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Charles Schumer

Schumer makes statement announcing NY received more funding than it sent to Washington

By Press Release

Press Release:

Today, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) released the following statement on how the historic federal relief he has delivered for New York has led to New York receiving more back from Washington than the state has sent in taxes, according to the NYS Comptroller. 

This is the third year in a row that New York has had a positive balance of payments, after a long history of facing the opposite and sending more to Washington than it received:

“For decades and decades, New York State paid more to the federal government in taxes than we got back. My mentor, the late Senator Moynihan always decried this imbalance. But now for the third year in a row, thanks to the historic federal investments I passed — especially from the American Rescue Plan— New York is getting back more from the feds than it paid in taxes,” said Senator Schumer. 

“When I became majority leader, I vowed to fight this imbalance, and I am proud I secured billions in relief and investments for New York. And after I led the effort to pass into law the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Law, my CHIPS and Science bill, and the Inflation Reduction Act, more federal investment will be headed to New York, something I’ll continue to fight for. It’s never been more clear: it pays to have the Senate majority leader from New York.”

Schumer supports Genesee County's broadband expansion efforts

By Press Release

Press Release:

Genesee County is embarking on an ambitious mission to ensure universal broadband access, with the County Legislature demonstrating unwavering determination to reach every unserved address point.

County Manager Matt Landers personally engaged with leadership in each of the thirteen towns with unserved residents, leaving no address point overlooked in the pursuit of connectivity.

In a significant stride towards enhancing the quality of life for all residents, businesses, and educational institutions, Genesee County has approved a contract with Charter Communications Inc. to spearhead the deployment of high-speed internet infrastructure.

“This project will help close the digital divide in Genesee County and will bring gigabit broadband connectivity to over seven hundred residents and small businesses,” said Mark Fitchett, Regional Vice President of Operations at Charter. “We look forward to building our network and serving new customers.”

The Genesee County Legislature, in conjunction with the County Manager, has designated $2 million from the county's $11.1 million allocation of ARPA funds to support the broadband project. Allocation of ARPA funds must adhere to criteria established by the US Treasury Department. Senator Schumer has been a vocal advocate for infrastructure and broadband investments, and his proactive approach has played a pivotal role in securing the resources essential for advancing this project. 

“Access to reliable, fast internet service is not a luxury, but a necessity. In my first major act as Majority Leader, I led the American Rescue Plan to passage with billions to help hard-hit communities recover from the darkest days of the pandemic and make long-term investments to strengthen their communities, including essential infrastructure like broadband,” said Senator Schumer. 

“I am proud that Genesee County is leveraging $2 million of the overall $11.1 million in ARPA funding I delivered to finally close the digital divide in Genesee County and get Finger Lakes residents and businesses the service they require in the modern economy. Today is the start of connecting Genesee County to the future and a better quality of life for all families in every corner of the county to access the high-speed internet they need to succeed.”

The broadband expansion project aims not only to connect every corner of Genesee County, but also to elevate the overall quality of life in our communities. By increasing access to online resources, educational opportunities, telehealth services, and economic development prospects, the County is paving the way for a more vibrant and inclusive future. 

"Our contract with Charter Communications marks a significant milestone in our efforts to ensure equitable access to high-speed internet for all residents, students, families, businesses, and government entities in Genesee County," remarked Shelley Stein, Chair of the Genesee County Legislature. "With Senator Schumer's unwavering support and tireless efforts, we are poised to usher in a new era of connectivity and opportunity for all."

Schumer secures $15M for EV charging stations in NYS

By Press Release

Press Release:

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer today announced he has secured $15 million in federal funding for New York State to help install new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at over 200 locations across the state.

The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Grant Program, which the senator created in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act. Schumer said the project will support the growing demand for electric vehicle use, lower air pollution, and reduce the overall environmental footprint of New York by ensuring residents and visitors throughout the state have easy access to charge EVs during their daily routines and at popular destinations.  

“New York just got a major jolt from the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law to power up brand new electric vehicle charging stations across the entire Empire State. Electric vehicles are booming in popularity, and for this industry to succeed we need to make charging your car as easy and convenient as filling up a gas tank, today’s investment will help us to do just that by bringing more charging stations to where people work and to popular tourist destinations across New York,” said Senator Schumer.

“When I led the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law to passage, it was investments like these — that help boost the state’s economy and improve air quality — that I had in mind. New York, under Governor Hochul’s leadership, is leading the way to build out our nation’s network of EV chargers, supercharging the fight against climate change and getting us on the road to a cleaner future.”

“Reducing transportation emissions and transitioning to electric vehicles is key to meeting our nation-leading climate goals,” Governor Hochul said. “New York State is accelerating access to strategically placed EV infrastructure as we continue to advance clean, healthy transportation options. This funding from the Biden Administration will ensure residents and visitors alike have the latest charging technologies available to suit the needs of all travelers and communities across the state.”

Schumer said the federal funding for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), will help support both Level 2 chargers which are suitable for charging over longer periods, and Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFC) for quick charging. This federal funding will allow New York State to award grants to communities and projects across New York State on a competitive basis for projects that support Level 2 charging stations at more than 200 locations, including state parks, hotels, additional tourist destinations, state office buildings, and municipal parking lots throughout the state. 

In addition, competitive awards using this federal funding will also help be able to be used for Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFC) chargers in up to six small- to medium-sized cities and workforce development initiatives to train New Yorkers to install and maintain charging stations.

Schumer has been a relentless champion for expanding electric vehicles, helping bring production back from overseas, and expanding charging infrastructure for all communities. In the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act, that Schumer led to passage, he successfully secured $7.5 billion to build out a national network of EV chargers, including an estimated $175 million over the next 5 years in funding for EV charging stations for New York State. 

New York’s first federally funded rapid charging EV station was installed last month. Earlier this week, Schumer also announced $700,000+ for Oneida County to install new EV charging infrastructure, and $15 million for NYCDOT to build an EV charging depot in the Bronx, from the same grant program funding was awarded today.

Established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Senator Schumer led to passage, the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program (CFI program) $2.5 billion over five years to strategically deploy publicly accessible electric vehicle charging and alternative fueling infrastructure in the places people live and work, in both urban and rural areas, including downtown areas and local neighborhoods, particularly in underserved and disadvantaged communities.

Designed to accelerate the deployment of transformative projects that will help to ensure the reliability of the clean energy infrastructure, this charging infrastructure program will ensure all American communities have access to affordable, reliable, clean electricity anytime, anywhere.

Schumer pushes for more physicians in rural Upstate New York

By Press Release

Press Release:

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced the launch of the Northern Border Regional Commission’s (NBRC) new J-1 Visa Waiver Program, an initiative the senator has long pushed for which can help recruit and bring more highly needed physicians to rural Upstate New York. 

Schumer said the new program will help address the healthcare provider shortage in New York and beyond by easing the visa requirements for physicians who are trained in the U.S. and agree to practice in underserved areas of the Northern Border Region. 

He said NBRC will recommend the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) waive their “two-year home-country physical presence requirement” for eligible physicians seeking to work at healthcare institutions and practices in New York and other states within the NBRC territory.

"This is just what the doctor ordered to help recruit more highly qualified physicians and a major step to helping address the national healthcare worker shortage we are seeing in rural communities across America and in Upstate NY. Rural communities from Penn Yan to Plattsburgh, know the struggles of healthcare worker shortages all too well. This long awaited initiative will help provide rural and underserved areas across Upstate New York with quality, affordable healthcare by working to address ongoing physician staffing shortages,” said Senator Schumer. 

“I am proud to have advocated for this program, and to be leading the charge to help the NBRC get the increased support it needs to continue vital programs like this. I will never stop fighting to ensure that every New York community, regardless of its size, has access to the quality medical care it needs.”

The NBRC will consider recommending a waiver on behalf of eligible J-1 physicians who will work in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) and Medically Underserved Areas (MUAs). 

Eligible physicians will work in primary or mental health care for at least three years and 40 hours per week within a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services designated HPSA or MUA of the Northern Border Region. The program is modeled, in part, after the Appalachian Regional Commission’s (ARC) successful J-1 Visa waiver program.

Schumer has a long history of championing the Northern Border Regional Commission and its positive economic impacts on the North Country and broader Upstate New York regions. Earlier this year, Schumer announced nearly $11 million in federal funding for twelve projects across the North Country and Upstate New York through the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) – the largest annual investment for Upstate NY in the program’s history. The historic increase in funding for the NBRC is a direct result of the funding Schumer was able to deliver in the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law. 

In 2021, the senator secured $150 million for the NBRC in the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law, over triple its funding from previous years. For context on how large the historic nearly $11 million investment in Upstate NY is this year, from 2010-2022, the NBRC invested in over 60 projects totaling over $28 million in investment for Upstate New York. Last year, the NBRC awarded $5.8 million for projects in Upstate NY. 

The NBRC’s 2023 Catalyst Program is designed to stimulate economic growth and inspire partnerships that improve rural economic vitality across the four-state NBRC region. The Commission made a historic level of funding available through the program this year, with up to $45 million in grants, including up to $20 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that communities across Upstate NY were able to tap.

Schumer announces he has secured an extension for Dairy Margin Coverage Program

By Press Release
charles schumer
Sen. Charles Schumer during a dairy farm press conference in Pavilion in June.
File photo by Howard Owens.

Press Release: 

After standing with Upstate NY dairy farmers in Central NY, the North Country, and the Finger Lakes, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today revealed that he has secured an extension for the vital Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) Program dairy farmers rely on, that was set to expire this year, and which could’ve left farmers facing a “dairy cliff,’ cutting off payments to farmers and harming consumers by raising the price of milk. Schumer secured the extension of the Farm Bill in the Continuing Resolution budget deal which President Biden signed today.

“Our dairy farmers are the beating heart of Upstate, and when they came to me worried that this year we could be going over the ‘dairy cliff,’ I immediately started ringing the cowbell and promised I would churn up support to ensure these payments wouldn’t lapse. I helped enact the Dairy Margin Coverage Program in the 2018 Farm Bill, and I am proud to have secured this vital year-long extension while we work to develop a bipartisan Farm Bill in the next year,” said Senator Schumer. “Today our dairy farmers can breathe a sigh of relief and raise a glass of Upstate NY-made milk and more thoroughly enjoy this Thanksgiving.”

Schumer explained the “dairy cliff” refers to the expiration of the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program, a risk management tool that offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed price (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. The dairy industry would be the first impacted, as dairy farmers would lose out on monthly payments through the DMC, whereas farmers participating in other support programs are paid just once per year around harvest time. If we went “over the dairy cliff” that would have meant an end to monthly price support payments to dairy farmers who participate in the Dairy Margin Coverage program, supply chain disruptions causing increased milk prices, and potentially billions in wasted government spending as the federal government would be forced to make milk purchases at a highly inflated price.

