Harris Corp., an international communications and information technology company, officially opened the world's most advanced manufacturing center for the production of tactical radios, assured communication systems and related products. The new 573,000 square-foot center near Rochester, NY, was developed specifically to increase the company's competitiveness and address the changing requirements of military and public safety communications.
At a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Jefferson Road Operations Center, US Rep. Tom Reed joined Harris senior management, employees and special guests to celebrate the facility's official opening. About 1100 employees work at the Center, which is located in Henrietta, a suburb of Rochester. The factory consolidates several previously geographically dispersed production lines into a single, integrated facility.
"The opening of this new factory represents a significant investment by Harris in the Rochester area and the global market for assured tactical and public safety communications," said Howard L. Lance, Chairman, President and CEO, Harris Corp. "It demonstrates our commitment to serve our customers by delivering products to the field faster and more efficiently. The new facility will provide cost savings and deliver a platform to drive continued innovation and growth."
"Harris is the leading provider of assured communications technology to military and public safety customers around the world. To maintain that position, we need to be increasingly competitive and innovative,'' said Dana Mehnert, President, Harris RF Communications group. "This new facility will be a key enabler in bringing products to market more quickly and sharpen our focus on meeting the current and emerging needs of a dynamic customer base. We'll leverage this factory to deliver better, more innovative and more cost-effective solutions to military and public safety personnel."
Harris is using the factory to manufacture the world's most advanced tactical communication products for military, public safety and government agencies in the United States and across the world. This includes the Falcon III® multiband manpack and handheld tactical radios for wideband networking on the battlefield, and the advanced Harris Unity multiband public safety radio for police, fire and other first responders. Unity is the leading public safety radio designed and manufactured in the US.
The new manufacturing center is the result of an intensive total renovation project that converted a former Xerox Corp. office building into a production site in about 10 months. The facility distributes work across adaptable "focus factories" in support of the entire Harris RF product portfolio. These focus factories create a unique in-line production operation that integrates everything from parts delivery, assembly and testing with packaging and shipping. Future plans call for integration of a supplier village in which partners can locate production within the Harris factory.
Approximately half of Harris RF Communications' local workforce of 2300 has relocated to the new center, with the balance of employees remaining in the city of Rochester.
"RF Communications was founded here more than a half-century ago and has grown through the hard work and commitment of our employees and the support of the community,'' Mehnert said. "The opening of this facility reaffirms our commitment to Rochester and Monroe County and positions us for the future.''
"This ribbon-cutting demonstrates why we all believe in this area," Congressman Reed commented. "Western New York can again become an innovative leader in building a new high-tech economy. The decision by Harris to expand here shows that we have the educated workforce and geographical advantages that global companies are looking for."
"In today's global economy, companies have the choice of doing business anywhere in the world and Harris' decision to remain in Monroe County speaks volumes about our community's significant assets," said Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks. "Our economic development team was instrumental in working with Harris to retain 1,100 manufacturing jobs for local residents. Our economy is strengthened by Harris's significant investment in its new Henrietta facility. We are proud to partner with Harris Corporation in this effort and I'd like to thank them for their continued commitment to Monroe County."