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Schumer Says New York Career Opportunity Hub Boosts K-12 and Community Colleges To Create A Talent Pipeline And Train The Next Generation Of Upstate NY’s Semiconductor And Tech Workforce

Career Opportunity Initiative Bolsters Schumer’s Ongoing Efforts To Elevate Albany NanoTech’s World-Class Facilities As The Ideal Leading Hub For The National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC), Created In His CHIPS And Science Act

Schumer: My CHIPS & Science Act Is Bringing Manufacturing Back To America, And Now We Are Training The Next Generation To Fill Those Good-Paying Jobs In Upstate NY

Building on years of advocacy to elevate Albany NanoTech and the Capital Region as a global center for semiconductor research and manufacturing, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today joined the National Institute for Innovation and Technology (NIIT) and the U.S. Department of Labor to announce New York as the nation’s first ever Career Opportunity Hub for building the tech workforce needed for the major expansion in the domestic semiconductor industry, including in Upstate New York, spurred by Schumer’s CHIPS and Science Act. The initiative, supported by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), including through a $9.6 million federal award over four years that was made by USDOL to NIIT last year, and the National Science Foundation, will create a first of its kind semiconductor Registered Apprenticeship Program training students from K-12 to higher education at Albany NanoTech’s world-class facilities and connecting students and workers to career opportunities with tech industry leaders like GlobalFoundries, Applied Materials, and Plug. Schumer said partnerships like this are key to ensuring the next generation has the skills they need to fill the good-paying jobs being created with new semiconductor manufacturing investment in the U.S. building America’s future. 

 “With my CHIPS & Science Act as the oxygen, we are breathing new life into Upstate New York as the manufacturing powerhouse it can be once again. The launch of America’s first ever Career Opportunity Hub for building the chip tech workforce will train the next generation to fill the thousands of good-paying jobs in the semiconductor, advanced manufacturing and tech industries to help communities from the Capital Region to Central New York, from Binghamton to Buffalo grow and help lead the nation in manufacturing again,” said Senator Schumer. “This program will help give Upstate New York the talent pipeline it needs, sparking students’ interest from K-12 to higher education, and connecting students and workers with tech industry leaders like GlobalFoundries, Applied Materials, and Plug Power for registered apprenticeships that will give them the skills they need to build America’s technological future. From the little girl who dreams of being an engineer, to the father attending community college to upgrade his career, the Career Opportunity Hub, combined with the growth of industry from my CHIPS & Science Act, will help ensure the next generation of young scientists and innovators secure good-paying jobs, here in Upstate NY.”

Schumer added, “Today’s announcement is further proof of how Albany NanoTech is ready to serve as a leading innovation hub of the National Semiconductor Technology Center. Nowhere else in the country is more prepared, with unique partnerships across sectors, including in workforce training, which is a key priority for NSTC. From K-12 schools to community colleges and world-renowned research universities, Albany NanoTech has well-established, long-standing partnerships in place across the country, and today’s announcement further underscores their significant workforce training capabilities to lead the NSTC and quickly serve the needs of the nation’s semiconductor industry.”

“NY CREATES partnering with the NIIT to host the New York Opportunity Hub bolsters our commitment to workforce training for the state and the nation. Driven by Senator Schumer’s visionary CHIPS Act legislation, this partnership will help build New York’s leadership in semiconductor innovation and benefit our most important resource – the talent that will become the workforce of the future,” said David Anderson, President of NY CREATES. “The timing of this partnership couldn’t be better. Thanks to the efforts of Senator Schumer and Governor Hochul, New York is preparing for a dramatic expansion of semiconductor facilities and jobs in our state with projects announced by Micron, GlobalFoundries, Edwards, IBM, and more.  As we position ourselves to welcome the centerpieces of the CHIPS Act to New York – the National Semiconductor Technology Center and the National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program – we understand that building tomorrow’s workforce today is not only important, it’s critical to a successful future.”

“The launch of the nation’s first NIIT Career Opportunity Hub in New York marks the beginning of a national strategy to broaden and build the nation’s talent pipeline to support strategic industry sectors. These Hubs will help ensure the education system is skills-based and aligned with the needs of industry and critical supply chains throughout the nation, creating pathways to careers and “learn and earn” opportunities through Registered Apprenticeships,” said Mike Russo, President and CEO of NIIT. “It is no mistake that the first Hub is being launched in New York; this has been a decade long effort and has had the support of Leader Schumer throughout the process - and he is continuing his support as we implement programs that will provide opportunities for generations to come.”

