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Manufacturing Remains Strong in Oswego County

Businesses are supplying products to clients at home and abroad

Steve Yablonski

Despite the pandemic, manufacturing continued to be a strong point for Oswego County’s economy.

“We do have some significant manufacturing going on with places like HealthWay and Novelis. There are other projects that we are aware of; we’re just waiting for them to make a final decision where to locate,” said L. Michael Treadwell, executive director of Operation Oswego County. “There are some existing buildings in the Fulton area and in Volney that have interest in them for possible manufacturing related activities.”

Tim McKernan
Tim McKernan

“EJ USA had a very strong year in 2021 selling all our infrastructure access solution line of products. There were many supply chain issues, but our excellent team found workarounds and kept our facility supplied with raw materials,” said Tim McKernan, facility manager, EJ USA, Oswego County Industrial Park, Phoenix, New York.

Like all manufacturers, staffing the organization has been a challenge, McKernan said.

“We expect this to continue in the new year,” he added. “We’ve had a very strong start to 2022 and we expect this year to be very similar to 2021.”
EJ remains the leading supplier of infrastructure access solutions.
Bidding of new projects has been very good so far.

“Our customer base remains optimistic that this will be a good year,” McKernan said. “EJ is positioned very well to take advantage of these opportunities due to our reinvestment in our people and facilities.”
In late January, Gov. Kathy Hochul confirmed the state will replace I-81 with community grid.

“Projects like this will have a great deal of EJ material on it,” McKernan said.

The Novelis plant is set to embark on a $130 million expansion project this year.

“Throughout 2021 Novelis continued to navigate the impacts of COVID-19 on our global and local economies, using innovation and collaboration to serve our customers and community,” said Jeff Cruse, plant manager at Novelis Oswego.

Demand for sustainable aluminum solutions has remained strong.
“We look forward to that continuing into 2022. In fact, Novelis is investing $130 million to upgrade operations in the Oswego plant which serves the Can, Automotive and Specialty Products markets,” Cruse said.

Jeff Cruse
Jeff Cruse

With work scheduled to begin this spring, the new investment includes upgrades to the plant in line with the company’s sustainability goal to reduce energy use by 10% by 2026. This investment further strengthens the plant’s position for additional recycled aluminum inputs and increased recycled content across its product lines in the future.

“Investing in modern, energy-efficient upgrades will help us sustain and grow relationships with our valued customers, and also strengthen Novelis’ ability to thrive in Oswego as a great place to work and community partner,” Cruse said.

“There’s a big demand for the air filtration products that HealthWay manufactures,” Treadwell said.

In early 2022, Mexico’s leading hospitality group, Grupo Posadas, partnered with HealthWay to provide clean air in hotels throughout Quintana Roo.

They improved overall indoor air quality by installing the Intellipure line of air purifiers by HealthWay.

“It’s an honor to support Grupo Posadas during this difficult time with state-of-the-art air cleaning solutions carefully selected to provide the highest air cleaning efficiency with the lowest noise level and energy cost,“ Vinny Lobdell, global president of HealthWay, said in a prepared statement at the time.

Featured image: EJ USA headquarters in East Jordan, Michigan. The company has a plant in the Oswego County Industrial Park in Schroeppel, which employs nearly 100 workers.