Rhapsody in Rochester
From the Desk of the Editor in Chief
We get invited to numerous economic development tours, and we try to get to as many as we can.
Our recent visit to Greater Rochester reminded us that most locations are not standing stillâ€”they are busy reinventing themselves. As expected, the friendly towns and scenic lakes of Upstate New York were pleasing to the eye. But the real eye-opener was the scope and diversity of the economic activity.
Our tour began at Barillaâ€™s huge plant in Avon, where we saw a fully automated food-processing line extruding, cutting, drying and packaging some of the 100,000 tons of pasta that is produced at the plant annually. A rail spur brings grain from North Dakota and Canada directly to the plant, where it is offloaded into silos housed in a 10-story-high structure that looks like a standard box of ziti.
A few hours later we were taking a hydrogen-powered Chevy Equinox prototype for a test drive at General Motorsâ€™ Fuel Cell Activities Center. We are pleased to report that we didnâ€™t blow up, the vehicle was incredibly quiet, and the exhaust was water vapor. (For a full report, visit our blog at www.businessfacilities.com.)
Next, we were treated to a virtual tour of Kodakâ€™s 800-acre Eastman Business Park, which boasts prime available industrial space complete with its own energy supply. Soon after, we were looking at some world-class optics at the University of Rochester Medical Center, just a part of Rochesterâ€™s sprawling higher-ed complex. Later, we indulged in some tasty samples from the regionâ€™s up-and-coming vineyards.
We thought we had seen everything, but when we got home we realized there still was one more gem to admireâ€”a CD of Gershwinâ€™s masterpieces, performed by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.