FULTON — The city of Fulton on Friday celebrated its long and storied history of manufacturing, paid tribute to present-day industry and unveiled initiatives supporting current manufacturers and future job creators in a ceremony recognizing October as Manufacturing Month.
Fulton Mayor Deana Michaels announced the Manufacturing Month declaration at a Friday ceremony, held on a date widely recognized as National Manufacturing Day. Michaels noted products made in Fulton are “shipped all over the world,” and said as the city aims to improve neighborhoods and the waterfront through various programs, such as the $10 million state Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI), officials must not ignore the city’s job creators and the role manufacturing played in the development of Fulton.
“We have a rich history of manufacturing,” Michaels said, calling Fulton “a city that makes things,” ranging from containers to hospital scrubs, food and custom parts for various end uses. “It’s a story we need to talk about, but we also need to talk about the future and what’s possible here in Fulton.”
Michaels recognized Huhtamaki, Davis-Standard, Universal Metal Works and other major and minor job creators in the city and said the Friday event was aimed at kicking off a month of initiatives to support manufacturing in Fulton.
Michaels said Fulton’s future is largely linked to its manufacturers, which invest in employees, technology and equipment and provide residents with high paying jobs and training.
“Our manufacturing partners see a future in Fulton and help to move us forward together” Michaels said. “The city of Fulton recognizes the importance of these relationships today. It’s not just about recognizing the past accomplishments but also our commitment to the future success we can achieve together.”
State Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay, R-Pulaski, said elected officials hold a lot of different events, but recognition of job creators is probably something that does not happen enough.
“The last couple years have been difficult with the pandemic, the shutdowns and the travel restrictions and we know it’s very difficult for businesses to do business in New York state,” Barclay said. “So I want to say ‘thank you’ to all the manufacturers out there that have persevered because it hasn’t been easy.”
Barclay highlighted the importance of manufacturing in the nation, state and locally, noting for every dollar spent on manufacturing in 2019, another $2.79 is added to the economy — the highest multiplier of any economic sector — and for every worker hired in manufacturing there is another five workers hired in other sectors.
Manufacturing in New York in the year ending August 2021 was a $70 billion industry, Barclay said, and 14,000 manufacturing jobs were added in New York during that timeframe.
“It’s the backbone of our economy, particularly here in the city of Fulton,” Barclay said, thanking the product makers and assuring local manufacturers they have an ally in Albany. Several others spoke at the Friday event, including Oswego County Legislator Ralph Stacey Jr., R-Fulton, Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce Director Katie Toomey and representatives from Operation Oswego County, the Manufacturing Association of Central New York and Cayuga Community College (CCC), which is planning an advanced manufacturing institute at its Fulton campus.
CCC Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Keiko Kimura said the school is committed to creating a more than 7,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility to assist in training the manufacturing workforce of tomorrow. Kimura said CCC recognizes the strength of advanced manufacturing in the region and noted “now more than ever” there’s a need to help residents get back to work and learn the skills necessary to secure quality jobs.
Mayor Michaels expressed gratitude for all the manufacturers and said the city of Fulton is committed to manufacturers, workforce developers and other stakeholders. She vowed to continue supporting the manufacturing sector in Fulton.
Fulton has recently enacted a series of policies aimed at supporting business, Michaels said, including the forthcoming adoption of an updated city Comprehensive Plan and the use of federal relief funding for small business grants. Those initiatives will not be the end of the city’s support of manufacturers and business, the mayor said, highlighting a series of upcoming plans.
“We’re focused on developing a master plan with our friends and C&S Companies for the former Nestle site, to bring a vision and understanding of what it is we want that to become,” the mayor said. “Our DRI projects are starting, contracts are being signed and we expect by the end of the year DRI projects will begin. We’ve started to redevelop our economic and community development agency programs and it’s going strong. And we’re meeting with developers and investors on a regular basis who are interested in the city of Fulton.”
City officials are also focused on improving infrastructure throughout the city, Michaels said, and continuing partnerships with organizations aiming to enhance neighborhoods and grow the city’s workforce. Michaels said the city would unveil further initiatives as the month progresses.