REDCOM is expanding and adding local jobs as it adapts to the evolving needs of its customers. Steve Husband, REDCOM’s Vice President of Manufacturing, recently appeared on TV as part of the Greater Rochester Enterprise Why ROC segment on WROC Rochester. In the TV spot, Steve discusses the history of REDCOM EMS, our local manufacturing, our growth, and our plans to add staff.
“REDCOM Labs started in 1978 as an OEM manufacturer for telecommunication systems,” explained Husband. “The founders of REDCOM were actually Stromberg-Carlson employees, which is right up the road here. They wanted to stay in the Rochester area. They didn’t want to move with Stromberg, so they started this business, and they started it with a few founders and grew from that point to where it is today with 140 employees, 150 employees. We’re located in the Victor area as a manufacturer and designer of telecommunication systems. The hardware solution, which is what started the company originally, I’ll say within the last seven years has slowly declined to a point to where we had to look at manufacturing as a whole and decide what we were going to do with it specifically, because we didn’t want to move it out of the area. So as the OEM side of REDCOM has moved more toward a software application solution, we decided to stay on with the manufacturing sector and keep manufacturing here in Rochester and start the business called REDCOM EMS, which is a manufacturer of printed circuit boards as our core competency specifically.”
Husband said the decision to keep its manufacturing local was carefully calculated. “The reason we kept it here is because our roots were here, our supply chain was here. It was established because we’ve had the product solution for 30 years, 40 years and those relationships were there. So it made sense for us to keep manufacturing here because we could work with our suppliers that we knew, we trusted, and with this whole counterfeiting issue that’s occurring right now – we didn’t have to worry about it because our suppliers went to the manufacturers direct and that helped us. That gives comfort to our customers because they know that the materials that go into their products are trustworthy, they’re quality products.”
The manufacturing needs of REDCOM’s customers continue to change. “One of the things that we saw relatively recently was the need for additional capabilities,” Husband said. “A lot of our customers in several different markets have various needs and it was important for us to make sure that we met those needs. So we invested two million dollars recently for high-speed printed circuit board manufacturing capabilities.”
The investment has resulted in the need to hire additional employees. “We look for people who are either just coming out of a two-year school like the FLCCs or MCCs,” said Husband. “They have a skill set that we’re looking for because it’s not necessarily an engineering role, but it’s a very important role in order for us to build a product as we need it. But we’re also looking for that back office staff – buyers, quoters, engineers – that can support that line and be able to keep up with the demands that we’re seeing in our customer base.”