Schumer fought tooth and nail to include a one-year Farm Bill extension in the Continuing Resolution budget deal and ensure dairy farmers were protected from going over the cliff at the end of the year. The extension keeps the vital Dairy Margin Coverage Program intact for another year to protect NY’s critical dairy industry while also giving members of Congress extra time to continue to work through the negotiations for the full Farm Bill.

The dairy industry is one of New York's largest contributor to the agricultural economy. According to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Dairy statistics, there are approximately 3,200 dairy farms in New York that produce over 15 billion pounds of milk annually, making New York the nation’s fifth largest dairy state.

sen charles schumer
Sen. Charles Schumer during a dairy farm press conference in Pavilion in June.
File photo by Howard Owens.

Schumer lauds deal with China to curb flow of fentanyl into U.S.

By Howard B. Owens
sen. charles schumer
Sen. Charles Schumer
File Photo

Press release:

Following his personal meeting in China with President Xi Jinping last month, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today detailed how the new deal President Biden has struck with China to crack down on the scourge of fentanyl could be a major step forward to curb the opioid crisis in New York, but said now more than ever it is imperative to hold China accountable and ensure there is compliance with their commitments. 

“The agreement President Biden has announced with China is a long overdue step which has the potential to help cut off the supply of fentanyl at its source and stop this drug before it ever enters our country and hits the streets of New York, but now it is more vital than ever to hold China accountable for the commitments they have made,” said Senator Schumer. “Fentanyl has wreaked havoc in New York and across America, with this crisis stemming in large part in China, where large chemical companies openly and illicitly sell precursor chemicals to buyers in places like Mexico, where it is manufactured and illegally shipped to our most vulnerable communities here in NY. During my visit to China last month, we were pointed and direct with President Xi, I told him the devastating impact I have seen the opioid crisis have on New York families. I am pleased to see China take what could be a major step forward to cut off the flow of fentanyl, and I am going to be watching like a hawk for progress.”  

Specifically, Schumer explained China has said it will take new action to enforce its own regulations against the companies that make precursor drugs in a major step to potentially cut off the flow of this deadly drug. A similar notice to the industry in 2019 led to a drastic reduction in seizures of fentanyl shipments to the United States from China. Schumer said the U.S. also has information that that PRC police have taken law enforcement action against Chinese synthetic drug and chemical precursor suppliers.  As a result, certain China-based pharmaceutical companies ceased operations and have had some international payment accounts blocked.  This probably represents the first law enforcement action against synthetic drug-related chemical sellers by Chinese authorities since 2017. 

In addition, China and the United States will be launching a counter-narcotics working group to bolster law enforcement and information sharing to cut off the flow or precursor drugs and illicit fentanyl. The U.S. and China have both said they will also start working on an ongoing basis at the senior level to directly address this crisis and start working closely together to carry this initiative forward. In conjunction, Schumer said these long overdue steps have real potential to reduce the flow of these drugs into the United States and places like New York, and ultimately save lives.

Schumer calls on USDA to address milk carton shortage

By Press Release

Press Release:

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to take action on the national milk carton shortage hitting dairy farmers and schools in New York and states across the country. 

Schumer urged the USDA to not only ensure NY dairy farmers have the technical support they need to get through the shortage, but also to work with industry leaders to devise creative solutions to get milk to our school lunchrooms and to investigate the shortage to stop disruptions like this from happening in the future and minimize downstream impacts.

“Milk is an essential part of our students’ school lunches and the lifeblood of our Upstate NY agricultural economy, but with a national milk carton shortage looming over our schools, now is the time for the USDA to step up to ensure our farmers get more support to continue their essential work. That is why I am calling on the USDA to start to work with industry leaders to address this shortage we are seeing nationwide, and provide all the leadership and technical support needed to help our New York dairy farmers,” said Senator Schumer. “The USDA is uniquely positioned to investigate this problem from a national level and work with the dairy industry, our farmers, and schools to mitigate the impacts of shortages and propose solutions.”

John T. Gould, Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc. President and Chairman of the Board of Directors said, “Our 260 dairy farm families are encouraged by our team’s efforts to continue to supply our milk to our school customers.  It has required hard work, coordination and cooperation to meet their needs.  We thank Senator Schumer for his support in recognizing the critical importance of milk in the nutritional needs of children and adults. We appreciate his efforts and concern in solving this packaging dilemma in a timely fashion.”

Amy Thomas, Executive Director of the Monroe County School Boards Association said, “We want to thank Senator Schumer for his advocacy on behalf of our schools and students. Our districts are working diligently along with our dairy suppliers to find solutions to this shortage, and we are grateful for Senator Schumer’s efforts to ensure these disruptions are addressed.”

Schumer explained that there is currently a nationwide shortage of half-pint milk cartons impacting New York’s dairy industry. He said that while there is not a shortage of milk, there is a supply chain problem with the cardboard cartons, consequently inhibiting suppliers’ ability to provide milk to schools and other customers in NYS and across the country. In school lunchrooms, milk is required to be served with every meal according to USDA nutrition standards. 

While schools are currently working with suppliers to figure out temporary solutions to ensure schools are receiving enough milk and student’s nutritional needs are being met, Schumer says now is the time for the USDA to work with industry and our dairy farmers to find solutions. 

It is currently unclear how long the shortage could last, which is why Schumer says it’s imperative  the USDA take immediate action and proactively work on the problem to ensure that farmers and dairy suppliers across New York have the support and technical assistance needed to minimize the impacts of the shortage on their business and ensure milk can continue to be provided to schools across America.

Schumer added, “Given the potential downstream impacts of disruptions to the milk packaging supply chain we also need the USDA to investigate the causes of this carton shortage to determine how we can avoid further disruptions to our dairy farmers and any further steps we can be taking to mitigate problems of this nature in the future.”

Schumer emphasized that New York State is home to more than 3,200 dairy farms and is the country’s fifth largest dairy state, producing 15.66 billion pounds of milk in 2022. The dairy industry is a driver of significant economic impact in New York and is also a large part of the state’s culture. He said it is vital that we protect this critical industry and ensure it has the support it needs to weather these disruptions until the supply chain recalibrates.

Schumer explained that dairy producers across New York are also feeling the impact of the national shortage and are deeply concerned about getting their milk to consumers. The Upstate Niagara Cooperative, a significant industry supplier of half-pint milk carton packaging, is experiencing operational challenges that are negatively impacting their ability to supply schools with milk packaging orders. 

The shortage is forcing them to seek alternative, creative solutions, like switching other institutions, such as hospitals and nursing homes, from half-pints to larger sizes of milk containers, in order to meet schools’ demand. The Co-op is also offering half-gallons of milk to schools as an alternative. 

Schumer said that New York’s dairy industry is the cream of the crop, as the largest single segment of the state’s agricultural industry. The state has more than 3,200 dairy farms, is the fifth-largest producer of milk, and is the largest producer of yogurt and cottage cheese in the nation.

Upstate NY is primed to become America’s next semiconductor superhighway

By Press Release

Press Release:

After years of relentless advocacy, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced the Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse region has just won the prestigious federal Tech Hub designation he created in the CHIPS & Science Act, putting Upstate NY further on the road to becoming America’s semiconductor superhighway. 

Schumer pulled out all the stops to bolster the tri-city region to beat out hundreds of other applications in the nationwide competition. The proposal called the “NY SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub” will build on the historic investments Schumer delivered that have spurred a boom in semiconductor manufacturing and innovation across Upstate NY and with today’s designation, will now be in an exclusive group of only 31 regions in America to compete for potentially billions in federal funding to transform Upstate NY as a global hub for workforce training, innovation, and manufacturing of semiconductor technology.

“Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse are officially on the road to becoming America’s semiconductor superhighway. I created this program with Upstate NY in mind, and now three of our own cities that helped build America, have not only won the exclusive federal Tech Hub designation for semiconductors but also won a once-in-a-generation opportunity to write a new chapter for Upstate NY building our nation’s future. This 3 region Tech Hub will hit the gas on NY’s booming chips industry by attracting new companies, training our workforce for tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, and bringing manufacturing in this critical industry back from overseas to right here in Upstate NY,” said Senator Schumer. 

“I pulled out all the stops to land this Tech Hub Designation for my great home state – making the case that bringing together these three cities and giving them the resources to combine forces would create an unstoppable engine that will rev the region’s industries to life and make Upstate NY a global center for semiconductors. With this Tech Hubs Designation highlighting the region as one of only a few in the country primed to be the next Silicon Valley in critical technology, combined with federal funding now flooding this triple-threat region, America’s semiconductor manufacturing industry truly couldn’t be in better hands.”

Schumer originally proposed the Tech Hubs program years ago as part of the bipartisan Endless Frontier Act with Upstate NY in mind to help bring critical industries back from overseas in communities that have great potential to lead in new technologies and finally was able to create the Regional Tech Hubs competition in his CHIPS & Science Bill. 

Schumer has been a tireless advocate for the Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse region proposal, personally writing and calling Commerce Secretary Raimondo multiple times to make the case that Upstate NY is best suited to help drive forward the nation’s semiconductor and broader microelectronics industries.

Schumer said that the three-region consortium beat out hundreds of applications and was one of only 31 regions chosen for the Tech Hub designation. The NY SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub proposal will now be able to compete for the next phase of the Tech Hubs Program that will invest between $50 and $75 million in each of 5 to 10 Designated Hubs.

Schumer secured an initial infusion of $500 million in last year’s spending bill to jumpstart the Tech Hubs competition, from which Phase 2 awards will be made. The CHIPS & Science Bill included a $10 billion authorization for the Tech Hubs program – meaning that designated Tech Hubs will be able to compete for significantly more investment based on future funding levels.

Schumer said that with this designation, the NY SMART I-Corridor will bring together the combined assets of Buffalo, Rochester,u and Syracuse to help the region become a globally recognized semiconductor manufacturing hub in the next decade, with innovation focused on improving the quality and quantity of semiconductor manufacturing and, along with it, amplifying the region’s microelectronics and microchip supply chain ecosystem.  The Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse consortium includes over 80 members from across the public sector, industry, higher-ed, economic and workforce development, and labor. This includes over 22 industry groups and firms, 20 economic development organizations, 8 labor & workforce training organizations, and 10 institutions of higher learning.  This application development process was led by three designated conveners, one from each region: The John R. Oishei Foundation in Buffalo, ROC2025 in Rochester, and CenterState CEO in Syracuse.

Specifically, the NY SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub proposal seeks to propel the Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse corridor by attracting new suppliers to the region, including onshoring companies from overseas, advancing research & development programs for the semiconductor industry, training the next generation of Upstate New York’s manufacturing workforce, and specifically helping ensure that underserved populations are connected to the tens thousands of good-paying jobs expected to be created in this growing industry in the region.

