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Schumer Says Corning Will Expand It’s Fairport Advanced Optics Center & Construct A New Laser Optics Production Facility In The Town Of Gates To Grow Upstate NY’s Booming Tech Ecosystem

Senator Has Been The Leading Champion To Expand Rochester’s Optics Industry And The Domestic Chip Supply Chain, Paving The Way For Corning’s Expansion

Schumer: Corning Incorporated Investment In Greater Rochester Optics Industry Will Bring Eyes Of The World Onto Upstate New York For Future Of Tech Manufacturing

Longtime champion of Rochester’s optics industry, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced that Corning, Incorporated will invest $139 million in Monroe County and create over 270 new, good-paying jobs in the Finger Lakes region. Schumer said that Corning is both expanding its advanced optics administrative and manufacturing facility in the Village of Fairport and building a new state of the art Laser Optics production facility in the Town of Gates.

“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,” said Senator Chuck Schumer. “I applaud Corning 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.”

Specifically, with the $139 million investment, Corning will expand operations at sites in Fairport and Gates within Monroe County to produce equipment needed by major semiconductor manufacturers to expand their chip production output. Corning’s semiconductor and optics products are embedded and critical at nearly every step of the chip manufacturing process from Metrology Instruments to Laser Optics used for the precision assembly of semiconductor chips and more.   Through this expansion, Corning will add over 270 new jobs at its advanced optics facility in the Village of Fairport which is currently being expanded. Corning will also establish a new laser optics production facility in the Town of Gates by the end of 2023.

Schumer said that Rochester and the Finger Lakes is already a world-renowned hub for the optics, photonics, and imaging (OPI) industry.  The Rochester Finger Lakes region is a global optics powerhouse, with over 150 advanced OPI companies employing an estimated 17,000 local workers. The region is also home to University of Rochester’s (UR) Institute of Optics, the UR Laboratory for Laser Energetics, AIM Photonics, Rochester Institute of Technology, Monroe Community College’s (MCC) Optical System Technology Program, and more. Schumer said that Corning’s investment will spark the further growth of this in-demand industry locally. Schumer has long helped advance Rochester’s optics industry.  In June 2021, Schumer helped deliver a five year $34 million grant from the Department of Defense for the Rochester-based American Center for Optics Manufacturing (AmeriCOM) to ensure the DoD has a secure and robust domestic supply chain for our nation’s optical technology needs. AmeriCOM’s activities include supporting the growth of new technology and work for Rochester-based defense optics suppliers, as well as supporting programs like MCC’s Optical System Technology Program in order to attract and train skilled optics workers needed by Rochester optics employers like Corning.     

Schumer has long been an advocate for helping Corning to grow its presence in Upstate New York. In June 2020, Schumer announced that Corning received over $204 million in federal funding, more than doubling employment at their Big Flats facility, thanks to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to expand Corning’s manufacturing capacity of Valor® Glass vials for the rapid production and secure delivery of the COVID-19 vaccines and other critical drugs. Later that year, Corning was also awarded an additional $57 million from BARDA to further increase the domestic manufacturing capacity of pharmaceutical glass tubing and vials to support the accelerated mass vaccination effort. Corning Incorporated is one of the world’s leading innovation companies with specialties in everything from glass to optical communication. Corning is one of the largest employers in New York, with over 7,000 employees across the state, and more than 62,000 worldwide.

Senator Schumer also has a long history of championing the resurgence of semiconductor manufacturing in the United States. In June 2021, Schumer successfully passed the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) through the Senate with a strong bipartisan vote of 68 – 32. This bill includes $52 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations to energize chip manufacturing in America and boosts federal R&D programs that would help bolster Corning and many of the U.S.-based companies that rely on the components made at the new Fairport facility. Schumer is actively working to get this bill passed to help bring more manufacturing back from countries like China and ensure America’s innovation leadership for years to come.