August 2, 2023
Albany, NY

Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Hochul and Micron Announce Substantial Progress on Child Care Commitments in Central New York

Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Hochul and Micron Announce Substantial Progress on Child Care Commitments in Central New York

Governor Hochul: “[T]his investment in child care is a way we're going to start changing people's lives, one child at a time...when you take the cost of child care and understand how expensive it is, if there's anything we can do as a state, as a community, as a company to alleviate that burden, now the moms can get to work. The dads can stop by and see the child during the day and to keep a connection, keep a relationship. That's what child care is all about.”

Hochul: "We're going to make sure that New York continues to be a place where families can thrive, where businesses can flourish, and where dreams are realized. And together, teaming up with our friends in the private sector and our state legislators and our local officials, we can do even more."

Earlier today, Governor Kathy Hochul and Micron Technology, Inc. announced new details surrounding the company's child care commitments, as part of its historic $100 billion investment to build a cutting-edge semiconductor manufacturing campus in Clay, Onondaga County. The transformational public-private partnership will bring up to 50,000 jobs to Central New York. As part of the agreement between Micron and New York State, Micron has purchased a parcel of land on Caughdenoy Road in Clay that will be developed to provide on-site daycare for Micron employees.

VIDEO of the event is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here.

AUDIO of the event is available here.

PHOTOS of the event are available on the Governor's Flickr page.

A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is available below:

Thank you everyone. Thank you. Thank you, Bishop. Almost exactly 10 months ago, October 4th, 2022, the lives of all New Yorkers were about to change. That is the day that we welcomed President Joe Biden here to Central New York to make the extraordinary announcement that the largest economic development investment in our nation's history was coming to Onondaga County.

I'll never forget that day. And the day of great speeches and excitement and energy also brought a lot of promises. And today we're here to talk about how those promises by this extraordinary company, Micron, are being kept literally within the first year of the decision to come to Central New York.

So, I could not be prouder to talk about this opportunity to transform lives forever and ever, starting with our children. How unusual is that when you talk about a big company that manufactures, makes semiconductors - what does it have to do with children? Well, Micron is enlightened enough to know it has to do with everything.

And let's talk about that. But first, I want to recognize our leaders here today who have been part of this extraordinary story, something we're so proud of here in the state of New York. I'm going to talk about every day of the week. But first of all, Bishop Colette Matthews-Carter, the Chair and the Chief Volunteer Officer of this place that is giving hope to children, allowing them to be in a nurturing, positive environment. It makes all the difference in the world. And it helps struggling moms who are working, who need to bring home a paycheck, supporting families, and it's all happening right here. So, let's give a round of applause to our Bishop, the chair of the YMCA of Central New York,

April Arnzen, we feel like we've become friends during this process - the recruitment, I would say, the engagement, the romance, to try to lure Micron here. And I want to thank you as the Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer, and we have a lot of people who love you here in Central New York. So, thank you April for all you're doing. Let's give her a round of applause as well.

I want to thank our legislative leaders - and let me put this reminder out there - I'm reading articles about other states that were in competition for this extraordinary opportunity. And what set us apart, after Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and President Joe Biden were able to marshal through the Chips and Science Act at the federal level - now, the objective of that was to ensure that the United States could compete for these jobs and these companies, but it didn't give a leg up to any particular state. Our legislature, at my request, immediately sprung into action and put forth our own Green CHIPS bill and passed it instantaneously. And that gave us what we needed. It gave us that leverage to say, “If you come here, will not just support you financially, but will also hold you to certain standards that we think are important, making sure that you're 100 percent renewable, that this is a sustainable facility, that you invest in education and workforce training and in child care.

So, all that packaged together, with the support of our legislature. I'm so grateful that we got this done. Let's give a round of applause to Senator Rachel May, Senator John Mannion, Assemblymember Al Stirpe. Thank you. Thank you.

Our county executive who had this site ready forever. He was ready and poised to be able to step in and be able to seize an opportunity unprecedented scale. But I want to give another round of applause to our leader here in the County, Onondaga, Ryan McMahon. Ryan McMahon and Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, who knows that Syracuse is one of the great beneficiaries of this. Clay is charming. It's not real big. And as far as housing, the people and the entertainment and the cultural attractions, and we were going to gather and where they're going to go on weekends. I think Syracuse is well-poised for this. So, I want to thank our mayor for being so excited and part of this energy that helped recruit Micron here. Let's give a round of applause to Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh.

Helen Hudson is here. Helen, the President of the Syracuse Common Council. The support from the Common Council is extraordinary as well. Let's give a round of applause to Helen and all the county legislators and members of the City Common Council. I welcome you here as well. We also have two people that were a little bit busier this morning. Melanie Littlejohn was here and she was one of the co-chairs of the Community Engagement Committee, and I want to thank her. And Tim Penixjoining us once again here. Tim, thank you.

I understand you had a standing room only crowd this morning, right? You must be rock stars. You should, Melanie and Tim, we've talked about this back in April. April 28th, we got together and announced Micron’s commitment to this community engagement, which is not just a sentence on a deal. “Oh, it's going to be community engagement.”

