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Micron's future Syracuse plant to reignite manufacturing in US, Biden says

President Joe Biden holds a microphone and stands behind a podium with the presidential seal.
Reed Granger
President Joe Biden addresses the crowd at Onondaga Community College's SRC Arena, Oct. 27, 2022.

Central New York is bringing manufacturing back. President Joe Biden said semiconducter manufacturer Micron's plans to open up a massive facility in the town of Clay will make the U.S. a leader in the industry.

"Where the hell is it written that says we cannot be—as we've been heard for the last 25 years—the manufacturing capital of the world?" Biden said during a visit to the region.

The Syracuse University Law School graduate returned to the area on Thursday to celebrate Micron's commitment to constructing a new campus in Central New York and investing $100 billion in the region.

Biden took time at the Ononodaga Community College's SRC Arena to recognize in the audience the relatives of his late wife Neilia Hunter, who died in a car accident.

But then he got down to business; Biden said Micron's plans to construct the county's largest semiconductor plant in Central New York is an unprecedented opportunity for the region.

"It's amazing what's going to happen here. You have no idea yet," he said to laughs from the crowd of invite-only guests.

The plant will operate on renewable energy and bring about 9,000 direct jobs and even more in support services, Biden said.

"From Ph.Ds and engineers, HVAC technicians, machine operators with an average salary of $100,000 a year and tens of thousands more jobs across the supply chain—20 unions working together to fill jobs for technicians, construction workers, electricians," Biden said.

Micron CEO Sanjay Mehrotra said the CHIPS and Science Act, legislation spearheaded by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York designed to incentivize this kind of investment, helped bring the opportunity to the region.

"Now the CHIPS Act will make the U.S. and New York specifically a hub for leading edge semiconductor manufacturing. This bill and what we are achieving because of it is reviving the belief that America can be a manufacturing leader," Mehrotra said.

Biden said making chips here is also a matter of national security and efficiency for companies like IBM making quantum computers in Poughkeepsie.

"Instead of relying on chips made overseas that could be delayed because of a pandemic or some other global supply chain issue, they can get their chips in a few hours, in a few hours. It’s a gamechanger," Biden said.

The Micron facility to be constructed at White Pine Commerce Park over the next 20 years will be the size of 40 football fields he said.

The latter half of the president’s remarks took a political turn, sounding more like a campaign speech at times. He highlighted his administration’s accomplishments while calling out Republicans' plans to cut social security and cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations. Biden did not publicly make any endorsements for Congress or governor during his visit.