Driving down East First Street returning students, faculty and staff may notice something, a new Oswego State sign in front of Pathfinder Bank. The sign marks the new Oswego State Business Resource Center.
The move not only affords the Office of Business and Community Relations a new and more spacious home but also allows deeper community enrichment between the college and the East Side where there is notably less of an impact.
The new location, called the Business Resource Center, houses the Office of Business and Community Relations, as well as the NYS Small Business Development Center, the Workforce Development Board of Oswego County and the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce. Other groups housed within the location are Leadership Oswego County, the Oswego branch of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and the Oswego Bookmobile administrative staff.
Pamela Caraccioli, the deputy to the president for external partnerships and economic development, said at first her team was looking at space on campus, and it was not until president Deborah Stanley found real estate on East First Street that it became clear to expand.
“We had planned to relocate to a very central area of campus, and president Stanley pushed that aside and said ‘No I think we need to be downtown’,” Caraccioli said. “Our point was to be much more intentional in our role in the community and our efforts in bringing our campus to the community.”
Pathfinder Bank was one of the businesses to offer space to the resource center. The location was attractive because of the traffic that passes it, as well as the amount of parking available.
“What we liked the most about it was the location was on the busiest intersection in the city of Oswego,” said Caraccioli. “Also the intersection of East First and 104 is a great project for the East Side where we felt we wanted to have an impact on the East Side.”
Mayor William Barlow said that the movement of the Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce into the Business Resource Center had an unanticipated benefit. The Chamber of Commerce vacated their old location on 44 E. Bridge St., which allowed for the Office of Community and Economic Development to get a new location.
Despite being separate entities all of the departments benefit from being in close proximity to each other.
“We share a lot of the population in terms of customers and relationships, so it makes sense to share services and we have a common conference now, it’s definitely a smart move by both organizations,” Caraccioli said.
The new resource center has the capacity to provide various business-related services to people looking to get involved with the local business community. The goal of combining the different organizations in one building was to make it much faster for interested parties to visit all of the major players in the Oswego business community.
The center also has a conference room that can seat 40 people, incorperating original and historical architectural points into its design, such as an original stone wall along the southern side and a vault that references the involvement of Pathfinder Bank.
Students along with faculty are taking notice of the new business downtown. Junior Rachel Seriani noted the sign, which she said was what made him aware that the Business Resource Center had moved from Rich Halll, where it had previously been located.
“As a marketing and finance double major, I’m glad to see the expansion of the business department,” Seriani said.
Photo: Taylor Woods: The Oswegonian