Operation Oswego County touts successes, presents awards

Operation Oswego County held its 62nd annual meeting at the SUNY Oswego Campus Center, Tuesday, June 10.  

Kevin LaMontagne, president of the Operation Oswego County board of directors, welcomed more than 160 representatives of businesses, government, education, labor and other ally organizations to the meeting. 

Keynote presenter Zelko Kirincich, executive director of the Port of Oswego Authority, highlighted plans to increase activity at the port, efforts to market the port and several enhancement projects that are scheduled to begin in 2014.

Some of those enhancements include improved rail access and service, improved marina construction, and the installation of solar panels that will enable the port to be energy independent. 

As the first port of call in the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System, the Port of Oswego is part of more than 2,300 miles of water transportation from Duluth, Minnesota to the Atlantic Ocean and a key logistical asset for Oswego County. 

L. Michael Treadwell, executive director of Operation Oswego County, reported that in 2013, projects assisted by OOC resulted in the creation or retention of 920 jobs with more than $263 million in capital investment associated with 50 new, expanded or retained facilities.  

Several of those projects were outlined at the meeting including:

• Northland Filter International, in the Lake Ontario Industrial Park in the city of Oswego, purchased and installed two new production lines to produce low to medium efficiency air filtration products to compliment their existing HEPA filtration line. 

The $650,000 project will create 25-30 new jobs. Financial assistance is being provided by Empire State Development Corp. and Operation Oswego County.

• Southern Graphic Systems is expanding in the Oswego County Industrial Park in Schroeppel by adding new production machinery and equipment to expand its capacity to manufacture printing engravings, including upgrades to the chrome and copper plating lines. 

The $2.2 million expansion will create six jobs and retain 26. The project received funding assistance from Empire State Development Corp. and the County of Oswego IDA.

• K&N’s Foods USA acquired the 280,000-square-foot former BirdsEye plant in Fulton. The $4 million project involved renovating and equipping the facility in order to manufacture a wide variety of frozen, valued-added, Halal chicken products, under the brand license from K&N’s Foods Limited, Pakistan. 

This is the first North American facility for K&N’s, a popular international brand. Assistance was provided by the County of Oswego IDA, Empire State Development Corp., M&T Bank and Operation Oswego County.

• Pathfinder Industries, a women-owned manufacturer of large scale sheet metal and machine work, rebuilt their business in Fulton after its former building was destroyed by fire. The $4.1 million project retained 26 jobs. Funding assistance for the 18,288 sf plant was provided by the County of Oswego IDA.

• Novelis Corp. is adding a third aluminum finishing line and expanding its automotive scrap recycling operation in the Town of Scriba. 

The $200 million projects are expected to create another 90 jobs. Assistance for the projects is being provided by the Empire State Development Corp. and the County of Oswego IDA.

• Felix Schoeller North America, in Richland, acquired new machinery and equipment, purchased inventory, and made renovations to expand their world class paper converting operation. 

The $6.35 million project created more than 150 jobs. Assistance was provided by Empire State Development Corp., the County of Oswego IDA and Operation Oswego County.

• Laser Transit, a third-party logistics company located in Lacona, acquired equipment capable of lifting 50,000 pounds to handle heavy coils. The $338,000 project created two jobs. Assistance was provided by Pathfinder Bank and the County of Oswego IDA.

• Murphy’s Automotive Solutions built a new, 3,300 sf state-of-the-art automotive repair facility in Oswego Town. The $450,000 project created four jobs. Assistance was provided by Pathfinder Bank and the County of Oswego IDA.

• Patterson Warehousing, Inc. added a 21,000-square-foot expansion on its facility in Fulton, increasing its warehousing capacity to 148,000 square feet. 

The $1.3 million project retained 44 jobs. Financial assistance was provided by the County of Oswego IDA. 

• FX Caprara is constructing two automotive dealership buildings (Ford and Chevrolet), each 18,500 square feet, adjacent to I-81 in Pulaski. The $7 million project is expected to create an additional 40 jobs. Assistance was provided by the County of Oswego IDA and Watertown Savings Bank.

 • Premier Living Suites opened its new 30,000-square-foot student housing complex in the city of Oswego. The $3.4 million project provides housing for 71 students and was financed by of the City of Oswego CDO, Pathfinder Bank and the County of Oswego IDA.

• BioSpherix, Ltd. acquired and is renovating a closed 40,000-square-foot elementary school in the APW school district in Parish, which it will use for manufacturing and R&D for the production of laboratory equipment. The $571,000 project will retain 56 and create 12 jobs. Assistance was provided by M&T Bank and the County of Oswego IDA.

• Eagle Beverage Co. is expanding its facility in Oswego Town with a new 62,300-square-foot warehouse and distribution center. The $5.6 million project will retain 54 and create eight jobs. Assistance was provided by Comerica Bank and the County of Oswego IDA.

• Dr. Padma Ram acquired a 26,000-square-foot building in the city of Oswego, which has been renovated to expand her medical practice. The $1.6 million project will create 14 jobs. Assistance was provided by Wells Fargo Bank, the City of Oswego CDO and the County of Oswego IDA.

• Fulton Tool Co., in Fulton, acquired a horizontal machining center to address new business in the castings and forging product line such as commercial water pumps, remote generators and non-commercial aircraft products. 

