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OCC asks county for help building cleanroom to prep students for Micron jobs

A brick sign  with flowers surrounding the bottom half of it says " Onondaga Community College."
Onondaga Community College
A sign at Onondaga Community College decorates the college's campus.

Onondaga Community College is asking county legislators to issue up to $5 million in bonds to help construct a cleanroom.

Electronic manufacturers often use cleanrooms to minimize small particles in the air that can result from the manufacturing process, and to keep workers safe.

OCC Chief Financial Officer Mark Manning said the investment at the community college is critical because of the types of jobs that Micron is looking to fill.

"Micron's announced like 9,000 jobs, and the majority of those jobs are not going to be the engineers, the ones that get—that you need the four-year degrees," Manning said at a Thursday county legislature committee meeting. "The majority of them are going to be certificate or associate's degree, so that really falls into our wheelhouse."

Micron announced in October that as it set up its new chip manufacturing plant, it would be investing $100 billion in Onondaga County over the next 20 years.

Manning said OCC is unsure how many students the cleanroom could draw to the college. But he said the school is looking through its registration records and contacting former students who may be interested in the opportunity.

"We were able to find that they didn't transfer; They never completed their degree or certificate. So I'm trying to make that push to, 'Hey, we got Micron coming in. There's a lot of opportunities if you want to consider coming back,'" Manning said.

Members of the Onondaga County Legislature's Ways and Means Committee approved the measure. But it now moves on to the entire 17-member body. For the bonds to be issued, the Legislature must approve the bond with a two-thirds vote.