Operation Oswego County

44 West Bridge St.
Oswego, NY 13126
P: +1 315-343-1545

Mission Statement

Operation Oswego County's mission is to establish and implement sound economic development strategies in order to enhance the economic vitality of Oswego County's businesses, industries and citizens leading to an overall better quality of life.

EDO History and Background

Since 1953, Operation Oswego County has helped deliver over $4 billion in investments and the creation or retention of more than 22,800 jobs in Oswego County.

The early organization known as Operation Machine Shop was created due to a crisis involving the closure of a local industry--a machine shop which had employed more than 250 machinists. Operation Machine Shop was incorporated in December of 1952, and its primary mission was two-fold: to organize and plan for the area’s economy by bringing together an inventory of the assets of the community, so they could attract new industry; and to find out which areas of importance were lacking in the community and take corrective measures to provide same.

By April of 1954, the organization had become one of the first civic non-profit industrial development organizations in New York State, and changed its name to Operation Oswego, Inc. This organization was created under section 30 of the Not-for-profit Membership Corporation Law.

By June of 1964, the organization had begun to broaden its vision to include a future with countywide growth, thus causing it to change its name once again to its current name, Operation Oswego County, Inc. This larger not-for-profit organization consists of a 24-member voluntary board of directors comprised of representatives from county government, municipalities, education, labor and private business. The purpose of this all-encompassing group is to streamline the process of economic development by funneling prospects to a single organization, which will give prospective clients prompt and effective service. The private not-for-profit organization is exempt from Federal income taxes under section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue code.

Services and Programs

As a county-wide, comprehensive economic development organization, we can provide, among other things:

  • Site Selection Assistance: An inventory of industrial sites and available buildings enables us to find homes for new businesses quickly.
  • Financial Packaging: We help firms access appropriate financing from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Empire State Development Corporation, the County of Oswego Industrial Development Agency (IDA) and other state, local and federal financing sources. We also help firms secure bank financing which is always the primary source of funds for most projects.
  • Planning and Coordination: We can help firms with permitting, zoning and coordinating activities with state and local agencies.
  • Industry/Government Liaison: OOC serves as a liaison between firms and governmental agencies.
  • Assistance in Accessing Special Incentive Programs: We can help eligible businesses receive real property tax abatements, sales tax exemptions, job training, low interest financing, state grants and tax credits, utility incentives and more.
  • Retention/Expansion Outreach Programs: OOC is focused on helping existing employers with expansion initiatives as well as in overcoming barriers that may be impeding business success.
  • Specialized Research and Technical Assistance: We provide businesses with information and data to assist in decision making.

OOC coordinates and implements special economic development initiatives to enhance the potential to create and retain jobs in Oswego County. Some of these initiatives include:

  • Industrial Parks: OOC operates five industrial/business parks in Oswego County-- the Oswego County Industrial Park in Schroeppel, the Airport Industrial Park in Volney, the Lake Ontario Industrial Park in the city of Oswego, the Columbia Mills Business Park in Minetto and the Peck Road Industrial Site in the Town of Richland. Other sites around the county are currently being studied for potential business parks.
  • Business Incubators: The Business Expansion Center in the city of Oswego is designed to help non-retail, industrial and service businesses achieve significant growth and development during the first few years of business with the intention of eventually relocating into private commercial space. Plans are being formulated on establishing flexible spec building in the Oswego County Industrial Park in Schroeppel and converting the 43,000 sf former Price Chopper building in the City of Oswego into a small business incubator. Both spaces would be Start-Up NY eligible.
  • Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Program: OOC can help new and expanding businesses obtain Minority and Women Business Enterprises state designation, as well as other necessary development support.
  • SBA Certified Development Company: OOC is authorized to finance projects using the SBA 504 loan program which can fund up to 40% of fixed asset financing for eligible businesses at below market rates.
  • USDA IRP Program: The IDA in cooperation with USDA has established a short term financing program for working capital and/or machinery and equipment.
  • IDA Administration: OOC provides, under contract, the administrative support for the IDA and helps to package and provide underwriting for all IDA economic development assistance utilizing IDA programs.
  • Micro-Enterprise Training Program: OOC works cooperatively with the City of Fulton Community Development Agency, City of Oswego Community Development Office and the SUNY Oswego Office of Business and Community Relations to provide guidance and support to people interested in starting or expanding a small business.
  • Domestic and International Marketing Program: OOC aggressively promotes and markets Oswego County for purposes of attracting new businesses and for enhancing the business climate image of the county.
  • Next Great Idea Program: OOC helps to encourage entrepreneurial development in Oswego County by coordinating a business plan competition that also features a grant to the winner to assist in implementing a business project.
  • Regional Collaboration: OOC is very active with the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council, the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board, CenterState Center for Economic Opportunity, Empire State Development, and National Grid on efforts and initiatives to spur economic development and to expand and enhance the regional economy.

