With his CHIPS & Science Act continuing to deliver thousands of good-paying tech jobs to Upstate NY, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced that he has secured $2 million in new federal funding for Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC) to create a new state-of-the-art semiconductor-and-advanced-manufacturing training center.
With this Schumer-backed funding, MVCC will be able to purchase industrial-grade workforce training equipment for a soon-to-be-renovated and expanded building on their Utica campus for their science and technology programs. The senator said this, in tandem with other major investment he secured for regional economic engines like the Rome Lab, will help supercharge Utica and Oneida County as an emerging high-tech hub, all while ensuring area workers have the skills they need to build the foundation for future industry.
“Utica and Oneida County workers can and will be the ones to build our future, and that starts with this major $2 million boost I just secured to help create a new state-of-the-art semiconductor-and-advanced-manufacturing training center here at MVCC. The energy from the booming tech industry in Upstate New York is absolutely electric, and from chip companies like Wolfspeed and Micron, to innovation engines like the Rome Lab, we need our workers ready to fill these good-paying, in-demand jobs,” said Senator Schumer. “This new training center, stacked with the latest cutting-edge equipment, will help MVCC as it works to expand its programs and partner with local companies to create the talent pipeline the tech industry needs to spur economic growth in the Mohawk Valley. In tandem with the historic funding from my CHIPS and Science Act, this will help lay the foundation for a next generation of workers here in Utica and across Oneida County.”
MVCC President Randall J. VanWagoner said, “Senator Schumer’s leadership in securing the necessary funding for Mohawk Valley Community College’s Science & Technology facility redevelopment is greatly appreciated and MVCC is thrilled to receive this support. This will secure the necessary tools and equipment to train the workforce in the semiconductor and robotics field in our community, which is instrumental in promoting economic growth in Oneida County and the semiconductor industry of Upstate New York. Senator Schumer understands the importance of investing in education and workforce development, and the great impact it can have on the future of our state and the people who live here. By providing our students with access to the latest technology and innovative capabilities, we will be helping them to pursue the best possible education and equip them with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in their career paths.”
Specifically, this funding will help provide cutting-edge equipment for Mohawk Valley Community College and support the larger renovation and expansion of their Science & Technology building. The new project targets training for semiconductor, advanced manufacturing, and related science and technology careers as some of the fastest-growing, highest-paying jobs in both the region and the nation. It will support many of MVCC’s existing credentialing/degree programs, including Semiconductor Manufacturing, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechatronics, and Metal Fabrication. Additionally, the project will revamp existing programs like the Electrical Service Technician program, which will be transformed into a new Industrial Automation Associates degree, designed to develop an advanced manufacturing workforce tailored to the needs of the microelectronics industry. The training and workforce development provided by this project will help give students the skills and know-how to fill high tech jobs currently available at companies across Oneida County and Central New York, including Micron, Wolfspeed, Indium Corporation, Semikron-Danfoss, and Fabmatics. The Science & Technology Building renovation project is expected to be completed in 2025.
The $2 million in funding was secured personally by Senator Schumer through congressionally directed spending in the end-of-year spending package for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023. This funding also compliments the historic increases Schumer just secured for his CHIPS and Science Bill for the expansion of manufacturing programs, STEM education and workforce training to help prepare the next generation of Upstate NY workers for the good-paying jobs spurred by his legislation. The senator also noted that the FY 2023 omnibus included the largest dollar increase for the National Science Foundation in history, which Upstate universities and community colleges will be able to utilize to bolster technical training programs, like MVCC’s.
In addition to the funding for Mohawk Valley Community College, Schumer also highlighted over $7 million he was also able to secure, in partnership with Senator Gillibrand, for high-tech projects, at the Rome Lab.
“For years I have fought for this community and industry as part of my steadfast commitment to making New York a worldwide leader in technological innovation, and I am thrilled to bring millions of dollars home to Rome Lab and its partners to continue that promise,” said Senator Gillibrand.“This federal investment in AFRL and the Griffiss Institute will give Rome Lab and its partners the resources needed to continue their groundbreaking work in information science research and attract great jobs to the Mohawk Valley. Senator Schumer and I have long fought for the innovators at Rome Lab and will always ensure it has the federal funding needed to thrive.”
“Oneida County continues to flourish under a high-tech economy that has made us a world-wide leader in research, development, manufacturing and national defense support,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “I thank Senator Schumer for securing this over $9 million in funding that will strengthen our efforts, and I look forward to working with our partners to maximize the benefit and solidify our standing.”
The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Rome Lab funding included $4,200,000 for Construction of High Frequency Antennas for the Newport and Stockbridge Test Annexes. Construction of these towers will provide resilient and modernized High Frequency and Low Frequency infrastructure for USAF use. Completion of this project will provide AFRL the capability to advance warfighting communication technologies and allow the USAF to satisfy requirements set forth in the 2018 National Defense Strategy. Ensuring AFRL has the most up-to-date facilities is crucial to its success.
The Senator also secured $3,000,000 for Griffiss Institute Smart-X Internet of Things (“IOT”) Living Lab. The lab will be an open and collaborative environment where vendors and developers can integrate, test, experiment and demonstrate their smart technology capabilities. This environment will connect GBTP, Innovare, NY UAS Test Site and SkyDome resources with Rome’s Air City and Woodhaven Riverwalk enabling New York State’s first smart, autonomous-friendly village.
“The Griffiss Institute is so grateful to be a part of today’s announcements. These projects are unique and impactful on their own,” said Heather Hage, President & CEO of Griffiss Institute. “Their interdependencies, and abilities to collectively advance our region’s diverse innovation economy, will elevate Upstate New York’s position as a national leader for bringing dual-use defense technologies to the American economy.”
Schumer has been the leading champion of bringing tech manufacturing back to America and Upstate New York in particular. Going back to 2019, Schumer proposed a major tech investment “moon shot” in cutting-edge technologies like semiconductors to out-compete China. Schumer then spent the next three years working to pass into law this vision – ultimately manifesting itself into the CHIPS and Science Act, which makes a generational investment in innovation and manufacturing, including providing over $76 billion in new federal incentives for microchip manufacturing and research and development in the U.S.