Governor Hochul Announces the Grand Opening of Wolfspeed’s $1 Billon State of the Art Silicon Carbide Fabrication Facility in the Mohawk Valley
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the grand opening of the Wolfspeed 200mm silicon carbide fabrication facility at the Marcy Nanocenter, located on the State University of New York Polytechnic Institute campus in Marcy in Oneida County. Wolfspeed, the global leader in silicon carbide technology and production, has committed to creating over 600 new jobs at the new facility within the first eight years of operation. In addition, the company will provide internships and research positions for students attending the State University of New York, helping to advance a manufacturing-oriented workforce development initiative across the State University of New York system. Wolfspeed is actively working with education and business partners across the region to establish a robust pipeline for the next generation of high-quality, high-tech jobs in the Mohawk Valley, including those in advanced manufacturing.
“By cutting the ribbon on this new chip fabrication facility, we are making good on the promise of being the most business-friendly and worker-friendly state in the nation, while cementing New York as the national hub for semiconductor production,” Governor Hochul said. “Employers in cutting-edge industries like Wolfspeed will power the future of New York by bringing good paying jobs and educational opportunities to communities like this one, right here in Marcy. My administration is pulling out all the stops to position emerging industries for success in our state, and I thank Wolfspeed for this public-private partnership.”
Chief Executive Officer of Wolfspeed Gregg Lowe said, “Our strategic expansion to the Mohawk Valley is the next chapter in Wolfspeed’s exciting story. The need for silicon carbide is tremendous as we look toward a technological future primed for energy efficiency and sustainability. We are very fortunate to have landed in the Mohawk Valley Region – a place that is rich in talent, drive, and promise for the future.”
The opening of Wolfspeed’s Mohawk Valley fabrication facility comes at a crucial time when there is a global shortage of semiconductors or “chips”, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Wolfspeed has committed to establishing a silicon carbide corridor on the east coast of the United States, anchored by the Mohawk Valley fab and its headquarters and materials operations in North Carolina.
The Mohawk Valley fab will dramatically increase capacity for Wolfspeed’s business and support the semiconductor industry transition from silicon to silicon carbide. Silicon carbide will be essential for electric vehicles, renewable energy and energy storage, and the advancement of industrial applications. The project is a prime example of how New York can help semiconductor companies of all sizes, and in particular manufacturers, by serving as a major hub and headquarters of the National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC). While construction was underway in Marcy, Wolfspeed was able to partner with NY CREATES to run its wafer processes and qualify tools at the Albany Nanotech Complex before moving the tools and equipment into the recently completed facility, which reduces the time from fab completion to chip production. Governor Hochul has been a strong advocate for placing the NSTC at the Albany Nanotech Complex, the most advanced, publicly-owned 300mm semiconductor research and development facility in North America and one of the most cutting-edge sites in the world.
Focusing on the Mohawk Valley community, Wolfspeed forged an important partnership with SUNY Poly that will expand educational science, technology, engineering, and mathematics opportunities for students. This includes a $2,000,000 scholarship program over 10 years and the creation of two endowed faculty chairs through a $1,500,000 fund over five years, which began in August of 2020.
The scholarship support will help ensure students from historically underserved or marginalized communities, as well as those with significant financial need, have greater access to the educational opportunities that will equip them to excel as part of tomorrow’s high-tech workforce. Already, a total of $46,000 has been awarded to SUNY Poly students at both its Albany and Utica campuses who are interested in pursuing a career in the semiconductor industry. There are currently 24 students who are Wolfspeed scholars.
Empire State Development (ESD) has provided up to $500 million in performance-based, capital grants for a portion of the costs of construction, fitting out the new facility and acquiring and installing equipment, as well as $1 million in Excelsior Jobs Tax Credits. SUNY has also committed to match up to $5 million in semiconductor-related research funding from Wolfspeed for the SUNY system.
Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President and CEO-designate Hope Knight said, “The opening of Wolfspeed’s silicon carbide chip fab in Marcy will be transformational for both the Mohawk Valley Region and New York State. From day one, Wolfspeed hit the ground running, made significant investments in workforce development, hired graduates from the SUNY system and has given back to the community they now call home. I couldn’t be prouder of the partnership we have forged together, and I am excited for the future of Wolfspeedand the region, and the steps we have all taken to grow the semiconductor industry in New York State.”
New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “I congratulate Wolfspeed on this milestone and thank the company for being an engine of economic opportunity for the Mohawk Valley. The Department of Labor is proud to continue to assist Wolfspeed with its workforce needs. Whether it is through our New York State Job Bank, career fairs, or any of our many other resources, we remain committed to ensuring that businesses are connected to highly-skilled workers across New York State.”
State University of New York Interim Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley said, “SUNY is proud of our role to help spearhead innovation in advanced manufacturing and power electronics, through attracting the best and brightest faculty to our campuses, providing research opportunities for our students, and developing and deploying new workforce development programs. The collaboration at Wolfspeed is a great example, and would not be possible without the leadership of Governor Kathy Hochul, SUNY Poly, and Wolfspeed.”
NY CREATES President David Anderson said, “Today’s opening of Wolfspeed in the Mohawk Valley is a perfect example of how New York’s public-private partnerships successfully attract investment, grow important industries, and generate jobs for New Yorkers. NY CREATES is a key partner on this historic project and we’re pleased that while Wolfspeed was building its new fab, the company was able to use the world-class facilities at the Albany Nanotech Complex to perfect their process and qualify tools, expediting time to production in Marcy.”
