Hochul announces $200 million investment in I-90 corridor workforce

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Gov. Kathy Hochul announced New York state’s plans to allocate over $200 million to workforce development along the Interstate 90 corridor during a press conference at the PPC Broadband facility in East Syracuse Monday morning.

In the conference, titled “Our New York, Our Future: Invest in Central New York,” Hochul said the workforce development project would promote central New York’s involvement in the manufacturing industry. The city of Syracuse will be the “flagship” for these workforce developments, preparing people to work at the incoming Micron Technology plant, she said.

“Never forget that here, we are the risk-takers, or the dreamers or the doers,” Hochul said, referencing Micron’s investment. “We’re also the ones who were smart enough to land and make the largest economic development project in our nation’s history.”

Hochul said she opted to deliver the conference at PPC’s facility because it plans to invest over $7.3 million to expand its operations, creating over 100 new jobs at its Syracuse facility. She said PPC was one of the only manufacturers to stay in the region after several companies left for offshore labor, which increased unemployment rates in central New York.

“Geographically, Syracuse is the heart of New York state,” Hochul said.

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Throughout her conference, Hochul emphasized several projects to promote manufacturing in the state, which she said was “at the core of (New York’s) DNA.” Randy Wolken, the president of Manufacturers Association of Central New York and co-chair of the central New York Regional Economic Development Council, said New York is on the “trajectory” to being one of the top five “manufacturing states” in the country.

In 2022, the company announced its plans to invest over $100 billion into the state. As part of its collaboration with New York, Micron has agreed to build on-site daycare centers to support its workers. Hochul said she believes the Micron partnership will have an impact on the state similar to the Erie Canal.

New York state has allotted hundreds of millions of dollars to repairing roads and improving public transportation in central New York, Hochul said. Most recently, the state announced it would continue with its Interstate 81 viaduct removal project — which was previously halted due to a lawsuit from Renew 81 for All.

Hochul said the state is trying to “make up for lost time” now that it can continue with the viaduct removal. She said she hopes the initiative will “reconnect neighborhoods” and get rid of the “visual reminder” of the historical racial divisions in Syracuse.

“This is probably the most important infrastructure project Syracuse has seen in a century,” Hochul said. “Number one: we have to right the wrongs of the past.”

Hochul’s conference follows the release of the state’s $233 billion budget for the 2025 fiscal year — the largest in New York’s history. During Monday’s conference, Hochul updated the public about the progress of these investments and further broke down their specifications.
Hochul divided the portion of her conference into five sections: mental health, fighting crime, education, housing and transportation and infrastructure.

Hochul said crime in New York state has returned to pre-pandemic levels, noting that the rates of shooting fatalities and murder in Syracuse are down 37% and 25%, respectively. Though crime rates have decreased, Hochul said, the state “can’t grow complacent” with its results.

The state will continue with its $347 million investment toward fighting crime and gun violence in the state, Hochul said. She discussed specifics of the allocation of the investment in the FY-25 budget, with $40 million to combat retail theft, $40 million to domestic violence and $35 million to hate crimes, she said.

New York will also continue its five-year, $25 billion plan to build and preserve 100,000 housing units throughout central New York. The budget will contribute to the state’s mission of providing 1,000 units of affordable housing, Hochul said.

The state will promote multiple statewide beautification and infrastructural improvement projects, dedicating $50 million to improve the canal system and $200 million to state parks, the governor added.

After reviewing the sections, Hochul addressed upstate New York’s ongoing struggle with child poverty. She said nine of the 10 zip codes with the highest childhood poverty rates in the state are in upstate New York, two of which are in Syracuse. The state is actively collecting community feedback on its $50 million investment into addressing this problem in central New York.

“Their destiny should not be constrained by the zip code that (they are) born in,” Hochul said.

Throughout the event, Hochul emphasized the importance of revitalizing central New York, which she said had “lost (its) luster” in the past.

“We have this strong connection because we remember the good times, the bad times — the really, really bad times — and now the recovery … the rebirth,” Hochul said. “These regions have endured incredible hardship, but they never lost their aspirations.”


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