SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Microsoft’s partnership with the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County doesn’t mean computers will be built in Central New York. Instead, a team from Microsoft will move to Downtown Syracuse to become part of many different projects already happening.

Local leaders seem most excited about Microsoft’s plans to train Central New York’s workforce, which suffers from a so-called “skills gap.”

A “skills gap” is the difference in skills required by a job and the actual skills people have. The more severe and prevalent the “skills gap” in an area, the less likely it is for a company to move in.

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon tells NewsChannel 9’s Andrew Donovan that Microsoft’s commitment, “will help us give our workforce the skill set they need to compete for these tech jobs moving forward. When you have the workforce and talent pool,  you can get more companies, because they’ll have people here to hire. It’s all about talent right now with these companies. They’re making decisions on where they can go and hire people on day one.”

Microsoft is another component of Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh’s “Syracuse Surge” project, which focuses on reviving the city’s south side corridor and his city-wide work to upgrade street lights with smart technology.

Microsoft’s technology and expertise will help make sense of all the data the street lights collect, including temperatures, weather conditions, traffic, among other things the sensors can detect once fully installed.

Of the street lights, Mayor Walsh says, “It was really kind of a foundational investment that caught a lot of people’s attention. It’s not often you see a cash-strapped city intentionally make a decision to invest $38 million into a street light network. It’s just that, an investment in the future.”

Part of Microsoft’s commitment includes scheduling an “Innovation Summit” open to the public to held by June 30, 2020.

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