project will bring new jobs and opportunities to our community and supports the Village’s vision of being a special place drawing people to live work and visit – Fairport on the Rise.”

Patricia Nilsen, President and CEO of New York State Electric and Gas and Rochester Gas and Electric said, “We are excited to further our long-standing partnership with Corning Inc. by supporting the Company’s expansion in Monroe County and the hundreds of jobs it brings to the area. We are deeply committed to the communities we serve throughout New York, and the talented, highly skilled workforce that resides here makes it a prime location for innovative companies to call home. NYSEG and RG&E and our economic development team stand ready to support this type of innovation and growth.”

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO and Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair Bob Duffy said, “Unparalleled talent, technology, and resources combine to make the Greater Rochester/Finger Lakes region a global epicenter of optics, photonics, and imaging innovation – and the perfect location for Corning Inc. to expand their cutting-edge operations. We thank Corning’s Chairman and CEO Wendell P. Weeks, his team, and our partners in government and economic development for helping to bring these two exciting projects to fruition.”

Matt Hurlbutt, President and CEO, Greater Rochester Enterprise said, “Corning’s expansion in the Greater Rochester, NY region is due to the growing demand for the company’s optical solutions in the semiconductor industry. As the world leader in optics, Rochester, NY, was the perfect location for Corning to find the highly skilled talent and optical training programs necessary to support its business growth plans.”

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