Rochester Senator Joe Robach on hand as Sandy Parker of the Rochester Business Alliance and Unshackle Upstate introduced their New ERA Five Point Plan for Upstate this week. This plan outlines ways to combat high unemployment rates and burdensome taxes. Senator Joe Robach and his colleagues in the NYS Senate and have already included some of these points in last year’s Blueprint for Jobs Plan, and look forward to working with Unshackle Upstate to continue to renew job growth and business development in New York State.

According to Rochester City Newspaper:

During a press conference this morning at the Rochester Business Alliance offices, Unshackle Upstate executive director Brian Sampson said that fracking could create 12,000 to 15,000 jobs in the Southern Tier. And a press release from Unshackle says that fracking would generate approximately $78 million for the state in 2014-15. (The job creation figures and economic benefits of fracking are often viewed skeptically, in part because many of the jobs go to workers from outside the areas where drilling is happening.)
“We think it’s time for New York to get off the dime and develop the Marcellus Shale through hydraulic fracturing,” Sampson said.
Unshackle Upstate is also calling for:

-A 25 percent reduction in income taxes for upstate residents making less than $50,000 a year;
-Phasing out the corporate franchise tax by 2018;
-Halving the state sales tax in upstate counties that have high unemployment rates and declining populations;
-Eliminating the 18a energy assessment for upstate manufacturers — a move that would lead to slightly cheaper energy costs for manufacturing businesses.


This week, Rochester Senator Joe Robach applauded Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announcement that NOHMs Technologies Inc. is locating its pilot nanoscale battery materials manufacturing facility at Eastman Business Park (EBP) in Rochester creating jobs in the Rochester area. The project is receiving $1.5 million from the Governor’s Regional Economic Development Councils initiative, and is expected to create more than 100 new full-time scientific, technical, operations and manufacturing jobs in the next three years. The project is expected to be completed in February 2014, and will convert 8,000-square feet of excess office and lab space at the Park’s Building 320 into a research, development and advanced manufacturing facility for lithium sulfur battery materials and battery cell prototypes.

As part of the project, NOHMs, which stands for Nanoscale Organic Hybrid Materials, is partnering with the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium (NY-BEST) and its BEST Test and Commercialization Center, also located at Eastman Business Park. The Finger Lakes REDC has identified the creation of a cluster of cleantech businesses at the Eastman Business Park as its top regional economic development resource, and the NOHMs announcement is now the second involving an energy storage company with plans to locate to the Park.

In July, Governor Cuomo announced a $23 million private-public investment toward the creation of the BEST Test and Commercialization Center. Under a partnership agreement with NY-BEST, DNV KEMA Energy and Sustainability, a Netherlands-based energy consulting company will invest in the Center and move its energy storage testing capabilities from Pennsylvania into Building 308 at EBP. The BEST Test and Commercialization Center was a key reason NOHMs chose EBP for their research and manufacturing operations. The Center provides access to testing and prototyping equipment to help energy storage manufacturers accelerate the development and commercialization of new technologies and products.

NOHMs will be working to commercialize its light-weight electrode and electrolyte materials, which will supply more than twice the energy at half the cost of battery materials currently used in mobile devices, electric vehicles, military and stationary grid storage products, according to NOHMs. Incorporated in 2010, NOHMs is relocating seven full-time employees to the new site.

Funding for the $2.6 million product development and manufacturing facility includes $1 million from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) for NOHMs’ pilot manufacturing facility and a $500,000 performance-based grant for the NY-BEST prototyping capabilities, intended to be located at RIT, from Empire State Development (ESD). The ESD funding commitment is linked to NOHMs’ job creation targets.

“I applaud NYSERDA and ESD for investing in this project and helping to bring more jobs to our community,” said Senator Joe Robach. “NOHMs Technologies is exactly the type of company that will help the Eastman Business Park re-invent itself as one of the preeminent industrial parks in the country.”


