SCHUMER, IN DIRECT CALL WITH COMMERCE SEC. RAIMONDO, ADVOCATES FOR CENTERSTATE’S “SMART SYSTEMS CLUSTER” TO BE SELECTED AS ONE OF NATION’S FIRST BUILD BACK BETTER CHALLENGE AWARDEES, POSITIONING CNY & MOHAWK VALLEY AS A GLOBAL SEMICONDUCTOR, UAS, & QUANTUM COMPUTING TECH HUB; PROPOSAL WILL CREATE OVER 5,000 JOBS, PRIME WHITE PINE COMMERCE PARK FOR CHIPS INVESTMENT & TRAIN THE REGION’S WORKFORCE FOR EMERGING TECH FIELDS
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A longtime advocate of innovation and promoting tech manufacturing in Upstate New York, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer this week made a direct call to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo to urge the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to select the CenterState Smart Systems project for investment through the American Rescue Plan’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge. In the call, Schumer said the project would be a game changer for the Central New York tech economy, supporting critical projects to expand semiconductor manufacturing in the region, support continued growth in quantum computing, is estimated to create over 5,000 new jobs, train workers to enter in-demand fields, and make critical infrastructure updates to manufacturing sites to attract major employers and their supply chains.
“The CenterState Smart Systems Cluster would put the region on the map as a global tech hub, primed for more growth and job creation in industries like semiconductor manufacturing, quantum computing and UAS,” said Senator Schumer. “This project will help solidify Upstate New York as the perfect place for emerging tech industries by investing in critical infrastructure to get top tier manufacturing locations like White Pine and the Marcy Nanocenter ready for investment by major employers and their supply chains, advance STEAM education and job training to deliver a topnotch workforce, and transition cutting edge research into new startup companies. That is why I called Commerce Secretary Raimondo directly to urge the EDA to select the Smart Systems Cluster in Central New York and the Mohawk Valley in the Build Back Better Challenge to help drive the Upstate economy into the future.”
“The Build Back Better program is an incredible opportunity to invest in this region’s people and accelerate our transformation into a hub of inclusive innovation, technology advancement and advanced manufacturing. Senator Schumer has been our partner at the Federal level for more than two decades and his dogged advocacy for all things Upstate NY is both deeply impactful and appreciated,” said Robert Simpson, President & Chief Executive Officer CenterState CEO.
Schumer explained that the CenterState NY Smart Systems Cluster focuses on eight priority projects for accelerating innovation and growth in Upstate New York. If selected for Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Build Back Better Regional Challenge, each project will be eligible for investments worth up to $100 million dollars:
- White Pine Commerce Park Infrastructure Improvements And Expansion
- Marcy Nanocenter Flex Space Development (semiconductor supply chain)
- Oswego County Industrial Park Expansion (semiconductor supply chain)
- UAS Infrastructure Enhancements At The New York UAS Test Site
- Centerstate CEO Tech Garden High-Tech Business Incubator Expansion in Downtown Syracuse To Attract Start Ups
- Advanced Manufacturing Training With Educational Institutions To Build A Workforce Pipeline For In Demand Jobs
- Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics or STEAM Education School At A Renovated High School In Downtown Syracuse To Address Tech Skills Gaps And Train Youth For Jobs
- Quantum Computing Research Investment And Infrastructure at Rome Lab’s Innovare Advancement Center
The project is backed by major regional stakeholders including CenterState CEO (lead), Onondaga County, Oneida County, Oswego County, the City of Syracuse, Mohawk Valley EDGE, Rome Lab’s Innovare Advancement Center, Griffiss Institute, the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR), SUNY Upstate, Syracuse University, SUNY Morrisville, Onondaga Community College, Cayuga Community College, Mohawk Valley Community College, Syracuse City School District, OCM BOCES, Operation Oswego County and more. Schumer said this vast coalition speaks to the tremendous value the project holds for the community and broad support for seeing the area emerge as a regional tech hub.
The $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge, funded by the American Rescue Plan, is designed to assist communities nationwide, with accelerating economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and building local economies that will be resilient to economic disruptions. The Build Back Better Regional Challenge is being implemented as a two phase program In Phase 1, the EDA will provide ~$500,000 technical assistance grants. Those selected as Phase 1 awardees will be considered “finalists” and the grants will be used by the finalists to prepare more detailed applications for Phase 2 transformational projects that benefit their respective geographic regions and are aligned around a holistic approach to building and scaling a strategic industries. In Phase 2, the EDA will award 20-30 regional coalitions $25 million to $75 million, and up to $100 million, for selected projects to grow new regional industry clusters or scale existing ones through planning, infrastructure, innovation and entrepreneurship, workforce development, access to capital, and more.
A copy of Senator Schumer’s original letter of support for Centerstate Smart Systems appears below:
Dear Secretary Raimondo:
I am pleased to write in support of the application submitted by CenterState CEO to the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Build Back Better grant program.
Serving as the Lead Institution, CenterState CEO is joined by Cayuga Community College, the City of Syracuse, the CNY Regional Planning and Development Board (CNY RPDB), the Griffiss Institute, Mohawk Valley Community College, Mohawk Valley EDGE, the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance (NUAIR), OCM BOCES, Onondaga Community College, Onondaga County, Oswego County, SUNY Educational Opportunity Center (EOC), SUNY Upstate Medical University, the Syracuse City School District, and Syracuse University. Each partner organization will also work within their existing networks to engage established and newly identified partners in the region.
This coalition has already identified and carefully vetted eight priority projects for the CenterState NY Smart Systems Cluster. With funding, the CenterState NY Smart Systems Cluster will; support infrastructure investments at the White Pine Megasite, build a flex space facility at Marcy Nanocenter at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, expand a shovel-ready site in Oswego County Industrial Park to drive Oswego County supply chain readiness, expand the CenterState CEO Tech Garden high-tech business incubator to attract additional startups, continue development of UAS infrastructure around the New York State UAS Test Site, launch smart systems cluster advanced training consortium to build a training pipeline for career opportunities in advanced manufacturing, renovate a historic high school in downtown Syracuse to address the tech skills gap and provide Career & Technical Education (CTE), and invest in quantum computing research and infrastructure.
I applaud CenterState CEO and partners for their foresight and sincerely hope the application meets with your approval.
Thank you for your consideration.