*NEWS*XEROX A FIXTURE IN WEBSTER SINCE 55

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*NEWS*XEROX A FIXTURE IN WEBSTER SINCE 55

 user 2006-05-23 at 11:57:00 am Views: 77
  • #15517

    Xerox a fixture in Webster since 1955
    Webster and Xerox have been synonymous for half-a-century, as Webster is home to the company’s huge manufacturing complex. Xerox has been a Webster neighbor since Dwight Eisenhower was in the White House. The first building permit was taken out in 1955 and despite some downsizing; Xerox remains a fixture in Webster.Two men, Chester Carlson and Joseph Wilson, largely shaped Xerox. Carlson was a patent attorney looking for an easier way to make copies. He invented xerography. Wilson was the visionary who embraced Carlson’s invention when dozens of other bigger companies passed it by. They transformed a small company called Haloid into Xerox.the first 914 copier in 1959 was so successful that Xerox was flooded with orders and what started out as a modest manufacturing operation in Webster became one of the largest in New York almost overnight and it’s getting larger. The company is building a new $60 million toner plant.Xerox prides itself on being both a good neighbor, and a good corporate citizen. “And so that involves both environment, health and safety and being responsible in the community. Just last week, we did our day of caring. A lot of employees went out to different places both in Webster and Monroe County,” said John Laing, Xerox Senior Vice President of Supplies Delivery Unit.Webster Town Supervisor Ron Nesbitt says Xerox has been an important asset to the town and helped to change Webster’s rural character. “Given people a place to come to the town of Webster and live and raise a family, which has been a good thing, and give them steady employment in the town of Webster.”Xerox provided steady employment in Webster until recent years when the workforce shrunk about in half. Nesbitt says he has not seen the Webster job cuts in residential or commercial development. The new Gil Hatch Center for customer innovation is attracting so many customers from all over the world to see new products that the town is getting two new hotels to compliment a Fairfield Inn.Xerox has also had an impact on Webster merchants. “The impact is huge. We rely 90 percent on Xerox. A couple years ago, we lost 5,000 workers. Many of those workers were customers. They visited the village frequently. So it has been tough,” said Mark Vinci owner of Webster’s East Main Street Rubinos.Ralph Sholts is a retired Xerox electrical engineer who spent 29 years with the company, raising a family in Webster at the same time. “That was a great place to work. It was even fun although it was hard sometimes. When you like what you’re doing, it makes a difference.”And he’s one of many employees to lend their intellectual talents to the community, in his case, as a school board member. “Xerox was always sensitive to what their employees liked to do and the community. And Xerox was really a community oriented business.”