“Senator Schumer’s leadership to support local, industry-driven, workforce training partnerships and apprenticeships like these are the blueprint for how we meet our nation’s workforce needs now and in the future. Scaling these workforce partnerships across the U.S. will open up new earn and learn pathways to the good jobs being created by the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic investments in advanced manufacturing, infrastructure, and clean energy,” said Brent Parton, Acting Assistant Secretary of the USDOL Employment and Training Administration.

SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. said, “SUNY is proud to have the first semiconductor Career Opportunity Hub right here in the Capital Region. The semiconductor industry will require a range of careers from manufacturing to highly skilled labor, communications and marketing, accounting, software development, and management. These are accessible jobs that are in high demand, and through partnerships like this with NIIT, we can help our students see the value of a career in semiconductor manufacturing and ultimately build the talent pipeline needed for this emerging industry.”

“This new partnership will be a tremendous asset to the Capital Region. It will create numerous good-paying, in-demand semiconductor jobs and help ensure that New York remains a national leader in advanced electronics. I congratulate NY CREATES, NIIT, and everyone involved in this partnership and look forward to seeing it in action,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

Specifically, the New York Career Opportunity Hub will help develop the talent pipeline for strategic, tech-based industries, like semiconductor manufacturing, and their supply chains. This national effort enables a broader segment of the population, both in Upstate NY and across the country, to participate and acquire the fundamental skills needed to succeed, providing the foundation for all forms of Advanced Manufacturing. These skills are transferrable, and importantly, they support the semiconductor industry and broader nanotechnology related industries. The initiative will evaluate the educational ecosystem, identifying gaps that exist from K-12 through higher education and adult/veteran training. Once identified, plans will be put in place to fill these gaps, and the National Talent Hub will be deployed to connect individuals, the education system and industry, enabling the entire public education system to become an integrated, skills-based “education pipeline” connected to careers and paid Registered Apprenticeship Programs.

While the initial launch of the New York Career Opportunity Hub is taking place in the Capital Region, with Albany NanoTech as an anchor institution, the consortium plans to expand to other major cities in Upstate New York to bolster the tech workforce pipeline across the state including in Buffalo, Utica, Syracuse, Rochester, and Binghamton. Current New York colleges involved in the Talent Hub, which supports industry-specific training and education, include Hudson Valley Community College, Mohawk Valley Community College, Schenectady County Community College, Fulton Montgomery Community College, SUNY Adirondack Community College, Monroe Community College, Onondaga Community College, Erie Community College, Westchester County Community College, and SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.

More specifically, the key initiatives of the Opportunity Hub include:

  • New opportunities through the National Talent Hub, a state-of-the-art career portal that aligns jobseeker qualifications, academic curriculums, and in-demand skills from industry in real-time.
  • The nation’s first semiconductor-specific Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) within a world-leading semiconductor R&D, Innovation and commercialization facility for advanced digital, analog and power technologies. The Albany NanoTech Complex will host the Growing Apprenticeships in Nanotechnology and Semiconductors (GAINS) program. GAINS provides individuals with the ability to learn on the job while building experience and skills through working with industry partners.
  • Substantial increases in RAP participation by prominent and widely respected tech companies. Under the GAINS program, GlobalFoundries, Applied Materials and Plug will expand innovative, competency-based programs to offer a wider range of training opportunities for jobseekers and incumbent workers and create an expanded talent pool for employers.
  • New incentives for companies to invest in building the regional talent pipeline by equipping jobseekers with foundational and transferable skills for nanotechnology-related fields. Under the program, employers who invest in attracting and training employees who choose to move to other companies can be compensated for their efforts.

Schumer has fought tirelessly to uplift the Capital Region and Upstate New York as a major hub to lead the nation in semiconductor manufacturing and research. Most recently, Schumer personally invited Albany NanoTech head David Anderson to President Biden’s 2023 State of the Union address to highlight his push to land the NSTC in the Capital Region. Prior to the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act, Schumer not only brought the Commerce Secretary to Malta to highlight opportunities for expansion at GlobalFoundries and across Upstate New York’s semiconductor industry, but also arranged for Secretary Raimondo to meet with Albany NanoTech and industry leaders, including from IBM and Applied Materials, to discuss the unique assets the region has for leading the NSTC.  Schumer also brought Commerce Deputy Secretary Don Graves to Albany to tour Albany NanoTech and see firsthand how the Capital Region is perfectly suited to stand up the NSTC and begin boosting the nation’s semiconductor industry.

