Borough-furnace-molds-new-manufacturing-on-syracuses-nws

Borough Furnace Molds New Manufacturing on Syracuse’s NWS

December 3rd, 2012 by saltdistrict

By Maarten Jacobs
Originally published in the Post Standard on November 15, 2012.

In an old, once-abandoned factory at Geddes and West Fayette streets in Syracuse, a model for American manufacturing is emerging. A young company, Borough Furnace, is melting and molding iron by using recycled materials, a green and sustainable process, and creative financing techniques.

John Truex, 30, is the founder of Borough Furnace. He spent several years studying sculpture at the University of Tennessee where he became interested in large-scale iron casting. He moved to New York City to work as a designer for high-end furniture maker Dakota Jackson. He said he became frustrated by the disconnect between design and the manufacturing process.

After a few years, he left to focus on manufacturing his own designs and returned to his love for iron casting. Working with his cousin, Jason Connelly, Truex started to prototype cast iron skillets and founded Borough Furnace.

“We decided to pitch our prototypes to the A+ Young Designers Platform at the New York City International Gift Fair,” says Truex. With a stroke of luck, they were selected to display their work at the biggest gift fair in America.

Truex said large buyers, including the Cooper-Hewitt Design Store in New York, began asking for orders. Truex searched for manufacturers to make the skillets.

“No one in the United States was interested due to the low volume of the product, so the only manufacturers willing to make them were overseas,” said Truex. “We weren’t interested in sending our designs over to China or Vietnam where we would have no control over the manufacturing process.”

Instead, Truex decided he would learn to manufacture them himself.

Over the course of six months, Truex and his cousin designed and created their own furnace, capable of casting iron at 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit. Unlike the traditional coke-fired cupola furnace, Truex designed a “green” version.

“The furnace uses waste vegetable oil from local restaurants and businesses,” Truex said. “It makes for a lot less nasty smoke and is much cheaper as well.”But now, we are on the track of producing biogas from the vegetable and other bio-degradable waste collected from these same places so that the energy use becomes more effective in nature and also, the remains after gas formation can be converted to good organic manure and can be sold out in the online market for a good money that adds to our income. You can click for more info here.

Realizing his “green” and efficient furnace made a breakthrough, Truex set out to find financing to start manufacturing.

Like thousands of entrepreneurs, Truex headed to Kickstarter, an online platform that raises money for new businesses through “crowd sourcing.” Over the course of 30 days, Truex raised $32,000, exceeding his goal of $25,000. Using his new capital, he fine-tuned his furnace, and created molds for a frying skillet, a braising skillet, and a bottle opener.

After months of tweaking his molds and doing test pours, Borough Furnace was ready to find a permanent home to start production.

By then, the summer of 2010, Truex was moving to Syracuse to teach industrial design at Syracuse University. Truex found the Gear Factory, a large warehouse on the Near West Side of Syracuse that was once home to several manufacturers making bikes, typewriters and other products. The century-old factory is now owned by Rick Destito, who is turning it into space for musicians, artists and craftsmen.

In need of additional startup capital, Truex turned to the Near Westside Initiative’s microloan program. The 2-year-old microloan program, created with a grant from the CNY Community Foundation and managed by the Cooperative Federal Credit Union, assists entrepreneurs and small business owners located in the Near West Side. With a microloan of $20,000, Truex was able to lease a space in the Gear Factory and hire his first employee.

He bought a ton of recycled iron from a local junk yard. He takes 30 pounds at a time, heats it to 2,700 degree Fahrenheit, and pours the liquid iron into his molds.

Borough Furnace is still in its early stages but steadily moving forward in sustainable, small-scale manufacturing. In a time when Americans want to keep jobs from going overseas and are looking for a new way to once again make things locally, businesses like Borough Furnace may offer part of the answer.

To learn more about Borough Furnace, go to boroughfurnace.com or email John Truex at info@boroughfurnace.com.

