Oct. 27—SYRACUSE — In a visit to the city on Thursday, President Joseph R. Biden championed a resurgence in American manufacturing as he and other federal, state and local officials welcomed semiconductor and computer microchip manufacturer Micron to Central New York.
Alongside Micron Technology CEO Sanjay Mehrotra, New York Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul and Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y, Sen. Kirsten E Gillibrand, D-N.Y., the president declared that upstate New York's manufacturing legacy is back.
"One of the most significant investments in American history is going to ensure that the future is made in America," the president said to a gymnasium of people on the Onondaga Community College Campus Thursday afternoon.
Returning to the city where he attended law school, President Biden struck a triumphant tone as he talked to the assembled crowd, and said the Micron investment is just the start of a new future for New York and the American manufacturing industry.
Three weeks ago, Micron officials announced they'd reached a deal to build a $100 billion dollar computer chip manufacturing facility in Clay, just outside the city of Syracuse. That would build the single largest computer chip manufacturing facility ever seen in the U.S. and is expected to bring thousands of jobs to the region, both directly through the company and indirectly through other businesses that come in alongside Micron. Officials have said they anticipate the Micron investment will bring jobs and investment to the corridor of Central New York from Watertown to Binghamton, Albany to the Finger Lakes. "Today, we are celebrating the largest semiconductor manufacturing investment ever made in the United States, an investment right here in the heart of New York," Mr. Mehrotra said.
Over the next 20 years, his company plans to devote $100 billion to creating a massive manufacturing facility, with hiring starting in the late 2020s.
Micron will also invest millions in the local economy, including $250 million in a science, technology, engineering, arts and math school in Syracuse and creating a technical training program at Onondaga Community College.
The announcement came after passage of the CHIPS Act in Congress, championed by Democrats, which created federal accelerator programs specifically focused on bringing high-tech computer manufacturing and science jobs back to the U.S.
That bill, written by Sen. Schumer, is part of national Democrats economic strategy that has sought to bring unionized manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.
In his remarks Thursday, President Biden touted the successes of his administration, and said that the economy under Democrats has been better than it has been under Republican control in Washington.
"My predecessor was the first president since Herbert Hoover to lose more jobs during his administration," he said.
He said unemployment was above 6% when he started as president, hundreds of thousands of small businesses closed, but meanwhile a record number of Americans were becoming billionaires and billionaires were earning record profits.
"Today, with the help of the people behind me, we are in a much better place," the president said. "Ten million jobs created since we took office, a record for any president."
The president said Democrats push to pass legislation rebuilding American infrastructure, limiting drug costs for those on Medicaid, outlawing overdraft fees and surprise bills, cutting the federal budget deficit, and boosting American manufacturing has helped to make the American economy fairer and better for the middle and working class.
"My objective in the economy is to make an economy that grows from the bottom up and the middle out, an economy that rewards work, not just wealth," he said.
He said the Republican Party's plans, which he said are hard to nail down, will do the opposite.
"They're gonna give the power we just gave to Medicare back to Big Pharma, to raise prices instead," President Biden said. "The $2,000 cap on prescription drugs for seniors, gone, if Kevin McCarthy had his way, $35 a month cap on insulin, diabetes for seniors, gone. Savings on health care payments of $800 a year for literally millions of Americans under the Affordable Care Act, gone. And of course they're still determined to repeal the Affordable Care Act."
The president said he is extremely excited to see a future with American manufacturing on the rise, and said he believes the country is on the way to doing just that.
"I have never been more optimistic in my life about America's future," he said.
He lauded the work of Sen. Schumer writing the bill for the better part of a decade, Gov. Hochul for negotiating New York state's own legislation and agreements to bring the Micron plant to Syracuse, and Micron CEO Mr. Mehrotra for their work in bringing the plant to New York.
"Standing here today, I have such pride that we can do it again, to build a better future for everyone in the world," he said. "Our best days are ahead of us."