Schumer seeks to make Rochester-Buffalo-Syracuse region as semiconductor tech hub

Posted 17 August 2023 at 10:01 am

Federal designation would ‘supercharge’ investment in upstate

Press Release, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer

After years of relentless advocacy to bolster Upstate NY’s innovation and manufacturing industries, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced the Rochester-Buffalo-Syracuse region have joined forces with a proposal to become a federally-designated Tech Hub in the first-of-its-kind nationwide competition created in his CHIPS & Science Bill.

Photo by Tom Rivers: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer speaks in Albion on Aug. 1 when he highlighted an effort to stop the flow of fentanyl into the U.S. from China and Mexico.

The proposal, entitled the New York Semiconductor Manufacturing and Research Technology Innovation Corridor Consortium (NY SMART I-Corridor), would build on the historic investments Schumer delivered that have spurred a boom in semiconductor manufacturing and innovation investments in Upstate NY.

The three-region proposal would use targeted federal assistance to help attract new companies, strengthen domestic supply chains, launch startups & support innovation, expand workforce training, connect underserved communities to good-paying jobs, and revive this critical industry integral to America’s national security and economic competitiveness.

Schumer has personally written to Commerce Secretary Raimondo on behalf of Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse, making the case that their proposal is best suited to help drive forward stronger semiconductor and broader microelectronics industries for the entire nation.

“From Rochester to Buffalo to Syracuse the I-90 corridor has everything it takes to become America’s semiconductor superhighway,” Schumer said. “The NY SMART I-Corridor Tech Hubs proposal would tap into Upstate NY’s booming microchip industry, training our workforce for tens of thousands of good-paying jobs and supercharging R&D, all while helping attract new major employers in supply chain industries and bringing manufacturing in this critical industry back to America.”

Schumer said the Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse corridor is uniquely positioned to rapidly address vulnerabilities in American semiconductor manufacturing, with the region having undergone a significant transformation in recent years to become a growing center for innovation and high-tech manufacturing. In fact, Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo respectively have been validated as the #1, #3, and #15-ranked metro areas in Jump Starting America’s Tech Hub Index System as the region’s best poised to become new Tech-Economy hubs if provided federal investment.

Schumer has been preparing Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse for this opportunity, working relentlessly to boost Upstate New York as a global tech leader. Schumer’s advocacy has resulted in billions in proposed investments from the semiconductor industry spurred by his Chips & Science Bill.

In the Syracuse region alone, Micron has announced an historic $100 billion investment to build a cutting-edge memory fab expected to create nearly 50,000 jobs. In Western NY at the STAMP site in Genesee County, Edwards Vacuum will invest $300+ million to build a 600 job U.S. dry pump manufacturing facility to supply the semiconductor industry.

With Schumer’s direct advocacy, Buffalo has already received $25 million for its growing tech industry through the American Recue Plan’s Build Back Better Challenge, laying the foundation for the Tech Hub designation they are applying for today. In the Rochester region, Corning Incorporated, which manufactures glass critical to the microchip industry, has already invested  $139 million in Monroe County – creating over 270 new, good-paying jobs in the Finger Lakes region.

“Each city has superb academic centers and each brings with it a unique set of assets with Micron’s historic investment in Central NY, Rochester as one of the leading centers in research & innovation, and Buffalo as one of the great manufacturing powerhouses that built America in the last century and is primed to do the same this century,” Schumer said. “Together they are a killer combination that can make Upstate NY a global leader for semiconductors with targeted federal investment from the Tech Hubs program.”

Specifically, the NY SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub proposal seeks to propel the Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse corridor by attracting new suppliers to the region, including onshoring companies from overseas, advancing research & development programs for the semiconductor industry, training the next generation of Upstate New York’s manufacturing workforce, and specifically helping ensure that underserved populations are connected to the tens thousands of good-paying jobs expected to be created in this growing industry in the region.

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy said, “The Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse region contains semiconductor and advanced manufacturing resources, talent, and scientific capabilities that rival any other in the United States – all within an easy two-and-a-half-hour drive. The NY SMART I-Corridor represents an incredible opportunity to further strengthen the collaboration between these three metro areas, creating a hub for advancement of industry-shaping semiconductor technology, enhanced national security, and a transformed Upstate New York economy.”