Wednesday April 13, 2016

War on Poverty

Glaring statistics paint a bleak portrait of Central New York. See how officials plan to tackle the problem
By Aaron Gifford

    The city of Syracuse with the Carrier Dome in the foreground

    Not since President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty” 52 years ago has the scale of mass poverty demanded such major initiatives from lawmakers. But this time, in the wake of glaring statistics that paint a bleak portrait of Central New York, leaders and policymakers at the local level have decided that tacking the growing problem of hunger, unemployment, substandard housing and general lack of opportunities for economic advancement here, will require a major offensive.

    This is the tale of two cities and two counties and their own wars on poverty. 

    Oswego County Business magazine analyzed statistics and reports on poverty trends in Oswego and Onondaga counties as well as the city of Syracuse, the region’s hub. Policy makers and poverty agencies from these communities elaborated on the downward spiral that has affected their populations and they outlined their plans of attack.

    Case No. 1
    Syracuse and Onondaga County 

    Problems began decades ago with the mass exodus of city residents to the suburbs. The steady loss of manufacturing jobs followed as companies relocated overseas or to other states with cheaper taxes and utility rates. This was all before the Great Recession and the closing of two of the largest employers in the entire region — New Process Gear and Carrier Corp.’s East Syracuse manufacturing operation. Much smaller businesses came and went, and service industry jobs that replaced the factory work did not come close to funding the same standard of living that so many Central New Yorkers had grown accustomed to. Struggling neighborhoods and families were further marginalized.


    • Subscribe to read the entire story. The cost to subscribe for a year is $21.50. To subscribe, go to

Oswego County Business Magazine
Issue 156

Issue 156
June/July 2018

Cover Story


Carol Sweeney

On The Job

How Does Summer Affect Your Business?

Success Stories

Oliver B. Paine Greenhouses

My Turn

Honorary Doctorate Degrees — Should They Be Eliminated?

Economic Trends

Fifteen semi-finalists competing for a $50,000 prize

Last Page

Paul Stewart