SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– Born and raised on Syracuse’s Southside, LaMar Neal found himself like many others during the pandemic, unemployed and looking for work, but he didn’t have to look much farther than his own backyard. 

“So JMA was something one of my friends was working there and he said that he liked it and the environment was nice so I ended up signing up and I’ve been here ever since,” Neal said.  

Neal was hired in September, becoming one of the first employees at JMA Wireless’ brand-new 5G campus on Syracuse’s Southside, the first of its kind in the country.

“The fact that we are intentionally locating it here in one of our most underinvested, marginalized neighborhoods on the Southside and being intentional about giving opportunities to people in the neighborhood to work here,” Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said after he gave his 2022 State of the City address from the new facility. 

Now just a few blocks from his home Neal is able to provide for his five children, even sealing the deal on his dream home, right next door to the house he grew up in.

“For years we’ve seen that house going from having a family in it to it being vacant for over 10 years, so just being able to bring it back to life was always a dream for my family and when I got the opportunity I jumped on it.”

LaMar Neal

The Syracuse-based multi-million dollar company is helping to bring opportunity to a community that is often forgotten, something Neal says should be afforded to everyone, especially his neighbors. 

“I think it’s gonna revitalize it a lot, I think that it, just being out here and being in the middle of the Southside like this is gonna be an opportunity for anybody to feel like they always have a chance.”

lamar neal

The new campus is expected to open in February and bring hundreds of jobs to the Southside.