ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's farmers give millions of pounds of apples, squash, melons and other agricultural products to the state's food banks every year.

With its array of historic buildings, the crumbling landscape of downtown Jamestown offers poignant reminders of a small city that was once a jewel of the Northeast.  State officials hope a $10 million award from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative will help restore some of that glory. 

Buffalo tablet maker tripling in size

Aug 19, 2016
BakUSA.com

 The co-owner of Bak USA is praising the city of Buffalo, the University at Buffalo and the state's Start-Up NY program for fueling his company's "unbelievably fast" growth in such a short time.

J.P. and Ulla Bak started the mobile computer manufacturing facility in March 2014, and is already planning to triple its floor space and add another 125 jobs over the next year.

Uber is plowing ahead with its ambitious plan to make self-driving cars a reality. The company will run an experiment in Pittsburgh, rolling out the first-ever self-driving fleet that's available to everyday customers.

Self-Driving Car Tourism

Uber won't specify exactly how many self-driving cars will hit the streets. But in the next few weeks, if you're in Pittsburgh and use your app, you might land in one of them.

The NY State Labor Department says the Rochester area saw an increase of  800 private sector jobs in July compared to this time last year. Labor department analyst Tammy Marino says the trend has been positive and it looks like that will continue for a while.  

“Employment currently stands at its highest July level since 2001. And I would actually expect that trend to continue into the coming months as we do have more and more employers looking to hire.”

McQuaid Jesuit High School in Brighton is getting ready to break ground on a $20 million STEM education center.

Principal Adam Baber said the two-story, 36,000-square-foot building will stand at the site of a residence that once housed Jesuit brothers and priests.

He said a facility dedicated to science, technology, engineering and math education makes sense.

Solar gardens put renewables within reach for the poor in Colorado

Aug 18, 2016
Dan Boyce/Inside Energy

 

For the poorest among us, paying every bill can be a struggle, including the power bill.

Solar power hasn’t really been a go-to option for those at the bottom, but that’s starting to change. Colorado’s largest utility — Xcel energy — recently announced an expansion of a program to provide solar energy to low-income residents. It’s part of a proposed settlement agreement with the state’s public utility commission.

Can the sharing economy give food startups a leg up?

Aug 17, 2016
Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media

The hardest part of starting a new food business should be in perfecting the secret recipe. For many entrepreneurial cooks, though, the tough times come when searching for a space to legally make and sell their food.

Commercial kitchen space, with stainless steel counters, industrial appliances that meet food safety regulations and appropriately sized sinks, can be hard to come by and expensive to build.

One tech startup is trying to fix that, using the same sharing economy concepts as travel titans Uber and Airbnb.  

Event celebrates Rochester’s female entrepreneurs

Aug 16, 2016
davidmammano.com

An event this fall will give women who run businesses in Rochester a chance to learn from their peers and celebrate their successes.

The second Avanti Summit will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 26 at The Strathallan Rochester, 550 East Ave. Automotive group owner Kitty Van Bortel will be the keynote speaker.

David Mammano, founder of the Avanti Entrepreneur Group, said in a statement that “there are many amazing women business owners who are visionaries.”

WASHINGTON (AP)  Factory activity in New York slowed in early August for the second straight month, and manufacturers in the state cut jobs. 

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Monday that its Empire State manufacturing index dropped to a reading of minus 4.2, from 0.6 in July. Any reading above zero points to expansion. 

Even so, new orders ticked up slightly and a measure of shipments rose to 9 from 0.7 in the previous month. Those figures suggest the broader index could pick up a bit in the coming months. 

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U.S. Photonics Hub Coming To Rochester

What does this mean for the economy of the Rochester region?