Schumer has been preparing Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse for this opportunity, working relentlessly to boost Upstate New York as a global tech leader. Schumer’s tireless advocacy has resulted in billions in proposed investments from the semiconductor industry spurred by his Chips & Science Bill. In the Syracuse region alone, Micron has announced plans to invest an historic $100 billion to build a cutting-edge memory fab expected to create nearly 50,000 jobs. In Western NY, Edwards Vacuum will invest $300+ million to build a 600 job U.S. dry pump manufacturing facility to supply the semiconductor industry. With Schumer’s direct advocacy, Buffalo has already received $25 million for its growing tech industry through the American Recue Plan’s Build Back Better Challenge, laying the foundation for the Tech Hub designation they have now secured. In the Rochester region, Corning Incorporated, which manufactures glass critical to the microchip industry, has already invested  $139 million in Monroe County – creating over 270 new, good-paying jobs in the Finger Lakes region.

Members of the consortium include semiconductor manufacturers and supply chain business like Micron, INFICON, Corning, Optimax, AMD, TTM Technologies, Saab, Akoustis, L3Harris, Lockheed Martin, Edwards Vacuum, Linde, Lifatec and SRC; business organizations like NY Photonics with 120-member companies, Buffalo Niagara Partnership, and Rochester Technology and Manufacturing Association (RTMA) with 85-member companies, Buffalo Niagara Manufacturing Alliance (BNMA), and the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce; education and research institutions like University of Buffalo, University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, Monroe Community College, Syracuse University, Cornell , SUNY Oswego, SUNY ESF, SUNY EOC, and Onondaga Community College; workforce development partners like Centerstate CEO, Northland Workforce Training Center, RochesterWorks, RMAPI, UNiCON, WNY Area Labor Federation, Central-Northern New York Building and Construction Trades Council, IBEW Local 43, and many more.

Schumer says WNY to become America’s semiconductor superhighway

By Press Release

Press Release:

After years of relentless advocacy to bolster Upstate NY’s innovation and manufacturing industries, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced the Rochester-Buffalo-Syracuse region have joined forces with a proposal to become a federally-designated Tech Hub in the first-of-its-kind nationwide competition created in his CHIPS & Science Bill. 

The proposal, entitled the New York Semiconductor Manufacturing and Research Technology Innovation Corridor Consortium (NY SMART I-Corridor), would build on the historic investments Schumer delivered that have spurred a boom in semiconductor manufacturing and innovation investments in Upstate NY. 

The three-region proposal would use targeted federal assistance to help attract new companies, strengthen domestic supply chains, launch startups & support innovation, expand workforce training, connect underserved communities to good-paying jobs, and revive this critical industry integral to America’s national security and economic competitiveness. 

Schumer has personally written to Commerce Secretary Raimondo on behalf of Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse, making the case that their proposal is best suited to help drive forward stronger semiconductor and broader microelectronics industries for the entire nation.

“From Rochester to Buffalo to Syracuse the I-90 corridor has everything it takes to become America’s semiconductor superhighway. The NY SMART I-Corridor Tech Hubs proposal would tap into Upstate NY’s booming microchip industry, training our workforce for tens of thousands of good-paying jobs and supercharging R&D, all while helping attract new major employers in supply chain industries and bringing manufacturing in this critical industry back to America,” said Senator Schumer. 

“Each city has superb academic centers and each brings with it a unique set of assets with Micron’s historic investment in Central NY, Rochester as one of the leading centers in research & innovation, and Buffalo as one of the great manufacturing powerhouses that built America in the last century and is primed to do the same this century. Together they are a killer combination that can make Upstate NY a global leader for semiconductors with targeted federal investment from the Tech Hubs program. I originally proposed the Tech Hubs program years ago as part of my bipartisan Endless Frontier Act with Upstate NY in mind, and was proud to create the Tech Hubs competition in my CHIPS & Science Bill. This proposal is everything I envisioned, ensuring America’s future is being built in the places that helped build our nation as powerhouse manufacturing centers, and nowhere is better primed and more capable than Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse to rebuild this critical industry for our nation.”

Schumer explained that the first-of-its-kind nationwide Tech Hubs Competition is an economic development initiative that he originally proposed in his Endless Frontier Act. The senator was able to finally create the competition in his CHIPS & Science Bill, which included a $10 billion authorization for the Tech Hubs program and was signed into law just over a year ago. 

Schumer secured an initial infusion of $500 million in last year’s spending bill to jumpstart the competition. The competition is designed to strengthen a region’s capacity to manufacture, commercialize, and grow technology in 10 key focus areas. The program will invest directly in regions with the potential to transform into globally-competitive innovation centers in the next decade to bring critical industries back from overseas and create good-paying jobs for American workers.

Schumer said the NY SMART I-Corridor proposal would bring together the combined assets of Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse to help the region become a globally-recognized semiconductor manufacturing hub in the next decade, with innovation focused on improving the quality and quantity of semiconductor manufacturing and, along with it, amplifying the region’s microelectronics and microchip supply chain ecosystem.  

Schumer explained that the Tech Hubs program is being rolled out in two phases. The first phase of awards that the NY-SMART I-Corridor has applied for will designate promising Tech Hubs across America and provide strategy development grant awards to accelerate their development— the joint Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse proposal has applied for both types of awards. 

The EDA expects to designate at least 20 Tech Hubs across the country, and only those that receive the Tech Hubs designation in the first phase will be able to apply for Phase 2 implementation awards. These awards are designed to be larger, multi-tens of millions of dollars each for a first infusion, in order to fund several key initiatives to make the Tech Hub a success.

The Buffalo-Rochester-Syracuse consortium includes over 80 members from across the public sector, industry, higher-ed, economic and workforce development, and labor communities.  This includes over 22 industry groups and firms, 20 economic development organizations, 8 labor & workforce training organizations, and 10 institutions of higher learning.  

Schumer announces major push to upend flow of fentanyal into Western New York

By Press Release
Submitted photo of Chuck Schumer

Press Release:

Following several recent major fentanyl busts in Orleans County, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today launch a major new push to upend the flow of fentanyl in Orleans, Western NY, and the Finger Lakes-Rochester area.

Schumer detailed the new bipartisan legislation, the FEND Off Fentanyl Act, he included in the Senate-passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would not only allow President Biden to place sanctions on China for its role in contributing to our nation’s fentanyl epidemic and declare international fentanyl trafficking a national emergency. 

Schumer is now demanding that the House pass the measure to combat the flow of fentanyl from China and Mexico before it reaches places like Orleans County and Upstate NY.

“From Buffalo to Rochester to right here in Orleans County, fentanyl continues to take the lives of far too many New Yorkers each and every day. We must make getting this deadly drug off of our streets and out of the U.S. a top priority, and the just passed Senate defense bill provides a rare window of opportunity to do just that,” said Senator Schumer. 

“That’s why I’m now calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to quickly pass this measure and help upend the flow of fentanyl overseas, far before it reaches places like Orleans County and Western NY. By including the FEND Off Fentanyl Act in the NDAA and ensuring that we can place tough sanctions on China for turning a blind eye to this issue and giving these deadly exports the green light, I am working to keep our communities safe in Upstate NY and across the nation. Too many lives have been lost, and too many others are at stake, especially here in New York.”

“The opioid epidemic and fentanyl crisis is a significant public health and public safety issue,” stated Paul Pettit, Public Health Director of the Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health). “Over the past five years, there have been 53 fatal overdoses in Genesee County and 23 fatal overdoses in Orleans County, with additional deaths still pending official causes of death. In 2022, 83% of all fatal opioid overdoses in both counties involved fentanyl, which demonstrates how serious this problem is in our communities. This trend is something that is also seen across New York State and throughout the nation. I applaud Senator Schumer for his support of this amendment that will include stopping the spread of illegal fentanyl at its source.”

Joseph V. Cardone, Orleans County District Attorney said, “In my 31 years as District Attorney this fentanyl crisis is by far the most devastating issue law enforcement has had to combat.  While not one gram of this poison is produced in this Country it is daily killing our youth in every community in America.  Clearly stopping fentanyl from entering our country needs to be a priority.”

Schumer said the Senate passage of the NDAA bill just days ago included a bipartisan plan to officially declare international fentanyl trafficking a national emergency and give the president special powers to impose tough sanctions on China, Mexico, or any other relevant fentanyl supply chain hub. The House passed its own version of the National Defense Authorization Act earlier in July, but now that Schumer has passed NDAA in the Senate, lawmakers will need to reconcile the Senate bill and the House bill by negotiating a compromise version that can pass both chambers.

Fentanyl is trafficked into the United States primarily from China and Mexico, and is responsible for the ongoing fentanyl epidemic in Upstate NY and across the country. China is the world’s largest producer of illicit fentanyl, fentanyl analogues, and their immediate precursors. 

From China, those substances are shipped primarily through express consignment carriers or international mail directly to the United States, or, alternatively, shipped directly to transnational criminal organizations in Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean. Some officials estimate that China is responsible for over 90 percent of the illicit fentanyl found in the U.S.

Schumer explained to disrupt the flow of illicit opioids into the United States, he pushed to include the FEND Off Fentanyl Act into the just-passed Senate defense bill. The bill does the following:

  1. Declares that the international trafficking of fentanyl is a national emergency.
  2. Requires the President to sanction transnational criminal organizations and drug cartels’ key members engaged in international fentanyl trafficking.
  3. Enables the President to use proceeds of forfeited, sanctioned property of fentanyl traffickers to further law enforcement efforts.
  4. Enhances the ability to enforce sanctions violations thereby making it more likely that people who defy U.S. law will be caught and prosecuted.
  5. Requires the administration to report to Congress on actions the U.S. government is taking to reduce the international trafficking of fentanyl and related opioids.
  6. Allows the Treasury Department to utilize special measures to combat fentanyl-related money laundering.
  7. Requires the Treasury Department to prioritize fentanyl-related suspicious transactions and include descriptions of drug cartels’ financing actions in Suspicious Activity Reports.

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin. It is short-acting and cannot be seen, tasted, or smelled when mixed with other drugs. While pharmaceutical fentanyl is prescribed for severe pain and end-of-life care, non-pharmaceutical fentanyl is produced illicitly and is now common in the illicit drug supply. 

The presence of non-pharmaceutical fentanyl in Orleans County, Western NY, and the Finger Lakes has dramatically increased the number of overdose deaths, and fentanyl is now the “leading cause of death for Americans 18 to 45 years old.”

Since 2020, Orleans County has seen 14 deaths from opioid overdoses, 76 outpatient emergency department visits, and 558 admissions to OASAS-certified substance abuse disorder treatment programs. Several recent examples have underscored the prevalence and danger of fentanyl in Orleans County. 

