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A critical component to securing U.S. leadership and the future success of semiconductor manufacturing is building and transforming a workforce for the future. That’s why Micron and Empire State Development (ESD) have established a framework, known as the Community Investment Framework, which takes into account the shared values Micron and ESD have identified as priorities for ensuring the Central New York workforce will have the advanced skills needed to sustain leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing.
Micron is proud to sign the Community Investment Framework alongside Governor Kathy Hochul to initiate this commitment. The scope of this framework includes the creation of a historic $500 million Green CHIPS Community Investment Fund, focused on the Central New York community and workforce development over the duration of the project. Micron will invest $250 million through this fund, targeting investments in workforce development, education, community assets and organizations, and affordable housing. An additional $250 million is expected to be invested, with $100 million from New York and $150 million from local, other state and national partners.
In line with the framework, ESD will collaborate with Micron to establish and seek input from a Community Advisory Committee that will initially consist of 11 diverse stakeholders, including community members and representatives of local government, community-based organizations, philanthropic organizations, educational institutions, faith-based organizations, tribal organizations, veterans’ organizations and the business community. The Committee will help Micron and ESD identify community priorities and prospective areas for investment, allowing both to ensure funding addresses the needs of the community.
Building the workforce of the future
The U.S. needs a workforce that is trained for jobs in the semiconductor industry at scale. Meeting this need will require traditional and nontraditional workforce development pathways. The workforce of the future will create demand for talented engineers and technicians with diverse skill sets to manage and operate state-of-the-art cleanroom facilities and develop advanced engineering solutions. Micron is committed to effective and creative workforce development solutions that expand the workforce and make these careers accessible to all, particularly individuals in underrepresented and rural communities. To address this need, Micron will:
- Together with Onondaga County invest $10 million, with Micron investing $5 million over 10 years, to build and outfit a cleanroom at Onondaga Community College (OCC) and support development of the school’s technical curriculum. This investment will provide students access to advanced manufacturing methods and equipment to prepare them for technician and engineering roles inside Micron’s state of-the-art manufacturing facility.
- Partner with Syracuse University’s D’Aniello Institute for Veteran and Military Families (IVMF), supporting veteran skill development for advanced manufacturing jobs and transitions into Micron and other industry roles. Micron aspires to hire more than 1,500 veterans in the region over two decades.
- Establish a Micron internship program designed to prepare students for full-time positions as engineers, scientists and other critical roles in the semiconductor industry. Recruitment will focus heavily on veterans and students from traditionally underrepresented communities. To initiate this program, Micron has selected Savion Pollard as the first Micron intern hire from the Syracuse veteran community.
Micron has entered into a Project Labor Agreement with local trade unions, which establishes a framework for labor-management cooperation and stability throughout the project. This agreement advances opportunities for diversifying the cons project workforce through:
- The use of the Center for Military Recruitment, Assessment and Veterans Employment and the Center’s “Helmets to Hardhats” program, including maintaining a database of veterans interested in working on the project and of apprenticeship and employment opportunities.
- Contractors’ donation of one cent per hour for each craft hour worked on the project to Pathways to Apprenticeship, to promote representation of minorities and women in the project workforce.
Micron will also leverage its investment to help socially and economically disadvantaged individuals benefit from this unprecedented opportunity by working to ensure that 30% of Micron’s eligible construction spend and 20% of its ongoing eligible operating spend is awarded to companies owned by these communities. Priority will be given to New York State Certified Minority/Women Owned Business Enterprises and Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses. Micron will encourage construction contractors and subcontractors to use Syracuse Build, part of the Pathways to Apprenticeship Program, as a first-source model to identify candidates for hiring from disadvantaged populations.
Investing in STEM Education For All
STEM education in K-12 through post-secondary education as well as training programs are essential in creating a skilled talent pipeline to fuel U.S. workforce needs. Micron looks forward to investing in local education programs and empowering under-resourced youth to pursue careers in STEM, building a more diverse and inclusive technology industry at large.