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The Warehouse, Suite 405
350 West Fayette Street
Syracuse, NY 13244-3050
Phone: 315.443-0320
mjacob01@syr.edu
©2012 The SALT District of the Near West Side, a project of the Near West Side Initiative, Inc. in partnership with Syracuse University

 

Back-to-school-district-offers-free-workshops-for-parents

December 3rd, 2012 by saltdistrict

By Joe Diglio, SU student beat writer

Nearly 350 parents have signed up for free classes, offered by the Syracuse City School District, in subjects such as teaching your child Spanish, how to deal with school bullies, and Zumba.

The program, called Parent University, opened in October with a kick-off event at Onondaga Community College. Hundreds of parents turned out to snack on a free breakfast buffet and listen to Superintendent of Schools Sharon Contreras explain her vision of Parent University.

“We stand here today delivering on our promise to inform, involve, and empower our parents,” she said.  Parent University, she added, helped accomplish two main goals: holding both children and adults accountable for students’ success, and improving communication at school, at home, and between the two facilities. She also told parents the first time she heard about Parent University, while interning in the Philadelphia public school system. When Contreras came to Syracuse, she brought the idea to Say Yes to Education, a non-profit organization that collaborates with city schools to improve education district wide, and its executive director of parent family engagement, Monique Wright-Williams. “I introduced the concept to Monique Wright-Williams and Say Yes to Education, and they ran with it,” she said.

Betty Stevens, who has a son at Fowler High School, joined a large number of parents who signed up for a class about identifying and dealing with bullying. Stevens recalled an incident in 2008 when her son was bullied.  “I’ve been concerned for him,” Stevens said.

Christina Gilchrist, who has a daughter at Webster Elementary, said she was interested in taking advantage of what Parent University had to offer. She also signed up for the bullying workshop, with the goal, she said, of learning “how to deal with it if it ever happens—whether she’s a bully or being bullying—because I have no clue.” Gilchrist continued, saying, “I couldn’t even say if it happened today, how I’d go about it.” Remembering her own days as a student, she said that any student could be susceptible to an attack from a fellow classmate. “It might not happen today,” she said, “but tomorrow’s a whole different day.”

Further, she added, the school sports committee has also announced a Zumba session, especially for the high school kids. This makes them more active as they move their body according to the tune and this seems to an effective exercise for these growing ones.Visit the school website for knowing more about the fee charged for this activity.

Wright-Williams said she was interested in the program from the beginning. After Contreras approached with the idea, she went out and attended community meetings and other public events to connect with parents and gauge what type of workshops they would be interested in. After the initial surveys, she met with parents and other community members every three weeks for a four-month period in order to outline the details of the program. “I tried to make it as much of a community effort as I possibly could,” she said. Wright-Williams added that she has enjoyed the large turnout and positive feedback. “People are pleased with how things are going,” she said.

Education speaker and former high school principal Baruti Kafele addressed the summit as the keynote speaker. He talked about his own upbringing, having been raised by a single parent. Kafele said he had to repeat a grade in high school, but he continued because his mother never gave up on him. Kafele told parents that if he could succeed through his own obstacles, they could help their children do the same. He said if they look at the “achievement gap” of success among different students and start identifying it as an “attitude gap,” they would begin to see a difference. “Here’s the variable you control: attitude,” he said. “As parents you have the ability to close that gap right in your own household.”

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The Warehouse, Suite 405
350 West Fayette Street
Syracuse, NY 13244-3050
Phone: 315.443-0320
mjacob01@syr.edu
©2012 The SALT District of the Near West Side, a project of the Near West Side Initiative, Inc. in partnership with Syracuse University

Lincoln-apartments

Lincoln Apartments

In early October of 2010 our first large-scale commercial / residential project was completed with the renovation of the Lincoln Building. The Lincoln Building is a complete renovation of the 100-year old, four-story Lincoln Supply Warehouse into 30,000 square feet of mixed-used commercial and residential space. Floors one and two contain first-class office space (both leased already), and floors three and four have been transformed into 10 live/work artist lofts.