Schumer said that Albany NanoTech is the most “shovel-ready” R&D facility in the country and ready to quickly stand up the NSTC. The multibillion-dollar Albany NanoTech Complex is the most advanced, publicly-owned, 300-millimeter semiconductor R&D facility, has well-established partnerships with industry leaders, workforce training providers, and top academic research institutions across the country, including in critical logic and packaging capabilities, and is set up to immediately begin supporting the needs of the broader semiconductor ecosystem, including startups, small businesses, and the workforce. The site and its partners have a long record of accomplishment of groundbreaking research that has led to successful technology transfer, translating research into manufacturing. For example, almost exactly two years ago, IBM announced the successful development of the world’s first 2 nanometer (nm) microchip – with the R&D work done at the Albany NanoTech Complex, the same site that produced the world’s first 7nm and 5nm chips.

Thanks to Schumer’s CHIPS and Science Act, Upstate New York has seen a major revival in tech manufacturing. Micron has announced an historic $100 billion investment to build a cutting-edge memory fab in Central New York, GlobalFoundries is considering an expansion in the Capital Region, onsemi recently acquired a fab in the Hudson Valley to be home to the only 12-inch power discrete and image sensor fab in America, and Wolfspeed recently opened the first, largest, and only 200mm silicon carbide fabrication facility in the world in the Mohawk Valley. In addition, Upstate New York also is home to suppliers like Corning Incorporated, which manufacturers glass critical to the microchip industry at its Canton and Fairport, NY plants, and Edwards Vacuum, recently announced a $300+ million investment to build a dry pump manufacturing facility to support the chip industry in the Western New York.

Schumer has a long history of fighting to advance investment in semiconductor manufacturing and R&D and the broader tech economy at the federal level. In May 2020, Schumer introduced his bipartisan Endless Frontier Act to make a surge new resources into federal R&D through the creation of a National Science Foundation technology directorate focused on key technology areas like quantum computing, advanced energy, AI, high performance computing, and more. Schumer’s Endless Frontier Act also proposed a new $10 billion regional technology hub program to invest in regions around the country with great potential to lead the nation in technology research, development, and manufacturing. In June 2020, Schumer introduced his bipartisan American Foundries Act to authorize new federal incentives for expanding domestic semiconductor manufacturing and R&D. Schumer successfully added this bill as an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). In June 2021, Schumer then successfully passed through the Senate his U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), legislation he introduced that combined his Endless Frontier Act to make a significant investment in research, development, manufacturing and innovation with other competitiveness legislation. As part of this package, Schumer also included $52 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations to implement the semiconductor-related manufacturing and R&D programs like the NSTC that he had successfully pushed to authorize in the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act and that are at the heart of the bill which passed today. These legislative efforts culminated in the final passage and signing into law the CHIPS and Science Act last year.

To support workforce training in the semiconductor industry like today’s announced initiative, Schumer specifically included $200 million in the CHIPS and Science Act for microelectronics training investment through the National Science Foundation (NSF).  The CHIPS and Science Act also included close to $13 billion for STEM workforce training through the NSF, including investment in scholarships, fellowships, and traineeships to prepare workers in critical fields like the semiconductor industry, as well as new investment in the Advanced Technical Education program to support programs at community colleges.

Schumer also successfully secured historic appropriations funding in last year’s Fiscal Year 2023 omnibus appropriations bill to begin implementing the CHIPS and Science Act workforce training programs and other key training programs at the U.S. Department of Labor.  The omnibus provided $10.8 billion in federal investment for key programs in the CHIPS and Science Act, including $1.8 billion in increased funding, compared to last year, to implement major provisions from his legislation that are key to supercharging the Upstate innovation economy. 

This includes the largest dollar increase for the National Science Foundation in history, the launch of the Regional Technology & Innovation Hub program, expansion of manufacturing programs, and STEM education and training programs to help prepare the next generation of Upstate NY workers for the good-paying jobs spurred by his legislation, all of which will help further establish Upstate as an emerging global tech ecosystem.

The omnibus also included $10.5 billion for job training programs through the U.S. Department of Labor, an increase of $545 million above the previous year’s funding level.  This included $285 million for Registered Apprenticeships, an increase of $13 million, and $65 million for Strengthening Community College Training Grants to help meet local and regional demand for a skilled workforce through industry training partnerships with community colleges.