Rochester Senator Joe Robach passed along his congratulations to Ines Antonetti-Ferrer, owner of Ines’ Casa de Hair, for receiving the 2013 Hispanic Business Person of the Year award at yesterday’s Rochester Hispanic Business Association annual Gala Luncheon. This truly is a milestone achievement for Ines, thank you for all that you do for our community. Joe Robach believes the job Ines Antonetti-Ferrer has done for her community is truly worthy of this honor.

Ms. Antonetti-Ferrer was recently interviewed by the Rochester Hispanic Business Association:

Q: When did you open your business?
A: I opened Casa de Hair in February of 2003 after working with my sister at the Upper Cut for 17 years. I recently purchased ny building a 1 year and half ago with the help of the city and my fiancé.

Q: Most people are afraid to start their own business? What gave you the courage to do it?
A: As a hair dresser that is always your dream… “Owning your own salon. “ Several things held me back but then there comes a time where you are either going to make this change or I am going to stay tied. I went through a divorce and I decided to make a break and start clean.

Q: What was the hardest part of running the business
A: It’s about control. Hair is like fashion, its always changing, new styles and products. I caught myself spending too much on new products. I decided I had to choose the companies and products I liked and stick to them I looked at my bookkeeping and saw I spent $50k to S60k on new products. I’ve always been good at managing the finances but as a woman I love to shop and having that license to buy was something I had to learn to manage.

Q:Have you had a mentor as a business owner?
A:I have had many, but the one that has helped me the most and given me lots of ideas, is Al Burgos. I’ve also had a lot of professional woman come and sit in my chair and encourage me. God also guided me to do this. I went to church one Sunday and the theme was “it is time to do it and take fear away.” With my faith, strength and mentors I did it. I would never would have expected I would become the Hispanic Business Person of Year because I just work. I just work hard and I want to have a respectable business.

Q:If you where to give a person thinking of starting a business one piece of advice, what would it be?
A:Go for your dreams. Go for it. Make your plan. At the time I had a good relationship with the manager of the Downtown Marine Midland Bank and he asked me if I had a business plan. I said, “ No, I have a clientele.” You have to guarantee that you have at least a $1000 a week in clients that are going to come to you. And make sure your rent is not too high so even if you make the minimum of your plan you can make the rent. Go slow within your means.

Q:How would you compare working for someone else versus working for yourself?
A:I worked for my sister for 17 years and she was one of mentors. Another was Elliot Clemons of Chic Impressions; he was the first salon I ever worked with. I like working for other peoples because you can learn from them. I like working myself better because you are free to do what you want. When you are working for someone else you are following their dreams not yours. I also worked at the McCurdys salon. I’ve had my license since I was 18 and I’ve learned a lot along the way.

Q:Any tips on hiring?
A:It is kind of hard to find people that are willing to learn and fast. Just yesterday I spoke with a young lady who went to school and never bothered with the license. I find that many didn’t follow through with that. Many also come in and want to start their own business. I love to teach, I also volunteer at REOC at the cosmetology program.


This past week, Senator Joe Robach was joined by his colleague Mike Ranzenhofer as they spoke to the Gates Chili Chamber of Commerce to discuss some of the exciting things we’re doing in State government to grow business and create jobs in New York. Senator Robach spoke to the Senate’s priority to get back to making New York work. Over the past year, Senator Robach had supported many policy ideas such as 14 regulatory reform bills to identify and eliminate thousands of costly and unnecessary government regulations that inhibit job creation and drive up local property taxes.

The regulatory reform initiative creates a Berger Commission-style Task Force. The panel will have extraordinary power to review state rules, regulations, and public authorities and make recommendations for the repeal of ones that are determined to be unnecessary. The Task Force recommendations would be binding unless they are rejected by the Legislature. According to Joe Robach, the package is designed to create a more competitive environment for businesses so they can create new jobs and grow for the future. Along with the need to deliver relief from high taxes, burdensome and unnecessary regulations continue to be a major obstacle when it comes to revitalizing New York’s economy.

Senator Robach also reminded those in the audience about the upcoming public hearing on regulatory reform and biotechnology jobs on Tuesday, October 15 from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. This hearing will be held at the Monroe County Office Building Legislative Chambers (4th floor, Rm. 406), 39 West Main Street, Rochester, NY 14614.