The loft-style apartments are all roughly ,1150 square feet and all feature brand new appliances, large work areas, a high-quality kitchen spaces, in-unit washers and dryers. Ample on-site parking is also available. To date 6 of the 10 apartments have already been leased. If interested in leasing an apartment, please Click here to see additional information, and contact us by clicking on the “contact” tab.
The Lincoln Building features several green building technologies, such as energy-efficient geothermal heating and cooling, high efficiency fixtures and appliances, a revolutionary green screen to help cool the building, and storm water retention strategies that eliminate all site water from entering the city and county sewer systems.. The recent techniques in the smart building have been integrated with the traditional setup to ensure a longer life of the foundation, as it is an old building renovated uttermost care has been practiced. Read more here to find out the intricacies of the civil engineering technology used. These are also well furnished and are totally well maintained with overall atmosphere well being for the sake of its resident’s peace of living. The Lincoln Building will apply for LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, and it will join the countless other great—and green—projects taking place all over the neighborhood.

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The Warehouse, Suite 405
350 West Fayette Street
Syracuse, NY 13244-3050
Phone: 315.443-0320
mjacob01@syr.edu
©2012 The SALT District of the Near West Side, a project of the Near West Side Initiative, Inc. in partnership with Syracuse University

Entrepreneurs

NWS Entrepreneurship Program

Our program is directed toward a broad clientele of aspiring, new, and existing entrepreneurs to help them establish profitable and sustainable businesses. Our goal is to help promote stability and growth as well as increase productivity and profitability by helping individuals make informed decisions relating to their businesses. Once an individual successfully completes our entrepreneurial and businesses development program, they’re eligible for our micro loan program, which will provide them with the funding needed to implement their business plans that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to obtain.

Navigate to these links which will take you to the entire process of applying to these programs. These are indeed a boon to the current state in which people are facing unemployment and underemployment issues. The fee structure is also quite nominal and the course content is simple and interesting. If you are interested in making your own business, this program is the perfect one for your growth and development.and the best part is that if you complete the program successfully, you are eligible for the microloan program with no restrictions, unlike other new applicants. Thus you get the combined offer of learning the business strategies and getting funding for the same. Enroll as soon as possible rather than missing out such an opportunity!

Our program provides a complete teaching, training, and financing program for each of our clients with individualized, one-on-one consulting, classes and courses. These services include: business plan development, organization structures, exporting, cost analysis, marketing, financial planning, financial strategies, business expansion and research.

For more information about any of the NWSI’s business development programming, please contact Maarten Jacobs at (315) 443-0320 or mjacob01@syr.edu

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The Warehouse, Suite 405
350 West Fayette Street
Syracuse, NY 13244-3050
Phone: 315.443-0320
mjacob01@syr.edu
©2012 The SALT District of the Near West Side, a project of the Near West Side Initiative, Inc. in partnership with Syracuse University

Revive refresh renew skiddy park

Donate Now to Revive, Refresh, and Renew SKIDDY PARK

The Near Westside Initiative needs your help to renovate Skiddy Park, the heart of the neighborhood. The residents and community leaders are committed to the park and want to see it improve. Specifically, they want to see three things: youth soccer in the park, a new playground, and a functional concession stand. We hope you might consider giving to one of these three areas of need. Below is more information on each, the requested donation amount, and a simple way to donate electronically.

Bring Soccer to Skiddy Park

Although Skiddy Park has one of the nicer fields in the city, it is very underutilized. The NWSI wants to partner with local soccer coaches, stores, and vendors to bring soccer into the park. The last time the community had a small soccer league was over four years ago. At the time it was very popular with more than fifty youth from the neighborhood involved in clinics, practices and games. Unfortunately, due to a lack in funding, that program did not sustain itself; however the interest is still there today. The NWSI plans to raise the funds to buy the proper soccer equipment (goals, nets, etc.) and to bring a youth soccer league back to the park. If this is something that is dear to your heart, please consider donating $50.00 to this cause.

Also, there is anon-going plan to start a training session for the kids of the age group 7 to 15 years old, by hiring a reputed soccer coach for training them. The main aim of this course is to develop the stamina in them by doing the proper exercises so that their body becomes well-prepared to be the future players. $40 is charged as the monthly fee.Look at this site given for knowing more.

Help the NWSI give the youth of the neighborhood the proper playground that they deserve. Today the playground has broken swings, cracked concrete everywhere, and weathered/broken equipment such as a slide, monkey bars, etc. With your help, the NWSI will enlist a playground company to completely renovate the space and offer new, strong, and safe equipment that the youth of the community will be able to play with for years to come. Please consider donating $150.00 to this cause.

