The President of the United States came to the Onondaga Community College campus October 27, 2022.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Inside a packed Allyn Hall Gymnasium, President Joe Biden spoke about Micron's decision to invest $100 billion dollars in the region by building a microchip-making plant in Onondaga County. He called it, "One of the most significant investments in American history. And it's going to ensure that the future is made in America."
The President was joined on stage by Micron President and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra, United States Senators Chuck Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand, and New York State Governor Kathy Hochul.
The President was introduced by Shawni Davis, a Master Electrician and the owner of Luminary Electrical. Earlier this year she received a Small Business of the Year award from OCC's Small Business Development Center. Her success story was recognized by WSYR TV, Newschannel 9.
OCC President Dr. Warren Hilton was the very first speaker in a lengthy afternoon program. He energized the crowd with his passion and enthusiasm, and also put the moment in context. "Sixty years ago, in the fall of 1962, OCC welcomed its first students to our first home in an old typewriter factory in downtown Syracuse. Today we are welcome the President of the United States and the CEO of Micron to our campus for the beginning of a project which will transform our region for the next 60 years and beyond!"
OCC is partnering directly with Micron to create specific academic programs and workforce certificates. During Thursday's festivities Micron's April Arnzen, who is their Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer, announced a Community Investment Act which includes $5 million dollars for the construction of a high-tech cleanroom on the OCC campus where students will learn what they need to know to enjoy a rewarding career in the microelectronics industry.
Current students who attended the event said the experience was one they would never forget. Student Government President Christopher Cedano Alcala from Liverpool High School had an opportunity to meet President Biden. "I'm happy to know that future students will have the choice of being able to stay in our community and find high-paying jobs right here. Today inspired me to continue working hard."
Another student, Juhudi Boazi from Syracuse ITC, was in a selfie with the President after the event. Boazi had just become an American citizen earlier in the month during a Naturalization Ceremony on the OCC campus.His story was highlighted by WSYR TV, Newschannel 9. He told reporter Adrienne Smith, "I think becoming an American is not just having the paper and the passport. Being able to actually meet the President within the first two weeks of being an American is just an amazing thing."
No Presidential visit would be complete without a gift from the host. The President received an OCC cap and lacrosse jersey with the number 46 on it in honor of him being the 46th President of the United States.