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Schumer Created Tech Hubs Program In His CHIPS & Science Law With Upstate NY In Mind, And Pulled Out All The Stops To Land Designation For Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse Region, Joining Elite Group Of Only 31 Out Of Hundreds That Applied; Now Schumer Says First Major Funding Awards Could Come As Soon As Next Month  

Schumer Personally Met With Commerce Secretary Raimondo To Make Final Pitch On How Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse Are A Step Above The Competition—Already Attracting New Supply Chain Companies For Chips And With More Investment They Can Maximize Success Of Major Projects Like Micron, Train Workforce, And Supercharge R&D

Schumer: The Road To America’s Semiconductor Future Runs Through Upstate NY

After years of advocacy to land the prestigious federal Tech Hub designation for the Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse region to bolster America’s semiconductor industry, and with the first major federal awards from the program expected as early as next month, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer today personally met with U.S. Commerce Secretary Raimondo to make his final push to deliver funding for Upstate NY through the Tech Hubs Phase II Implementation Grant Competition.

“The Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse region is driving Upstate NY forward to be a global hub for the semiconductor industry and the Tech Hub funding is a key to help unlock the region’s full potential to bring this industry back to our shores. That’s why I personally met with Secretary Raimondo, with awards expected soon, to make the case for why this funding is critical to bolstering our state’s booming semiconductor ecosystem,” said Senator Schumer. “Upstate NY has seen a historic amount of federal and private investment in recent months thanks to the legislation I was able to pass like the CHIPS & Science Law, and now is the time for the feds to double down to ensure we maximize that momentum. That means investing in training our workforce, attracting new supply chain companies, and spurring the next frontier in discovery for this cutting-edge technology. Now as we enter the home stretch, I am hitting the gas to accelerate Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and the broader Upstate NY region to becoming America’s semiconductor superhighway!”

In the meeting, Schumer made the case that following his announcement with President Biden last month of the major $6.1 billion CHIPS investment to move forward Micron’s historic mega fab project in Syracuse, this was the time to double-down on federal support to make that and other microchip projects across Upstate NY a success and that is exactly what the Phase II implementation award would do. Because of significant investment from Micron, GlobalFoundries, Wolfspeed, and more, supply chain companies from around the world, including Japanese supplier companies that Schumer recently met with to pitch New York, are looking to invest in Upstate NY to support these major new fab projects. The Tech Hubs implementation funding is critical to supporting the attracting of those supplier companies to the U.S. and Upstate NY, and will also help build-out the necessary training of workers to fill the tens of thousands of new jobs that are being created, to make these projects a success.

Schumer launched his push in March to make the Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse NY SMART I-Corridor project, which also includes Ithaca and supports the broader Upstate NY semiconductor ecosystem, one of the program’s first implementation award winners for up to $54 million in federal funding to advance their semiconductor cluster in Upstate New York. Schumer said the Tech Hubs implementation funding would work to maximize the existing success of U.S. semiconductor facilities and related supply chain companies in the region, by helping directly address the growth challenges the region would otherwise face over the coming decade through bolstering workforce training initiatives, helping further strengthen the supply chain, spurring semiconductor R&D and manufacturing innovation, and filling in other gaps in the existing semiconductor ecosystem infrastructure.

Schumer said on top of the Tech Hubs designation, New York continues to make major strides in growth of the semiconductor industry each day across, every corner of the state, to bolster the region’s thriving chips hub. Just last week, Irish manufacturer Niacet Specialty Chemicals, owned by the Kerry Group, announced it will invest $50 million in its Niagara Falls facility to strengthen the semiconductor manufacturing supply chain in New York State, creating dozens of new, good-paying jobs. In his meeting with the Secretary, Schumer also mentioned this exciting new investment and Niacet’s pursuit of federal CHIPS investment to make this project a success. Last November, Schumer announced TTM Technologies, Inc., a leading global manufacturer of technology solutions, intends to invest up to $130 million to build a greenfield high-tech manufacturing facility in the Town of DeWitt, Onondaga County, creating an estimated 400 good-paying jobs, and the company cited the Tech Hub designation as a reason for wanting to locate in Upstate NY. Schumer said the region’s semiconductor industry is thriving and this funding is the next vital step to build out Upstate NY as a global chips leader and attracting more investment like this.

Schumer created the Tech Hubs program in his CHIPS & Science Law with Upstate New York in mind, also fighting to secure the necessary appropriations funding in the FY2023 omnibus spending bill to launch this initial Tech Hubs Competition, and advocated relentlessly to secure the Tech Hubs designation for Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse-Ithaca last year through Phase 1 of the Tech Hubs Competition. The multi-region consortium beat out hundreds of applications and was one of only 31 proposals chosen for the Tech Hubs designation, allowing for the opportunity to now compete for Phase II funding. The application was led by three designated conveners, one from each region: Buffalo Niagara Partnership in Buffalo, ROC2025 in Rochester, and CenterState CEO in Syracuse. The NY SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub proposal is now competing for the next phase of the Tech Hubs Program that will invest tens of millions from the CHIPS & Science law into select designated hubs.

Schumer said the implementation funding that the NY SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub applied for will go towards specific component projects that aim to solve the growth challenges the region would otherwise face over the coming decade. The component project efforts will be led by the University at Buffalo (UB), Monroe Community College, Syracuse University, and Empire State Development's Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR), all of which will be coordinating across the region to bolster workforce training initiatives, help attract supply chain companies, create a collaborative ecosystem for semiconductor R&D commercialization, and seed early-stage manufacturing innovation. The implementation phase of the program will allow the region to expand the semiconductor ecosystem already in existence to develop and make the future of semiconductor technology in Upstate NY.

With the announcement to come in the next few weeks, Schumer is going all out to ensure these dollars come to Upstate NY to supercharge the region’s semiconductor industry.

A copy of Schumer’s letter of support to the Department of Commerce Secretary Raimondo can be found here.

The senator originally proposed the Tech Hubs program years ago as part of his bipartisan Endless Frontier Act with Upstate NY in mind to help bring critical industries back from overseas to communities that have great potential to lead in manufacturing and innovation, and finally was able to create the Regional Tech Hubs competition in his final CHIPS & Science Law. The CHIPS & Science Law included a $10 billion authorization for the Tech Hubs program – meaning that designated Tech Hubs can compete for significantly more investment based off future availability of funding.

Schumer’s relentless advocacy has resulted in tens of billions in proposed investments from the semiconductor industry spurred by his Chips & Science Law. In the Syracuse region alone, Micron has announced plans to invest an historic more than $100 billion to build a cutting-edge memory fab expected to create nearly 50,000 jobs. In Western NY, 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 Rescue Plan’s Build Back Better Challenge, laying the foundation for the Tech Hub designation they have now secured and the Tech Hub implementation grant this proposal is focused on. 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. Furthermore, following Schumer’s advocacy, Menlo Microsystems is investing $50 million and creating more than 100 new good-paying jobs in Tompkins County to make next-generation “Switch” technology, which is a vital component of the microelectronics industry and will support the growth of the domestic semiconductor industry across Upstate New York.