New York Printers — One State, Two Worlds
To understand New York state is to accept that it has two personalities—metropolitan and upstate—with fairly significant differences. Dan Mahany, president and CEO of Canfield and Tack, points out that his company’s Rochester home offers the built-in advantages of being the corporate headquarters of Kodak and Xerox, which are both suppliers and purchasers of print.
And when it comes to finding new talent, as proving grounds go, the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) owes no apologies. Mahany has benefitted from the use of RIT interns over the years, and he’s been fortunate enough to bring some employees on full-time.
On the flip side, upstate New York has a reputation for high real estate taxes and a less-than- favorable business climate, according to Mahany. “We really have to fight for our opportunities,” he says. “Fortunately, we still have a strong manufacturing base; banking and telecom are strong in the Rochester area.
“When the rest of the country had the big housing boom, that didn’t happen here. So I think our wage rates are pretty competitive, and our labor costs are competitive on the national level.”
Speaking of Rochester companies, Flower City Printing also reaps the benefits of the RIT feeder system, as well as with employees who passed through credible high school graphic arts programs. President Mark Ashworth sees the state as being a major asset when it comes to securing assistance in various forms.
“You have to justify what you’re doing, but there’s a lot of economic advantages for research, development, education, training and job growth,” he says.
Even with a solid customer base to tap, Ashworth has endured challenges. Some manufacturing clients—consumer products and some retail—are taking their business offshore and to other areas of the country that have more favorable labor rates. It has caused Flower City to seek new markets and expand its geographic scope.