If you've ever driven to Syracuse by taking Route 5 through Elbridge, you've probably noticed a yellow commercial structure to the right just on the Onondaga County side of the border with Cayuga County. Did you know that inside that building, workers are making specialty electronic products that are found in cars, computer and military equipment around the world.
There's a good chance you've heard of Bo-Mer Plastics in Auburn, but did you know that the people working under the roof of that company's Pulaski Street location are fabricating robots used in warehouses, drive-through kiosks, medical equipment and a host of other products you likely see every day?
Did you know that on the campus of Wells College, a member of the school's business program faculty has been a part of roughly a dozen startup ventures throughout the world and is inspiring students to develop their own ideas?
Did you know there's a soybean farmer in the town of Fleming who has dual degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has created a non-profit precision soil research alliance?
These are a few examples of the people and companies operating in the Cayuga County area who are proven innovators in their fields, but their stories are not that well-known in their hometown communities. Bringing these stories to light was a focus of our annual Progress section, which publishes this Sunday.
Progress is a yearly special section The Citizen does in which the news staff examines an aspect of the local economy. We come up with a different theme each year, with past projects focusing on topics such as the evolution of local agriculture, the growth of the food and beverage industry in Cayuga County, the status of the Finger Lakes tourism industry and the impact of the state's regional economic development program.
The theme for Progress 2019 is "Cutting-edge Cayuga: Showcasing area people and companies who are innovating in their industries."
The 32-page section will be included with Sunday's print edition. We'll also be publishing the individual stories from the section at auburnpub.com starting Sunday and running each day through Wednesday.
For this year's Progress section, we've added a feature to the news content package. "Pictures of Progress" is a series of two-page photo spreads documenting some major building projects that have advanced in the past year in the Cayuga County area.
Progress is a total team effort, with multiple reporters and editors collaborating to create a package of content that will help readers gain a deeper understanding of the local economy. We've had terrific feedback on these sections over the years and even won a few awards for them. I'm confident this year's section will live up to the high standards set by Progress issues of the past.