Empire State Development Announces Optimax Systems, Inc. Will Expand Operations Again in Wayne County

March 31, 2022

High Precision Optics Manufacturer Continues to Grow its Business in The Finger Lakes Region, Will Add 50 New Jobs

Investment Complements “Finger Lakes Forward” – The Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced that optics manufacturer Optimax Systems Inc., located in the Town of Ontario, Wayne County, is again expanding its operations. The company will invest $20 million to attach a 36,000 square-foot addition to its existing facility on Dean Parkway. The expanded operations, with support from ESD, will allow Optimax Systems to raise the bar when it comes to supplying optics for its customers and will help the company solidify its brand and credibility in the worldwide optics manufacturing community. As a result of its continued growth, the company plans to create up to 50 new jobs over the next five years; 355 positions will be retained. The expansion piece of the project is expected to be completed sometime in 2023.

Empire State Development Acting President, CEO & Commissioner Hope Knight said, “New York State’s strategic investments have supported the Finger Lakes region’s continued growth as an optics, photonics and imaging hub. Our focused commitment to workforce development and 21st century jobs means that companies like Optimax Systems can continue to grow here, with a pipeline to the tech talent they need.”

Founded in 1991, Optimax Systems focuses on technologies as diverse as fiber optic telecommunications, solid-state lighting, digital photography, displays, and diagnostic medicine. They have worked key programs in aerospace, government research, and defense. In 2018, the company committed to creating up to 59 new jobs in at the site due thanks to previous support from New York state and, to date, has already exceeded that commitment.

Optimax Systems, Inc. President, Joe Spilman said, “Optimax continues to position itself at the cutting edge of the Optics manufacturing industry.  As the company has grown and we have established footholds in new markets, demand for our work is increasing at a pace significantly faster than anything we have seen in the past.  This expansion and the associated investment in people and equipment ensures that we can continue to learn and grow with our customers.   Empire State Development has once again stepped up, providing support for this expansion and ensuring that this growth continues in the Finger Lakes Region.   We are thrilled to partner with ESD and look forward to continuing our mission of driving customer success and employee prosperity for years to come.”

In order to encourage Optimax Systems to continue to expand in the Finger Lakes region, ESD is providing up to $700,000 through the Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit Program a in return for job creation commitments and the retention of hundreds of existing jobs.  Wayne County and Greater Rochester Enterprise are also offering assistance for the project.

State Senator Pam Helming said, “Optimax continues to demonstrate its leadership as an innovator in the optics industry and a major employer in the Finger Lakes region. Thank you to Joe Spilman, Rick Plympton, Mike Mandina and the entire Optimax team for their additional investment in growth and jobs in Wayne County. I’d also like to thank Optimax for its leadership in building a skilled workforce in our region through programs like FAME. Optimax provides outstanding career opportunities in high-tech manufacturing, with quality products made in America. We are proud to have Optimax headquartered in the 54th District.”

Assemblyman Brian Manktelow said, “It is great to see cutting edge company like Optimax Systems, Inc. making an investment in our community. In the fast moving age we are in, people across the nation and the globe need high speed fiber optic telecommunication. Their technological advancements in the field of diagnostic medicine will play a part in further lifesaving diagnosis’s, and we are proud that we can call them a local business. I would like to thank Optimax President Joe Spilman for making this investment in our community and providing over 400 jobs for our residents. “

Wayne County Director of Economic Development and Planning Brian Pincelli said, “Optimax continues to set the bar on innovation, talent attraction, and workforce development. I am not surprised that they are growing again. Their workforce culture and business model will only continue to contribute to their success. We’re very proud to have them in Wayne County.”  

Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Co-Chair Bob Duffy, President and CEO, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce said, “Not only is Optimax known for its breakthrough optics technology, but for a supportive workplace culture that focuses on mentorship and employee prosperity. We thank President Joe Spilman for continuing to invest in our region and people with this exciting expansion.”

Matt Hurlbutt, President and CEO, Greater Rochester Enterprise said, “Innovation is in Optimax’s DNA, perfectly aligned with the talented workforce and innovative spirit found throughout the Greater Rochester, NY region. The outstanding optics and photonics workforce pipeline and ecosystem made this community the right place for Optimax to expand its business.”

For additional information about Optimax Systems, Inc., visit: https://www.optimaxsi.com/.

Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward 

Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The regionally designed plan focuses on investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture‎ and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.

About Empire State Development

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov). The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing the Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NEW YORK,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.

Shari Voorhees-Vincent | [email protected] | (585) 399-7055
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