Rochester's economy has been suffering for many years. Unemployment usually runs 50% more than the state level and poverty has risen to 31%. With Kodak in bankruptcy, Hickey Freemen being sold every few years, and the sale of Bausch & Lomb to Valeant, the old industrial base in Rochester, seems to be headed towards extinction.
Bausch & Lomb had made Rochester its home for almost 160 years and for years they seemed very happy to be one of the anchors of our economy. In 1995, B&L built a new skyscraper in the heart of our city to house its corporate headquarters. At the time, such a move was questioned, but their CEO wanted to tie B&L to Rochester and a huge hard to sell piece of real estate was thought to be just the tool. As such an investment would make both sales and moving the company more difficult.
Unfortunately as time passed, B&L moved out of the tower and was then bought by Valeant. A mere 18 years after the tower opened, Valaent moved B&L corporate headquarters to New Jersey. With this came 408 layoffs and there are more to come by year end. This company was not in trouble, it was profitable, and now Rochester is suffering a huge economic loss.