New York (STL.News) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the “topping off” of Cree | Wolfspeed’s brand new, state-of-the-art, automotive-qualified and 200mm-capable power and radio frequency wafer fabrication facility at the Marcy Nanocenter, which is located on the SUNY Polytechnic Institute campus near Utica. Empire State Development’s Acting Commissioner, President and CEO Eric Gertler, alongside executive members from Cree | Wolfspeed, Oneida County and Empire State Development, joined distinguished guests in commemorating the placement of the final steel beam atop the new fab. This symbolizes a major construction milestone for the project, which remains on schedule for production to begin in 2022.
“This milestone is proof of our commitment to the Mohawk Valley and is another step towards strengthening the research and scientific assets that New York needs to attract high-tech industries and build back better,” Governor Cuomo said. “Cree | Wolfspeed has already proven to be a great partner, and we are proud to have them establish roots in the region as we continue to support and grow the advanced manufacturing infrastructure of New York State.”
“The Mohawk Valley is leading the way in technology and innovation with new investments and opportunities,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. “The progress at the silicon carbide wafer fab at the Marcy Nanocenter will further advance wafer fabrication and production in the state. This significant investment will create hundreds of new jobs and provide internship and research opportunities for students in the area. The construction project is a testament to our efforts to build back better and strengthen the economy in the Mohawk Valley and across the state.”
Cree CEO Gregg Lowe said, “All involved in this project should be proud of where we are today – from Cree | Wolfspeed employees, to our vendors, New York State, generous community partners and the residents who have welcomed us into this amazing community. Silicon carbide is at the forefront of green technologies – including electric vehicles, renewable energy and energy storage – that will greatly reduce greenhouse gases. The technology that will be created at this fab – right here in your backyard – will power our customers to build a brighter future that is sustainable for all.”
Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, “This project will not only be transformative for the Mohawk Valley but also is a major step toward the continued growth of the semiconductor industry in New York State. Cree| Wolfspeed’s business model and technology will be a major economic driver to Upstate New York by attracting talent and industry to the region, as we continue to look to the future and build New York back better.”
SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said, “Today’s ceremony is a symbolization of the foundation and partnership we are continuing to cultivate with Cree, who has been working closely with SUNY Polytechnic Institute to help our students excel in STEM leadership positions through hands-on learning internships. We are proud to collaborate with what will be the world’s largest silicon carbide fabrication facility in Marcy by way of the Wolfspeed project, and know that upon its completion the Mohawk Valley will reap the benefits of this workforce development initiative and added jobs.”
President of NY CREATES Dr. Douglas Grose said, “This is another important milestone, not only for Cree| Wolfspeed as they move one more important step closer to completing their state-of-the-art fab in New York State, but it allows Cree| Wolfspeed to be well placed in the manufacturing of power electronics chips that are vital to the growing electric vehicle market. We are proud to be a part of this moment and look forward to the continued collaboration between NY CREATES and Cree| Wolfspeed now and in the future.”
SUNY Polytechnic Institute Interim President Dr. Grace Wang said, “On behalf of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, I congratulate Cree for reaching this milestone as the world’s largest silicon carbide fabrication facility is constructed in the heart of the Mohawk Valley. Cree is building a bright future for those in our region and across New York State, and we are thrilled to partner with them as their steadfast support fosters student opportunities and bolsters academic programs at SUNY Poly.”
Steven J. DiMeo, President of Mohawk Valley EDGE said, “Today’s beam signing ceremony marks a key milestone in the construction of Cree’s Mohawk Valley fab. This has been made possible by Cree’s partnership with New York State, their dedication to this community, and the tremendous amount of collaboration between Exyte, contractors, vendors and suppliers involved in this game changing project. It is also important to extend our heartfelt appreciation to the men and women physically building the Mohawk Valley fab. We are very fortunate to have a skilled construction workforce involved on this project who have been asked to deliver a project on a compressed time frame while operating under the shadow of COVID-19. Their commitment to safety and dedication to their work is evident.”
Cree | Wolfspeed has taken many steps forward since announcing it would build its newest facility in New York State. Currently, the company has 40 full-time employees in New York and had 24 interns this past summer from local universities throughout the state. Cree also has multiple job openings listed for the fab, which include engineering and technician-related positions. Additionally, Cree announced in July that it will establish the “Cree | Wolfspeed Scholarship” program and endowed chairs as part of its ongoing, long-term commitment to the Mohawk Valley to help expand the local economy and develop a pipeline of high-tech professionals. The program is designed to educate the next-generation, high-tech workforce by increasing student opportunities in STEM education and graduation rates, as well as by providing access to funds to assist students in advancing their education.
Cree | Wolfspeed has committed to investing at least $1 billion through the construction of the fab, creating over 600 new jobs within eight years and will provide internships and research opportunities for State University of New York students. The efforts help to develop an advanced manufacturing-oriented workforce development initiative across the SUNY system to prepare a 21st century workforce for the long-term, high-quality employment and advancement opportunities the new facility will present. SUNY has also committed to match up to $5 million in semiconductor-related research funding from Cree | Wolfspeed for the SUNY system.
New York State is providing $500 million in performance-based, capital grants from Empire State Development to reimburse a portion of Cree | Wolfspeed’s costs of construction and fitting out the new facility and acquiring and installing machinery and equipment, as well as $1 million in Excelsior Jobs tax credits.
Senator Joseph Griffo – “The Cree | Wolfspeed Mohawk Valley Fab Project will serve as an important driver for the local, regional and state economy and will build upon the significant innovation, development and research that already takes place in the Mohawk Valley every day. Once completed, this project will contribute to the economic growth of the region and help to move it and Upstate New York forward.”
Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon said, “I couldn’t be more pleased with the excellent progress that Cree, Inc has made with their Mohawk Valley Fab in Marcy. Despite any complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been exciting to watch Cree continue forward with its construction at SUNY Poly and to see the building take shape. I look forward to seeing the positive impacts that Cree will have on our region in the form of economic growth and employment opportunities, as well as witnessing how the company will revolutionize the silicon carbide and electric car industries.”
Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. said, “As we continue to fight our way through the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cree| Wolfspeed Mohawk Valley Fab is going to be key to the success of Oneida County’s economic recovery. One of the few bright spots during this difficult time has been working with Gregg Lowe and the team at Cree, watching the phenomenal progress taking place in Marcy and knowing that the positive transformation of our region is within reach.”
Marcy Town Supervisor, Brian Scala said, “The Town of Marcy is honored to have Cree| Wolfspeed become part of our family as they soon will lead the way in producing silicon carbide chips in the Mohawk Valley. We are excited for the future of Cree| Wolfspeed in the region and look forward seeing Marcy as the location for this new and innovative technology.”