OSWEGO, NY – Operation Oswego County held its 60th annual meeting on Friday at the SUNY Oswego Campus Center.
Nancy Bellow, president of the OOC board of directors welcomed more than 140 representatives of business, government, education, labor and other ally organizations to the meeting.
Keynote speaker Robert Simpson, present of CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity (CEO), updated attendees on regional economic development, touching on some recent key projects and successes, the Regional Economic Development Council and CenterState CEO’s regional export and business planning strategies.
L. Michael Treadwell, executive director of OOC, reported that in 2011, projects assisted by OOC resulted in the retention of creation of 642 jobs with more than $292 million in capital investment associated with 54 new, expanded or retained facilities.
Several of those projects were outlined at the meeting including:
Novelis Corporation is investing $208 million to expand its aluminum plant in Scriba to meet rising automotive demand. The 200,000 square foot expansion will create 100 new jobs.
Sunoco Inc. continued to invest in its 85 million gallons per year ethanol plant in Volney. During 2011, the company pumped another $9 million into the former Miller Brewery complex.
Huhtamaki Inc. expanded its packaging manufacturing plant in Fulton by investing more than $4 million into four new high-speed cold cup formers. The cold cup drinking line will result in the creation of 25 to 40 new jobs.
The Wall Climbing Center opened its indoor rock climbing business in Oswego. The facility features high performance walls designed to introduce bouldering to new and experienced climbers.
Best Western Hotel and Conference Center in Oswego began construction on its 36,000 square foot addition that will add 18 new hotel rooms, a restaurant and a full feature conference center for up to 400 people.
The Oswego Speedway was acquired by Circle T Motorsports of Homestead, Fla., with financial assistance from the County of Oswego IDA. Major improvements were made to the 12,000 seat auto race track to continue the 50 year history of supermodified racing at the speedway.
Little Lukes Childcare Center opened in Fulton. The former Golden Corral restaurant was transformed into a 7,400 square foot childcare center.
Treadwell also outline several future projects and initiatives in progress including the development of the St. Francis Commons senior residence facility and the renovation-development of the Seaway Lofts apartments in Oswego; the development of the Central New York Raceway Park in Hastings; and the expansion of Burritt Motors in Oswego.
Additional projects include the relocation-expansion of United Wire Technologies and the rebuild-expansion of McIntosh Box and Pallet in Constantia.
Three business organizations, a successful entrepreneur and a long-standing economic development advocate were honored for significant contributions to economic development and job creation in Oswego County.
The Ally Award for 2012 was presented to CenterState CEO, recognizing it as an ally organization in the economic development process of Oswego County.
It was cited for its outstanding leadership role in the Regional Economic Development Council process spearheading the CNY REDC to being awarded the top REDC in the state with more than $103.7 million, for its assistance in supporting the $208 million Novelis expansion project, which will create 100 jobs, and for being a critical and essential partner to enhancing economic development potential in Oswego County.
The Business Excellence Award for 2012 was presented to Huhtamaki in recognition demonstrating adaptation and growth in a competitive business environment, for its commitment to invest in extensive printing capabilities, both Flexographic and Lithographic, to produce quality paper cups, containers and lids for the frozen dessert and food service industries and for employing more than 600 people in Fulton, making it the seventh largest private employer in Oswego County.
The 2012 Jobs Award, recognizing significant capital investment as well as job creation and retention, was presented to The Fulton Companies for its significant contribution to the Oswego County economy by investing in a $13.5 million, 112,000 square foot expansion of its manufacturing complex in Richland to manufacture commercial and industrial heat transfer equipment, boilers and thermal fluid heaters, for the creation of more than 50 new manufacturing jobs and for its 63-year history of doing business in Oswego County.
George “Buddy” Broadwell was the recipient of the 2012 Dee Heckethorn Entrepreneur Award.
Broadwell was recognized for his entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and dedication to perfection which have been catalysts to fostering economic development, job creation and a driving force for the hospitality industry in Oswego County for nearly four decades and for his outstanding leadership and vision in establishing numerous hospitality businesses including The Best Western and Quality Inn hotels, Bayshore Banquet Facility and the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center.
Gary Toth was honored with the 2012 Martin Rose Economic Developer Merit Award for his outstanding record of exhibiting leadership, support and cooperation in helping to further economic development efforts and to improve the business climate and quality of life in Oswego County, and for his dedicated service as a member of the Oswego County IDA since 1998 and for serving as vice chair since 2005, for serving on the board of directors of Operation Oswego County and on its marketing and development committee since 2003 and for his devotion to organized labor by serving in numerous capacities such as president of the Oswego County Labor Council, president of the Carpenters’ Local 747 Joint Apprenticeship Committee, for serving as a member of the Syracuse Alliance for a New Economy and on the NYS Great Lakes Basin Advisory Committee, and for playing an integral role in support of key businesses and institutions in the county including Oswego Health, Sithe Independence Station, SUNY Oswego, the Port of Oswego and Entergy Nuclear.
For more information about economic development services in Oswego County, call OOC at 343-1545 or visit www.oswegocounty.org