Rochester: A manufacturing community

Updated: 07/24/2014 5:56 PM
Created: 07/24/2014 6:35 AM WHEC.com
By: Rebecca Fath

It is money designed to keep jobs in Rochester and to create more positions. The federal government designated Rochester as one of twelve manufacturing communities. That makes the city eligible for more than a billion dollars in funding.

Truform Manufacturing Company makes everything from medical parts to military radios. This is just one of the locally owned businesses that could benefit from the federal money. Rochester native Tyrone Reaves built this factory.

Tyrone Reaves, Owner, Truform Manufacturing Corp., said, “When we started this, we started in my house, just me.”

Reaves says companies like this need the latest technology to remain competitive and that is not cheap.

Reaves said, “We have to compete with Asia. We have to compete with Europe. We have to compete with Mexico.”

Now, there is more grant money available for companies like his. Reaves was one of the business owners invited to learn what happens now that Rochester has been designated as a manufacturing community. The city has access to 1.3 billion in federal funding for things like buying equipment and training.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said, “We have a lot of small manufacturing companies that are really starting to grow. Here we want to help them as a city and as a region ground and get the equipment that they need so they can put people back to work.”

A secretary from the U.S. Economic Development Administration toured Reaves’s factory saying Rochester deserves the federal help. 

Jay Williams, U.S. Economic Development Administration, said, “We're proud that, I'm sure no more proud than the mayor and the senator here about the first designation, one of the first designations being here.”

Where Reaves says he will continue to try to grow his business.

Reaves said, “Your objective is to go as high as your talents will take you.”

This is scheduled to last two years, so those looking for a grant are asked to move quickly. Businesses can contact Thad Schofield, the city of Rochester's Project Manager of Economic Development at 428-7848. 

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