New York State Senator Joseph Robach and the members of the Senate Majority Coalition announced today that they will be hosting a public hearing on regulatory reform and biotechnology jobs on Tuesday, October 15 from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. This hearing will be held at the Monroe County Office Building Legislative Chambers (4th floor, Rm. 406), 39 West Main Street, Rochester, NY 14614.

The hearing is part of a series of industry-specific public hearings sponsored by the Senate Majority Coalition and will discuss the impact of the biotechnology industry and its growth in Upstate New York. The October 15 hearing will give NYS Senators the opportunity to hear from business and local officials, and learn which rules, regulations and mandates affect the biotechnology industry.

The Senate Majority Coalition is conducting public hearings across the state as part of its bipartisan effort to identify and eliminate the most costly government regulations and mandates that impede business and job growth, and drive up local taxes.

Senator Robach stated, “The highly skilled nature of bioscience jobs, and their growing demand, has surpassed the wage growth of private sector jobs, so it is our best interest to do whatever we can to help this new industry thrive in Rochester and Upstate New York. There are many ways to do this, but it all starts with eliminating the bureaucracy and red tape preventing job growth.”

According to the New York State Biotechnology Association, bioscience annually contributes $8.4 billion in New York’s economic output, generates more than $3.75 million in annual wages and contributes more than $500 million in New York taxes. Although New York State is considered a major bioscience employer, there are still areas that require further development if it is to be considered fully competitive. Many industry leaders believe they must build alliances among regional bioscience industry organizations, academia, the government and real estate and financial communities to create and enact policy that will strengthen the growth of New York’s biotechnology industry.


Rochester Senator Joe Robach joined U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, Rochester Mayor Thomas Richards and Pike Company Chairman and CEO Tom Judson and Windstream President and CEO Jeff Gardner in officially celebrating the completion of the Seneca Building’s reconstruction and the creation of jobs on the property. Pike invested $19 million to redevelop the building for Windstream and other prospective tenants.

The project was the first private development to take hold on the Midtown Rising site after Windstream acquired PAETEC Holding Corp. two years ago. With Pike’s reconstruction of the 109,000-square-foot former Seneca Building now complete, Windstream will house its employees on two of the building’s three floors, comprising 66,667 square feet. Windstream also will maintain an office in Perinton. The third floor of the Seneca Building, comprising 37,000 square feet, is still available for lease. Pike Chairman and CEO Tom Judson said he hopes other companies will follow Windstream’s lead and consider the Midtown Rising site.

New York State provided $55 million for the Midtown Rising project, $44 million of which was used for the asbestos remediation and demolition of six buildings covering more than eight acres that make up the Midtown site. Construction work is under way on the underground service tunnel and 1,800-vehicle underground garage. Above ground, a new street grid, sidewalks and lighting are under way as is construction on the other development parcels and the public space with the remaining $11 million grant from New York State.

The total investment in the Midtown Rising Project, including acquisition, relocation, demolition, infrastructure, rehabilitation of the garage, the redevelopment of the Seneca Building, and more recently, investment in the Midtown Tower site, is more than $181 million.


Earlier this month, Rochester Senator Joe Robach joined Mayor Tom Richards, Dave Young of the Building and Construction Trades Council and other City and State officials at the Port of Rochester to announce that the City is now seeking a firm to begin construction on the exciting Marina project. This project will create 2,500 construction jobs and 300 permanent jobs, and will be a catalyst for future development.

As a native of Charlotte, this project is near and dear to Senator Joe Robach’s heart and is something our community can look forward to. This was a great day for the City of Rochester and Charlotte. This is merely that latest step in the continual revival of Charlotte and the Port of Rochester. In addition to many of the longstanding staple business’ on Lake Ave., such at Mr. Dominic’s, Abbotts Frozen Custard and The Char-Pit and the Lake Ontario Beach Park with the Roger Robach Community Center, the old fast ferry terminal has become one of the City of Rochester’s most popular places for expanding commercial interests. With Pier 45, Cheeburger Cheeburger along with many community events occupying this space, the best days for Charlotte are yet to come.