Earlier this year, 48 members of a local drug ring were charged for selling fentanyl and other opioids across the Finger Lakes region and Orleans. Law enforcement seized more than 10 kilograms of fentanyl and 10 kilograms of cocaine, $9 million worth of illegal drugs. 

Similarly, a raid earlier in the year seized 114 fentanyl pills disguised as other drugs, and just last month, U.S. Attorney Trini Ross announced the guilty plea of a dealer who intended to distribute over 400 grams of fentanyl into both Medina and Rochester. Back in 2018, the rate of overdose deaths jumped to 27.1 per 100,000 – much higher than state and national averages. That number prompted health department officials and others to allocate more resources to the problem.

Looking at the broader region, in 2022 alone, the Finger Lakes saw 295 deaths from opioid overdoses, 843 outpatient emergency department visits, and 5,744 admissions to OASAS-certified substance abuse disorder treatment programs.

Similarly, the Buffalo/Western New York saw 410 deaths from opioid overdoses, 856 outpatient emergency department visits, and 5,036 admissions to OASAS-certified substance abuse disorder treatment programs. In 2021, nearly 107,000 Americans died from an overdose, and 65% of overdose deaths were caused by fentanyl. 

Last year alone, the Drug Enforcement Administration seized over 379 million deadly doses of fentanyl - enough to supply a lethal dose to every American.  

Additionally, Xylazine has been a contributing factor in fatal overdoses across Monroe County for years, with over 180 deaths tied to the lethal drug since 2019. Xylazine opioids caused 59 fatal overdoses in Monroe County and 3 in Wayne County in 2022 and were suspected in 10 fatal OD cases earlier this year in Wayne County. Erie County had 17 confirmed Xylazine deaths since 2022. Xylazine has also been found in drugs seized in cases in Orleans and Genesee County beginning in 2019. Xylazine was involved in four opioid-related deaths In Orleans County and Xylazine was involved in 6 opioid-related deaths in Genesee County. 

Schumer has also been sounding the alarm on the spread of Xylazine, a dangerous, skin-rotting drug that has been making its way to Upstate NY streets, already taking the lives of hundreds of New Yorkers. After a horrific wave of overdoses and deaths in Upstate NY tied to Xylazine earlier this year, Schumer stood with local law enforcement and health officials in communities across the Finger Lakes and Upstate NY to call for further federal action. 

In April, the Biden Administration heeded Schumer’s calls and declared xylazine an emerging threat to the United States, a major step in eradicating the illicit supply of the deadly drug once and for all. 

This past June, the Senate took another major step in the fight against xylazine by passing the ‘TRANQ Act,’ which directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to support research and other activities related to identifying xylazine, develop new tests for detection, and establish partnerships with organizations on the front lines of this battle.

Most recently, the Biden Administration took even further action implementing many of the actions Schumer highlighted releasing a new Xylazine Response Plan, to coordinate an inter-agency governmental response to help build the treatment, data, and research capabilities that are needed to help those impacted by xylazine.

“I’m glad the Biden administration has laid out a plan to fight the insidious spread of this Narcan-resistant, skin-rotting, zombie drug. This is a major step in the fight to eradicate this awful scourge in Orleans and across Western NY once and for all,” Schumer added.

“This plan will save lives. I know it won’t be easy to get xylazine off our NY streets for good, and ultimately, we will need more funding for prevention, recovery, and treatment programs for those struggling with addiction. That’s why I am committed, now more than ever, to continuing to push for Congress to provide the necessary funding to increase resources that fight this epidemic on the front lines and rid communities in Upstate NY and across the nation of this terrifying drug.”

The new action taken outlined in the Xylazine Response plan includes increased resources for:

  • Testing - Improve the xylazine testing being conducted in community and law enforcement settings, which is currently uneven across the United States, impeding the development of a full national threat picture. Improved clinical testing to detect xylazine in drug products and postmortem toxicology settings will provide important information about this emerging threat.
  • Epidemiology and Comprehensive Data Systems - Gather additional information to inform, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive and coordinated public health and public safety response, including xylazine sourcing and determining to what degree persons are encountering xylazine alone or xylazine-adulterated products.
  • Evidence-Based Prevention, Harm Reduction, and Treatment Implementation and Capacity Building - Address the concerning health challenges associated with xylazine by developing and disseminating best practices based on emerging clinical efforts with patients exposed to xylazine, evaluating potential xylazine overdose reversal strategies, and prioritizing efforts to educate and equip healthcare providers and first responders on best practices to treat flesh wounds associated with xylazine.
  • Source and Supply Information and Intelligence; and Supply Reduction Actions - Help inform public health and public safety officials about the sources of xylazine in the illicit drug supply chain and markets in the United States by determining whether it is diverted from legitimate supplies and/or synthesized for illicit use, enhancing ability and jurisdiction to regulate the supply chain, and identifying and develop additional targeted and coordinated law enforcement actions and efforts to reduce the illicit supply of xylazine.
  • Regulatory Control and Monitoring Options - Assess regulatory options to disrupt the production, distribution, illegal sale and trafficking, and exposure to illicit xylazine, as the particular chemical nature of this non-opioid tranquilizer may pose challenges for traditional methods of testing drugs in scheduling decisions.
  • Basic and Applied Research - Conduct research to evaluate as quickly as possible potential xylazine antidotes in humans, drug-drug interactions, population-level health, social, equity, and economic drivers and consequences of exposure to fentanyl adulterated with xylazine, and identify the most promising clinical stabilization, detoxification, and treatment protocols. 

Schumer has a long history of fighting for additional resources to support law enforcement and boost addiction recovery services. Most recently, he secured $445 million for Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) grants, an increase of $30 million from FY22. 

He secured $16 million for the COPS anti-methamphetamine program and $35 million for the COPS anti-heroin task force that helps ensure the safety of local communities. He also secured $302 million for the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program in this year’s budget. 

In addition, Schumer led the fight to secure $44.9 billion to address opioid abuse in the most recent Omnibus, an increase of over $345 million over the previous year. That includes nearly $1.6 billion in State Opioid Response grants, $100 million more for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment program, $111 million for medication-assisted treatment programs, $145 million for programs targeted towards rural communities, and more.

Schumer: Affordable dairy products, jobs depend on passage of Farm Bill

By Howard B. Owens
Chuck Schumer Har-Go Dairy Farm Bill 2023
Sen. Charles Schumer addresses the press about the Dairy Margin Coverage program and the 2023 Farm Bill at Har-Go Farms in Pavilion on Monday.
Photo by Howard Owens.

Sen. Charles Schumer traveled to Har-Go Dairy in Pavilion on Monday to warn that without passage of a 2023 Farm Bill, a program that helps dairy farms stay in business could expire in September.

Dairy Margin Coverage, a kind of insurance program that is taxpayer-subsidized but also funded by fees paid by dairy farmers, helps keep milk and cheese prices stable for consumers.

“Loss of the program,” Schumer said, "would cause huge supply chain disruption and market panic, which means less available milk. The price of milk would go way up. So even if you don't even have a farmer in your family, even if you don't even know a single farmer, you will be hurt if this program goes out because the price of milk will go up and all the other things that milk is used in would go up as well. The cost of milk could potentially double."

DMC is a voluntary risk management program for dairy farmers. It pays producers the difference in the price of milk, which is regulated by the federal government, and the cost of feed. It helps ensure that dairy farmers don't suffer catastrophic losses if feed prices rise unexpectedly.  Feed for dairy cows is a commodity with prices set by global markets.  Any sort of international crisis, whether political or environmental, can cause prices to spike.

"We don't want these small farmers to be buffeted about and actually put out of business by international forces that are beyond their control," Schumer said.

Schumer noted that employers such as HP Hood and O-AT-KA Milk Products, along with other businesses in Genesee County that are dependent on the dairy industry, employ more than 1,000 people locally.

"And we all know that milk from happy, healthy Uupstate New York cows tastes better than the milk from anywhere else in the nation," Schumer said.

The Farm Bill, which is renewed by Congress every five years, is in jeopardy because of greater partisanship, with harder lines being drawn, in Washington, Schumer said.

"There's a group of people who just want to just cut all the spending across the board," Schumer said. "Instead of just looking at where the waste is, and keeping good programs like this one. Usually, we prevail. But this year, things are pretty hot in Washington. That's why I'm here. I'm making a big push to make sure this program is sustained."

Shelley Stein, a dairy farmer in Le Roy and chair of the Genesee County Legislature, said maintaining the DMC is critical to the survival of the area's dairy farms, and the cost of the program is just a sliver of the overall spending authorized by the Farm Bill.

"Ninety-eight percent of the Farm Bill is used and directed to programs that feed people in America, and only two percent of that entire bill goes into farm programs,” she said. “So, only two percent of the spending goes to make sure that we can feed the rest of America."

Chuck Schumer Har-Go Dairy Farm Bill 2023
John T. Gould, President and Chairman of the Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc. Board of Directors and Owner of Har-Go Farm.
Har-Go is a 250-head dairy operation on South Street Road in Pavilion.
He said, "The critically important Dairy Margin Coverage which provides an effective safety net for New York dairy farmers.  Over the last several months, farmers have struggled to make ends meet, and the Dairy Margin Coverage program has helped to bridge that gap.  An on-time farm bill will ensure that this vital program does not lapse and can continue to help dairy farmers when they need it most.”
Photo by Howard Owens
Chuck Schumer Har-Go Dairy Farm Bill 2023
Sen. Charles Schumer shakes the hand of Genesee County Legislature Chair Shelley Stein and says, "Shelley's a Republican. I'm a Democrat. You hear about a lot of the partisan stuff in Washington. But this is a metaphor. We're not going to let partisanship get in the way of supporting our farmers." Stein responds, "You're right."
Photo by Howard Owens.
Chuck Schumer Har-Go Dairy Farm Bill 2023
Sen. Charles Schumer posses with the Gould family following his press conference in Pavilion on Monday. Har-Go Farms is a fifth-generation dairy farm.
Photos by Howard Owens.
Chuck Schumer Har-Go Dairy Farm Bill 2023
"And we all know that milk from happy, healthy Uupstate New York cows tastes better than the milk from anywhere else in the nation." -- Sen. Charles Schumer
Photo by Howard Owens.

Stein welcomes Schumer's news that federal funds coming to help pay for rural broadband

By Howard B. Owens
shelley stein dairy broadband
County Legislature Chair Shelley Stein.
Photo by Howard Owens.

An announcement today by Sen. Charles Schumer, while in Pavilion to talk about dairy farms and the pending 2023 Farm Bill, that he has secured $670 million for New York to expand broadband access is good news for Genesee County, said Shelley Stein.

A dairy farmer, Stein is also chair of the Genesee County Legislature.

She said the county is committed to spending $7.2 million to run wire to 1,578 addresses (of about 31,000 address points) in the county that do not currently have access to high-speed internet. The county already secured a $3 million grant to cover part of the cost of the project, and the Legislature was concerned it would need to take on debt to fund the rest of the project.

