SYRACUSE , N.Y. (NCC News) – County Executive Ryan McMahon and other leading officials hosted a town meeting revolving around the Micron Chip plant coming to the Town of Clay was held last night at the North Syracuse Junior High School.
In any economic development in New York State, there needs to be an environmental review to study the main impact of the site. In Micron’s case the main impact is traffic.
In the last town hall, traffic was a giant concern for the community, and McMahon knew this.
“Traffic is a challenge. What we also know is traffic isn’t a challenge because of Micron specifically in Cicero, it’s a challenge today,” McMahon said, “If it wasn’t for Micron the traffic issues today would not be addressed probably anytime in the near future.”
The team has done one general environmental review already and they have found they need to make road improvements. They might also make improvements on nearby highways as well.
“Will they(traffic issues) get solved right away? No. They will be phased in as the phased in development happens”
McMahon said there will be another meeting with Onondaga County and the State of New York with more solid data and a timeline.
Outside of traffic, another major topic was education. Brian Heffron, a Principal at Oswego County P-tech, came to the meeting wanting to know more about the recruitment pipeline at Micron.
“With our program we are working on pathways that go directly from high school into college and then to a career,” Heffron said, “So first I wanted to get an idea of what those jobs are going to look like, the education requirements about those jobs, but also we talked about the opportunity not only for students to be able to be exposed to stem camps and learning opportunities in this field, but also for the teachers for are responsible for teaching them in the classroom.”
He also wanted to know how teachers can better prepare their students who one day might work at the plant.
“We have several teachers who come from backgrounds in technology but they are all rooted in this area,” Heffron said. “So, when we have a major semiconductor facility coming in, there is new technology that is needed to be able to be trained to those who are going to be on the front lines to be able to expose our students to those opportunities.”
April Arnez, the chief people officer at Micron , said the company is creating fellowships, internships, and externships, which will bring educators to their other facilities. She also said there will be a more open conversation with people like Heffron to come up with creative and out-of-the-box ideas on how to enable teachers with the right tools.