Veronica Volk

Veronica Volk is a Reporter/Producer for WXXI News.  She comes from WFUV Public Radio, where she began her broadcasting career as a reporter covering the Bronx, and the greater New York City area. She later became the Senior Producer of WFUV’s weekly public affairs show, Cityscape.
Originally from Ocean County, New Jersey, Veronica got her B.A. in Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University, concentrating on Media, Culture, and Society.


We know what photonics is — it's the science and application of particles of light, called photons.

And we know what it does — photonics technology makes lasers and LEDs, and it is being integrated into microchips and advancing imaging systems.

But the creation of a photonics institute in Rochester is actually part of a national push toward investing in manufacturing jobs.

The Rochester region is poised to become the photonics hub of the nation, thanks to $600 million in public and private investments that will establish a national photonics institute in the city's downtown.

But those without a science background are at a disadvantage when it comes to understanding not only what photonics is, but also how an industry built up around it will affect the local, regional and national economy.

Time to settle this once and for all: What is photonics?

Rochester's Harris Radio Corporation is one of three companies recently awarded a big US Army contract. Over the next ten years, Harris will produce tens of thousands radios for soldiers to use in combat. The contract is worth $12.7 billion.

But Senator Schumer says it almost didn't happen. He says the Department of Defense had a closed procurement system for the contract that gave one company an advantage, and would have prevented Harris from bidding.

Now that there are two photonics companies committed to coming to Rochester, hiring people, and growing their businesses locally, there's a chance that other businesses could partner with them and profit off the growing photonics industry.

At least, that's according to Bob Duffy, CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce.

"You're gonna have a lot of companies here that we are blessed with that are very high tech, very progressive, forward-thinking technology companies that are somehow involved in photonics."

The owners of a local business project are planning to sue the Republican Party chairman over comments he made this past weekend.

Mike and Wendy Nolan own I-Square in Irondequoit, which is a mixed-use development.

Republican chairman Bill Reilich called I-Square a “failure,” and said it was defaulting on its tax agreement with COMIDA, the county’s industrial development agency.

COMIDA tells WXXI that I-Square is meeting its hiring targets, but is behind on the construction of a new building.