"For us, it means, perhaps, we will not have to bond the rest of that, which is great news today," Stein said.

It's the furthest reaches of rural Genesee County that don't have broadband, and a big part of New York's share of the broadband funding will go to rural areas, Schumer said.

"This is the largest single investment in broadband history in New York," Schumer said. "It's game-changing. For too long, residents across New York State, from Buffalo to Rochester to Albany to rural areas in particular, like here where we're standing in Genesee County, have lacked sufficient access to fast, reliable, affordable high-speed internet."

Ensuring everyone has fast, reliable internet is as essential to communities today as electricity was more than a century ago, Schumer said.

"Broadband is for the 21st century," said the Senate's majority leader. "You need it everywhere. Your kids need it to go to school, our local hospitals need it to do telemedicine, individuals need it for their small businesses, and farmers need it so they can keep up with the latest weather and other reports that they so desperately need. We have had too many people who either don't have broadband or when they do, it becomes too expensive, so they can't afford broadband."

The state will need to present a plan to the federal government on how the $670 million will be allocated throughout the state and the Commerce Department will need to approve the plan, Schumer said.

"I fought very hard to make sure that broadband was in the bipartisan (infrastructure) bill," Schumer said. "It started out as the old-time bill with stuff for roads, bridges, highways, rail. That's needed, and it's in the bill, but I said, we also need broadband because that's part of the 21st-century way of commerce."

Schumer announces Senate passage of bill to continue grants for fire departments

By Press Release

Press release:

After an all-out push launched to save federal funding for New York Fire Departments, standing with firefighters from the Capital Region to the Southern Tier, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced the Fire Grants and Safety Act of 2023, which would save this vital lifeline has passed the Senate.

Schumer explained the main federal firefighter funding programs - the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Program – which help hire new firefighters and purchase lifesaving equipment, are both at risk of being eliminated this year.

Schumer, who helped create these programs, said the new bill, which has now passed the Senate, would extend this funding through Fiscal Year (FY) 2030, preserving this critical funding that has delivered over $682 million to firefighters across the Empire State. 

“When our New York fire departments smelled smoke on how devastating these cuts would be, I traveled to every corner of the state standing with our firefighters to sound the alarm. Everyday our brave firefighter in Upstate New York risk their lives to keep their communities safe, and I promised to use all my clout as majority leader to hold feet to the fire and lead this bill to passage; And a promise made is now a promise kept,” said Senator Schumer. “Since the start of the AFG and SAFER programs, which I helped create, New York has received nearly $700 million in federal funding through these critical federal lifelines. That is money for new fire trucks, better equipment, and to hire more firefighters in the Upstate communities that need them most. I’m proud to have led the Fire Grants and Safety Act to passage in the Senate, and I will continue fighting tooth and nail to ensure that NY firefighters get the federal support they need to keep our communities safe for years to come.”

Schumer traveled across Upstate New York, from the Capital Region to the Southern Tier to the Hudson Valley, to sound the alarm on the potential elimination of this lifesaving federal funding for NY fire departments, promising he would not relent until the bill had passed the Senate. Schumer originally created the AFG Program in 2002, which later expanded to also include the SAFER and Emergency Response (SAFER) Program, and the Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) programs.

Schumer explained that these federal programs have been a lifeline for firefighters and have become essential to their continued operations. Fire departments, especially those in Upstate New York, often face budget shortfalls and extremely high costs that mean they cannot purchase the modern equipment they need to combat emergencies to keep firefighters safe. Schumer said that the AFG and SAFER grants have positively benefited fire departments in every corner of Upstate New York, and with the passage of the Fire Grants and Safety Act, NY firefighters will continue to receive the federal support they need to purchase lifesaving equipment and hire more firefighters throughout Upstate.

Specifically, the Fire Grants and Safety Act reauthorizes the U.S. Fire Administration, the Assistance to Firefighters Grants Program, and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant Program through Fiscal Year (FY) 2030. The bill also extends the sunset for both SAFER and AFG from 2024 to 2032 and increases the authorization for the U.S. Fire Administration by about $20 million, while maintaining the authorized funding level for SAFER and AFG at $750 million, each.

The senator is now calling on the House of Representatives to quickly take up the legislation he led to passage in the Senate, and to get the bill to the President’s desk ASAP to be signed into law.

Schumer said, “Now the House needs to quickly take up the Fire Grants and Safety Act and pass this vital legislation so fire departments across America can continue to receive the federal support they desperately need, and I will not stop turning up the heat until this vital legislation for our firefighters becomes law.”

Since the start of these programs in 2002, the grants have delivered nearly $700 million in federal funding to NY firefighters. Schumer said that losing this funding would be felt especially hard for firefighters across Upstate New York, who have received over $78.5 million in federal funding through these programs in just the past three years.

Schumer said that if the programs were to cease that would mean lifesaving equipment and the hundreds of New York firefighters that have been hired, or recruited in the case of volunteer departments, thanks to this funding might never have happened. For example, last year, the Troy and Saratoga Springs fire departments received nearly $8 million to hire 30 new firefighters, and in 2019, the Buffalo Fire Department received nearly $10 million to hire 50 new firefighters. Over the past few years, multiple fire departments have received millions to purchase new ladder trucks, radio systems, self-contained breathing apparatus devices, cardiac monitoring devices, and other lifesaving equipment.

Schumer announces grant for Batavia City Schools to increase mental health support

By Joanne Beck

A five-year grant of just under a half million dollars per year will fulfill the city school district’s ambitions to hire more social workers for each school building, focus on family engagement and work to increase student mental and behavioral support, district leaders said Thursday.

The grant was announced by Senator Charles Schumer as part of $3.6 million of Full-Service Community Schools (FSCS) grants distributed by the U.S. Department of Education. Batavia City Schools was the only district in Genesee County to receive this funding.

“We’re incredibly proud to have been recognized and selected by the U.S. Department of Education for this generous Community Schools grant,” Superintendent Jason Smith said. “Our Community Schools program is an essential part of our school district and is a touchstone for many of our at–risk students, families, and community members. With this funding, we’ll be able to decrease the educational gaps we’re experiencing and set our students up for success well beyond their time here in our school district.” 

The grant of $488,761 is for the first year, with an expected total of  $2,499,777 during the course of the five-year grant period.

Other areas of the overall student mental and behavioral support goals will be to “increase readiness for school, increase student attendance and achievement and increase student community connectedness,” Community Schools Coordinator Julia Rogers said.

“These goals also include encouragement of family engagement in each student’s education,” she said. “We will be using the funds to hire additional social workers at each of our school buildings. These positions will allow us to expand the reach of our Community Schools program with the goal of breaking down barriers for students and families to help ensure student success.

“We will continue to focus on family engagement activities that are culturally responsive, empowering, and provide support to families,” she said.

Buildings include Robert Morris, Jackson Primary, John Kennedy Intermediate, Batavia Middle and High schools, and district leaders “hope to sustain this plan after the grant period,” Rogers said.  

Long-term goals for the grant funding include:

  • Increase the educational case management for students who are academically at-risk or chronically absent.  
  • Increase student access to mental and behavioral health support.
  • Increase student readiness for school and student academic achievement.  
  • Ensure that graduating seniors are college and career ready.   
  • Work to reduce the academic achievement gap between demographic groups and increase student-family-community connections

Community Partners include:

  • BCSD Foundation
  • Genesee Community College
  • Genesee County Business Education Alliance
  • Genesee County Departments of Health and Mental Health
  • Richmond Memorial Library
  • United Way
  • Partners in Restorative Initiatives
  • Children's Institute
  • GLOW Workforce Investment Board
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension 
  • Along with our 90+ informal partners  

“Social workers will assist school counselors and psychologists with expanded mental health support for students, but they’ll also be able to expand their reach to assist students’ family members as needed,” Rogers said.  “Our community partners will join us as part of this grant to expand our collective reach. This aligns with our Community Schools' vision:  Build a better Batavia by promoting equitable learning opportunities, cultivating healthier families, and establishing a stronger community.”

The grants will provide funding for New York’s community schools to hire more social workers, expand mental health services, offer high-quality tutoring for students who need extra support, and foster trust and support within the community through family programming, Schumer said in a press release issued Thursday. New York State was awarded four grants, which will go towards improving the quality of education in Batavia City School District, Belleville Henderson Central School District, Sodus Central School District, and Booker T. Washington Community Center of Auburn.

“I am proud to deliver this funding to New York’s students, families, and communities, and I will always fight hard to ensure that the next generation has the tools they need to build prosperous and fulfilling lives,” Schumer said.

Dr. Molly Corey, executive director of Curriculum and Instruction, believes this grant provides an opportunity “to strengthen the core foundation” of Batavia City Schools.

“A top goal for BCSD is to create a school environment where all students, staff, families, and community members feel welcomed, valued, and empowered to achieve their maximum potential,” she said. “And this grant will help us do just that.”  
Photos of Jason Smith, Julia Rogers and Molly Corey from Batavia City School District.

Schumer: Edwards Vacuum coming to STAMP will entice more semiconductor companies to locate here

By Howard B. Owens


This morning's announcement that Edwards Vacuum is going to build a $319 million dry-pump manufacturing facility at WNY STAMP is a good indication, said Sen. Charles Schumer, that there are more high-tech companies who will choose to locate new plants at the park.

"We had a good chance before landing Edwards and now those chances are even better," Schumer told The Batavian during an exclusive interview.

Edwards is a major player in the semiconductor industry, Schumer said, and the decision by the company's CEO, Geert Follens, helps validate STAMP as a viable option for other companies in the semiconductor supply chain as well as a semiconductor fabricator.

The British-based company makes the vacuums that help keep chip manufacturing clean rooms clean.

"Once you land a serious company like this, other semiconductor companies are going to take notice," Schumer said.

Schumer is the author of the CHIPs and Science Act, which provides $52 billion in manufacturing grants and establishes a 25 percent investment tax credit for increasing semiconductor manufacturing in the U.S. 

That bill, Schumer said, was a significant factor in the decision by Micron Technologies to build a major chip manufacturing plant near Syracuse and Micron's selection of New York helped STAMP beat out a competing site in another nearby state for the Edwards facility, Schumer said. 

Phase One of Edwards Vacuum’s 240,000 square-foot campus includes manufacturing, warehouse and administration.  The company is expected to employ 600 people and the state and federal financial incentives tied to the deal require Edwards to meet that employment goal.

Edwards will also negotiate a PILOT agreement (a reduction in property taxes on the increased value of the property in exchange for payments to local governments), along with sales tax, and mortgage tax abatements with GCEDC.

