News Editorial Board
Buffalo’s future may burn even brighter if it is chosen – and, according to Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, a New York Democrat, it stands a “darn good chance” – to become one of up to 20 “tech hubs” in the US
That opportunity may soon manifest, as legislation shepherded by Schumer called the CHIPS Act passed the Senate Wednesday by a 64-33 margin, and the House the following day by 243-187-1. As reported by the Hill, 24 Republicans supported the measure, and one Democrat voted “present.”
The $280 billion bill which invests in science and technology over five years, goes to President Biden, also a backer, to sign.
It strengthens the domestic chip manufacturing industry, allowing the United States to better compete against China and surmounting the lead in science and technology.
For Buffalo and Western New York, being chosen for one of the country’s tech hubs would be a coup. As Buffalo Next reporter Matt Glynn wrote, the Commerce Department plans to choose up to 20 cities to be “tech hubs.” The honor would deliver hundreds of millions of dollars in federal investment with the exact amount for each hub varying.
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Schumer is not bashful about Buffalo’s chances when he asks: “Guess which city is one of the top contenders for a regional tech hub in the country?”
Schumer has long been a champion of this region, constantly delivering and showing up. His commitment – and vision – extends through this bill that will, by any chance, hugely benefit the region which, as Schumer helpfully pointed out, is fully prepared for the opportunity: high concentration of manufacturers, strong labor presence and top-quality research at the University at Buffalo. “It’s the perfect ecosystem to receive one of the designations.”
The federal designation is unrelated to the Tech Hub that M&T Bank established inside Seneca One Tower but nevertheless would provide synergy across the platform.
As Schumer pointed out, if Buffalo is chosen for a tech hub, the opportunity would boost the manufacturing sector. Job training efforts in advanced manufacturing at the Northland Workforce Training Center, as an example, adds to the skilled pool. Northland is located in East Buffalo, a place Schumer said he wants to see benefit by “ramping up” a trained workforce to support the industry.
Approximately $52 billion in the bill would provide incentives to boost domestic production of semiconductor chips. Schumer will use his vast influence in this arena, attempting to convince a chip maker to build a plant near Batavia, at the Science Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park, or STAMP.
Schumer said he would use his political clout as majority leader to campaign for Buffalo to be designated a tech hub. He even spoke to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo “repeatedly about a hub in Buffalo.”
She should listen to our senator.
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