Micron will invest $10 million over 10 years in the first collaborative STEAM school in the area and other STEM-related K-12 programs in the region. The Syracuse STEAM school is an inclusive, regional talent development program integral to educating and building the Central New York workforce. This new regional facility will offer unprecedented opportunities in emerging technologies and the arts to socioeconomically, racially and geographically diverse students, reducing barriers to future STEM careers. Micron is hopeful this investment will serve as a catalyst for future private developments and collaboration in the region.
Micron will also:
- Partner with Syracuse University to support new, diverse faculty whose research and teaching will train the workforce of the future through its Future Professors Fellowship Program. The program will focus on the quantum and chips cluster at Syracuse University, which is designed to enhance capacity for cutting-edge research in these domains. It will do so by adding world-class faculty, establishing facilities that serve as cutting-edge research labs, enabling experiential learning and attracting a large and diverse set of students at different stages of their educational careers to study engineering and science.
- Expand strategic partnerships with regional universities including Clarkson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Cornell and others. The strong network of northeastern universities will enhance the company’s existing partnership with Rochester Institute of Technology and further increase representation of students throughout the engineering and science pipeline. These programs expand equitable access to education, increase retention and prepare all students — especially students from underrepresented groups and rural areas — for productive and fulfilling engineering careers.
Engaging With Local Communities
Micron will continue to invest in and enrich the communities where its team members live and work through philanthropy and volunteerism. Micron will make an initial $500,000 investment in the YMCA of Central New York, expanding access to high-quality child care and early learning for underserved communities in the region. Micron will continue to partner with the YMCA and other organizations to identify future investments that empower children and families and build an equitable and inclusive community for all.
Micron will launch a $500,000 sponsorship at the Museum of Science & Technology (MOST), which includes:
- A long-term MOST exhibit that allows students and their families hands-on experiences to learn about semiconductors and their common applications throughout Central New York, as well as the history of Micron.
- Midwinter- and spring-break MOST science camps, made available to students at no cost.
- A STEM education series and design challenges to provide continuous learning opportunities.
In addition, Micron plans to invest $10 million in venture funding in partnership with the regional tech ecosystem to support and attract new business to Central New York.
Micron will host quarterly public community town halls to provide open and transparent opportunities for Clay, Syracuse and Onondaga County community members to share direct feedback on ways Micron can support community needs. Ongoing and productive engagement with the community is critical to the success of both society and innovative companies, like Micron.
Additional Micron Commitments
Outside of the Community Investment Framework, Micron will continue evaluating ways to support the Central New York region to cultivate the next generation of talent, accelerate economic opportunities for underserved communities, support the region’s infrastructure and build a diverse labor pool.
These extended commitments include:
- Establishing Syracuse University’s Future-Ready Workforce Innovation Consortium at the College of Professional Studies. Together with the Central New York business community, trade unions, community colleges and other four-year institutions in New York State and beyond, Micron will collaborate with Syracuse University to implement a multi-dimensional and inclusive approach to workforce development, upskilling and professional retention. The Workforce Innovation Consortium will foster an ecosystem for skills training, academic and partnership programs designed to support Micron’s workforce and talent development strategy.
- Evaluating opportunities to leverage community and minority financial institutions as the company grows in the region. This includes making $10 million in deposits with Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) that serve Central New York.
- Working with the state of New York to identify policies that support better infrastructure, housing opportunities, and social and financial inclusion by commissioning a study to understand the specific and unique hurdles that will face the Syracuse region. The study findings will provide a foundation for both short-term opportunities and long-term strategies that Micron can leverage as a long-term partner to the community.
- Introducing Chip Camp, Micron’s premier, no-cost STEM education program for middle and high school students, to Central New York youth. Offering hands-on activities related to semiconductor manufacturing and engineering jobs, Chip Camp provides a bridge that connects underserved and rural communities to STEM careers. These activities are taught by Micron team members in collaboration with engineering students from local universities, cultivating interest in and opportunities to engage with STEM curricula. Approximately 70 to 100 students a week will learn how semiconductors are made and how STEM skills translate into Micron careers.