Plus, SUNY Oswego, Marquart Switches Team Up on Software Projects
Plus, SUNY Oswego, Marquart Switches Team Up on Software Projects
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Oswego County Economic Development News

February 16, 2023
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From left, Oswego County Legislator Mary Ellen Chesbro, Police Chief Martin Nerber, Police Sergeant Dan Ferazzoli, Phoenix Mayor Caleb Sweet, Deputy Mayor Paul Griser, Village Trustee Brian Borchik, Secretary of State Robert Rodriguez, Kristy LaManche, Village Administrator James Lynch, and Oswego County IDA CEO Austin Wheelock.

Village of Phoenix to Receive $4.5 Million from NY Forward Program

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the Village of Phoenix will receive $4.5 million, and the Villages of Moravia and Hamilton will each receive $2.25 million in funding as the Central New York region winners of the first round of NY Forward. Building on the momentum of the State's successful Downtown Revitalization Initiative, the $100 million NY Forward program adopts the same "Plan-then-Act" strategy as the DRI to support a more equitable downtown recovery for New York's smaller and rural communities.
"New York's downtowns are the heart and soul of our communities and regions, and NY Forward will ensure that Phoenix, Moravia, and Hamilton have the resources they need to thrive and flourish," Governor Hochul said. "This funding will revitalize these villages back to what the bustling areas they once were by making communities more walkable, creating new housing opportunities, and attracting businesses."
Central New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Randy Wolken, President & CEO of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York and Le Moyne College President Linda M. LeMura said, "Phoenix, Moravia and Hamilton truly represent all that is good about the Central New York region's smaller communities and everything that they have to offer. Many thanks to Governor Hochul for recognizing the need to help fuel the revitalization of these beautiful communities, accelerating their economic opportunities for years to come."
The Village of Phoenix is a canal community rich with 19th century history and character centered around Lock 1 of the Oswego Canal on the Oswego River. Phoenix's Canal Waterfront District will be the focus of NY Forward funds. Phoenix seeks to achieve its vision for revitalization by embracing its canal history and the pursuit of continued economic development initiatives, along with a commitment to compatible building and open space design. The Village aims to enhance the economic, residential and recreational opportunities available in the Canal Waterfront District and throughout the Village by reinvesting in the buildings and recreating the thriving canal community that once existed along the Oswego Canal at Lock 1. These new and expanded businesses, affordable housing stock and waterfront setting will attract people from around the country to the Village's distinctive canal-centered environment.
To support these economic development initiatives, Phoenix’s application also identified the need to upgrade the Village’s wastewater treatment plant and sanitary sewer system. Currently, the system cannot support any additional capacity. The expansion of the wasterwater treatment plant and sewer system will address existing issues, as well as provide the necessary capacity for large-scale economic development opportunities in the Village and at the L. Michael Treadwell Industrial Park in the Town of Schroeppel.
Mayor of Phoenix Caleb Sweet said, "The Village of Phoenix is ripe with potential and ready to finish its transformation into a vibrant canal community. Thanks to Governor Hochul and the innovative NY Forward program, we can now make our plans a reality. We look forward to creating a strategic plan that will attract new businesses, expand housing opportunities, increase employment rates and enhance tourism and recreational opportunities in the Village."
Operation Oswego County Executive Director Austin Wheelock said, “The Village of Phoenix developed an excellent proposal by building off their unique waterfront assets and recent successes. They were very deserving of the $4.5M NY Forward award. With $100B in public and private investments over the next 20 years, just a few miles away at the Micron Site in Clay, Phoenix is poised for significant commercial and residential growth, and will now have the much needed financial resources to turn those plans into reality. We are excited to continue working together with the Village on the implementation of this important initiative.”
Phoenix will now begin the process of developing Strategic Investment Plans to revitalize their downtowns. A Local Planning Committee made up of municipal representatives, community leaders and other stakeholders will lead these efforts, supported by a team of private sector experts and state planners. The Strategic Investment Plan will examine local assets and opportunities to identify projects that align with each community's vision and that are poised for implementation. Funding will be awarded for selected projects from the Strategic Investment Plan that have the greatest potential to jumpstart revitalization and generate new opportunities for long-term growth.
As SUNY Oswego seniors last fall working on their capstone projects, Ahmad Black,Matthew Olmeda and Sean Schukraft (from left) collaborated with Marquardt Switches in Cazenovia on a variety of projects supporting the company's efficiency and their own problem-solving skills.

