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Biden in Syracuse: Bright future for Micron, chip industry in New York. What he said



New York is officially a major player in the nation’s manufacturing space.  

President Joe Biden visited Syracuse on Thursday to promote a federal cash infusion for Micron chip manufacturing plants in New York and Idaho. He announced a deal to provide $6.1 billion in federal grants for the company’s planned $100 billion complex of computer chip plants in the town of Clay, in the Syracuse area. 

The investment stems from the CHIPS and Science Act, passed in 2022, to reestablish the U.S. as a leader in chip manufacturing — the components that power everything from speech-to-text in smartphones to advanced weapons systems. 

Semiconductors were invented in America but today, the U.S. produces only about 10% of the world’s supply, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Biden wants that to change.

“I assure you, we’re just getting started,” Biden said — he was met with roaring applause at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology in downtown Syracuse. “We’re not just investing in our economy, we’re investing in our people as well.”

Central New York has become a regular stop for Biden in recent years. 

In October 2022, he visited Syracuse shortly after Micron’s investment in the area touting the region as one “poised to lead the world in advanced manufacturing.” He also stopped at an IBM facility in the Poughkeepsie area that year to announce $20 million in funding, and made several other campaign-oriented visits in 2022 and 2023.

What does this mean for Central NY?

Last week, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said in a statement the “historic deal” for Micron would reinvent Upstate New York’s economy and resurge American manufacturing. 

On Thursday, Micron Technologies CEO Sanjay Mehrotra confirmed the creation of about 50,000 new jobs in the Syracuse area related to the Micron buildout, including 9,000 direct positions at its plants. 

“These positions pay workers $100,000 each year,” Biden emphasized. “And they don’t require a college degree. The middle class built this country and unions built the middle class. Its about time we return to our roots.” 

Gov. Kathy Hochul, attending the event with Biden, noted that the federal grant for Micron is “the largest private sector investment in our nation’s history.”

“Friends, the day has come. Our future has arrived,” she gleamed.

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Biden went on to claim Syracuse is making a comeback. He acknowledged the 22,000 jobs lost when BCS Automotive Interface Solutions closed in 2021. 

“This landmark deal creates careers that will serve this community for years,” Biden said. 

The semiconductor puzzle in Central NY

As the final pieces of the state’s semiconductor puzzle fall into place, there is still progress to be made — with plant buildout being one of the next steps. 

The journey began in 2009 when GlobalFoundries opened its first fabrication facility in Malta, Saratoga County. In 2022, Wolfspeed provided another silicon fab in Marcy, promising more than 600 jobs to the Mohawk Valley. 

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Micron followed up with a 2022 pledge to invest billions into a semiconductor fab at the White Pine Commerce Park. 

The Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency (OCIDA) owns the 1,400-acre industrial park, and County Executive Ryan McMahon said he was pleased to contribute to the region’s resurgence. He claimed to have seen the site’s potential — proximity to a massive power substation and access to fresh water — from the start. 

“Today is about the moment in front of us,” continued McMahon. “As a community we must greet that moment. This area is hungry and aligned. It’s destined for success with its new bold, bipartisan partnerships.”

Projected buildout: When will Micron come online in Syracuse?

In a call Wednesday, Biden administration officials laid out the latest development timeline for Micron’s upstate plants, crediting the latest funding with helping move things forward. The first New York fab, or semiconductor fabrication plant, will be ready for production in 2028, with the second coming online in 2029. 

The first two New York fabs are part of Micron’s broader, four-fab vision for the Syracuse plant, including investment of $100 billion over the course of the next two decades. 

Micron plans to build four 600,000-square-foot “clean rooms,” roughly 40 football fields in size, making the construction project one of the largest in North America to date. 

On Thursday the company reiterated its commitment to sustainable design and plans to use 100% renewable electricity at the facilities to mitigate greenhouse gases.

How much federal cash is available for chip facilities?

The Commerce Department, with a budget of $39 billion for semiconductor investment funding, has distributed several grants to chip manufacturers as an incentive for them to expand facilities in the U.S.

The latest preliminary memorandum of terms (PMT) brings the total announced grants to more than $29 billion, according to state officials. 

The CHIPS funding will help bolster the nation’s production of critical memory chips, which the country is becoming more dependent on, Schumer said in a statement. Micron’s technology will also enable the highest-performance memory, known as High-Bandwidth Memory, which is critical for enabling new AI models, he added. 

“This is a landmark day for New York and for America, which will manufacture the advanced memory chips that power the economy to secure its national security,” Schumer said in a statement. “To all those who have their doubts, believe it. Micron is here, Micron is real.” 

Micron bringing ‘leading edge’ tech to Central NY

During Thursday’s visit, Biden discussed how his Investing in America agenda is building the economy from the middle out and bottom up, mobilizing an economic comeback in communities like Syracuse, and strengthening U.S. national security.

Micron officials confirmed their commitment to spend $50 billion toward the development of their first three fabs over the next six years, spurring community revitalization and ecosystem development across the country. 

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Mehrotra shared his excitement that Micron’s leading-edge memory technology will prove foundational in meeting the growing demands of artificial intelligence. He noted that each chip contains a million times greater capacity than the massive computer that launched the first man on the moon. 

“When we first announced this project, generative AI had not entered the chat,” said Mehrotra. “This new tool will shape every aspect of life. Society as we know it will be completely transformed. This is unquestionably the most thrilling time I’ve known in over 40 years working in this industry.”

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