While members of the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster have known for weeks about anticipated layoffs resulting from Valeant’s acquisition of Bausch and Lomb, apparently the governor’s office and the strategic business division of Empire State development were unaware.
The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reports this morning that former Rochester Mayor and current New York State Lieutenant Governor Bob Duffy was caught off guard. “All this came as a major surprise,” Duffy said. “I didn’t know about the cuts until I read about them in the paper. I don’t believe the governor knew about them in advance, either.”
Management and research and development staff from the company have been seeking alternate employment since June, when it became clear that the acquisition was moving forward.
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s economic development advisor, Leecia Eve told our RRPC representatives as recently has 18 months ago, “We see Optics and Photonics as passé industries.”
Political and economic development officials have been infatuated with nanotechnology at the expense of other industries where New York holds a strategic advantage. Had they been paying attention they may have been able to avert these layoffs. Ironically, Optics, Photonics and Imaging play huge roles in nanotechnology. Who is on staff to connect the dots?