'Indescribable': In Syracuse, Micron announcement wraps in upstate dreams (2023)

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Sean Kirst


Born in Dunkirk, a son, grandson and great-grandson of Buffalonians, I've been an Upstate journalist for more than 48 years. As a kid, I learned quiet lives are often monumental. I still try to honor that simple lesson, as a columnist.

Sean Kirst

Dennis Connors, at an early age, understood his own story. He grew up in Lackawanna, across the street from Our Lady of Victory National Shrine and Basilica. His extended family lived in a row of houses with double porches, ending up there for one reason:

Connors’s great-grandfather, Jeremiah Shea, was from Scranton, Pa. He worked for Lackawanna Iron and Steel. Around 1900, Jeremiah followed the company when it left Scranton for the Lake Erie waterfront, just west of Buffalo, part of an industrial shift that transformed the landscape of Western New York, physically and economically.

More than 120 years later, to his own astonishment, Connors –a curator emeritus from the Onondaga Historical Association– asks himself if he is about to see a similar kind of economic transition, in Syracuse.

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“I look at my three sons, all three who decided to stay here, and I wonder about the impact this can have on their lives,” said Connors, 71, a graduate of the University at Buffalo and one of the most respected civic historians in Central New York.

As Micron picks Syracuse, Genesee County is still seeking its own semiconductor win

The STAMP site is in the running for 20 projects, six of them semiconductor operations, worth a combined $45 billion and promising a possible 25,000 future jobs.

He was referencing last week’s Micron Technology announcement in Onondaga County, the kind of this-can-never-happen moment every big upstate city has daydreamed about during more than a half-century of what too often was a timeline of industrial struggle.

Idaho-based Micron says it intends to spend as much as $100 billion over 20 years to create an estimated 9,000 jobs – paying around $100,000 a year – for manufacturing computer chips at the 1,400-acre White Pine Commerce Park in Clay, near Syracuse.

“Generational change ahead,” shouted The Syracuse Post-Standard, in its Sunday headline. Along the Thruway, from Utica to Ripley, this is a region accustomed to hearing half-baked civic dreams – some of us are old enough to remember the doomed quest for a Saturn automotive plant in Chautauqua County, or the fantasy of a Ghermezian megamall in Niagara Falls – but this situation has profoundly different bones.

Micron's announcement made national headlines. Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Mehrotraoffered details alongside Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, Gov. Kathy Hochul and Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon. President Joseph Biden, who lived in Syracuse as a law student, lauded the deal from the White House.

All the reasons cited are familiar: The right site. Powerful incentives. Lots of water and power. A four-hours-from-everywhere location. Many nearby universities. The recent umbrella of friendly and specific federal and state legislation.

Still, what strikes Connors and many others is the probable sea change in fundamental regional direction: For the first time in upstate memory, Connors said, a city's challenge will be responding swiftly to the benefits and pitfalls of potentially unbridled growth.

My call left Connors reflecting on his own lifetime perspective. As a child, he learned a Buffalo sensibility, an affinity for Western New York triumphs and hardships. But his journey for the past 50 years helped him realize a similar narrative binds all the cities in Upstate New York, and he sees Micron as an affirmation of the possible for the interconnected community along the old Erie Canal corridor.

The fortunes of many upstate cities had already started a bit-by-bit rebound, he said, "and you see it in the energy in places like Syracuse and Buffalo. You hope Micron just reflects it, in both perception and in this tremendous opportunity for employment.”

'Indescribable': In Syracuse, Micron announcement wraps in upstate dreams (2)

To Van Robinson, the scope and reach of those jobs will determine everything. At 84, he is a couple of weeks past joining other veterans on an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., to visit national military shrines. He spent 18 years on the Syracuse Common Council, and he and his wife, Linda, are both past presidents of the Syracuse Onondaga NAACP.

Robinson sees Micron's announcement as massive reinforcement for the great political achievement of his life. When he arrived in Syracuse in the late 1960s, an elevated portion of Interstate 81 had just leveled the 15th Ward, longtime home of the city’s African American community. To Robinson, the highway became a lasting statement of estrangement between communities of prosperity and struggle, as well as an ugly, littered wall rupturing the city fabric.

He was one of the few voices, decades ago, advocating for its removal. Gradually, the movement caught on. Following extensive study, the state last spring formally chose to replace the Syracuse I-81 bridges with a street-level grid, a project expected to cost about $2 billion – an infusion of capital most likely coincidental with the first proposed wave of Micron spending.