State University of New York Polytechnic Institute Acting President Dr. Tod A. Laursen said, “SUNY Polytechnic Institute is proud to join Governor Kathy Hochul in congratulating Wolfspeed as they cut the ribbon on their state-of-the-art Mohawk Valley Fab. This site now holds incredible promise for our region, New York State, and especially our graduates who are well prepared for the types of leading-edge careers that will be available. I am grateful for our partnership with Wolfspeed, which is powering targeted, semiconductor-centered curricula and providing new high-tech equipment at SUNY Poly via the $250,000 Wolfspeed Curriculum Gift; uplifting traditionally underserved students through scholarship opportunities from Wolfspeed’s $2,000,000 scholarship program over ten years; and providing $1,500,000 in funding to establish the Dr. John Edmond and Dr. John Palmour SUNY Polytechnic Institute Endowed Faculty Chairs; all of which underpin the continued expansion of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics opportunities for students at SUNY Poly.”
State Senator Joseph A. Griffo said, “The opening of Wolfspeed at the Marcy Nanocenter on the SUNY Polytechnic Institute campus in Marcy is the result of a forward-thinking vision and a great deal of hard work by a number of local officials and economic development organizations. Wolfspeed will enhance and strengthen communities and contribute to the future economic growth and vitality of the Mohawk Valley and Upstate New York.”
Assembly Member Marianne Buttenschon said, “I was pleased to attend the grand opening of Wolfspeed’s Mohawk Valley Fab in Marcy. Technology is advancing quickly, and computer chips are an essential component for so many industrial and consumer products. I’m proud that this cutting-edge manufacturing facility is opening in our region. It’s exciting to see a plant in our community producing next generation silicon carbide products. The Mohawk Valley offers tremendous resources for advanced manufacturing with young scientists and engineers being trained nearby at SUNY Poly and advanced research taking place at the US Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, this community represents an ideal ecosystem for high tech manufacturing. I look forward to the next developments in this field.”
Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr said, “Today’s opening of Wolfspeed is the culmination of 20 years of hard work and determination. Thank you to Gregg Lowe and his team for being such amazing partners. Since day one, we knew this was the right match. Wolfspeed is a leader in enabling one of the fastest growing and important technologies — electric vehicles — and now Oneida Countyand the region are at the center of this transformative industry. For Oneida County, the best is yet to come.”
Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri said, “The opening of Wolfspeed is proof that when we all work together great things can happen in the Greater Utica region. Wolfspeedis a catalyst that will change the landscape of our city, county and state. It’s also an indication of how far we have come and how much more is possible for the future of our region. I’d like to thank Governor Hochul for her steadfast support in seeing this project through and I look forward to working with her to build on the future the Marcy Nanocenter helped make possible.”
City of Rome Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo said, “The Mohawk Valley took a well deserved victory lap today as we officially welcomed Wolfspeed to our community. After decades of site preparation and global marketing to position our region as a leader in the next generation of chip development, Wolfspeed will become the anchor facility establishing the Mohawk Valley as a leader in the advanced manufacturing of wafers containing silicon carbide. The company has already made an investment in scholarships and pipeline development of the workforce at SUNY Poly and MVCC, which will lead to high tech employment opportunities in the new Mohawk Valley Fab. This would not have been possible without the support of Governor Hochul, Empire State Development, EDGE and our local and state elected officials all working together to enable the Mohawk Valley’s high tech corridor’s continued growth for decades to come and strengthening our area’s ability to attract the best and brightest to these new and emerging technologies.”
Mohawk Valley EDGE President and CEO Steven DiMeo said, “New York State and our local partners in government have made steadfast commitments over the last decade to further Upstate’s position as a leader in semiconductor research and fabrication with investments in Marcy Nanocenter and the I-90 innovation corridor. These investments to create a truly shovel-ready site, coupled with a strong partner at SUNY Polytechnic Institute and Mohawk Valley Community College, created an environment that was critical to secure Wolfspeed as an anchor tenant at Marcy Nanocenter. We want to thank Governor Kathy Hochul and Empire State Development for their support in furthering plans to build the I-90 semiconductor and advanced electronics corridor that is connecting the Capital Region with the Utica-Rome and Syracuse MSA, which will benefit with the pending passage of federal legislation to support the semiconductor and advanced electronics sector.”
From the start of her administration, Governor Hochul has stressed the importance of ensuring New York State’s role in developing a robust ecosystem in advanced manufacturing, and as part of this year’s state budget, New York State will make up to $200 million available for the Focused Attraction of Shovel-Ready Tracts New York program. FAST NY is designed to jumpstart New York’s shovel-readiness to attract high-tech manufacturing, particularly semiconductor manufacturing, to the state.
Additionally, the Governor has committed over $350 million through the State Budget to support wide-reaching, historic and coordinated investment in workforce development across state agencies and authorities. The New York State Office of Strategic Workforce Development at ESD will leverage ESD’s relationships with employers to help identify employer needs, develop tailored regional training strategies, and support programs to train New Yorkers in the skills necessary to succeed in in-demand fields, such as semiconductor and advanced manufacturing.
The office will work in conjunction with the Regional Economic Development Councils, the Department of Labor, the State University of New York and the City University of New York and other partners to ensure coordinated training and workforce strategies. Flexible grants and capital to be administered by the New York State Office of Strategic Workforce Development will support cutting-edge skills training efforts across the regions of New York State.