Operation Oswego County Presents Annual Activity Summary, Achievement Awards

OSWEGO, NY – Operation Oswego County held its59th annual meeting Friday at SUNY Oswego’s 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 presenter Mark Hilton, vice president of manufacturing and new product development at the Fulton Companies in the town of Richland, updated attendees on the progress of the facility’s 112,000-square foot expansion, which will add research and development space, manufacturing bays and offices. Slated for completion in July, the new facility will allow for increased production and product development opportunities.

L. Michael Treadwell, executive director of OOC, reported that in 2010, projects assisted by OOC resulted in the creation or retention of 705 jobs with more than $128 million in capital investment associated with 75 new, expanded or retained facilities.

Several of those projects were outlined at the meeting.

Three business organizations, a successful entrepreneur and a long-standing economic development advocate were also honored for significant contributions to economic development and job creation in Oswego County.

The Ally Award for 2011 was presented to USDA Rural Development, recognizing it as an ally organization in the economic development process in Oswego County. USDA was recognized for providing financial assistance in the form of grants, loans and loan guarantees, for awarding the County of Oswego IDA $750,000 to establish an Intermediary Re-lending Program and for approving a non-traditional lender designation for the County of Oswego IDA.

The Business Excellence Award this year was presented to Oswego County opportunities in recognition of 45 years of providing Oswego County with community services including support for youth, assistance for the homeless, educational services, meals for the elderly, family health care, guidance for those diagnosed with a mental illness, housing for the disabled, safety for the abused and transportation. OCO was also honored for operating more than 50 different programs that serve nearly 30,000 people in Oswego County and for employing 670 people, making it the sixth largest private employer in Oswego County.

The 2011 Jobs Award, recognizing significant capital investment as well as job creation and retention, was presented to Sunoco for its significant contribution to the Oswego County economy through the development of the largest biofuels plant in the Northeastern United States a 100 million gallons per year ethanol facility in the town f Volney. Sunoco was also recognized for its commitment to use local and regionally grown corn, for its outstanding efforts to make the plant a “green” biofuels facility, for investing more thasn$0 million and for enhancing the local economy by creating 67 direct and hundreds of indirect jobs.

Edward Alberts was the recipient of OOC’s 2011 Dee Heckethorn Entrepreneur Award. Alberts was recognized for his entrepreneurial spirit and for his outstanding leadership and vision in establishing numerous diverse businesses including Rehab Resources, a provider of physical, occupational and speech therapy services; Enable Orthotics and Prosthetics; and two Fajita Grill restaurants. He also established six Little Luke childcare facilities throughout Oswego County and Central New York including most recently the establishment of Little Lukes in Fulton and Pulaski.

SUNY Oswego President Deborah Stanley was honored with the 2011 Martin Rose Economic Developer Merit Award for her outstanding record of exhibiting leadership, support, cooperation and vision in furthering economic development efforts by spearheading a campus-wide $772 million renewal initiative that included the Campus Center; The Village, a LEED Gold certified student housing project; the science facilities; the School of Business; numerous residence halls; and massive upgrades of campus technological capabilities. She was also honored for her support of business development through the services provided by the college’s Office of Business and Community Relations, which houses the Small Business Development Center, the Workforce Development Board, and Leadership Oswego County and for serving as president of the largest employer in Oswego County with more than 1,700 employees having an economic impact of more than $350 million annually in Central New York.