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'Indescribable': In Syracuse, Micron announcement wraps in upstate dreams (3)

Robinson witnessed the disappearance in Syracuse of such industries as General Electric. His wife turned down an out-of-town transfer and lost her job when New Process Gear closed, after 124 years of operation. Robinson said it is almost unimaginable to consider what Micron's investment means to a metropolitan area of roughly 650,000 people.

Beyond all else, he finds opportunity within this expansion to shatter the same barriers of segregation and suffering in Syracuse that have wounded Upstate communities for generations.

According to the 2020 U.S. census, the city's child poverty rate is 48.4 percent – the worst for any city with a population above 100,000. Such numbers spiral into pain – resulting all too often in hunger, illness, violence and addiction – and Robinson describes everything coming together right now as a we-cannot-afford-to-bungle-this civic moment.

“This is the issue,” he said, “if we want Syracuse to be the kind of place it was intended to be.”

All the early public conversations – about job training, about serving disadvantaged communities, about making sure workers without cars have access to the site, about honing the regional educational impetus to be sure it is preparing enough young people to do the work – seem pointed in that direction.

If that talk becomes real change, Robinson said the community "gratification would be indescribable."

On an immediate level, in a way any of us raised within upstate frustration can understand, there is also the simple hope that block-by-block, once-wistful civic dreams suddenly have a greater chance to be locked in, for good.

'Indescribable': In Syracuse, Micron announcement wraps in upstate dreams (4)

“I’ve seen it all downtown,” said Selena Giampa, managing partner in the new Parthenon Book Store on South Salina Street, the main corridor in Syracuse. Her father drove city snowplows for 40 years, while her mother worked for a nearby sub shop, and she is old enough to recall when the department stores were shuttered and the lights went out downtown.

That district has come back in Syracuse. The market for downtown apartments remains strong, and you combine it with restaurants, theaters, festivals and taverns and there are plenty of times when it is hard to find a place to park – which was hardly a problem 15 years ago.

That vitality remains a work in progress, and one missing element was a bookstore. Giampa worked for Borders before that chain shut down at a local mall. She made no secret that she wished to open a bookstore downtown, at the same time that Buffalo-born developer Steve Case of Acropolis Realty, who has partnered on several Syracuse projects with Ryan Benz, visited Athens and loved the vibrancy of bookstores there.

'Indescribable': In Syracuse, Micron announcement wraps in upstate dreams (5)

Through a friend-of-a-friend, Case, Giampa and Benz brought those visions together. Parthenon Books opened last summer in a critical but fragile piece of Salina Street. While rumors about a chip plant had floated around for months, their decision was an unrelated exercise in faith, since the last major bookstore in downtown Syracuse closed decades ago.

“We’ve seen all the ups and downs,” said Giampa, though she admits one “up” she could not anticipate involved billions in local investment by a semiconductor giant.

She and Case contemplated what Micron could mean from a table in their store the other day, while a few quiet customers drank coffee and poked around the stacks. With energy and imagination, the owners said, the bookstore could have worked downtown, Micron or not.

Even so, have they slept better over the last few nights?

“You have no idea,” Case said, on behalf of Syracuse.

Sean Kirst is a columnist with The Buffalo News. Email him at skirst@buffnews.com.



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Sean Kirst


Born in Dunkirk, a son, grandson and great-grandson of Buffalonians, I've been an Upstate journalist for more than 48 years. As a kid, I learned quiet lives are often monumental. I still try to honor that simple lesson, as a columnist.


How will Micron affect Syracuse? ›

Micron's plans for Syracuse extend New York's semiconductor manufacturing region westward from the so-called “Tech Valley.” It will add to facilities that already include Wolfspeed's new silicon carbide fab in Marcy, Global Foundries' campus in Malta, and the former IBM plant in Dutchess County, now owned by Global ...

Why did Micron pick Syracuse? ›

The company was lured to the Syracuse area with help from a generous set of federal, state and local incentives, including up to $5.5 billion in state tax credits over 20 years.

Where is Micron going in Syracuse? ›

The giant factory will be built in Clay, N.Y., about 15 miles north of Syracuse. Micron said site preparation would begin next year, construction in 2024 and production in volume after 2025.

How many jobs will Micron bring to Clay NY? ›

Micron plans to announce details today about the project, which would create up to 9,000 jobs over the next 20 years at the White Pine Commerce Park in Clay, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and Gov.

Does Micron pay well? ›

The estimated salary at Micron Technology ranges from approximately $46,000 per year for Warehouse Associate to $193,676 per year for Economist. The estimated hourly pay at Micron Technology ranges from approximately $9.82 per hour for Change Analyst to $43.69 per hour for Content Writer....

