Computer chip plant could have economic benefits for north country

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 5:46 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - A huge economic announcement for the Syracuse area could have ripple effects in the north country.

In what representatives are calling upstate New York’s “Erie Canal” moment, Micron, maker of computer chips, is set to spend $100 billion over 20 years for a new plant.

It has local economic leaders in the north country paying attention.

“This is one of the most significant long-term investments made anywhere in America in decades,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

The 1,400-acre plant in the town of Clay would create 9,000 jobs and aims to combat the current computer chip shortage.

“Micron is one of those companies who gave New York state a second look and third look and fourth look because of our pro-growth policies,” said Governor Kathy Hochul.

While the plant will be built near Syracuse, the effects of such an investment could be far-reaching.

“We already have people that travel to Syracuse. It’s an hour drive for work as it is. Others are driving elsewhere in the region so I think it will open up employment opportunities,” said Dave Zembiec, Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency.

He says a project of this size will need to buy things from other companies. Whether those exist already or new companies will follow Micron’s lead and build in the region, he says Jefferson County will be ready.

“If they capitalize on that, require some sort of local expansion or construction of a new facility, we’re in a position to facilitate that kind of growth locally,” said Zembiec.

Construction for the Syracuse-area plant will start in 2024 and will be completed in 4 phases.