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Continuing Advocacy For Upstate NY To Lead In High-Tech Manufacturing, Schumer Calls On DOD To Invest In Building Out CNY’s Tech Workforce Vital To Support Supply Chains & National Security

Schumer Says Upstate NY’s Rapidly Growing Semiconductor Industry – Spurred By His CHIPS & Science Bill – Is Primed For Growth & Investment To Breathe New Life Into Defense Manufacturing– With A Focus On Workforce For Critical Microelectronic And Aerospace Supply Chains 

Schumer: With This Federal $$$, Upstate NY Cities Like Syracuse, Rome, And Ithaca Can Train The Workforce Of The Future, Strengthen Our National Security, And Unlock The Next Frontier Of Innovation

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has selected two Upstate New York-based projects: the NYS Microelectronics Defense Manufacturing, Supply Chain, and Workforce (Upstate Defense) Consortium project, and Cornell University’s New York Consortium for Space Technology Innovation and Development (NYCST) as finalists for up to a $5 million investment each through its Defense Manufacturing Community Support (DMCS) program.

Specifically, Schumer said, if selected for investment, “The projects would help train and connect workers to good-paying jobs in microelectronics and aerospace, boost research and innovation in these fields in Upstate NY, and strengthen supply chains in high-tech manufacturing vital to our national security.”

“From innovation in aerospace technology to the smallest microchips, Upstate NY is leading America in building the workforce of the future critical to our national security and economic prosperity. Now with trailblazing proposals like the Upstate Defense Consortium and Cornell University Space Technology program in the final running for investment through the Department of Defense, we can breathe new life into Upstate NY’s legacy in manufacturing to take us to the next frontier in the technology of the future,” said Senator Schumer. “Upstate NY’s incredible network of defense manufacturing assets, including workforce and economic development engines like CenterState CEO and the Griffiss Institute, research hubs like Syracuse University and Cornell, and industrial heavyweight’s like Micron, Lockheed Martin, TTM Technologies, L3Harris, JMA Wireless, and many more. I am proud to see both of these projects as finalists and urge the DoD to make final awards to each, which will invest in supercharging our tech workforce across Upstate New York so that cities like Syracuse, Rome, and Ithaca can lead the way in building the future of America’s national security.”

The DoD’s Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program is designed to support long-term community investments that strengthen national security innovation and expand the capabilities of the defense manufacturing industrial ecosystem. The program designates and supports consortiums as defense manufacturing communities to strengthen the national security industrial base. To qualify for funding through the DMCS Program, communities must demonstrate best practices in attracting and expanding defense manufacturing by bringing together key local stakeholders and using long-term planning that integrates targeted public and private investments. The competition is a two-step process:

  1. Regional manufacturing consortia compete to receive designation as a Defense Manufacturing Community.
  1. Second, the most competitive Defense Manufacturing Communities are invited to submit proposals to receive grant assistance, a next step that both of the Upstate NY proposals have advanced to.

A copy of Schumer’s letter of support to the Department of Defense on behalf of both projects can be found for the Upstate Defense Consortium here and for Cornell University here.

The Upstate Defense Consortium, will build on Central New York and the Mohawk Valley’s legacy of leadership in defense manufacturing, aiming to leverage an ongoing, once-in-a-generation transformation in the region’s microelectronics industry to strengthen national security innovation and expand defense manufacturing capabilities across the area. Schumer said that the Upstate Defense Consortium, which is a partnership between Empire State Development, CenterState CEO, the Griffiss Institute, Syracuse University’s (SU) Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), and FuzeHub, is focusing on orienting their workforce development strategies and programming around the region’s defense firms. In addition, the consortium will work with a wide variety of industry and innovation partners, including Micron, TTM Technologies, Lockheed Martin, Saab, JMA Wireless, SRC, AIM Photonics, and the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate.

Specifically, the Upstate Defense Consortium will help expand education and workforce training programs for the microelectronics industry at SU, Griffiss, and with Centerstate CEO, and bolster STEM-focused fellowship, internship, and other programs to connect job seekers with defense manufacturing and major tech companies. The consortium will also invest to attract new defense manufacturing companies to CNY with workshops and procurement training to strengthen supply chains across the region needed for the semiconductor industry. The proposal will address current and future workforce needs of the rapidly growing microelectronics industry, including to support Micron’s proposed $100 billion memory fab project that is expected to create upwards of 50,000 jobs across Upstate NY, and also focuses on expanding access to and participation in the microelectronics industry across communities and workers from underrepresented communities.

