Greater Rochester Enterprise (GRE), an economic development organization dedicated to job creation in the Rochester region, together with New York State Senator Joseph Robach, today announces the senator has secured state funds to support GRE's international outreach efforts and launch its new ambassadors program.
"I am very happy to announce that I've secured $100,000 in state funding to help showcase the Greater Rochester New York region to the world," Senator Robach said. "The money will help highlight our greatest assets — our people, our quality of life, and our incredible knack for innovation. It will help fund GRE's numerous economic-development initiatives, from next month's Israeli Visit to future business-attraction visits from other countries, such as Hungary."
State funds will support local businesspeople as they attempt to identify prospective partners and embark on mission trips — to help boost the economy and create jobs.
"On behalf of GRE, I would like to thank Senator Robach for his generous show of support for our Israeli business-attraction visit, and for our future outreach efforts," said Michael Finney, President and CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise. "These funds will allow GRE to move forward with our international business-attraction strategy — a strategy we believe will help build partnerships across borders and pave the way for economic development and investment in our region."
Next month, several Israeli companies — representing the high-tech and biotechnology industries, as well as the region's core industries of printing and publishing, and optics and imaging — will spend four days in Rochester. During this time, they will tour our area, meet face-to-face with potential business partners and customers, get to know local Jewish community leaders, and gain a better understanding of our region's commitment to Israel.
Senator Robach and GRE President and CEO Michael Finney also joined GRE Chairman Thomas Richards in announcing GRE's new ambassadors program, the pilot being a program with Israeli companies.
The program was a natural outgrowth of GRE's initial Israeli business-attraction visit held in February. During that visit, representatives from 14 Israeli biotechnology and life sciences companies spent several days touring the region, getting to know our Jewish community and connecting one-on-one with local businesspeople.
Those one-on-one interactions led to an idea: How can GRE better connect local businesspeople with Israeli companies that share the same interests? How can GRE foster relationships, open the doors for business partnerships, and by extension, grow our local economy and create jobs?
"GRE's answer is the ambassadors program," Richards said. "Thanks to more than 15 volunteers — representing the top level of business and community leadership — GRE has been able to establish a program that will connect our business leaders with Israeli business leaders, and help build mutually beneficial relationships."
Justin Vigdor, senior counsel at the law firm of Boylan, Brown, Code, Vigdor & Wilson, is one of those volunteer ambassadors. He hopes the program will help firms like his as they work with existing and emerging businesses in the Greater Rochester New York region.
"I've been a strong supporter of reinvigorating our business community, and our community as a whole," Vigdor said. "This program benefits all vendors, all suppliers, all professionals, including Boylan Brown. The program is a good idea — it's as simple as that."
Greater Rochester Enterprise (GRE) is a public-private partnership established to professionally market the Rochester metropolitan region as a competitive, high-profile place for business location and growth. GRE will collaborate with business, academia, not-for-profit organizations and government to ensure a unified approach to regional economic development efforts.