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Cree targeting spring 2021 for completion of Mohawk Valley Fab

By Eric Reinhardt

Date:

Work continues in Marcy on the site of the upcoming Mohawk Valley Fab of Durham, North Carolina–based Cree, Inc., as shown in this July photo. (PHOTO CREDIT: CREE, INC.)

MARCY — Cree, Inc. (NASDAQ: CREE) says its Mohawk Valley Fab is on track for completion in the spring of 2021.

Stuttgart, Germany–based Exyte, Inc. — which operates an office in Albany — is handling the construction on the Fab project, Cree tells CNYBJ in an email interview.

Cree announced in mid-July it had “surpassed foundational targets” for the construction of its Mohawk Valley Fab in Marcy. It’s under development at the Marcy Nanocenter site on the SUNY Polytechnic Institute campus. 

Crews in early July poured the last batch of concrete for the Fab building’s foundation, having used a total of 26,000 cubic feet of concrete in the process, the company said.

They have now started vertical work with two cranes on site to begin the roof trusses and placement of steel columns. The foundation work is also underway for the central utility and administration buildings adjacent to the fab. 

Durham, North Carolina–based Cree focuses on silicon carbide (SiC) technology. Cree describes itself as an “innovator” of Wolfspeed power and radio frequency (RF) semiconductors and lighting-class LEDs.

The expansion in New York is “great news for the long-term growth and success” of Cree, says Rex Felton, VP of operations at Cree when asked why the company chose Marcy for the Fab project. 

“The strategic partnership the company has executed with New York and affiliated agencies enables Cree to build a bigger factory, with greater output capacity at a lower net cost to the company — increasing its competitiveness and giving it greater financial flexibility to make decisions that drive growth. A mega materials factory expansion is currently underway in Durham, North Carolina as well, which remains Cree’s global headquarters and its silicon-carbide center of excellence,” Felton says. 

He went on to say, “With a mega materials factory in Durham and a state-of-the-art wafer fabrication facility in Marcy, Cree will establish a “silicon carbide corridor,” leveraging its 30-year heritage of research and development in the Research Triangle of North Carolina and tapping into the rich technological base of resources situated in New York’s Mohawk Valley.”

As previously announced, Cree has committed to creating more than 600 new jobs within eight years, as well as providing internships for SUNY students as part of its presence in the area. 

The “highly-automated,” 200mm silicon-carbide wafer fabrication facility will be “the first of its kind,” and is forecast to bring 614 jobs with an average salary of $75,000 to Oneida County, the county said in February.

Cree currently has 30 full-time employees in New York and 24 interns from local universities throughout the state, the company said. Cree also has multiple job openings listed for the fab, which include engineering and technician-related positions.

Additionally, Cree plans to partner with local community and four-year colleges in North Carolina and New York to develop training and internship programs to prepare its workforce for the high-tech employment and long-term growth opportunities in both locations that the company’s revised expansion plan presents. 

“This work has already begun, which is evident through the company’s recent announcement that it has established the “Cree/Wolfspeed Scholarship” program and endowed faculty chairs to continue the expansion of STEM opportunities for SUNY Polytechnic Institute students as well as help train tomorrow’s high-tech workforce,” says Felton.

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