EDO Leadership

OOC staff consists of 6 full-time employees. While assignments vary on a day-to-day basis depending on prospect activity, the primary responsibilities for each employee are:

Executive Director: L. Michael Treadwell, CEcD-- represents county economic development at regional, state and federal levels; prepares all contracts and budgets; CEO of the County of Oswego IDA; responsible for business outreach/prospect development/deal closings. Mike's LinkedIn Profile

Austin Wheelock, Deputy Director Deputy Director & Property Manager: Austin Wheelock, CEcD-- assists with providing technical support for economic development projects; assists with the necessary research regarding sites, buildings, parks, including engineering studies, RFP responses and zoning related issues; oversees OOC and IDA properties and buildings. Austin's LinkedIn Profile

Kevin LaMontagne, Business Finance Director Business Finance Director: Kevin LaMontagne--assists with financial underwriting for loan applicants, assists with packaging SBA loans, monitors loans with OOC, the County of Oswego IDA and SBA, works as liaison to the banking community. Kevin's LinkedIn Profile

Evelyn LiVoti, Marketing and Development Manager Marketing and Development Manager: Evelyn LiVoti--develops marketing strategies and implements agency's marketing plan; develops and implements annual fund drive efforts. Evelyn's LinkedIn Profile

Teresa Woolson Administrative Coordinator: Teresa Woolson--responsible for OOC and IDA record keeping and reporting; acts as recording secretary for OOC board meetings; oversees OOC and IDA loan portfolio; provides administrative support for SBA 504 program. Teresa's LinkedIn Profile

Administrative Secretary: Karen Perwitz--responsible for reception; assists with record keeping and clerical activities for all staff; assists with business outreach initiatives. Karen's LinkedIn Profile

OOC's Board of Directors
Ex-Officio Members

EDO Partners

Local Partners

OOC provides support for administering the IDA via an administrative services agreement. The IDA provides financing and incentives for eligible projects.

Oswego County Civic Facilities Corporation (OCCFC) OOC provides support for administering the OCCFC. The OCCFC can provide tax exempt financing for eligible 501(c)(3) organizations.

The Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning OOC acts as the lead agency for the economic development component of the County’s Comprehensive Plan, and enjoys ongoing collaboration with this department in addressing issues related to zoning, environmental, infrastructure and development.

Port of Oswego Authority The Port of Oswego Authority works as a partner in economic development in an effort to support the transportation needs of business and industry throughout the region.

OOC receives a number of project referrals from Cooperative Extension. Cooperative Extension also acts as a valuable resource for agriculture-related information and technical support.

Chambers of Commerce The County’s Chambers of Commerce often act as a resource for business referrals, as well as providing a forum for the exchange of business issues and ideas.

Regional, State and Federal Partners

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) OOC is a “Certified Development Company” with the SBA, and works with its Syracuse District Office to secure financing through SBA’s Grow (504) and Advantage (7(a)) loan programs.

CenterState CEO OOC and the CEO reciprocate technical support activities and have collaborated in bringing project and prospect referrals to Oswego County.

Central New York International Business Alliance (CNYIBA)The Central New York International Business Alliance was formed to enhance global sales of businesses in the 12-county CenterState, NY region. It is the Small Business Administration's designated regional Export Outreach Team.

NYS Empire State Development (ESDC) As lead agency in Oswego County, OOC works closely with the regional ESDC office in handling prospect referrals, packaging financing, and administering equipment and training grants.

U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) This agency which is funded by Congress, provides funding for planning, infrastructure and revolving loans which may be accessed by OOC, as lead agency in Oswego County.

Central New York Regional Planning & Development Board (CNYRPDB) This board administers CNYEDC and EDA programs for the central New York region. OOC also works closely with the RPDB in reciprocating technical support. 

Central New York Regional Economic Development Council (CNY REDC) This council has oversight in developing a regional strategic plan for economic development and competes for State funding through the CFA process for projects in the region.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) OOC utilizes various USDA programs to assist in financing for businesses and infrastructures. The IDA operates a USDA Intermediary Lending Program.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) OOC assists the County of Oswego in making application to HUD for projects related to infrastructure and demolition through its Small Cities and Section 108 programs. The County of Oswego IDA administers all HUD RLF programs.

Economic Development Professional Organizations

The membership and affiliation of OOC with the following organizations helps to keep OOC abreast of the latest economic development strategies: New York State Economic Development Council (NYSEDC), Northeast Development Association (NEDA), International Economic Development Council (IEDC), National Association of Development Companies (NADCO), and the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA).

OOC works closely with a number of NYS departments and officials who provide assistance to Oswego County’s economic development efforts. Such departments are often called up to bring large projects to fruition.

Banks Financial institutions throughout the Oswego County region often work with OOC to obtain business prospects and develop sources for project financing.

Real Estate Developers and Agencies OOC reciprocates information related to the development and sale of industrial real estate with both private developers and commercial agencies throughout Oswego County and Central NY.

Utilities (ExelonNational GridDynegyNRGBrookfield Asset Management, Inc.) Energy suppliers have proven to be a great resource for prospects, project incentives and development of utility services.

Education and Workforce Development 

Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation (CiTi) The Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation (CiTi), formerly Oswego County BOCES, works to develop and maintain vocational training as a support service to local business and industry.

Oswego County Workforce Development Board (OCWDB) As a member of the County’s Workforce Development Board, OOC assists in the planning which will complement the training needs of local business and industry.

State University of New York at Oswego (SUNY) OOC works closely with SUNY Oswego to develop business training and consulting through its Small Business Development Center and Micro Enterprise Program, as well as providing a forum for discussion of key topics, which affect our local economy. 

Cayuga Community College OOC works closely with CCC and its Fulton Campus on educational initiatives for training the local workforce.

Trade Unions

Data Name Value Percent
Total Population 118,339  
Median Age 40.3  
Bachelor's Degree or Higher, Age 25+ 15,203 18.98%
High School Degree or Higher, Age 25+ 70,638 88.19%
Civilian Labor Force 58,137 60.27%
Median Household Income $55,967  
Major airports within area + 100 mile radius
Airport Name
Greater Rochester Intl
Ithaca Tompkins Rgnl
Syracuse Hancock Intl
Watertown Intl
Regional airports within area + 100 mile radius Griffiss Intl
General aviation airports within area + 50 mile radius
Airport Name
Airlane Enterprises
Oswego County
Skaneateles Aero Drome