No, there is a Community Engagement Committee that is stood up. It has two co-chairs, leaders from our community and a community that is really looking forward to being engaged. So, good luck with your endeavors. We look forward to staying in touch, but congratulations on a successful meeting just a couple of hours ago.

So, let's give them a round of applause.

And our co-chairs of our regional economic development counselor here as well, Randy Wolken, and Linda LeMura is here as well. Thank you for your work leading. I have a feeling - I have a feeling the other co-chairs and the other nine regions are like a little bit jealous about you landing the biggest fish that there could ever be in the ocean.

Go ahead and brag about it. Go ahead and brag about it. And I want to thank my Empire State Development team and everyone who put their heart and soul into this endeavor, making sure that it happened and we were so successful. So now we've talked about how great this is. Let's talk about this region as well.

I was literally here just a few days ago, announcing a $200 million investment to transform downtown businesses and business districts all across the state. And here we are at this facility, a true anchor for the region, and making sure that when we talk about this transformation, we're really talking about changing people's lives directly.

And I'll tell you, I have been trying to recruit businesses for the last 30 some years when I was a local town board member in a community, not unlike Clay. Yes, and I would do anything to get a business to come. Just please bring some jobs. This was a time when unemployment was 10, 15, 17 percent because the steel jobs and the factories were all shutting down.

That was Buffalo's story. It was also Syracuse's story. We still are seared with the pain of that loss. It hit us not just economically, but also drove our young people away to other parts of our country. They're all going to North Carolina and elsewhere. It was a hard time. And I worked hard to try and recruit businesses to Upstate New York, and it was a heavy lift. I could tell them, "You have a lot of workers because there's no jobs. You have a lot of people to choose from." But people had given up hope. They really stopped believing. But in all my efforts to recruit businesses and retrain those that had stayed, I have never seen a company with such a strong personal commitment to their future home that I've seen with Micron.

It is extraordinary. It is nation-leading, and not just investing in the people who will come work there. That's a nice touch, but investing in the entire community, not everybody's going to benefit from the programs at this Y are going to necessarily be Micron employees. They may be, but they also may not be.

So, for a community to care enough about the broader community really sets the bar high and allows me to go forth and say, "Well Micron's doing it, can't you as well?" I think this is how we lift up the entire state. It changes the conversation that we have when we’re talking about business recruitment and development.

It just does full stop because they didn't say, "No, that's too high of a barrier. That's not in our business model." It's part of their values as well, and that's why this is such a beautiful fit. And so, this investment of $100 billion over the next 20 years, creating 50,000 good paying jobs, it's undeniably the investment of our lifetimes and indeed the century.

I cannot think of a better place for them to come. I'm a little biased and we have that legacy of manufacturing here. They know about it from typewriters at Smith Corona and Franklin Automobile and Carrier and Penicillin down at Bristol Myers Squibb. And now Micron will be part of that story, the manufacturing that'll go on here.

But it's not just about making chips. They see that, we saw that. We saw the possibility, and we talked about this community engagement committee. That's an investment of $250 million directly from Micron. And in order to sweeten the pot a little bit, we put in $100 million from the State of New York.

So there's enough resources to have a profound impact. It's not little dribs and drabs, $5 million this year. When you have a concentrated effort, an intentionality behind this, that's when you start really making a difference at a large scale. So the goal is to build housing. I'm all about building housing in case you haven't read the memo.

I want more housing built in this state. And now we have a reason. If there wasn't one before, because we're going to have thousands of new jobs here in Central New York, but also not just Central New York. I can't tell you about the supply chain opportunities that are happening all over the state. People in New York City and Long Island are talking about how they get a piece of this action over to Buffalo, Genesee County, Batavia, Rochester, they're all so excited.

So, all these areas, as we attract more people to come here are going to need places to live. So, we're going to build more housing. We're going to train the workers. This is one of my promises to the CEO. He said, "Are you going to be able to deliver all these workers?" I said, "Hell yeah. I'll find them for you. I'll go get them for you."

I've been kind of busy finding workers, but we can do this. This is New York. People want to be in this state. We have some of the greatest educational institutions, bar none. They're here and they're energized because they don't have to get that engineering degree and then go look outside the state anymore.

The jobs will be here and plentiful. So, we're going to train, build housing, train our workers, invest in education. I'm not just talking about colleges. And what they see is this opportunity to work with our teachers unions, work with the local community, work with the school districts, and literally change the curriculum.

This is how we create a competitive workforce. Others will take notice in other states. When you start having people learning the skills, kids learning the skills related to coding and computer science while they're still in grade school, and creates that spark of interest, that's a huge game changer for us.

But even younger than the kids in grade school, the little ones - child care. And so, this investment in child care is a way we're going to start changing people's lives, one child at a time. And what I see here with this community investment fund and the work here is an opportunity to just say, “We're not going back. We are investing in our kids and our families.” And I know how expensive life is. I know it. It's hard on them. And when you take the cost of child care and understand how expensive it is, if there's anything we can do as a state, as a community, as a company to alleviate that burden, now the moms can get to work. The dads can stop by and see the child during the day and to keep a connection, keep a relationship. That's what child care is all about. Because everything's going up. Inflation has been hard. But the cost of child care, the cost of knowing that it's $15,000 for an infant. Now what if you have two little kids? You're talking $30,000 right off the top of your paycheck just so you can get dressed up and go to work every day. How does that work for flowage families?

