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McMahon: Micron investment will drive 'poverty way down'


To a packed room in Clay, Micron officials and County Executive Ryan McMahon touted the economic development and 50,000 new jobs coming with the investment.

“Kids, no matter where they live, can point to that and say that’s where I’m going to go work someday,” McMahon said. “We used to have that. The last 30 years we haven’t. But now we do.”

But, not everyone was impressed. One community member expressed concern about Micron’s 20-year plan and whether the company would leave the community amid a recession, but Scott Gatzemeier, Corporate Vice President for Front End U.S. Expansion at Micron Technology, assured Micron is here to stay.

“Once we’re here, we’re here,” Gatzemeier said. “I’m so excited that we have now where our friends at the federal level have done with the Chips bill in the ITC which is the investment tax credit that leveled the playing field where it's an opportunity for us to come invest in the U.S.”

A resident of Clay mentioned high levels of poverty throughout Onondaga County. McMahon said economic opportunity and jobs available could be a solution.

“Our anchor tenant in our community, is going to drive poverty rates way down,” McMahon said. “Part of that is what intentionally Micron is doing.”

That’s something April Arnzen, senior vice president and chief people officer at Micron, explained further. She said the company is partnering with neighboring universities, K–12 schools and even developing veteran transition programs allowing everyone to have the opportunity to work with Micron.

“We do focus on what else the community needs, what other barriers might exist for people to be part of Micron,” Arnzen said. “It’s really important that we think about and investigate things like housing, childcare and transportation. Because if all of that is not adequate then our people can’t do their best at work."

Some amenities planned for the Micron site include a childcare facility as well as a health and fitness center.

Ava Pukatch joined the WRVO news team in September 2022. She previously reported for WCHL in Chapel Hill, NC and earned a degree in Journalism and Media from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Ava was a Stembler Scholar and a reporter and producer for the award-winning UNC Hussman broadcast Carolina Connection. In her free time, Ava enjoys theatre, coffee and cheering on Tar Heel sports. Find her on Twitter @apukatch.