Proven Regional Leaders Melanie Littlejohn and Tim Penix to Helm the Micron Community Engagement Committee as Co-Chairs
Committee will Develop a Community Priorities Document to Guide Strategies in Areas such as Supporting Underrepresented Populations, Workforce Development, Childcare and Housing
SYRACUSE, N.Y., April 28, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Governor Kathy Hochul and Micron Technology, Inc. today announced the members of the Micron Community Engagement Committee, including representatives from Central New York and Micron that will support the company’s community investment strategy. The Committee is made up of local stakeholders to ensure meaningful, ground-up participation and discussion of Micron’s implementation and impacts to the larger region and will also include five ex-officio members. The formation of this group is a critical component of the Community Investment Framework agreement made between New York State and Micron in October 2022.
Micron’s historic planned investment of up to $100 billion over the next 20-plus years to construct a new megafab in Clay, New York, which is expected to create nearly 50,000 New York jobs, was made possible by the Governor’s Green CHIPS program and the anticipated federal grants and tax credits from the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act. The Committee will work with Micron, Empire State Development (ESD), local governments and regional stakeholders to develop a Community Priorities Document – a guiding strategy for investing the funding allotted in the Micron Community Investment Framework into existing and new opportunities that benefit residents. This includes programs and initiatives that support specific priorities for underrepresented communities.
“The $100 billion investment by Micron, by far the largest investment in New York State history, and the tens of thousands of jobs that follow also unearths challenges such as housing, workforce needs, land use and other complex issues. The Committee, in concert with Micron, ESD and local partners, will tackle these issues head-on to ensure New Yorkers get the greatest benefit from these extraordinary opportunities,” said Governor Hochul. “I am also thrilled that Melanie Littlejohn and Tim Penix will lead the Green CHIPS Community Engagement Committee. These two individuals have years of public service in Central New York and their dedication to the region is second to none.”
"We are delighted to be in Central New York to celebrate with Governor Hochul, the newly appointed members of the Micron Community Engagement Committee and other local partners the remarkable progress that has taken place since we announced the site of our leading-edge memory megafab here six months ago,” said Micron President and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra. “The $500 million Green CHIPS Community Investment Fund will help build and transform a workforce for the future, and the Micron Community Engagement Committee will ensure that the wide-ranging benefits and opportunities our investments will bring to Central New York are available for all.”
Melanie Littlejohn, Vice President for New York Customer and Community Management at National Grid, and Tim Penix, Vice President of the Syracuse Educational Opportunity Center, have been selected as the committee co-chairs due to their proven public service track records and expertise and will assist in the management of this fund to better the lives of Central New Yorkers. In addition to the co-chairs, the members of the Committee are:
- April Arnzen – Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer, Micron
- Karen Belcher – Executive Director, Food Bank of Central New York
- Donna DeSiato – Superintendent, East Syracuse Minoa School District
- Bishop Ronald Dewberry – Senior Pastor, New Life Temple of Praise
- Kristi Eck – Chief of Staff, SUNY Oswego
- Courtney Geduldig – Corporate Vice President, Global Public and Government Affairs, Micron
- Mark Hall – President and CEO, Syracuse Community Health
- Jasenko Mondom – Employment Specialist, Refugee Assistance Program at Syracuse City School District
- Meg O'Connell – Executive Director, Allyn Family Foundation
- Hazel Powless – Haudenosaunne Environmental Task Force, Onondaga Nation
- Kerry Quaglia – Founder and CEO, Home HeadQuarters
- Sheena Solomon – Executive Director, The Gifford Foundation
Ex Officio Members
- Rob Beard – SVP and General Counsel, Micron
- Kevin Younis – COO and Executive Deputy Commissioner, Empire State Development
- Isabelle Harris – Director of Strategic Initiatives, Onondaga County
- Sharon Owens – Deputy Mayor, City of Syracuse
- Damian Ulatowski – Supervisor, Town of Clay
The Committee will focus on workforce development and diversity in the labor force; education and training in STEM fields to create opportunities for good paying jobs at Micron and supply-chain partners; expansion of safe and affordable housing; breaking down barriers to the workforce such as childcare and transportation and improvements to community assets and institutions that contribute to civic identity and well-being. This will ultimately inform a document that will be used as a road map that allows for participation and/or enhancement beyond the initial objectives of this effort.
The Committee’s work will also complement the newly announced Governor’s Office of Semiconductor Expansion, Management and Integration (GO SEMI), which will be led by ESD and supported by experts from numerous state agencies. The office will work in coordination with federal and local partners and coordinate investments in the semiconductor industry, shaping and implementing a broader, national model for maximizing industry and community returns on such public/private partnerships.
Micron Community Engagement Committee Co-Chair Melanie Littlejohn said, “It’s an honor to have been selected by Governor Hochul to represent Central New Yorkers on the Micron Community Engagement Committee. I’ve been impressed by the commitment of Micron, State and federal stakeholders to invest in the local community from the very first meetings. The benefits of these efforts will go beyond its initial hires – this rising tide will lift our students, our small business owners, our diverse bankers, our childcare providers and so many more people here in my hometown of Syracuse.”
Micron Community Engagement Committee Co-Chair Tim Penix said, “Building a fab and its workforce of thousands doesn’t happen overnight. Micron is doing the work today to bring this community along for a generational opportunity to join the technology industry and be a part of America’s legendary innovation. Central New York’s educational institutions are second to none. I’m thrilled to represent the thousands of students, from apprentices to doctoral candidates, who will find opportunities at Micron.”
