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Even Before Micron Breaks Ground, CNY Colleges Offer Classes to Train Chip Fab Workers


Image from: centerstateceo.com


Syracuse, N.Y. — Micron Technology’s production of computer memory chips in Clay won’t start for another three years, but one Central New York college is already preparing to offer new classes this fall to help meet the company’s labor needs.


Onondaga Community College will offer a new supply chain management degree, providing students with the skills needed to manage the flow of goods and services that enable companies to transform raw materials into final products.


Anastasia Urtz, OCC provost and senior vice president, said the new degree will be applicable to several industries but “especially Micron.”


“Micron has shared that it anticipates with the chip fabs they will build that, over time, they will need 9,000 direct employees, but then there will be many additional jobs that are in the supply chain that will develop around them,” she said.


The new degree is just one change that local colleges and an economic development organization are planning to help Micron meet its substantial workforce needs in Central New York.


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CenterState CEO, a Syracuse-based economic development and business leadership organization that helped to recruit Micron to Central New York, is making plans to upscale its Pathways to Apprenticeship program to expand the opportunity for local residents, particularly the unemployed and underemployed, to land construction jobs at Micron.


The 11-week program, launched in 2021, prepares Syracuse residents for apprenticeships in a broad range of construction fields. The training includes instruction in basic construction skills and how to read blueprints. Since its launch, 65 people have gone through the program.


Aimee Durfee, CenterState’s director of workforce innovation, said the organization will partner with building trades unions and Micron to scale up the program to help meet the company’s needs.


In addition, CenterState officials say they are holding discussions with colleges and universities throughout the region on specific programs they can offer to prepare workers for jobs at Micron.


“It’s got to be all hands on deck,” said Dominic Robinson, CenterState’s senior vice president of inclusive growth.


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