ONONDAGA, N.Y. — U.S. President Joseph Biden called Micron Technology’s decision to build a semiconductor campus in Clay “one of the most significant investments in American history” during a Thursday visit to Onondaga Community College (OCC).
“Again, not hyperbole … one of the most significant investments in American history. And it’s going to ensure that the future is made in America,” the president said in remarks that were greeted with applause. “One of the bright spots around the country that should give us a sense of optimism and hope about who we are as a nation and is part of a broader story about an economy we’re building and one that works for everyone.”
Biden spoke at an invitation-only event inside OCC’s SRC Arena.
Boise, Idaho–based Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) on Oct. 4 announced plans to invest up to $100 billion over the next 20-plus years to build a memory megafab.
Micron describes itself as one of the world’s largest semiconductor companies and the only U.S.–based manufacturer of memory.
“It’s the largest investment in American history that’s also governed by a project-labor agreement,” Biden noted. “That’s a fancy way of saying union. Union, not labor, union. They ensure that the major projects are handled by well trained, well prepared contractors, subcontractors, and highly skilled workers.”
For Biden, the visit represented a bit of a homecoming, as he’s a 1968 graduate of the Syracuse University College of Law. The nation’s 46th president made his first visit to Syracuse as a sitting U.S. president.
“Back in February, I signed an executive order to make sure large federal construction projects used project-labor agreements. And it means that Micron is using one here as well,” the president said. “Micron’s also paying a prevailing wage for funding apprenticeship programs, so folks can get trained in places like this community college [OCC] for one of the thousands of good-paying jobs in this new site.”
Gov. Kathy Hochul; U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D–N.Y.); U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D–N.Y.); U.S. Representative John Katko (R–Camillus); Micron Technology CEO Sanjay Mehrotra; SUNY Chancellor Deborah Stanley; and Onondaga Community College President Warren Hilton were among those who welcomed Biden to campus.
Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon, and Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud were also among the dignitaries in attendance.
Television video showed Schumer, Hochul, and other officials showing Biden exhibits at SRC Arena related to Micron and its plans for a semiconductor chip campus in the town of Clay.
Community Investment Framework
In addition to Biden’s remarks at OCC, Gov. Hochul; Hope Knight, CEO of Empire State Development (ESD); and Micron CEO Mehrotra on Thursday signed what’s called the Community Investment Framework, “endorsing the spirit of collaboration with ESD to invest in the region.”
That’s according to an early Thursday morning announcement that Hochul’s office released.
With the signing, Micron will mark its initial community and work-force commitments established with Empire State Development (ESD).
This framework includes the $500 million Green CHIPS Community Investment Fund focused on supporting work-force development, education, community assets and organizations, affordable housing, as well as other initiatives that ensure the Central New York work force will have the advanced skills needed to sustain semiconductor manufacturing, Hochul’s office said.
Micron will invest $250 million in the Fund and an additional $100 million will be provided by New York State, with $150 million from local, along with other state and national partners.
The company will also establish a community advisory committee consisting of 11 “diverse” community members, in addition to representatives from local and state governments as well as Micron. The committee will identify “priorities and prospective areas” for investment from the Fund.
Through this approach, Micron and ESD want to “better understand and address the needs” of the Central New York community and make targeted investments throughout the region.
Micron’s plans to build a megafab in New York, which will create nearly 50,000 New York jobs including approximately 9,000 high-paying Micron jobs, is the result of the “bipartisan work of Congress and the Biden Administration to pass the CHIPS and Science Act,” per Hochul’s office.