SUNY Oswego students, Marquardt Switches team up on software projects

In the fall semester, three SUNY Oswego students collaborated with Marquardt Switches in Cazenovia on a variety of projects supporting the company's efficiency and their own problem-solving skills.
Software engineering major Sean Schukraft and information science majors Ahmad Black and Matthew Olmeda -- then all seniors working on their capstone projects -- appreciated the opportunity, made possible by computer science faculty member Bastian Tenbergen. It's an example of the university working with generous industry partners.
"So at the beginning of the semester I was still deciding what I wanted to do my capstone on and then Professor Bastian came to us and asked if anyone was interested and he said there's a company called Marquardt and they're looking for an interface," Schukraft recalled. "I said, well that sounds cool."
"When I looked them up and realized how big it was and how much human interaction and things that I can get outside of a normal project from it, I had to do it," Olmeda said.
"It was too good to pass up," Black explained. "It was a chance to really work with an actual company and get some well real-life experience in this field. And it's very interesting to say the least. It's been a great experience."
"Marquardt has been the easiest partner to work with so far in my 12 years of doing projects like this," Tenbergen noted.
"So I'm developing an interface for them and it's based on the web and basically it's going to allow factory workers to input data much faster and it's gonna save a lot of time process for the engineers," Schukraft said.
Black and Olmeda teamed up for a data-driven project that examined efficiency from a different angle.
"Essentially what we do is we take in the data that is gathered from operators and floor workers and we take in that data and then we turn it into comparable graphs," Black said.
"So that way when they look at it it's not just a bunch of numbers, they can just see a graph" that can clearly show the amount of downtime, Olmeda said.
"So essentially we're just cutting out a lot of that middle ground and just doing all the calculations," Black said.
"As soon as you have that external partner and an appropriately scoped project, the value for the students and for the partner goes up dramatically," Tenbergen said. "It's a lot more effort, but it's invaluable to do."
"A lot of hands-on experience that I would've never got otherwise," Olmeda said. "And just a lot of advice from a really good teacher."
"It was very interesting to get essentially told this is great, try this," Black said. "This is nice, but can you make it more like this? I'm just really fitting a product of someone's preferences and creating a more interesting thing that's more tailored to the customer in question."
"So at SUNY Oswego we have a very very significant and very long history of successful projects where we move things directly into the industry such that our partners can immediately benefit from this," Tenbergen said.
Marquardt provides high-quality, innovative switching products to the global automotive, power tool and appliance switch markets. The company is customer-focused, quality-minded and driven to excellence by outstanding employees.
SUNY Oswego will offer a variety of events for its inaugural Engineering Week: The future flows through Oswego, Feb. 20 to 24. Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) faculty member Hui Zhang (standing) works with students (from left) Chibuike Ogbonna and Avery Croucher in spring 2022, after earning National Science Foundation funding for research related to improving the charging of electric vehicles.

SUNY Oswego offers programs celebrating Engineering Week

In conjunction with National Engineers Week and upon launching a year-long celebration of the SUNY Oswego’s Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) program and department’s 10-year anniversary, the university will offer a variety of events for its inaugural Engineering Week: The future flows through Oswego, Feb. 20 to 24.
SUNY Oswego will partner with local industry, schools and outstanding alumni, focusing on careers and opportunities in the engineering field. 
Each day will offer a tailored theme filled with activities and competition, alumni and industry panel discussions, including:
  • Monday, Feb. 20: Alumni and Career Day
  • Tuesday, Feb. 21: Competition Day: Treasure Hunt with Electromagnets
  • Wednesday, Feb. 22: Engineering Industry Showcase
  • Thursday, Feb. 23: Focus on Women in Engineering
  • Friday, Feb. 24: Open House for High School Students
For more information about these events, including times and locations in the Shineman Center, visit
A variety of industry partners have signed on to participate in SUNY Oswego’s Engineering Week events, including an engineering showcase and career fair at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22, and a Focus on Women in Engineering panel discussion with eminent local female engineers at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23. 
Industry partners to date include Constellation - Nine Mile (sponsoring Women In Engineering Day), Constellation - FitzPatrick, Amazon, C&S, Knowles Precision Devices, Lockheed Martin, Marquardt Switches, Novelis, SRC, TRC and the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
In addition to welcoming all interested SUNY Oswego students, faculty and staff to these Engineering Week events, the university also invites high school students and prospective Lakers to take part in competitions for prizes; meet SUNY Oswego alumni working in the engineering industry; meet and chat with current students; and engage with representatives from engineering companies across the Central and Upstate New York regions.
For high school students interested in engineering, the week offers many opportunities to explore the field. An open house on Friday, Feb. 24, will provide high school students with the opportunity to enjoy a pizza lunch and meet current engineering students; attend a class (ECE 101: "Introduction to Engineering"); partake in a supervised robotic project activity; and tour the Richard S. Shineman Center for Science, Engineering and Innovation. Due to limited space, students need to register via the website for this day's activities.
44 West Bridge Street | Oswego, NY 13126 US
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