How high can Micron stock go? ›

Stock Price Forecast

The 30 analysts offering 12-month price forecasts for Micron Technology Inc have a median target of 65.50, with a high estimate of 100.00 and a low estimate of 45.00. The median estimate represents a +14.21% increase from the last price of 57.35.

Where is Micron going in NY? ›

In October 2022, Micron first announced plans for its historic investment to build a 1,400-acre semiconductor manufacturing plant just north of Syracuse.

Where is the Micron plant being built in NY? ›

Micron to Build Mammoth $31B Semiconductor Chip Plant Near Syracuse, N.Y. The computer memory chip specialist Micron has launched a plan to create an enormous manufacturing complex in the town of Clay, N.Y., north of Syracuse, by investing $31 billion to build four 600,000-sq. -ft.

What country owns Micron? ›

Micron Technology, Inc. is an American producer of computer memory and computer data storage including dynamic random-access memory, flash memory, and USB flash drives. It is headquartered in Boise, Idaho. Its consumer products, including the Ballistix line of memory modules, are marketed under the Crucial brand.

How long is Micron hiring process? ›

Micron Technology Interview Rounds and Process

There were 4 rounds in my interview. The first round was Resume Shortlist, followed by Aptitude Test round. The third round was Technical, followed by final Behavioral round. I applied via Campus Placement and was interviewed in Oct 2022.

Does Apple use Micron? ›

Apple currently sources memory chips from Samsung and Micron, according to its supplier list. It began talks with YMTC in 2018 in search of more cost-effective memory chips.

How long is Micron interview process? ›

The hiring process at Micron Technology takes an average of 20 days when considering 1,325 user submitted interviews across all job titles.

Where will Micron build in upstate New York? ›

Micron said it will build the factory in Clay, N.Y., just north of Syracuse, with the first phase of construction to run through the end of the decade. The site will initially employ 3,000 people and could eventually include four factories and 9,000 employees if Micron opts to continue building.

Does Micron make CHIPS for cars? ›

Micron Technology is a semiconductor company that develops and makes memory and storage solutions. Micron products are used in automobiles, consumer electronics, communications products, servers, and computers.

Is the U.S. building a microchip plant? ›

The fabrication plant, to be located in Onondaga County, New York, will be the size of 40 US football fields and is expected to provide close to 50,000 jobs for the region, including “9,000 high paying Micron jobs.” Once completed, the manufacturing facility is expected to drastically increase the domestic supply of ...

What is a good salary to put? ›

A salary of $60,000 per year is good enough to give you a decent and comfortable lifestyle in most parts of the world. In the United States, that is enough to cater to your needs and wants and to give you a comfortable living. However, this depends on the size of your family and the location where you live.

What is the best job pay? ›

The 10 best-paying jobs of 2023, according to new research—many pay over $200,000
  1. Anesthesiologists. Median annual salary: $208,000. ...
  2. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons. Median annual salary: $208,000. ...
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  4. Surgeon. ...
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Feb 1, 2023

What is a better salary? ›

A good salary is one that enables you to comfortably support your desired lifestyle. Often, to determine the monetary value of a good salary, you need to consider a few additional factors, such as where you live, the number of people you're supporting, or your industry.

What will MU stock be worth in five years? ›

On average, Wall Street analysts predict that Micron Technology's share price could reach $67.68 by Mar 2, 2024. The average Micron Technology stock price prediction forecasts a potential upside of 19.2% from the current MU share price of $56.78.

Where will Micron be in 5 years? ›

Micron Technology Inc. quote is equal to 56.785 USD at 2023-03-04. Based on our forecasts, a long-term increase is expected, the "MU" stock price prognosis for 2028-02-23 is 97.234 USD. With a 5-year investment, the revenue is expected to be around +71.23%.

Is Micron stock a good buy? ›

Micron Technology has received a consensus rating of Buy.

Why did Micron choose NY? ›

Talent pool and higher education. Mehrotra said one of the key factors in Micron putting a facility in New York was its available talent in engineering and the number of higher education institutions they could partner with.

What is the NYS Micron deal? ›

Micron Technology, Inc., the world's fourth-largest semiconductor company — and the only memory and storage manufacturer in the United States — will invest $100 billion to build the largest semiconductor fabrication facility in the history of the United States in New York State. Spanning 1,400 acres.

