Kodak Health Group to bulk up Rochester headquarters

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Empire State Development in New York State has reached a deal with Carestream Health to bulk up its Rochester world headquarters with 500 high-paying jobs. The stand-alone company, which will emerge once Onex Corporation completes its purchase of Kodak Health Group, will accomplish this over a period of six years.

Through the agreement, Carestream Health will receive a $2 million grant and be eligible for other benefits associated with being given Regionally Significant Project status by the Rochester City Council. The grant is to be applied toward the estimated $12 million cost of renovations and infrastructure improvements at two buildings which will house the company's office and manufacturing functions.

"This is a significant investment in Rochester's future. We are pleased by the confidence Carestream Health and its parent, Onex Corp., are showing in our efforts to revitalize the Upstate economy," New York Governor Eliot Spitzer said.

Daniel Gundersen, upstate-co-chair of Empire State Development, stated that "It's terrific that Carestream Health will grow its world headquarters in Rochester." Gundersen said that the company had other options at Onex facilities elsewhere. "These are just the type of jobs that will place New York at the forefront of the innovation economy."

Toronto-based Onex agreed earlier this year to purchase the assets of Eastman Kodak's medical imaging division for $2.3 billion in a transaction expected to close in the first half of this year. The division manufactures x-ray film equipment as well as other medical imaging products.

"We are thrilled with New York's support for Carestream Health," said Kevin J. Hobert, who is to become the chief executive officer of Carestream Health. "We love Rochester and Upstate New York - the community and the people. The talented workforce is an incredible asset. Thanks to this support, we can commit to developing and growing our business right here in Rochester, and we couldn't be more excited."

Being granted Regionally Significant Project status allows Carestream Health to apply for benefits under the State's Empire Zone program. The $2 million structured grant is from the JOBS Now program.