(WSYR-TV) — Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced on Friday that he has invited U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Commerce Deputy Secretary Don Graves to visit Central New York and see the potential of our area in emerging technology businesses.

The announcement comes after Sen. Schumer secured CenterState CEO a spot on the shortlist for the $100 million award from the Build Back Better challenge competition.

Central New York and the Mohawk Valley have all the right ingredients to be a major national tech and semiconductor hub. 

SEN. chuck schumer

Sen. Schumer invites Raimondo and Graves to visit locations such as White Pine Commerce Park and the Marcy Nanocenter to showcase “how uniquely suited CenterState CEO’s Smart Systems Cluster proposal is to receive further federal investment and drive not only the Upstate economy into the future, but the entire nation’s.” According to Sen. Schumer, these locations have access to cheap, reliable water and power, and are at the epicenter of critical infrastructure. Sen. Schumer also references our area’s concentration of higher education, which fuels a higher trained workforce.

The funding for CenterState CEO comes from the country’s Build Back Better regional challenge, which provides $1 billion through the America Rescue Plan that Sen. Schumer helped craft and pass. The challenge takes place in two phases: Phase 1, where the EDA will provide $500,000 in technical assistance to select awardees, and Phase 2, where 20-30 regional coalitions will be awarded $25 million to $100 million for select projects.

Sen. Schumer invited the secretaries in a letter that can be read in full on his website.