"Central New York's defense-related employers play a critical role in our national security and this designation is a testament to the power of partnerships between these employers and between Central New York and the Mohawk Valley. This investment, through the DoD’s Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program, will enable these companies to work together to develop the talent they need, advance innovation and connect to local supply chains,” said Robert Simpson, President and CEO of CenterState CEO. “We are grateful to Senator Schumer for his incredible support of our efforts and recognition that investing in the region's defense manufacturing is critical to national security and our community's continued economic growth."

"We are honored to partner on building a new Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program consortium here in Upstate New York. The Griffiss Institute's mission, aligned with the Upstate Defense Consortium's priorities, focuses on talent development, research access, and dual-use technology startups, advancing both our region and national interests," said Heather Hage, President and CEO of Griffiss Institute." As the designated partnership intermediary for the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Information Directorate, we're dedicated to transitioning cutting-edge research into solutions for defense and commercial needs. This award fuels our commitment to innovation, collaboration, and elevating our nation's security and economic competitiveness. Working in synergy with our partnering organizations, we are poised to leverage expertise, resources, and collaborative networks to drive manufacturing excellence and propel New York State's small and mid-sized manufacturing firms toward technology commercialization and growth. This award is a testament to the collaborative spirit and collective drive that powers the Griffiss Institute, NYSTAR, and the emerging Upstate Defense Consortium. Together, we are well positioned to elevate our region's capabilities, fortify our nation's security, and leave an indelible mark on the landscape of defense manufacturing. I would like to thank Senator Schumer for his tireless advocacy and for putting in the work to help make this designation a reality."

“Syracuse University’s D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families has a long history of supporting entrepreneurship and workforce educational opportunities,” said Dr. Mike Haynie, Vice Chancellor, Strategic Initiatives & Innovation at Syracuse University. “As part of UpState Defense, the IVMF will contribute to strengthening our innovation economy by supporting the translation of research to practice, deepening our workforce and diversifying our talent pipeline, and ensuring a more resilient supply chain. We are grateful to Senator Schumer for his support of this important initiative.”

Cornell University’s application, officially submitted by the New York Consortium for Space Technology Innovation and Development (NYCST), aims to address the need for advanced defense space technology manufacturing and supply-chain capabilities by fostering collaboration among universities, research institutions, industry experts, and government agencies in New York State. NYCST will drive innovation and workforce development in the space technology industry and includes initiatives in workforce development, facility upgrades, research and development projects, and support for small businesses. The expected outcomes include a skilled workforce, enhanced manufacturing capabilities, increased research and development in critical areas, long-term economic growth, job creation, and a robust national defense space technology industrial base. The project's implementation strategy includes several key components, including upgrading space technology facilities at sites central to the region, expanding workforce development, strengthening R&D, small business programs, and more.

“At Cornell Engineering, we are committed to making a difference,” said Lynden Archer, the Joseph Silbert Dean of Engineering at Cornell University. “This consortium provides a powerful example of how partnerships between pioneering thinkers and leaders can enhance our impact. We appreciate the work Senator Schumer has done to foster the collaborative spirit throughout New York that makes such an ambitious project possible.” 

“Through his support for the New York Consortium for Space Technology Innovation and Development, Senator Schumer has helped position our statewide community at the forefront of innovation in spaceflight technologies that could transform national security, discovery, and commerce in and beyond Earth’s orbit,” said Mason Peck, the Stephen J. Fujikawa '77 Professor of Astronautical Engineering at Cornell University and the leader of the proposed consortium. 

Schumer has fought tirelessly to position CNY, the Southern Tier, and all of Upstate NY as a leader in high-tech manufacturing, including in microelectronics, by partnering with federal, state, and local leaders to build off the region’s legacy expertise and assets to capitalize on new manufacturing opportunities spurred by Schumer’s CHIPS and Science Act, as well as manufacturing and innovation investments in the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Over the past few years, Schumer secured one of the largest private sector investment in U.S. history with Micron’s $100 billion project for building four leading-edge memory chip fabs in the region, as well as the New York State UAS test site and the Innovare Advancement Center at Griffiss. Earlier this month in Tompkins County, Menlo Micro recently announced they would invest over $50 million to build their first domestic microelectronics fabrication (“fab”) facility, creating over 100 new good-paying jobs. Additionally, as Cornell University broke ground on the $32 million expansion of their High-Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) Lab in 2022, Schumer secured $8.5 million in additional federal funding for the award-winning CHESS Lab.