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President Biden visits CNY and talks of economic turnaround for region

President Joe Biden speaking at podium in front of Investing in America sign
Nicole Hopwood
President Joe Biden celebrates the Micron deal at the Museum of Science and Technology in downtown Syracuse on Thursday, April 25.

President Joe Biden entered the stage to cheers at the Museum of Science and Technology in Syracuse Thursday afternoon, ready to announce Micron’s $6.1 billion gift from the federal CHIPS and Science fund.

 Before he launched into the purpose of his visit, he first took a moment to honor Onondaga County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Michael Hoosock and Syracuse Police Officer Michael Jensen, the two officers killed 11 days earlier.

“The entire Syracuse community is grieving and we’re grieving with you,” he told the room full of supporters, who included law enforcement working to protect him on his stop. “You represent the best of us, you really do.”

Biden then focused on the residents of Central New York, acknowledging the economic hardships faced since the Covid pandemic shut down the world’s largest chip manufacturer overseas in 2020.

“It caused long wait lines for products,” he recalled of the supply chain backups in the auto and electronics industries. “Folks, I am determined to never let us be vulnerable to wait in lines again when it’s essential,” he promised the crowd.

In 2022, with the help of Senator Chuck Schumer, President Biden said they created the CHIPS and Science Act with the idea of returning the semiconductor manufacturing industry to American soil.

“Two months later, I came to Syracuse to celebrate Micron’s historic plan to build the biggest semiconductor manufacturing site in all of America,” Biden proclaimed the plant will be as big as forty football fields.

At the time, Biden noted, Upstate New York U.S. Representatives Brandon Williams and Elise Stefanik were critical of the plan.

“I was told, ‘You know this is government intervention!’ I said, ‘Sure as hell is!’" Biden announced with a smile, then explained how he asked every business leader, "When the federal government makes a multi-billion-dollar investment does it encourage you or discourage you from getting engaged?’”

He claimed every leader asked was “overwhelmingly” willing to engage.

Biden appealed to the audience to recall the feeling of losing a job during the era of the pandemic when 22,000 jobs disappeared in the Syracuse region.

“You’re sitting there as a parent and kid comes home, well educated, and says, ‘I can’t live here anymore, there are no jobs and I’ve got to move.’”

Biden said that is the story seen in communities across the country, but with his plan to fund the microchip industry’s rebirth, he claimed lost jobs will not continue.

“Not on my watch” he proclaimed enthusiastically, “America manufacturing is back!”

President Joe Biden exits Air Force One at Syracuse International Airport with limousine on runway
Arthur Maiorella
President Joe Biden exits Air Force One at Syracuse International Airport on April 25, 2024. Biden is in Syracuse to celebrate his CHIPS program that led to Micron building a multi-billion dollar semiconductor facility in Clay, NY.

The more than $6 billion in incentives for Micron is backed by billions more in state and local incentives to assure Micron will build the massive facility.

Biden considers Micron one of four “Leading Edge Companies” in the world’s semiconductor manufacturing industry. He said he came to Syracuse today, to show the company’s expansion has his administration’s full support.

Construction on Micron’s expansion is in final review and expected to break ground in 2025.

Biden met with Protests

A crowd of people with barricades in front of them watched by two police officers
Nicole Hopwood
"From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free" chant the protestors gathered outside the MoST in downtown Syracuse on Thursday, April 25.

A crowd estimated at over a hundred lined streets in Armory Square to greet Biden before his address protesting for peace for Palestinians. Members of half a dozen groups demanded the President use his influence for an immediate cease fire in Gaza. Many holding signs supporting peace and calling the conflict Genocide, also say they want the US to end military support for Israel.