The $209,000 project created three jobs. Funding for the project was provided by Pathfinder Bank and the County of Oswego IDA.

• New Moon Telescopes, located in West Monroe, designs and manufactures large, portable and precise Newtonian telescopes. The owner is a graduate of the Oswego County Micro-Enterprise Training Program. 

The $70,000 project included the addition of storage/warehousing and equipment to expand the home-based business and created two jobs. Financing was provided by the County of Oswego IDA and the CNY Enterprise Development Corp.

• Hillside Plaza Laundry, a woman-owned business in the city of Oswego, acquired new equipment and made renovations to help improve energy and water efficiencies. The $80,800 project created one job. Assistance was provided by the County of Oswego IDA.

• SAM North America, a division of Sung An Machinery of South Korea, acquired a 10,000-square-foot building in the Oswego County Industrial Park in  Schroeppel. The facility houses a pilot scale co-extrusion laminating and film casting machine for use in R&D, as well as new product development and servicing of flexible packaging equipment. 

This new location will serve as its corporate headquarters in North America. The $2.2 million project will retain four and create 10 jobs. Assistance was provided by the County of Oswego IDA and Key Bank.

• Sunoco, Inc. invested about $2 million making infrastructure improvements and equipment upgrades to its ethanol plant in Volney. Assistance was provided by the County of Oswego IDA.

• Ontario Shores R.V. Park, Inc. was provided financing assistance to acquire the former Rainbow Shores RV Park in  Richland. The 34-acre park has 213 campsites and 12 rental units, plus full water, electric, sewer and cable hookups. 

Amenities also include a swimming pool, playgrounds, basketball and volleyball courts. The $1.5 million project will create four jobs and financial assistance was provided by First Niagara Bank and a SBA 504 loan from Operation Oswego County, Inc.

• Tailwater Lodge is a 42-room, 32,000-square-foot hotel, corporate retreat and fishing resort set on 35 acres with 1,700 feet of riverfront access along the Salmon River in Albion. The $4.5 million project created 30 full-time and 24 part-time jobs. Assistance was provided by the County of Oswego IDA and Pathfinder Bank.

• Mother Earth Baby, in the city of Oswego, offers baby products, parenting resources, cloth diaper delivery and laundering services and education classes. The $200,000 project created four jobs. Funding assistance was provided by the Oswego CDO, Pathfinder Bank and the County of Oswego IDA.

• ServiceMaster Janitorial is a licensed, locally owned and operated franchise of ServiceMaster Clean, the largest janitorial services provider in the world. The franchise is located in Lacona and services Oswego County. 

The owner is a graduate of the Oswego County Micro-Enterprise Training Program. The $60,000 project created five jobs. Funding was provided by the County of Oswego IDA.

Treadwell said during the last few years, there have been six projects representing significant foreign investment in Oswego County including SAM North America (South Korea), Teti Bakery USA (Canada), K&N’s Foods USA (Pakistan), Novelis (India), Huhtamaki (Finland), and Felix Schoeller (Germany). These projects represent a total investment of $434 million and will create/or retain 640 manufacturing jobs in Oswego County.

Treadwell also outlined several future projects and initiatives in progress including the Next Great Idea Business Plan Competition in Oswego County, the expansion of Fred Raynor Ford in Granby, the redevelopment of a vacant hardware store in Hastings by Design Concepts and Enterprises, the development of an office/warehouse on a 3.2-acre lot in the Airport Industrial Park by Doty Contracting in Volney, the development of the Central New York Raceway Park in Hastings and the redevelopment of a vacant Phoenix school district Pennellville School into the Pennelville Senior Living Center in Schroeppel.

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 2014 was presented to Empire State Development Corp. in recognition and appreciation of its significant contribution to the economic development process in Oswego County.  

Empire State Development has helped finance many of the larger business expansion or creation projects in the county, including Central New York Raceway Park, Northland Filter, Southern Graphic Systems, Novelis, Felix Schoeller North America, Design Concepts and Enterprises, K&N’s Foods USA, Stevedore Lofts, Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center, Kallet Theater, Champlain Valley Specialty and Teti Bakery USA. 

The Business Excellence Award for 2014 was presented to Pathfinder Industries in recognition for demonstrating adaptation, commitment and perseverance in overcoming a devastating fire on March 9, 2013 to rebuild a new 18,228 sf plant in the City of Fulton,.

The 2014 Jobs Award, recognizing significant capital investment as well as job creation and retention, was presented to Felix Schoeller North America for its significant contribution to the Oswego County and Central New York economies by investing in a $6.3 million expansion of its world class paper converting center.

Gregory A. Furlong and Patrick D. Furlong, Jr. received the 2014 Dee Heckethorn Entrepreneur Award. The Furlongs were recognized for their exceptional entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, and dedication to fostering economic and community growth through excellence in commercial and housing construction, being a catalyst to advancing Premier Living Suites, a student housing project in the city of Oswego.

Ann C. Gilpin was honored with the 2014 Martin Rose Economic Developer Merit Award for her outstanding record of exhibiting leadership, vision, passion and dedication to advancing the transformation of healthcare services in Oswego County. Gilpin is the chief executive oficer of Oswego Health.

For more information about economic development services in Oswego County, call OOC at 343-1545 or visit oswegocounty.org.

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