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CEO FOCUS: Celebrating transformation underway in Oswego County

By Robert M. Simpson


Rob Simpson
Robert M. Simpson (CNYBJ file photo by Eric Reinhardt)




On Thursday, Feb. 13, the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce (GOFCC) will host its 2020 annual meeting, presented by Exelon Generation. The event will feature and celebrate the transformation taking place in Oswego County. New businesses are opening. The county is the first to have two of its cities receive Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) awards. All projects in the city of Oswego funded by the state’s DRI investments are underway, resulting in a new skyline, improved façades, new parks, beautiful streets, and a waterfront that is being celebrated in a way like never before.

Likewise the state’s $10 million investment in the city of Fulton will catalyze economic development, repopulation and urban vibrancy. And in just two years, Fulton Block Builders, a neighborhood revitalization program to help home and property owners make improvements, has instilled a sense of pride and personal ownership in the community.

This optimism is also reflected in recent data that shows the county’s progress. Growth in millennials, those 24 to 35 years old, was up 8 percent from 2012 to 2018 across the county. In the city of Oswego the millennial population is up 24.53 percent from 2012 to 2018, according to American Community Survey estimates. At 5.2 percent, the unemployment rate has been more than cut in half since 2012, as overall employment continues to grow. After years of decline, Oswego County, for the second year in a row has grown its labor force.

I encourage you to join us to celebrate this progress. Keynote speaker Melanie Littlejohn, New York VP for National Grid and chair of CenterState CEO, will share her experiences and perspectives relative to this year’s theme of “Passion, Potential, Progress.” Additionally, Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Katie Toomey will highlight the chamber’s programs and ongoing efforts to support members. The chamber will also present its Community Investor and President’s Awards to recognize community and business leaders, as well as the first Nancy Premo Woman of Distinction Award, in honor of Nancy Premo, the late VP of human resources at CenterState CEO.

To register and learn more about the event,contact Shannon Fults at

Robert M. (Rob) Simpson is president and CEO of CenterState CEO, the primary economic-development organization for Central New York. This viewpoint is drawn and edited from the “CEO Focus” email newsletter that the organization sent to members on Jan. 30.