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Chamber News Release

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce Celebrates Major Federal Investment in NY SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub

$40 Million Federal Grant to Boost Semiconductor Research, Manufacturing, and Workforce Development in Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse Region

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to announce that the New York Semiconductor Manufacturing and Research Technology Innovation Corridor (NY SMART I-Corridor) has been awarded a $40 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs program. This significant investment will support the advancement of semiconductor research, manufacturing, and workforce development across the Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse corridor.

The Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs program, established by the CHIPS and Science Act, began with nearly 400 regional applications from across the United States. After a rigorous selection process, the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA) designated 31 regions as Tech Hubs in October 2023. These regions were chosen based on their potential to drive innovation, workforce development, and economic growth in key industries. Following this initial designation, the competition was further narrowed down, and only 12 of these Tech Hubs were awarded implementation grants in 2024, each receiving up to $51 million to accelerate their plans and solidify their leadership in cutting-edge industries. The NY SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub, encompassing Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse, was among these elite 12 winners, securing $40 million in federal funding to bolster its semiconductor research, manufacturing, and workforce initiatives.

By the end of the decade, the NY SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub is expected to produce 25% of all semiconductors made in the United States. This will make the Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse region a key player in the global semiconductor industry. Producing such a large share of chips domestically will reduce reliance on foreign suppliers, enhancing national security. It ensures that the U.S. has a stable and secure supply of semiconductors, which are crucial for everything from consumer electronics to advanced military systems.

Key Highlights of the NY SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub:

  • Workforce Development: Led by Monroe Community College, this initiative will expand internship and apprenticeship opportunities, establish programs to pair industry partners with semiconductor supply chain firms, and create employer-led training initiatives. The STEP UP (Semiconductor Talent & Employer Partnership in Upstate New York) program will focus on training workers for middle-skill, high-skill, and construction jobs, addressing critical gaps in the semiconductor workforce.
  • Supply Chain Enhancement: Led by the University at Buffalo, this component aims to scale capacity at regional Manufacturing Extension Partnerships, increase visibility of new opportunities, and assist firms with access to capital. This will help local firms integrate into the semiconductor supply chain and leverage existing manufacturing strengths.
  • Commercialization Support: Led by Syracuse University, this project will coordinate key commercialization assets and facilities across academia, government, and industry to help startups, small- to mid-size, and minority-owned businesses access critical resources for semiconductor-related innovation and entrepreneurship.

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce extends its deepest gratitude to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for his relentless advocacy and leadership in creating the Tech Hubs program through his CHIPS & Science Law. Senator Schumer’s vision and tireless efforts have positioned Upstate New York as a semiconductor center for the world, bringing federal and private investments that will transform our region's economy. 

We also express our sincere thanks to President Joe Biden for his visionary leadership and support of the CHIPS and Science Act, which authorized this transformative Tech Hubs program. This investment aligns with the President’s Investing in America agenda, bringing innovation and economic development to underinvested areas and creating good-paying jobs in critical industries. Read a release from the White House.

We commend Governor Kathy Hochul for her unwavering commitment to building a 21st-century economy in New York State. Governor Hochul’s strategic guidance and the State’s matching support have been instrumental in securing this federal grant, driving growth in the semiconductor industry, and ensuring equitable workforce development. Read a release from Governor Kathy Hochul.

Lastly, we extend our gratitude to Congressman Morelle, Senator Gillibrand, Joe Stefko of ROC2025, and all of our partners in Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse economic development and workforce for their tremendous efforts over the past years in making this vision a reality.

Bob Duffy, President and CEO of Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, said, "Being named a winner of the Regional Tech Hub Awards is a game-changer for our region. This recognition underscores our commitment to innovation and sets the stage for unprecedented growth and opportunity. We are deeply grateful for the visionary leadership of Senator Schumer and Congressman Morelle. Having the Senate Majority Leader from New York is an incredible advantage, bringing national attention and resources to our State. The unwavering support of Senator Schumer and Congressman Morelle has been instrumental in driving our tech community forward, and this award is a testament to their dedication to fostering technological advancement in our region."


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