One of the most successful tenets at the Port of Rochester is appropriately California Rollin’. Owner and Master Sushi Chef Tom Beaman Sr. opened the first sushi bar in Western New York in 1994, winning numerous awards and honors for their creative culinary creations. California Roll’ is known as one of the first restaurants to “Americanize” sushi to make it more tantalizing and appealing to the tastes of Americans. The Beaman’s opened their first Rochester area sushi bar at the Public Market in 1990 before the opening of the original California Rollin’ location at Village Gate in 1994.

Joe Robach Joins LG Duffy to Annouce Solar Jobs to Come to Rochester

Senator Joe Robach joined Lieutenant Governor Bob Duffy to announce that SUNY’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) will revitalize a vacant Kodak cleanroom building in Rochester by transforming it into a first-of-its-kind CNSE Photovoltaic Manufacturing and Technology Development Facility (CNSE MDF) for crystalline silicon photovoltaics, part of a $100 million initiative that will attract solar energy jobs and companies to the Greater Rochester Area. This effort also includes the acquisition and relocation to the CNSE MDF of the assets of a solar manufacturing company formerly located in Silicon Valley.

Senator Robach stated, “Today’s announcement continues to build on Rochester’s long and proud history of being a leader of innovation and invention throughout New York State. I applaud Governor Cuomo’s decision to invest in sustainable green technology that will enhance the productivity and health of New Yorkers, while creating quality jobs and helping to improve the lives of people in the Rochester community.”

The first initiative as part of the project will relocate a critical component of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SunShot initiative from California’s Silicon Valley to Upstate New York, positioning New York as the recognized national leader in accelerating the development and use of solar energy nationwide.

Renovation is underway to transform the 57,000-square-foot building at 115 Canal Landing Boulevard in the Canal Ponds Business Park, which was formerly occupied by Kodak’s MEMS inkjet facility before it closed last October. The initiative will enable more than 100 high-tech jobs and includes the fitting up of a state-of-the-art, 20,000-square-foot cleanroom. A late fall opening is anticipated.

The CNSE MDF will attract solar industry companies to New York to access a state-of-the-art resource that will dramatically reduce the cost, time, and risk associated with transitioning innovative solar technologies from research to commercial manufacturing of crystalline silicon photovoltaics. It will also play a critical role in the national effort to develop a strong PV manufacturing industry, and serve to accelerate the introduction and use of solar energy in homes and businesses across the country.


The New York State Senate and Joe Robach passed 14 regulatory reform bills today as the first part of a major initiative, that includes statewide public forums, to identify and eliminate thousands of costly and unnecessary government regulations that inhibit job creation and drive up local property taxes.

The regulatory reform initiative, which was first announced last week by Senate Republican Conference Leader Dean Skelos and Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeffrey Klein, is highlighted by the creation of a Berger Commission-style Task Force.  The panel will have extraordinary power to review state rules, regulations, and public authorities and make recommendations for the repeal of ones that are determined to be unnecessary.  The Task Force recommendations would be binding unless they are rejected by the Legislature.

According to Joe Robach, the package is designed to create a more competitive environment for businesses so they can create new jobs and grow for the future.  Along with the need to deliver relief from high taxes, burdensome and unnecessary regulations continue to be a major obstacle when it comes to revitalizing New York’s economy.

