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The Upstate Economy

Oswego County pursuing strategic economic advancement plan

oswego_county_ida.jpg
Payne Horning
/
WRVO News

Oswego County is embarking on its first comprehensive economic study in decades. The county legislature and Oswego County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) will split the cost of hiring a Saratoga Springs-based consultant to develop a plan for advancing the local economy. The goal is to identify impediments to economic growth and untapped development opportunities.

Michael Treadwell is the CEO of the Oswego County IDA. He says the study will also offer a fresh perspective on what existing assets the county can use to spur economic growth.

“We got a lot of things going for us, but we maybe need that new tie and new suit to put us over the hill in terms of being more competitive,” Treadwell said. “And that’s what we want this study to result in – helping us with a third set of eyes.”

Oswego County's unemployment rate is consistently among the highest in the state. And the county faced a virtual calamity in late 2015 when the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant, which employs around 600 people, was headed for closure. Treadwell says this study could help address that problem.

“We think that a good focus of this study will be job retention and expansion and that will be a big component of the assessment,” he said. “What can we do locally and internally to enhance our ability to grow our own business?”

Treadwell says he wants to see the study offer ideas on how the county can expand its start up businesses and improve the wastewater treatment systems. He expects the economic advancement plan will be unveiled to local leaders later this year.