In an interview with The Batavian yesterday, GCEDC Steve Hyde said there was a major announcement coming soon (which came a lot sooner than he suggested) about STAMP, and he also said there are about 20 companies with some interest in STAMP and another five or six with serious interest.

Schumer agreed with that assessment.

"There is a lot of interest in STAMP," said Schumer, a big baseball fan. "We have to land them but we're on third base and getting ready to score."

File photo of Sen. Charles Schumer at WNY STAMP in August 2020 calling for passage of the CHIPS Act. Photo by Howard Owens.

Semiconductor supply-chain business to build $319 million facility at STAMP

By Press Release

Press release:

Governor Hochul and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer today announced that Edwards Vacuum, a British-based world leader in vacuum and abatement equipment in the semiconductor industry and part of the Atlas Copco Group, has chosen the Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP), located in Genesee County, as the location for their new $319 million, U.S. dry pump manufacturing facility. The dry pump technology that will be produced at the new facility is a vital component to controlling the highly sensitive environment of semiconductor manufacturing processes. Phase One of Edwards Vacuum’s 240,000 square-foot campus include manufacturing, warehouse and administration. This new commitment from a global leader in the semiconductor manufacturing supply chain to invest in New York State builds on the announcement that Micron is investing an unprecedented $100 billion in Central New York.   

“This major investment from Edwards Vacuum builds on our momentum to secure New York as a leader in semiconductor manufacturing,” Governor Hochul said. “On the heels of Micron’s $100 billion commitment to Central New York, as well as New York’s Green CHIPS legislation and the federal CHIPS and Science Act, we are better positioned than ever to make New York a global hub for advanced manufacturing and attract the jobs of the future. I am thrilled to welcome Edwards Vacuum to Genesee County and look forward to working with them, as well as our local, state, and federal partners, as they make New York their home.”

The CHIPS And Science Act delivers for Upstate New York again,” said Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer.  “I am thrilled to announce Edwards Vacuum, a major player in semiconductor supply chain, will soon power Genesee County with an over $300 million plant and 600 good-paying jobs!  From Micron’s major investment in Central NY and Wolfspeed’s new fab in Marcy, to onsemi soon beginning in the Hudson Valley and GlobalFoundries building a new fab in the Capital Region, and now Edward’s supercharging our semiconductor supply chain at Western New York’s STAMP site, Upstate is becoming the global hub for the chip industry. I told Edwards Vacuum’s top brass last month there was no better site than STAMP to locate a new plant and I’m glad they heeded my call.  With my CHIPS and Science Act as the lighting rod, we are now seeing energy flow into Upstate’s manufacturing sector like never before, and this investment will further cement that the future of microchips will be built with American-made products, crafted by New York workers.”

Kate Wilson, President of Edwards’ Semiconductor business, said, “I am delighted that we are announcing this new facility in the state of New York. Against a backdrop of growing demand, clearly showing a greater need for investment in manufacturing capabilities that are located close to our customers, we continue to commit significant investment in our operational footprint. This is critical to ensure we retain our position as the vacuum and abatement partner of choice to the global semiconductor industry.”  

Edwards Vacuum will provide internal training and education, allowing every employee to explore and advance their career opportunities. Additionally, Edwards is committed to recruiting entry-level employees from disadvantaged communities and partnering with existing community-based recruitment and training programs, to provide both soft skills and technical skills that will provide employment opportunities that have not been available in those communities previously. 

STAMP is a 1,250-acre mega site at the forefront of green manufacturing growth in New York. Developed to provide high-capacity, low-cost renewable electricity in a strategic location in the Buffalo-Rochester Tech Corridor, STAMP has attracted over $500 million of investment  by innovative companies. With over 500 available buildable acres on-site, 1.1 million people within 30 miles, and 30,000 annually enrolled engineering students at nearby colleges and universities, STAMP is positioned to accelerate New York’s growing semiconductor manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, and renewables manufacturing industries. 

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “Attracting supply chain partners in the semiconductor industry is key building a stronger ecosystem in New York State. Edwards Vacuum’s choice of STAMP for its new facility further cements New York State as a leader in the semiconductor industry.” 

New York Power Authority Interim President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll said, “Edwards Vacuum’s STAMP investment is a testament to New York’s emergence as a global leader in semiconductor manufacturing. Securing reliable supply chain partners is critical to the semiconductor industry, and projects like this showcase the unique attributes of New York that will help the industry grow here.” 

As part of the agreement with Edwards Vacuum, ESD has offered up to $21 million in a combination of performance-based Excelsior Jobs Tax Credits, Investment Tax Credits and an additional $1 million to support Workforce Development and the training of a Diverse and Inclusive Workforce in exchange for 600 new full-time jobs at the location  Additionally, the New York Power Authority Board of Trustees will review an application for low-cost Niagara hydropower at a future public meeting. 

Edwards Vacuum is anticipated to apply for agreements at a later date with the Genesee County Economic Development Center to support the company's investment at STAMP through property, sales, and mortgage tax assistance. The request would support the largest workforce and capital investment proposed by any company at a GCEDC-developed site. 

Last month, Senator Schumer personally called Edwards Vacuum President, Geert Follens, to urge the global semiconductor supply chain company to expand in Upstate New York. Senator Schumer's bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act, creates an Investment Tax Credit for semiconductor manufacturing facilities and supply chain partners such as Edwards Vacuum as well as a first of its kind $52 billion in federal incentives to spur American semiconductor research, development, manufacturing, and workforce training to bring good-paying jobs back from overseas, strengthen national security, and reestablish America's technological leadership. The bill requires recipients of these incentives to make significant worker and community investments that support equitable economic growth. Edwards Vacuum is expected to also apply for incentives under the CHIPS and Science Act.  Schumer has long supported STAMP’s development and to attract new semiconductor and advanced manufacturing companies to locate at STAMP.  Schumer said these new federal and state investments are creating a new ‘Erie Canal’ across upstate New York by attracting thousands of new jobs in the semiconductor industry from the Hudson Valley to Western New York’s STAMP. 

Semiconductors, and their supply chain partners, are vital to the nation's economic strength, serving as the brains of modern electronics, and enabling technologies critical to U.S. economic growth, national security, and global competitiveness. The industry directly employs over 277,000 people in the U.S. and supports more than 1.8 million additional domestic jobs. Semiconductors are a top five U.S. export, and the industry is the number one contributor to labor productivity, supporting improvements to the effectiveness and efficiency of virtually every economic sector — from farming to manufacturing. Earlier this year, Governor Hochul signed New York's nation-leading Green CHIPS legislation into law to attract top semiconductor manufacturing businesses to the state and secure commitments to good-paying jobs, sustainability, and community benefits.

Supply chain issues and a decline in the United States' share of global chip production are causing undue hardships to every aspect of the economy. This erosion of U.S. chip production capacity puts the nation at a strategic disadvantage in several critical areas, including national security, technological innovation, and economic growth and independence. Because more than 300 industries use chips — from cars to cellphones — their scarcity drives up prices of other consumer goods. Edwards Vacuum’s new facility will position New York State as a national leader in reshoring vital semiconductor jobs to the U.S. 

Genesee County Legislature Chair Shelley Stein said, “We are so proud that STAMP will be the location of the largest economic development investment in the history of Genesee County. On behalf of my colleagues in the Genesee County Legislature we welcome Edwards Vacuum to our community and look forward to their success here and the career opportunities they will provide for our hard-working residents. This announcement demonstrates the diligent focus of Genesee County to plan, prepare and welcome 21st-century manufacturing to our county.” 

Town of Alabama Supervisor Rob Crossen said,  “Our shared vision through the development of STAMP is to play a role in bringing new jobs and investments to Genesee County and to improve the quality of life for our residents. The latter has begun through enhanced infrastructure improvements, especially as it pertains to water services, and we’re pleased that STAMP and our community is attracting advanced manufacturing companies and good paying jobs.” 

Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy and SUNY Geneseo President Denise Battles said, "We congratulate Edwards Vacuum on this incredible project, and welcome them to the state-of-the-art Western NY Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park in Genesee County. These top-quality jobs will help to energize the regional economy, furthering its reputation as the center of technology and progress.

Steve Hyde, Genesee County Economic Development Center President & CEO, said, “There is a saying that economic development is a marathon and not a sprint and that has been our approach to STAMP ever since it was a concept on paper over a decade ago. That’s why it is so gratifying to see how that steady and purposeful approach is resulting in a significant return on the investment that has been made through the years by our public and private sector partners and in particular by Senator Schumer and Governor Hochul by this announcement today. This announcement shows that STAMP and our region are the ideal location for semiconductor industry growth.” 

Greater Rochester Enterprise President and CEO Matt Hurlbutt said, “Edwards Vacuum, an innovative vacuum equipment manufacturer that serves the semiconductor industry, is expanding at the Western New York Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park in the Greater Rochester, NY region to capitalize on this mega site’s unique infrastructure, which includes reliable, low-cost hydropower and unlimited water supply. Rochester, NY is also attractive because of the concentration of highly skilled talent with mechanical and electrical engineering expertise and regional workforce development partners who offer stackable credential programs and certificate programs to train Edward Vacuum’s future workforce. GRE connected Edwards Vacuum to numerous economic development resources to support this expansion in Rochester and will continue to support the company as this project unfolds.” 

This major investment adds to New York's already robust semiconductor industry. In addition to Micron’s major $100 billion investment in Central New York, New York has multiple global industry chip leaders like GlobalFoundries, Wolfspeed, onsemi, and IBM. New York is also home to the world-renowned Albany Nanotech Complex, which is a multibillion-dollar public-private partnership, comprising the most advanced, publicly owned, 300-millimeter semiconductor research and development facility and bringing together premier universities and leading industry players to drive cutting-edge chip development. Because of the tireless advocacy of Governor Hochul and Senator Schumer, semiconductor supply chain companies like Edwards are also growing as well. Earlier this year Corning Incorporated invested $139 million, creating over 270 new jobs in Monroe County to meet the demands of the growing semiconductor market.

About Edwards Vacuum  
Edwards is the leading developer and manufacturer of sophisticated vacuum products, exhaust management systems and related value-added services. These are integral to manufacturing processes for semiconductors, flat panel displays, LEDs and solar cells; are used within an increasingly diverse range of industrial processes including power, glass and other coating applications, steel and other metallurgy, pharmaceutical and chemical; and for both scientific instruments and a wide range of R&D applications. 

Edwards has more than 8,000 employees worldwide engaged in the design, manufacture and support of high technology vacuum and exhaust management equipment and has state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Europe, Asia and North America. 

Edwards is part of the Atlas Copco Group (NASDAQ OMX Stockholm: ATCO A, ATCO B), a Sweden-based provider of industrial productivity solutions. 