In addition to legislation creating the Berger Commission-style Task Force, the Senate Majority Coalition approved 13 bills today, including legislation that would:

> Establish a task force to conduct a complete review of the State Administrative Procedure Act (SAPA) and regulatory review process; > Eliminate 1,000 burdensome regulations on businesses; > Give the Senate’s Administrative Regulations and Review Commission more oversight authority in the rulemaking process to ensure state agencies do not overstep their authority in implementing rules and regulations; > Stop unfunded state mandates on local governments and school districts; and > Require state agencies to provide more information on the costs and benefits of new rules. The following bills were approved by the Senate today: (S5519A, Sponsored by Senator Griffo) Establishes an 11-member, Berger Commission-style joint Task Force to perform a review and make recommendations relating to the necessity for each rule, regulation and public authority.  The Task Force would be established every 10 years, beginning in 2014, to review current rules, regulations and public authorities.  The panel would make recommendations the following year to eliminate rules and regulations it deems unnecessary. The Task Force recommendations would be binding, unless the Legislature rejected them, all or in part, by concurrent resolution. (S5657, Senators Gallivan, Marchione and Carlucci) Creates a 19-member joint task force to undertake a thorough review of the 142-page State Administrative Procedure Act (SAPA) and regulatory review process since the Governor’s Office of Regulatory Reform has been disbanded for over two years.  This law, which sets out the process used by state agencies to establish rules and regulations, was enacted in 1975 and since then, there has been no comprehensive review of the law. (S5166, Senator Marchione) Directs the Governor to repeal at least 1,000 regulations that place a burden on economic development and business by April 1, 2014. This measure was included in the Senate Republican’s “Blueprint for Jobs” economic development plan earlier this year. When this process is complete, the Berger Commission-syle Task Force will begin its own review of existing rules and regulations. (S1294, Senator Griffo) Prohibits state mandates on local governments and school districts unless they are fully funded by the state.  (S5161, Senator Marchione) Gives the Administrative Regulations Review Commission (ARRC) more oversight authority in the rulemaking process and would give ARRC the authority to bring suit against an agency for a regulation that is in violation of state law. (S3462, Senator James Seward, R-C-I, Oneonta) Proposes a constitutional amendment to allow the Legislature to invalidate regulations that are not consistent with legislative intent or which are likely to have a substantial unanticipated fiscal impact on the state or local governments.  (S1564, Senator Kenneth LaValle, R-C-I, Port Jefferson) Requires the Regents to include certain information with respect to increased costs when altering or amending rules or regulations.   (S4302A, Senator Patty Ritchie, R-C, Heuvelton) Streamlines the license application and renewal process for supermarket chains and other food chain stores. (S5536, Senator George Maziarz, R-C, Newfane) Provides new incentives to facilitate the extension of existing natural gas lines to under-served businesses and consumers to spur economic development and job creation. (S5553, Senator David Valesky, D, Oneida) Requires state agencies to provide expanded information on the costs and benefits associated with an agency proposal. (S1784, Senator Carlucci) Amends SAPA to authorize a group of businesses that are regulated by a state agency, or a representative of such businesses to petition a state agency for alternate methods of implementing a regulatory mandate that restricts the conducting or management of a business. (S3246, Senator Carlucci) Facilitates electronic submission of documents by allowing state agencies to substitute affirmations for sworn oaths in permit applications. (S3245, Senator Carlucci) Eliminates the requirement to provide free hard copies of the State Register to entities that opt to receive a free online version instead.

For more information on this or any other jobs initiative, contact the office of Joe Robach.


Joe Robach recently applauded the Governor for announcing that more than 18,000 teens will have jobs this summer through New York State’s Summer Youth Employment Program.  Finding jobs for Rochester’s youth has been a long initiative of Joe Robach.

The State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) has distributed $25 million in funding to all 57 counties and New York City to help bring youth into the workforce, acquire skills that can help them improve in school, and propel them to greater educational and career achievements.

Youth ages 14 to 20, whose families are recipients of public assistance, or have a family income below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or $38,180 for a family of three, are eligible.

The funding can be used to subsidize wages, to support education and training activities, counseling and employment-related services, such as transportation to and from work or training. Youth interested in participating can contact their local department of social services.

OTDA Acting Commissioner Kristin M. Proud said: “Jobs are crucial to help teach teens responsibility, good work habits, budgeting and how to cooperatively accomplish goals in a business setting. Governor Cuomo enthusiastically supports the Summer Youth Employment Program because every year it gives employment opportunities and skills to teens who seek a brighter future.” For more information on this jobs initiative, contact the office of Joe Robach.