SCHUMER URGES HARRIS CEO, IN ANTICIPATION OF HARRIS-EXCELIS MERGER, TO GROW IN ROCHESTER AND CREATE JOBS THERE AFTER THE FINAL DEAL HAS BEEN SIGNED – SCHUMER HAS LONG FOUGHT TO KEEP HARRIS CORPORATION JOBS IN ROCHESTER & TO FULLY FUND FED PROGRAMS THEY COMPETE FOR
As Closing Date for Harris Corporation to Acquire Excelis Nears, Schumer Pushes Harris to Keep Jobs & Grow New Excelis-and-Harris Joint Workforce in Rochester – Schumer Push Follows From Initial Conversation with Harris CEO in February When The Merger Was Announced; Schumer Reiterates Push to Grow Innovative, Job-Creating Business Units in Rochester
Schumer Has Long Fought to Fund Programs To Benefit Harris, Excelis and Their Rochester Employees; Previously Urged Fed Appropriators To Fully-Fund Program Aimed at Producing & Modernizing Tactical Radio Units for U.S. Military – Contract Would Help Harris, Which Has a Developmental Contract With Army to Produce Radio Units
Schumer: Rochester Workforce Propelled Harris and Excelis Corporate Success and Should Be Hub for Combined Company’s Future Growth
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today reiterated to the Harris Corporation President & CEO, Bill Brown, that they should look to Rochester as a place where the company can grow and expand following its acquisition of Excelis which is expected to close next month. Schumer explained that local Harris Corp. subsidiary, Harris RF Communications, makes radio units for the military and employs 2,200 people at its plants in Rochester and Henrietta while Excelis’ Geospatial Systems Division now employs approximately 1,300 workers in Monroe County. Schumer pushed for the company to keep these good-paying jobs in Rochester post-merger, and his call comes on the heels of his initial conversation with the Harris Corp CEO Bill Brown in February when the acquisition was announced. Following his initial call, Schumer indicated Brown did not anticipate workforce reductions in Rochester and today is urging Harris to make Rochester a place where the new combined company can leverage and grow its workforce and increase business, a win for the company and the top-notch Rochester workforce.
“The thousands of high-tech Rochester employees at Harris RF and Excelis are a key driver in both companies’ success; they have, produced life-saving radio units for our troops and space imaging and satellite communications technology for our national science and defense programs and more. The news of Harris’s merger with Excelis should mean that Rochester will become an even greater hub for new jobs, investment and future growth,” said Schumer. “That is why I am reiterating my call for Harris to look to Rochester as a place where its new company can leverage and expand the Rochester workforce while growing new business.
“When it comes to expansion and job growth here in Rochester, it is my strong wish that after the Harris-Excelis merger, one-plus-one will equal three,” Schumer continued.
Schumer has long fought for Harris Corp. and its local subsidiary in Rochester by advocating for their programs in during the Congressional appropriations process and working with the Department of Defense so federal programs that benefit the company and its local workforce remain viable. For example, in 2013, following Schumer’s personal call and letter to Defense Secretary Hagel, Pentagon officials reversed course and agreed to pursue an open and competitive acquisition process for the Army’s next generation of radios to ensure companies like Harris would not be shut out of competition for the new Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) “manpack” and “rifleman” radio contracts. And just last month Schumer urged federal appropriators to provide full funding for the U.S. Army’s tactical radio modernization programs in Fiscal Year 2016. Schumer said this program is aimed at producing and modernizing tactical radio units for the U.S. military. Schumer said Harris Radio in Rochester was recently awarded a developmental one-year test contract for its handheld radio system, and this funding would allow it to continue that contract if it were selected following the test period. This contract will allow Harris to increase production and support its local workforce if selected.
Schumer said Harris’s 2,200 employee RF division is top notch, and as one of Harris’s largest business units, has delivered exceptional value to the firm’s bottom line. Similarly, Excelis’s 1,300 employee Geospatial System division, headquartered in Rochester, has pioneered innovative products and solutions to fuel its company’s growth in technologies from remote sensing to communications and imaging satellites. The two companies are expected to come to a closing for this merger this by June. Schumer urged the CEO and Harris Corp., as they formulate and implement integration strategy for the two companies over the next 12-18 months, to make Rochester a hub for new jobs, investment and future growth.
A copy of Senator Schumer’s letter to Harris Corporation appears below:
Dear Harris Corporation President and CEO Bill Brown,
As you approach the anticipated closing date to merge Excelis with Harris Corporation, I write to reiterate my request that you look to Rochester, New York as a place where the new combined company can leverage and expand your workforce to grow your new business.
As you are well aware, Harris’s 2,200 employee RF division is top notch, and as one of Harris’s largest business units, has delivered exceptional value to the firm’s bottom line. Similarly, Excelis’s 1,300 employee Geospatial System division, headquartered in Rochester, has pioneered innovative products and solutions to fuel its company’s growth, in technologies from remote sensing to communications and imaging satellites.
Rochester’s highly-skilled and innovative workforce is a competitive asset and part-and -parcel of the success achieved by both Harris and Excelis. This labor force, together with the significant investments made by both companies to locate cutting-edge equipment and state-of-the-art manufacturing and R&D capabilities in Rochester, creates a fertile environment for the “new” Harris’s future growth and expansion.
I appreciate your view that the two companies complement and enhance each other’s ability to compete for new work and new markets and your desire to create a stronger company with greater scale and positive impact than either company could achieve on their own.
Simply put, as you formulate and implement your integration strategy over the next 12-18 months – and assess where it may make sense to consolidate operations among the companies’ various worldwide locations – I strongly urge that you make Rochester a hub for new jobs, investment and future growth. I stand ready to assist you in this pursuit and thank you in advance for your consideration of my request.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator
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