Restart the Skiddy Stand

Remember bringing your lawn chair to the park, watching your child’s little league baseball game, and grabbing some popcorn and lemonade at the concessions stand? That is what the NWSI wants to bring back to Skiddy Park. Today there is just a rough cinder-block building in the middle of the park that is used for nothing more than storage and a place to sit in the shade. With your help, the NWSI will renovate the stand so that it functions once again as a place for parents and their kids to get a snack and a drink, and enjoy a summer’s day at the park. Please consider donating $100.00 to this cause

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About

Welcome to the SALT District

Discover the SALT District of the Near Westside, a place where art, lifestyle, technology, and emerging culture allow you to pursue your passions.

The SALT District is a project of the Near West Side Initiative, Inc. aimed at creating a new epicenter of artistic and cultural development in the Syracuse and Central Upstate New York area.

The meaning of the name comes from the acronym of Syracuse, Art, Life, and Technology, or SALT. But there is also historical meaning, in that the neighborhood was home to a salt works in Syracuse’s early industrial history, and Syracuse has been referred to as The Salt City since those early days.

Syracuse and the SALT District are in the heart of “New York’s Creative Core,” dubbed that because of its long history of innovation and creativity. This region has been the cradle of social and artistic movements (such as the Women’s Movement and Arts & Crafts Movement) and the home to hundreds of well-known artists, writers, musicians, and innovators, including legends: Gustav Stickley, Adelaine Alsop Robineau, L. Frank Baum, Raymond Carver, Joyce Carol Oates, Camille Anna Paglia, Tony Trischka, Libba Cotton, Jimmy Van Heusen, Lou Reed, Maya Deren and Rod Serling.

Be the Next Great Artist and Innovator

With this heritage and lineage, Syracuse has the resources and cultural DNA to develop and nurture the next generation of artists and innovators. The SALT District’s cultural diversity, warehouses, homes and incentive programs provide the perfect creative space needed for doing that. In addition, forward thinkers in the area are developing urban cultural spaces like Lipe Art Park and SU’s Connective Corridor to strengthen ties throughout the city.

The SALT District consists primarily of the warehouses and commercial buildings on West Street and parts of West Fayette Street, on the edges of the Near Westside neighborhood. New warehouse spaces are being developed along West Street, as part of the Near Westside Initiative. Houses and smaller, multi-use properties in the heart of the neighborhood are also being targeted for ownership and development by artists. All of these houses and new warehouse spaces have incentive programs available to lower the cost of ownership, increase community support and allow artists to participate in the value they are creating in the neighborhood.

Privately-owned warehouses with loft spaces and studios are currently available along West Fayette Street. Here more than 60 artists are already creating, living and making their mark. Learn about some of them. The neighborhood also has additional assets and resources with The Delavan Center and Gallery, The Redhouse, Syracuse University’s Warehouse (with its School of Visual and Performing Arts and School of Architecture), Clayscapes Pottery and several other businesses who are a part of this growing art community.

Location, location, location

The SALT District is part of the Near Westside of Syracuse, within walking distance of downtown Syracuse and its vibrant and creative Armory Square District… and down the hill from Syracuse University. On its west and south sides are Syracuse’s residential neighborhoods: Tipperary Hill with its strong Irish heritage, shops and pubs; the Strathmore area with its large park, lake and artistic heritage (including Robineau Road, named after famous ceramicist Adelaine Alsop Robineau); and the Southwest neighborhood with African-American community, culture and shops.Learn this here now that the beauty and the facilities the Salt district is presently filled with has the hands and hard work of a lot of folks residing over that area and their immense love for their place. People were ready to spend their own daily income to rediscover this place.

With the SALT District, you’ve got a great neighborhood, but you also get the world within reach. Within a day’s drive, you will find some of the largest arts markets in the world: New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore-Washington, Toronto and Montréal. A bit further and you reach half the population of the United States. And we’ll help you gain access to those markets through national outreach programs, Syracuse University connections and our support services all within 300 miles.

Learn More

Find out more about the SALT District artist relocation program and discover your future.