Further information about Edwards can be found at 

Schumer: 'We want to build the future in Batavia, not Beijing'

By Howard B. Owens
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The pandemic exposed a weakness in the U.S. economy, Sen. Charles Schumer said today while at a car dealership in Genesee County -- not enough computer chips are manufactured in the U.S., leading to a shortage in the semiconductors that help cars, along with phones, computers, and appliances, run.

Currently, only 12 percent of chips are manufactured domestically, according to Schumer, compared to 37 percent in the 1990s.

Many foreign competitors, including China, are investing heavily to dominate the industry, Schumer said. Nearly 75 percent of global semiconductor production is now occurring in East Asia, and foreign government subsidies drive the majority of the cost difference for producing semiconductors overseas and in the U.S.

In response, Schumer, the majority leader in the Senate, introduced the CHIPS and Science Act, which with the president's signature this past week, is now law.

It provides over $50 billion in federal incentives to get more chips made in the U.S.

"We say (in the bill), not only do they have to make the chips here, but they can't make any more of them in China," Schumer said. "That is very, very good for America. We're saying we want to build the future in Batavia, not Beijing, in Syracuse, not Shanghai. So I wrote this legislation with upstate in mind."

Schumer is bullish on WNY STAMP, the 1,250-acre technology park that is now shovel-ready in the Town of Alabama.  He believes that before long, there will be a semiconductor plant at the park.

"Companies are seeing upstate New York is the place to be," Schumer said. "We hope there'll be many more. And we're fighting very hard to get one at STAMP. It is seen as a great opportunity at some of the chip companies -- I'm not allowed to say who -- but they have already visited here a couple of times. The bottom line is that manufacturing chips here in New York has the potential to be our 21st century Erie Canal."

He promised to do everything he can to attract chip manufacturers to upstate New York.

"We have more shovel-ready sites, including the STAMP facility right here in Genesee County than any place in the country," he said. "I'm gonna use my clout as majority leader in making (upstate New York) the center of the country with $5 billion of federal money for all of our semiconductor advanced research and development, which attracts people here. We have a great workforce here. We have great universities here. We have cheap water and cheap electric power, which these chip plants need as well, so you put that all together, and we are ideally suited now that this bill passed."

From a press release, highlights of the legislation:

Specifically, Schumer highlighted that the bill includes:

  • $39 billion for the CHIPS for America Fund to provide federal incentives to build, expand, or modernize domestic facilities and equipment for semiconductor fabrication, assembly, testing, advanced packaging, or research and development to help attract major chip manufacturers to shovel-ready sites like STAMP in Genesee County.  
  • $11 billion for Department of Commerce research and development including creating a National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC) a public-private partnership to conduct advanced semiconductor manufacturing, with Albany Nanotech primed to be a top contender to serve as a major hub for the NSTC, and other specialized R&D programs that universities across the state are in a strong position to compete for.
  • $2 billion for the DoD CHIPS for America Defense Fund.
  • $200 million for the CHIPS for America Workforce and Education Fund to kick start the development of the domestic semiconductor workforce, which faces near-term labor shortages, by leveraging activities of the National Science Foundation.
  • A new Investment Tax Credit for semiconductor manufacturing facilities and equipment.

Schumer explained that New York is uniquely suited to take advantage of these federal investments to reassert America’s global technological leadership. New York is currently home to over 80 semiconductor companies that employ over 34,000 NY workers, including global industry leaders like GlobalFoundries, Wolfspeed, onsemi, IBM, and other major microchip and innovation companies that support them like Corning Inc. in Monroe County which just announced a $139M, 270 job expansion in anticipation of this bill. Schumer said investments like these are only the beginning though, and now that his bill has finally become law, the ripple effects from more chip fabs and their supply chains being built in places like Upstate New York will give companies like Baxter and the American economy the stability it needs to avoid shocks like this again in the future. 

Genesee County will benefit from $50 billion CHIPS and Science bill passed by Senate, Schumer says

By Howard B. Owens


Every part of Upstate New York, including Genesee County, will benefit from his bill to spur development in computer chip and technology manufacturing, Sen. Charles Schumer said today during an online press conference with reporters from throughout New York.

Upstate has more shovel-ready business park sites than any other region in the nation, and WNY-STAMP is among those sites drawing interest from semiconductor manufacturers with the likely passage of this bill, Schumer said.

"There are a whole number of companies that were thinking of going overseas to Europe or to Asia, that with this bill have now said they're going to locate in the United States," Schumer said in response to a question from The Batavian. "We have some of the great sites including the STAMP site in Batavia and we're going to do everything we can to lure them. And remember, they depend on the Commerce Department to get some grants for this. These are large grants, and I am going to, as Majority Leader, I think, I'll have some say with the Commerce Department."

The CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 creates $50 billion in funding designed to provide financial assistance to chip manufacturers and other technology companies to build factories in the United States.

The bill passed the Senate today and Schumer, who authored the bill and has doggedly pursued it for a long time, said it will easily pass in the House of Representatives.

Schumer pushed for passage, he said, because the U.S. must beat China in chip manufacturing and because he believes spurring innovative growth in high-tech will benefit all of New York, especially Upstate New York.

"I wrote this bill with the future of Upstate New York in mind," Schumer said. "The bill creates $50 billion in federal incentives to bring semiconductor manufacturing back to the US. And guess what place in America is most suited to get these plants? Upstate New York. There are places in Albany and Syracuse and Western New York that have shovel-ready sites that the big tech companies are already looking at for new chip fabs."

So far, China has been winning the chip manufacturing war, Schumer said. He wants to shift the momentum back to the United States.

"It's time to build our future in Syracuse, not Shanghai; in Buffalo, not Beijing," he said.

He said the odds are high that semiconductor manufacturers are going to look to Upstate New York for their new plants, which will employ thousands of people in high-paying jobs.

"We're gonna go all out and we're going to beat China," Schumer said.

WNY STAMP, located in Alabama near the intersection of Route 77 and Judge Road, is more than 1,100 acres set aside for advanced manufacturing.  GCEDC has been pursuing tenants for the park for more than a decade, and after coming close with 1366 Technologies in 2015 (a project that failed, according to sources, because of then Rep. Chris Collins' unwillingness to support it), the IDA succeeded last year when Plug Power agreed to make a $232.7 million investment to build a new hydrogen fuel plant at the site.

Steve  Hyde, president and CEO of GCEDC, said the agency is pleased with the passage of the bill.

"Senate Majority Leader Schumer has long-championed upstate New York as the ideal region for critical growth of the domestic semiconductor manufacturing and R&D investments due to our university research and talent, our established and ever-growing semiconductor supply chain, along with our considerable capacity of renewable, reliable, and competitively priced electricity," Hyde said in a statement. "We applaud Senator Schumer for his leadership, and stewardship in getting Congress to pass the Chips and Science Bill, which will be the catalyst to growing the high-tech economy at the Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) and all across upstate New York."

For all prior coverage of WNY Stamp, click here.

For a press release from Sen. Charles Schumer with more details about the bill, click here.

UPDATE:  The Hill is reporting that because of a deal between Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Charles Schumer on a reconciliation bill, Republican members of the House of Representatives will now, as of Wednesday evening, oppose the CHIPS bill.

Top photo: Sen. Charles Schumer in a screenshot of today's press conference.


Aerial photo courtesy GCEDC showing Plug Power under construction and the WNY STAMP acreage. 

Schumer lauds passage of CHIPS and Science bill in Senate

By Press Release

Press release:

After years of relentless advocacy, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced the Senate has passed his historic federal semiconductor incentive, scientific research, and technological competitiveness bill to bring manufacturing back from overseas to places like Upstate New York. The senator explained this will help build more resilient domestic supply chains to help lower costs for families, address inflation, and strengthen national security by manufacturing more microchips in America. Schumer said that the historic federal semiconductor manufacturing incentivizes will be the lightning rod for existing chip and tech companies to grow in New York, helping attract new major employers, creating thousands of new good paying jobs, and ensuring the foundation for the future is built in Upstate New York.

“This bill means lowering costs for families, strengthening our national security, and bringing manufacturing back to Upstate New York. With its rare combination of a world-class workforce, advanced manufacturers, and renowned higher education institutions, I wrote and championed this legislation with Upstate New York always at the forefront of my mind and now it is primed to reap the rewards. I want to see the future made in Upstate New York,” said Senator Schumer. “When you combine the chip manufacturing potential at sites like White Pine Commerce Park in Central New York, Marcy Nanocenter in the Mohawk Valley, and STAMP in Genesee County, with Globalfoundries and Wolfspeed’s existing plants and onsemi soon acquiring a facility in East Fishkill, NY, all coupled with world-renowned research capabilities at the Albany Nanocenter and across the SUNY system and the state’s universities and labs, Upstate New York could be the nation’s leader in microchips and other tech industries that will dominate this century. Simply put – this is the 21st Century’s Erie Canal”

Currently, only 12% of chips are manufactured domestically, compared to 37% in the 1990s, and many foreign competitors, including China, are investing heavily to dominate the industry. Nearly 75% of global semiconductor production is now occurring in East Asia and foreign government subsidies drive the majority of the cost difference for producing semiconductors overseas. Schumer said that his legislation would help turn the tide on this trend by bringing manufacturing back to America, along with investing in other key technology and R&D so New York and the country can lead the world in innovation.

Specifically, Schumer highlighted that the bill includes:

  • $39 billion for the CHIPS for America Fund to provide federal incentives to build, expand, or modernize domestic facilities and equipment for semiconductor fabrication, assembly, testing, advanced packaging, or research and development.
  • $11 billion for Department of Commerce research and development including creating a National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC) a public-private partnership to conduct advanced semiconductor manufacturing, with Albany Nanotech primed to be a top contender to serve as a major hub for the NSTC, and other specialized R&D programs that universities across the state are in a strong position to compete for.
  • $2 billion for the DoD CHIPS for America Defense Fund.

$200 million for the CHIPS for America Workforce and Education Fund to kick start development of the domestic semiconductor workforce, which faces near-term labor shortages, by leveraging activities of the National Science Foundation.

A new Investment Tax Credit for semiconductor manufacturing facilities and equipment.

