Rochester manufacturer to expand, adding new jobs, investing in aging infrastructure

Germanow-Simon Companies will retain 77 jobs and add 25 new employees, contributing to community revival in Monroe County

Empire State Development (ESD) on Aug. 11 announced that Germanow-Simon Companies, an umbrella for two manufacturing operations –Tel-Tru Mfg. Co. and G-S PLASTIC OPTICS – that have existed in the heart of the inner city of Rochester since 1916, will expand in Monroe County. The growing business’s $3.23 million project will include renovations in three buildings in which Germanow-Simon Companies operates, two of which are more than 100 years old. The project will create 25 new jobs while retaining 77 current employees, and is made possible through tax credits from ESD. This support demonstrates New York State’s continuing efforts to revitalize Rochester and other local communities statewide through economic development.

The project encompasses doubling the space dedicated to precision optics plastic injection molding and metrology; completion of the final phases of operating, monitoring and maintenance of two Brownfield clean up programs; and the purchase of new manufacturing equipment.

“Keeping and growing Germanow-Simon’s presence in Rochester will create jobs and stimulate economic opportunity for the local community,” said ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Kenneth Adams. “This is a company that understands and appreciates both the quality of life and workforce in New York State and will continue to manufacture its products in the same place it’s called home for nearly 100 years.”

Andy Germanow, president and owner of both companies, adds: “This project is a model for the adaptive reuse of century-old, inner-city, multi-story manufacturing buildings in urban areas and will re-establish a platform for the future growth of our high tech manufacturing operations. I am thrilled that with the completion of this project the worldwide reputation we have earned for providing customers with the highest levels of service and product quality will also be reflected by this unique repurposed facility.”

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Germanow, a grandson of the company founder, continued: “The support from ESD, the City of Rochester and other agencies of our vision for these historic buildings will allow the expansion of our manufacturing operations and the revitalization of buildings that otherwise might eventually have been abandoned and left as decaying eyesores.”

ESD will assist in the project with $250,000 in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits. The City of Rochester was also integral to this effort in its provision of a grant and low-cost financing of a loan provided by the US Environmental Protection Agency. County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency (COMIDA) will provide sales tax exemption based on an investment of $2.45 million by Germanow-Simon. The New York State Energy Research Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) New Construction Program is working with Germanow-Simon to incorporate energy efficiency into the space, including high-efficiency lighting, lighting occupancy sensors and high-efficiency HVAC (heating, ventilating/air conditioning) units.

The buildings slated for renovation are currently inefficient and have had pre-existing environmental issues well before the company’s occupancy of the property. Germanow-Simon has been involved as a volunteer in the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Brownfield clean up program for several years and has received Certificates of Completion from the DEC for two projects.

Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks said: “We are excited to partner with Germanow-Simon and our other economic development partners to keep these companies in Monroe County where they’ve been manufacturing products for a century. The creation of jobs and significant investment in existing infrastructure will enhance our economic vitality and keep us moving forward on the path to prosperity.” City of Rochester Mayor Thomas S. Richards said: “It is deeply gratifying to see this substantial new investment by one of our oldest continually-owned manufacturing companies. Andy Germanow is to be commended for his ongoing commitment to Rochester, both for this new investment and for his previous investments in the GS facilities over the past ten years. We also congratulate our economic development partners who have demonstrated a great spirit of collaboration in assisting with this important project.”

NYSERDA President and CEO Francis J. Murray Jr. said: “This project demonstrates that buildings of any age can integrate effective measures to reduce energy use and cut energy costs. We applaud Germanow-Simon for thinking about energy efficiency as it plans this exciting phase of growth. This expansion project underscores Governor Cuomo’s statement that New York State is open for business and furthers his efforts to create jobs and improve the environment.”

el-Tru Mfg. Co. and G-S PLASTIC OPTICS