June 18, 2015
Economic Development Organization Presents Annual Activity Summary, Achievement Awards
Operation Oswego County (OOC) held its 63rd annual meeting at the Lake Ontario Event and Conference Center, in the City of Oswego, Thursday, June 18.
Kevin LaMontagne, president of the OOC board of directors, welcomed more than 150 representatives of businesses, government, education, labor and other ally organizations to the meeting.
Key note presenter Norman Swanson, owner and president of the Woodbine Group, shared a video highlighting the development of the Tailwater Lodge located in the Town of Albion, from the "luck and magic" of acquiring a building with a prime location to the plans for future growth. Tailwater Lodge caters to fishermen and people looking for a weekend get-away, as well as business travelers to the global companies in the area. The future addition of The Barn, a 300-seat event center, will further expand the amenities of Tailwater Lodge.
L. Michael Treadwell, executive director of OOC, reported that in 2014, projects assisted by OOC and the County of Oswego IDA resulted in the creation or retention of 286 jobs with over $40 million in capital investment associated with 34 new, expanded or retained facilities.
Several of those projects were outlined at the meeting including Sunoco, Inc., Huhtamaki, Felix Schoeller, Port of Oswego, The Gardens by Morningstar and Eagle Beverage.
Treadwell also outlined several future projects and initiatives in progress including the Incubator Development at the site of the former Price Chopper in the City of Oswego, the development of Dollar General in the Town of Minetto, the development of the Central New York Raceway Park in the Town of Hastings, the redevelopment of the Salmon River (Selkirk) Lighthouse and Marina in the Town of Richland, the expansion of Universal Metal Works/Davis Standard in the City of Fulton, the relocation and expansion of HealthWay Home Products in the Village of Pulaski, the redevelopment of Legacy House (Valehaven) Adult Home in the City of Oswego, the development of SolarCity in the Towns of Scriba and Volney, the Port of Oswego's development of an inland port in Central NY, Port City Logistics' acquisition of a 172,000 sf building for expansion in the City of Oswego and the development of Byrne Dairy in the Town of 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 2015 was presented to the Oswego County Division of Employment and Training — One-Stop Center, in recognition and appreciation of its significant contribution to the economic development process in Oswego County; for its outstanding support in enhancing job creation and economic development by providing effective job training services and assisting companies with employment recruitment; for meeting or exceeding all Federal and State performance goals; for its exceptional record for the 2013-2014 Program Year by assisting 5,581 job seekers, helping 2,305 individuals enter employment, providing customized and OJT training services to 387 jobseekers and realizing a 97% level of customer satisfaction for services provided.
The Business Excellence Award for 2015 was presented to Behling Orchards in recognition and appreciation for demonstrating adaptation and continued growth in a competitive agricultural business environment; since 1947, the orchard has grown from 6 to 200 acres and offers 70 varieties of apples; primarily a u-pick farm, it also features hayrides, pony rides, mazes for children, snack bar loaded with pies, popcorn balls and cider; to add diversity, the farm offers u-pick strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and cherries; for its outstanding reputation of providing quality produce and customer service; for employing 23 full-time and 142 part-time employees; for producing 75,000 to 100,000 bushels of apples a year; and for doing business in Oswego County for 68 years.
The 2015 Jobs Award, recognizing significant capital investment as well as job creation and retention, was presented to Champlain Valley Specialty in recognition and appreciation of its very significant contribution to the Oswego County and Central New York economies by establishing in 2012 a multi-million dollar apple processing and packaging plant that has grown to be over 100,000 sf in the Town of Oswego; for creating over 175 manufacturing jobs in the food processing industry; for being the 5th largest manufacturing employer and 15th largest private employer in Oswego County; and for utilizing locally and regionally grown apples to produce pre-sliced ready to eat apples for school, retail and restaurant markets.
Norman E. Swanson received OOC's 2015 Dee Heckethorn Entrepreneur Award. In recognition and appreciation of exceptional entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, and dedication to fostering economic, community and tourism growth in Oswego County and Central New York through excellence in transforming a closed and vacant 32,000 sf elementary school in the Town of Albion into the fabulous Tailwater Lodge; a 42 room hotel, restaurant and conference center located on a 35 acre site on the fabled Salmon River; your vision and commitment has greatly enhanced the tourism and hospitality sector in Oswego County and beyond.
Lawrence R. Perras was honored posthumously with the 2015 Martin Rose Economic Developer Merit Award in recognition, respect and appreciation of his exceptionalism, leadership, vision, passion, collaborative skills and dedication to advancing small business development that has lead to a better quality of life and a stronger and more stable economy in Oswego County; for serving as an outstanding Senior Small Business Advisor for the SUNY Oswego Small Business Development Center for over 15 years; for providing assistance to businesses that invested over $68 million and created and retained over 1,450 jobs; for his role in the SUNY Oswego SBDC winning a National SBA Excellence Award in 2010; for being recognized by the New York SBDC in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2009 and 2012 for outstanding performance; and for being an integral and invaluable partner with the County of Oswego IDA and Operation Oswego County. His wife and sons, Theresa, Christopher and Lawrence II, accepted the award on his behalf.
The OOC board of directors re-elected board members Brian Anderson, National Grid; Edward Gilson, Blake Equipment; Ellen Holst, Oswego County Opportunities; Vincent Lobdell, HealthWay; Thomas Meucci, Huhtamaki; John Sharkey, IV, Universal Metal Works; Joseph Solazzo, Construction and General Laborers, Local 633; Gary Toth, Carpenter's Local 747; and David Turner, Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning.
For more information about economic development services in Oswego County, call OOC at 343-1545 or visit www.oswegocounty.org.