  • $10 billion Regional Technology Hubs to support regional economic development efforts around the country to not only research and innovate technologies, but also manufacture them here in America.
  • $1.5 billion for the Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund to spur the race to 5G, software-based wireless technologies, and innovative ‘leap-ahead’ technologies in the U.S. mobile broadband market. Schumer said that New York companies like JMA Wireless would be first in line for the $1.5 billion in federal incentives for next generation telecommunications tech included in his bill. This investments builds on the $65 billion to expand high-speed internet across the country passed in the Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law in which Schumer made sure to include Build America, Buy America provisions to ensure companies like JMA Wireless would build the technology used in the high-speed internet expansion.
  • Increased investment for National Science Foundation (NSF) Research and Development Programs, including through a new technology directorate as proposed in Schumer’s original bipartisan Endless Frontier Act, and STEM education and training programs. Schumer said the region’s top research schools connected throughout the SUNY system, and others would be able to tap the increased investment for the NSF. Community colleges would also be able to utilize new investment for workforce training, including for the semiconductor industry.
  • $13 billion to build the STEM workforce. Authorizes funding for STEM education, including scholarships, fellowships, and traineeships to create workers in critical fields, including to establishing an artificial intelligence scholarship-for-service program, a national network for microelectronics education, and cybersecurity workforce development programs. 
  • $2 billion to strengthen small manufacturers. Triples funding for Manufacturing Extension Partnership, to support small- and medium-sized manufacturers with cybersecurity, workforce training, and supply chain resiliency.
  • New investment to combat Supply Chain Disruption. Leverages the Manufacturing Extension Partnership to creates a National Supply Chain Database, to assist the businesses with supplier scouting and minimizing supply chain disruptions.
  • Over $800 million to grow Manufacturing USA. Supports the creation of new competitively-awarded manufacturing research institutes with expanded capacity for education and workforce development.
  • Infusion of new funds for the Department of Energy National Labs like Brookhaven National Lab. Funds will advance research and development, including in key technology areas like quantum computing, artificial intelligence (AI), and more.

Schumer explained that New York is uniquely suited to take advantage of these federal investments to reassert America’s global technological leadership. New York is currently home to over 80 semiconductor companies that employ over 34,000 NY workers, including global industry leaders like GlobalFoundries, Wolfspeed, onsemi, IBM, and other major microchip and innovation companies that support them like Corning Inc. In addition, Schumer said that New York offers dozens of shovel-ready sites primed for new investment from the semiconductor industry other companies in the innovation economy. 

Schumer has a long history of fighting to advance semiconductor manufacturing and R&D and the broader tech economy at the federal level. In May 2020, Schumer introduced his bipartisan Endless Frontier Act to make a surge new resources into federal R&D through the creation of a National Science Foundation technology directorate focused on key technology areas like quantum computing, advanced energy, AI, high performance computing, and more. Schumer’s Endless Frontier Act also proposed a new $10 billion regional technology hub program to invest in regions around the country with great potential to lead the nation in technology research, development, and manufacturing. In June 2020, Schumer introduced his bipartisan American Foundries Act to authorize new federal incentives for expanding domestic semiconductor manufacturing and R&D. Schumer successfully added this bill as an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). In June 2021, Schumer then successfully passed through the Senate his U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), legislation he introduced that combined his Endless Frontier Act to make a significant investment in research, development, manufacturing and innovation with other competitiveness legislation. As part of this package, Schumer also included $52 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations to implement the semiconductor-related manufacturing and R&D programs that he had successfully pushed to authorize in the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act and that are at the heart of the bill which passed today. The House passed its companion legislation to USICA, the America COMPETES Act, this past January and negotiations continue to reconcile the differences between the two bills.  The bill that has passed this week combines the federal semiconductor incentives Schumer has been pushing with the investment in R&D, tech hubs, manufacturing, and other innovation programs from his Endless Frontier Act.

Schumer said that this major federal investment would touch every corner of New York:

Capital Region
Schumer’s legislation will help speed up and expand further opportunities to build on the Capital Region’s GlobalFoundries’ announcement last year of building a second chip fab in Malta, focused primarily on auto and military chip production, creating thousands of jobs on top of the 3,000 employees that GlobalFoundries already employs in the area.

The Capital Region is also poised to benefit with the Albany Nanotech complex potentially becoming the major hub of the nation’s first National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC), which is created by Schumer’s bill. Schumer has worked non-stop to uplift Albany Nanotech and the Capital Region as the best candidate to lead the nation in semiconductor research. In March 2021, following a call with the CEOs of IBM and Intel, Schumer announced a new partnership that will bring hundreds of jobs to the Albany region to conduct new semiconductor research, boosting the region’s already robust local chip research presence. Then, after bringing the Commerce Secretary to Malta to announce GlobalFoundries second chip fab last year, Schumer had Secretary Raimondo meet with Albany Nanotech leaders to discuss the facility’s cutting-edge capabilities. The senator continued this momentum earlier this year by bringing the Commerce Deputy Secretary Don Graves to tour the facility as well and meet with Governor Hochul and industry leaders to reiterate how the Capital Region and Albany Nanotech are uniquely suited to quickly stand up the NSTC.

Central New York & The Mohawk Valley
Major sites like the Marcy Nanocenter and White Pine Commerce Park are already attracting interest from large semiconductor-related companies due to their shovel-ready infrastructure, and Schumer said his legislation would be the lightning rod for luring more jobs to Central NY and the Mohawk Valley. The industry has already taken notice, as highlighted by Cree-Wolfspeed’s $1.2 billion investment to build the world’s largest 200mm Silicon Carbide semiconductor facilities at Marcy, which will create over 600 jobs.

Schumer also said Syracuse tech companies like JMA Wireless would be able to take advantage of other historic incentives like the $1.5B in 5G and telecomm tech development that could accelerate their expansion locally, and the R&D investments included in the bill will support the region’s efforts in UAVs, quantum computing, and other technologies at Syracuse University, Rome Lab, and other area research institutions.

Finger Lakes
Schumer said the federal investment in his bill will further build on the recent $139M, 270 job expansion in Monroe County by Corning Inc. to support optic technology for the growing chip industry, with further expansion of the domestic semiconductor industry helping bolster this plant as more companies would rely on the components made at the new Fairport facility. Other companies that can benefit and grow are Akoustis Inc that employ about 100 in Canandaigua making semiconductor “RF Filter” chips used in mobile phones and Wi-Fi routers.

In addition, the Finger Lakes’ high concentration of research institutions from the University of Rochester to RIT make the region uniquely suited to benefit from the historic increases in the bill for to the National Science Foundation, which the Director of the NSF got to see firsthand when Schumer personally brought him to see their research facilities earlier this year. Schumer also cited a recent study authored MIT economists that analyzed over 100 regions to determine which are best poised to become new Tech-Economy hubs if provided federal scientific research and development investment and determined that Rochester, NY ranked No. 1 as the nation's top region ripe for technological and economic growth. 

Western New York
In addition to shovel-ready sites like STAMP that could benefit from the chip incentive legislation, Schumer said that Western New York’s spot as a current finalist in the EDA Regional Challenge for its manufacturing cluster proposal make it a top candidate to compete for funding through the new regional technology hub program in his bill.

Schumer also said that research institutions like the University at Buffalo and technical training schools like Erie Community College are in a strong position to compete for manufacturing training and new NSF funds set to be boosted as well by his bill. 

Southern Tier
The greater Binghamton area has already emerged as a growing hub for battery manufacturing and with Binghamton University (BU) as a finalist in the EDA Regional Challenge for its battery R&D proposal, Schumer said his bill could strengthen this plan even further by helping grow this critical supply chain in the Southern Tier.  In addition, top research schools like BU and Cornell University would be able to enhance their efforts through more federal research dollars and bolstering their workforce training initiatives. 

Hudson Valley
Schumer said the Hudson Valley is home to many chip and tech companies looking to grow like IBM in Westchester and Dutchess Counties, SeeQc in Elmsford, and onsemi, which will soon be fully taking over the GlobalFoundries facility at iPark in East Fishkill that will be able to utilize these historic incentives to bolster their operations. Plus, the close proximity to NYC and available sites like the former TechCity Campus in Ulster County, which Schumer recently pitched to a major battery company for a potential 500 job expansion, making the region a prime area for growth from his tech investment. Schumer said that the Hudson Valley’s colleges and universities can also benefit from this investment. For example, SUNY New Paltz is home to the Hudson Valley Additive Manufacturing Center and the Hudson Valley Venture Hub which are both are longstanding technology and entrepreneurial hubs that can grow with this new kind of investment, providing additional guidance and support beyond the hundreds of Hudson Valley and state businesses and entrepreneurs they have served to date.

Schumer announces legislation that extends free student meals for summer

By Press Release

Press release:

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced the bipartisan Keep Kids Fed Act has officially been signed into law. The bill extends child nutrition waivers that give essential funding and flexibility to schools, daycares, nonprofits and other meal providers enabling them to continue providing free meals to students this summer. Schumer explained Congress originally authorized the child nutrition waivers at the height of the pandemic to give school food programs the flexibility needed to feed as many students as possible, but the waivers were set to expire on June 30th, putting many school districts’ summer meal programs at risk at a time when kids often face the greatest food insecurity. Now thanks to this new legislation the waivers will be able to continue, ensuring an estimated 800,000 New York students receive healthy nutritious meals throughout the summer. 

“No child should ever go hungry, and now schools will have the funding and flexibility needed to ensure kids stay healthy and fed this summer. Over 800,000 New York students and millions of children across the country depend on these waivers for daily meals, and this bill gives our schools the support they need to continue to provide free nutritious meals and the flexibility they need to operate amidst the ongoing supply chain challenges,” said Senator Schumer. “Summer is often the time of year when food insecurity is highest for children and this support comes just in the nick of time. I am proud to have led the Senate to ensure these waivers could continue curbing childhood hunger and giving our families the peace of mind they need to not worry about where their kids’ next meal is coming from this summer.”

Schumer explained that in 2020, at the height of the pandemic, Congress authorized the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to waive various school meal program requirements for school districts and increase reimbursement rates so that schools and meal program operators could continue to feed children. This allowed school districts across New York to make sure students got meals all year long, including during the summer and bolster food programs for those who need it most without having to worry about additional hits to their already strained school district budgets.

These critical child nutrition waivers, however, were set to expire this week on June 30, 2022. A recent USDA survey showed that 90% of school districts food programs are depending on these waivers to offer free meals, with 92% experiencing supply chain issues and a quarter experiencing staffing challenges for their nutrition programs.

The fully paid for Keep Kids Fed Act, which has now passed the Senate and has been signed into law by President Biden was first introduced by Senator Stabenow (D-MI) and Senator Boozman (R-AR) and will now extend many of the flexibilities enacted during COVID over the summer, enabling schools to continue to feed students and provide schools increased support to address food insecurity and the ongoing supply chain disruptions facing nutrition programs.

Specifically, Schumer said the bill will:

·       Extend flexibilities for summer meals in 2022 which will make it easier to feed all students, especially students in rural areas, during the summer months through options like meal delivery and grab-and-go.

·       Increase the reimbursement rate for school lunch and school breakfast to help offset the increased cost of food and operating expenses. Schools will receive an additional 40 cents for each lunch and 15 cents for each breakfast served.   

·       Help daycares and home providers in the Child and Adult Care Food Program offset increased costs by providing an additional 10 cents per meal or snack.

·       Extend some of the administrative and paperwork flexibilities for schools through the 2022-23 school year to help schools streamline their meal operations and operate amidst supply chain disruptions

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