Micron Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer April Arnzen said, “Every Central New Yorker should be able to benefit from the transformation that will be spurred by the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities occurring in their backyard. We are excited to work with Tim, Melanie and the diverse members of the Committee to ensure the impact of Micron’s local investment is positive, far-reaching and brings benefits for all. We thank Governor Hochul and our federal, state and local partners for their dedication in positioning New York as a leader in domestic semiconductor manufacturing and their recognition that community-centered economic development is the key to long-term success.”
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said, “There is no doubt that Micron's $100 billion investment in Central New York will fundamentally transform the region and all of Upstate New York, making it a global hub for manufacturing and innovation and bringing tens of thousands of good-paying jobs to the state. A critical component of securing the future success of this project is building and developing a workforce for the future. The Micron Community Engagement Committee will play a vital role in ensuring all Central New Yorkers, regardless of background, are equipped with the skills and provided the support to secure these new manufacturing and innovation jobs making the most leading-edge memory chips in the world. I’m so excited to see the incredible impact that the newest members of the Committee will have in developing a guiding strategy to ensure the success of Micron’s game changing investment for the entire CNY community.”
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, “Micron’s tremendous investment will bring as many as 50,000 jobs to Central New York. The Community Engagement Committee will give New Yorkers a seat at the table, and ensure New York’s workforce receives training for good-paying STEM jobs that will boost our advanced economy and pave the way for U.S. leadership in semiconductor technology. Importantly, it will help New Yorkers - especially in underrepresented and rural areas - with support for things like high-quality child care, investments in education, philanthropy, community building, and more.”
ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “New York has made many strategic investments to attract the semiconductor industry and these investments, coupled with the Green CHIPS program and the federal CHIPS and Science Act New York are poised to see unparalleled growth across the state as we build the semiconductor industry ecosystem. I applaud Governor Hochul’s commitment to growing this vital industry in New York State while insuring that it happens with the support from our residents, our local governments and especially in the communities it impacts the most.”
State Senator John W. Mannion said, “The Micron investment has always been about more than just computer chips and jobs – it is a once in a generation opportunity to transform our communities and we need local voices at the table to make sure we get it right. The formation of the Micron Community Engagement Committee is a powerful step towards ensuring that the community's needs are heard and met. Together, with Micron and our local, state, and federal partners, we can build a brighter future for Central New York and create opportunities for all of our residents and communities across the 50th Senate District.”
Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said, “From day one, Onondaga County knew the greatest advantage we had in recruiting Micron was our community and the story we had to share and it was that very story that ultimately led Micron to believe in us. Micron has always made it clear they wanted to become a part of our community and with the creation of the Micron Community Engagement Committee they are following through on their commitment. By engaging local leaders and stakeholders, we will continue our unprecedented collaboration to ensure that every member of community is able to experience and feel the historic investment being made by Micron."
Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said, “The Micron Community Engagement Committee is another example of New York State and Syracuse leading the way. It signifies the essential role of community input in making sure economic growth creates opportunity for all. The City of Syracuse will be well represented on the committee by Deputy Mayor Sharon Owens who is deeply connected to the unique needs of people who live and work in the city. I applaud Governor Hochul, Sanjay Mehrotra and all of the project partners for their vision in creating the investment fund and in ensuring there is a structure for meaningful input from the community.
CenterState CEO Rob Simpson said, “The historic Community Investment Framework, negotiated as a part of this deal, represents one of the largest corporate commitments ever to inclusive and sustainable growth and broadly shared community benefits. We applaud Micron's values and stewardship and we are confident that each of these leaders will work with Micron and New York State to ensure that this progress and prosperity is felt by all in our community. We look forward to being active partners and supporting these efforts.”
About the Co-Chairs
Melanie Littlejohn serves as the Vice President for New York Customer and Community Management at National Grid, where she is responsible for leading stakeholder management statewide to ensure processes, planning and best practices are delivered consistently to National Grid’s New York customers. She has been with the company for nearly 30 years, and previously served as the Director of Inclusion & Diversity for U.S. Operations. Littlejohn was also the Executive Director of Urban League Onondaga County. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management. Littlejohn resides in Syracuse and currently serves as the Trustee/Officer of Onondaga Community College, Business Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Board of Directors and Executive Committee of CenterState CEO, Board of Directors of Manufacturers of Central New York, Consensus CNY (Commission Member) and SUNY Morrisville Business School Council of Advisors.
Tim Penix is Vice President of the Syracuse Educational Opportunity Center, which provides innovative academic and vocational training programs for the urban community of Syracuse. Previously, he served as Associate Vice President for Academic Enrichment at Morrisville State College. Under Penix’s leadership, the college implemented numerous scholarships for students and administered programs to promote access and diversity, creating the Sheila Johnson Institute and the Academic Enrichment Center on campus. He also directed the college's Collegiate Science Technology Entry Program and Arthur O. Eve Educational Opportunity Program.
About Micron Technology, Inc.
We are an industry leader in innovative memory and storage solutions, transforming how the world uses information to enrich life for all. With a relentless focus on our customers, technology leadership and manufacturing and operational excellence, Micron delivers a rich portfolio of high-performance DRAM, NAND and NOR memory and storage products through our Micron® and Crucial® brands. Every day, the innovations that our people create fuel the data economy, enabling advances in artificial intelligence and 5G applications that unleash opportunities — from the data center to the intelligent edge and across the client and mobile user experience. To learn more about Micron Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: MU), visit micron.com.
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