Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Deliver $1 Million For Binghamton University To Supercharge Chip Workforce Training In The Southern Tier With New State-of-the-art Equipment For Semiconductor Manufacturing

Apr 3, 2024

Upstate NY Is In A Manufacturing Boom From Schumer’s CHIPS & Science Act – From Micron’s Landmark $100 Billion Investment In CNY To Companies Like Menlo Micro Coming To The Southern Tier – Senator Says This Is Only The Beginning, And Vital We Get Students Skills They Need Now For These Jobs

With Fed $$$ From The Senators, Binghamton University Will Purchase State-Of-The-Art Equipment For Its Nanofabrication Laboratory—A Cleanroom Which Trains Students For Careers In Upstate NY’s Booming Semiconductor Industry

Schumer, Gillibrand: Fed $$$ Will Supercharge Future CHIPs Workforce In The Southern Tier & Upstate NY!

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced they have personally secured $1,000,000 for Binghamton University to purchase state-of-the-art advanced packaging equipment for its Nanofabrication Laboratory (NLAB) in Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations bills as a Congressionally Directed Spending request to bolster workforce training for advanced chip manufacturing in cleanroom environments.

The senators said this major federal investment will help get students the skills they need for high-paying, in-demand careers in the semiconductor industry being spurred by Schumer’s CHIPS & Science Law which is already bringing major companies and investments to communities across Upstate NY. This funding will help ensure the Southern Tier’s world-class manufacturing workforce has the skills needed to support the growth of this critical industry, attract supply chain companies to the region, and access good-paying jobs as Upstate NY establishes itself as a hub for chip manufacturing.

“My CHIPS & Science Law is bringing historic investments to Upstate NY and helping create thousands of good-paying jobs. With the semiconductor industry booming in Upstate NY, we need to start getting our students the hands-on training now to prepare them to fill these careers to ensure these projects will be a success. I am proud to deliver this $1 million federal investment to Binghamton University to supercharge the Southern Tier’s semiconductor workforce training with new state-of-the-art equipment that will help replicate real cleanrooms at chip companies,” said Senator Schumer. “I wrote the CHIPS & Science Bill with Upstate NY as my north star, and Binghamton is seeing the benefits firsthand with millions in investment from semiconductors to batteries, and this is only the beginning. Together with fantastic institutions like Binghamton University leading the way, we are ensuring the next generation of engineers, scientists, and innovators are trained and work here in Upstate NY.”

“Upstate New York has established itself as a global leader in chip manufacturing, and with this $1 million investment, doors will open to more good-paying, in-demand jobs,” said Senator Gillibrand. “As chip manufacturing continues to grow in the Southern Tier and across Upstate New York, it is vital to invest in workforce training to ensure students are well-prepared to succeed in the semiconductor industry. This federal funding will ensure that Binghamton University can do just that, allowing the school to purchase cutting-edge packaging equipment to make sure students are properly trained in cleanroom environments. I am proud to have secured this funding and will continue to fight for federal resources to bolster New York’s chip manufacturing workforce.”

Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger said the project aligns perfectly with many of the campus’ key goals. “As a premier public university, we focus on education as well as access,” he said. “We also recognize our role and responsibility when it comes to workforce development. Equipping our laboratories with the latest tools gives our students and our industry partners an important advantage. I’m grateful for Senator Schumer’s continued partnership, and I look forward to seeing our cleanroom serve as a learning space for our own undergraduates as well as high school and community college students from the region.”

The senators said the purchase of new, state-of-the-art advanced packaging equipment will allow electronics with sub-micron circuitry to be fabricated, analyzed, and tested by participants from across industry and academia, providing students with the hands-on training to prepare them for careers in semiconductor manufacturing. The lab’s participants will be trained in next-generation electronics, including 2.5D and 3D chip packaging, developing a pipeline of qualified talent to support the growth of the advanced electronics manufacturing and packaging industry across Upstate New York.

Binghamton University estimates 100 people will receive training for jobs in industrial cleanrooms each year through short courses, certificate, and micro-credentialing programs. Schumer and Gillibrand said this skilled talent pool will be critical to helping attract new startups and supply chain companies now looking at the region, following new major investments by companies like Micron, that will help build a thriving regional economy with good-paying jobs for future generations. Binghamton University’s S3IP Center of Excellence, which includes the NLAB, currently has over 120 companies performing research in electronics packaging as well as areas related to materials, failure analysis, and reliability testing. The enhanced equipment will also benefit roughly 20 faculty members and 60 graduate student researchers engaged in projects directly supported by the facility, with the number expected to grow.  

As a result of Schumer’s CHIPS & Science Act, Upstate New York has seen a series of significant investments and boom in semiconductor manufacturing, heightening the need for students to develop industry-specific skills for these in-demand careers. Micron has announced plans for a historic $100 billion investment to build a cutting-edge memory fab in Central New York, creating nearly 50,000 good paying jobs. In the Southern Tier, following his personal call to Menlo Micro CEO Russ Garcia, Schumer announced they planned to invest over $50 million to build their first domestic microelectronics fabrication facility in Tompkins County, creating over 100 new good-paying jobs. Similarly, GlobalFoundries plans to invest over $12 billion to expand and construct a second, new state-of-the-art computer chip factory in the Capital Region with 1,500 direct jobs. Wolfspeed also recently opened the first, largest, and only 200mm silicon carbide fabrication facility in the world in the Mohawk Valley. In addition, Upstate New York is home to semiconductor supply chain companies like Edwards Vacuum, which has announced a $300+ million investment to build a dry pump manufacturing facility creating 600 good paying jobs to support the growing chip industry in Upstate New York.

Bahgat Sammakia, Vice President for Research at Binghamton University and Director of the S3IP Center of Excellence said that efforts to reinvigorate the microelectronics industry in the United States rely on a skilled workforce. “Thank you Senator Schumer for the CHIPS and Science Act, which will go a long way in fortifying our domestic semiconductor ecosystem which includes microelectronics packaging. The workforce we need can only be a reality with improved opportunities for training,” he said. “Experience working with this state-of-the-art equipment in a cleanroom environment will give students a big boost when they enter the job market. And manufacturers in New York State and beyond will be able to recruit talented workers who have relevant expertise that can help their companies grow and thrive.”

Schumer has been a relentless advocate for growing Binghamton University’s tech programs from chips to batteries. One of Schumer’s first major acts as majority leader was leading the American Rescue Plan to passage, which created programs like the $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge. Schumer personally advocated for the selection of Binghamton University’s battery hub proposal for this federal investment and in September 2022, Schumer secured Binghamton’s spot as a final awardee, with a $63.7 million federal investment, one of the largest grants made in the competition, which was matched by $50 million in funding from New York State. Binghamton University’s battery hub in October 2023 was  selected for the prestigious federal Tech Hub designation, which Schumer created in the CHIPS & Science Act, putting a national spotlight on their efforts to grow this industry in Upstate NY. Finally, in the culmination of years of advocacy, Schumer in January 2024 announced the Binghamton University-led battery project had won the esteemed NSF Engines competition, which he also created in his CHIPS & Science Law. One of only ten projects across the country selected for the award bringing $15 million, with up to $160 million total over the life of the program to supercharge growth and cutting-edge research in battery development and manufacturing in Upstate NY.