Onondaga Community College creating Micron curriculum program
Micron’s $100 billion investment in central New York is causing some local colleges to create programs for their students to be potential future Micron workers.
Onondaga Community College is one of the schools working with Micron. Buffy Quinn, assistant dean of natural and applied sciences, described the Micron announcement as “life changing” for central New York.
“It's a time of great change,” Quinn said. “It really is hard to sort of capture how big this really is and yet how typical it is. This is what we do with other companies, but this is just kind of really ramped up.”
Quinn said she’s excited for the opportunity Micron’s investment will bring to the central New York community.
“We in Syracuse see just abject poverty, and one good job can transform the entire trajectory of a family and getting adults who are underemployed or unemployed into these kinds of careers,” Quinn said. “It's going to change their lives, their kids' lives and start to hopefully, perhaps rebuild community as well.”
Quinn said the college has worked with Amazon and National Grid in the past so a framework already exists. She said typically the school does not have to start from scratch in developing a new curriculum, saying most times it's just tweaking a few classes or adding a specialty piece of equipment – with construction of a clean room already planned. That clean room is expected to be 2.4 million square feet – the largest in the country.
Micron aims to bring nearly 50,000 new jobs creating a wide range of opportunities.
“Of course they need those Ph.D. level engineers, but they also need technicians, and they need construction crews when they decide to break ground,” Quinn said. “That's what OCC does best. We can prepare students if they want to go directly to work after our programs.”
The OCC program aims to be a pathway for students whether they’re straight out of high school or looking for a career change. Much of the technology needed is already in place with Quinn saying the program can adapt to whatever Micron needs.
“We could go tomorrow if they said, ‘We need a class tomorrow,’” Quinn said. “It really just depends on Micron's timeframe.”