What is the new chip manufacturing plant in New York? ›

Chipmaker Micron Technology said Tuesday that it will spend up to $100 billion over the next two decades to build a semiconductor factory in upstate New York. The project will create nearly 50,000 jobs in New York, including about 9,000 high-paying Micron positions, the company said.

Who are the new chip manufacturers in USA? ›

After years of stagnation, the U.S. is finally getting brand-new chip plants. Intel, GlobalFoundries, TSMC, and Samsung Foundry are set to spend well over $70 billion on U.S. fabs by 2025.

What kind of chips does Micron make? ›

DRAM and NAND are what Micron makes.

What is Micron famous for? ›

Micron Technology is a world leader in innovating memory and storage solutions that accelerate the transformation of information into intelligence, inspiring the world to learn, communicate and advance faster than ever.

Who is microns competitor? ›

Micron Technology competitors include MediaTek, Intel Corporation, SanDisk, Western Digital Corporation and Seagate Technology. Micron Technology ranks 1st in CEO Score on Comparably vs its competitors.

Is Micron moving to Texas? ›

In documents made public Aug. 24, Boise, Idaho-based Micron Technology Inc. revealed publicly for the first time it could build a massive, eight-phased fabrication facility near Lockhart, a city about 35 miles southeast of Austin with a population of roughly 15,000 and a reputation as the barbecue capital of Texas.

What microchip company is coming to Syracuse? ›

Micron to Build Mammoth $31B Semiconductor Chip Plant Near Syracuse, N.Y. The computer memory chip specialist Micron has launched a plan to create an enormous manufacturing complex in the town of Clay, N.Y., north of Syracuse, by investing $31 billion to build four 600,000-sq. -ft.

Is Syracuse declining? ›

Syracuse is currently growing at a rate of 0.23% annually and its population has increased by 0.7% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 148,620 in 2020. Spanning over 26 miles, Syracuse has a population density of 5,979 people per square mile.

Is Syracuse NY A growing city? ›

The current metro area population of Syracuse in 2023 is 422,000, a 0.24% increase from 2022. The metro area population of Syracuse in 2022 was 421,000, a 0.24% increase from 2021. The metro area population of Syracuse in 2021 was 420,000, a 0% increase from 2020.

Is Micron stock a good investment? ›

On average, Wall Street analysts predict that Micron Technology's share price could reach $67.58 by Feb 10, 2024. The average Micron Technology stock price prediction forecasts a potential upside of 16.89% from the current MU share price of $57.82. What is MU's Earnings Per Share (EPS) forecast for 2023-2024?

What is the new chip factory in upstate NY? ›

Chipmaker Micron Technology said Tuesday that it will spend up to $100 billion over the next two decades to build a semiconductor factory in upstate New York. The project will create nearly 50,000 jobs in New York, including about 9,000 high-paying Micron positions, the company said.

Are microchips trackable? ›

Pet microchips are not tracking devices. They are radio-frequency identification (RFID) implants that provide permanent ID for your pet. Because they use RFID technology, microchips do not require a power source like a GPS.

Why are there so many abandoned houses in Syracuse? ›

Some are abandoned after fires, broken dreams or bad investments. Others have owners who died with no one left to take over.

Are Syracuse people moving? ›

Syracuse, N.Y. — Cities across the country are sending new residents to the Syracuse metro area, according to a recent list compiled by Stacker. The city of Syracuse's population actually grew between 2010 and 2020 for the first time in 70 years, according to Census Bureau data released last year.

What is the percentage of blacks in Syracuse? ›

The largest Syracuse racial/ethnic groups are White (49.4%) followed by Black (27.5%) and Hispanic (9.5%).

Is Syracuse a cheap place to live? ›

The cost of living in Syracuse is well below the national average and is way more affordable than other similar metropolitan areas in the United States. In fact, the cost of living in Syracuse is 42.8% lower than the cost of living in New York City.

Is Micron a hold or sell? ›

Micron has a conensus rating of Moderate Buy which is based on 16 buy ratings, 4 hold ratings and 2 sell ratings. The average price target for Micron is $64.55. This is based on 22 Wall Streets Analysts 12-month price targets, issued in the past 3 months.

Is Micron a buy or sell? ›

- Sell. Zacks' proprietary data indicates that Micron Technology, Inc. is currently rated as a Zacks Rank 4 and we are expecting a below average return from the MU shares relative to the market in the next few months.

Is Micron a buy sell or hold? ›

Micron Stock Buy Hold or Sell Recommendation. Stocks . USA . Allowing for the 90-day total investment horizon and your above-average risk tolerance, our recommendation regarding Micron Technology is 'Hold'.

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