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GM invests $100 million in Rochester plant

Zack Seward
Most of the money will go toward manufacturing the new generation of this bad boy - which is basically the top half of an engine.

General Motors is making a big investment in its Rochester manufacturing plant.

The auto giant is spending $100 million on new equipment that will pump out the next generation of fuel-efficient engine parts.

The move will also create 30 new jobs.

"A $100 million investment in this day and age is absolutely huge," said Lieutenant Governor Bob Duffy. "I'm here to bear witness: GM had options all over this country. They chose Rochester. They chose to come here."

The move wasn't without state help. Empire State Development (ESD) pitched in nearly $5 million in incentives to get GM to invest at the Rochester facility.

Plant manager Neal Evans says the state money helped get the deal done.

"The four or five million from the state helped me get it over the goal line," says Evans.

Duffy - who has been charged with heading up the state's regional economic councils - says the Cuomo administration is "doing everything [it] can to knock down the barriers for business."

"I think you're seeing a change before your very eyes with New York State," said Duffy, who pointed out that New York recently ranked 50th in the country in terms of business-friendly climate. "We're going to go 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 and up. That's our goal with this governor."

The former Rochester mayor said he grew up just a few blocks away from the GM plant.

Tom Richards, the current mayor of Rochester, says the investment by GM means a lot.

"This plant is such an anchor," says Richards. "It has been an anchor for a very long time. And it would've been a crushing blow to us if we had lost this."

The auto plant first opened in 1939. It currently employs more than 800 people. Plant officials say it employed around 6,000 as recently as the 1980s.

WXXI/Finger Lakes reporter for the Innovation Trail.
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