We just increased the minimum wage. We indexed it to inflation, but how are families supposed to manage? We saw this during the pandemic. Women did not come back to work in droves the way the men did after the pandemic, because there was no one to watch the kids. And it always seems to fall on the shoulders of the women. No offense to the men, it's just a statement of fact, right? That's the reality. A lot of single moms out there, a lot of families where the burden is on the mom and she has to bring home that paycheck. She has to, it's a matter of survival. So, child care's not an option. Is she going to stay home and hope that money comes in from somewhere? No, she's got to go out and earn it. But someone has to watch the kids.

So, we're investing in our kids too. Here in the State of New York, we have to provide more affordable opportunities. And so, this $500,000 from Micron to this YMCA is a lot of money and it's going to make a difference. And you spend over $250,000 to date over helping over 2,000 kids. Get this, let me frame this for you. Most of the jobs are going to be coming over a 20-year period. They haven't even started opening the doors to workers and they've already invested in supporting 2,000 children. Who does that? Micron does. Micron does. This is part of what is so amazing about this story.

I'll just digress for a minute because I know a little bit about the challenges of not having child care. I had a job I loved. I went to Syracuse University, got a job in Washington after law school, worked for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and I loved working on Capitol Hill. And then first baby comes along and there were absolutely no child care options. None. Couldn't find anybody, and I had to go in and tell the Senator one day after I was finishing up my maternity leave, I said, “Senator, I don't have anybody to watch the kids. I really don't.” And he would say, “Okay, you come back anytime you want, as soon as you figure it out, come back anytime.” He passed away before I ever came back. But I loved working there. But it just didn't work out. So my husband was in the public sector. I was now without income, and it was a hit on our family. I'm not saying we suffered like a lot of people suffer. I will not say that. But it was hard. It was hard because the cost of diapers and formula. I couldn't wait till they were out of diapers. We'd have so much money in our pockets, right? And really, when they start eating real food, you don't pay for that expensive formula.

This is how families are affected. And now I have a little one-year-old grandbaby. I'm seeing the same thing. So this is really personal to me. And I don't want moms to have to make that tough choice because the time they're out of the workforce in these early years catches up with them when they don't have as much set aside for social security. They may even bypass for promotions. They're not getting ahead. And if we can just help them during this time to help them get through their – they want to be parents, but it’s such a hard time for them.

So I want to make sure that everybody has these opportunities. So we take care of child care, we're taking care of economic productivity. It is good for the state. There was once an attitude that was, “Well, you want to have kids? That's your own choice. You have to deal with that. Figure it out.” And now what I've reframed since I was even Lieutenant Governor was, this is an economic problem for the State of New York. It holds us back if you don't have every person, particularly the women who now have to sit on the sidelines because they don't have someone to watch their kids.

So it's about talent attraction, worker retention too. You take care of the kids, they'll be lifelong workers for you. They truly will. And there's a legacy of that in Upstate. People went to those jobs at Carrier and worked for 30 years. People like my grandpa worked at the steel plant for 30 years. People do that here. We just need a little bit of help on these early days.

So last year's Budget, I'm recognizing how important child care is across the state. We had talked about how big do we go? We invested in over $7 billion over four years. $7 billion investment in child care. And we brought down out-of-pocket costs for families and expanded income and eligibility. It used to be you had to make about $55,000 in order to get assistance. Now it's closer to 90. Look how many more families we covered with that assistance distance.

But families are still struggling. And we increased the Child Care Tax Credit, which is important, but guess what? It used to be for ages five and up. I'm like, “Wait a minute – they’re most expensive, infant to four. Why aren’t we helping the families when they are in diapers and eating formula?” So sometimes it just takes someone to say, “Why? Explain to me why this is.” So we made sure that the tax credit and covered all the children too.

And we also have a statewide business navigator program, which helps businesses and families match up the services. And a new tax credit for companies that'll create child care seats. I want more companies to follow Micron’s lead. I want the state to show we are more than partners, we're helping make all this happen. And making sure that I do the same with our own Chamber employees, people work for the State of New York.

So I want to thank again, the entire Micron community for leading the way, showing the private sector that don't be afraid of leaning into this because you'll reap the benefits and the loyalty and the commitment and the love of a community when you take care of the basic needs of your possible future employees, and that's what you're doing here today. So your commitment is just – again, I can't find enough superlatives to talk about what this means to us.

And this is how we're going to build it. We're going to make sure that New York continues to be a place where families can thrive, where businesses can flourish, and where dreams are realized. And together, teaming up with our friends in the private sector and our state legislators and our local officials, we can do even more.

I'm committed to making sure that Micron is not the last big success story, but it's just the beginning. Thank you very much. And with that, let me call up April. April Arnzen for her work for Micron.

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