SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) One of the world’s biggest banks has picked Syracuse, and four other US cities, to receive $3M grants each to grow their economies in an inclusive way.
JPMorgan Chase picked Syracuse, Chicago, Miami, San Diego, and Louisville out of nearly 250 cities nationwide for one of its Advancing Cities grants.
The Syracuse application is a direct collaboration between Syracuse University, LeMoyne College, the City of Syracuse, Onondaga County, the Allyn Family Foundation and CenterState CEO.
The grant will be used to complement Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh’s economic growth plan dubbed The Surge.
Walsh wants to modernize and grow the Syracuse economy by becoming a national leader in tech infrastructure.
The grant will be used to prepare the workforce for 21st Century jobs, specifically in the tech sector.
Dominic Robinson, Vice President of Economic Inclusion for CenterState CEO, helped lead the application to JPMorgan Chase.
He says, “It’s exciting but it’s also a significant feeling of responsibility.”
The six partners are committed to using the grant for equitable growth across the city, especially with under represented groups in our workforce like women, veterans and minorities.
The goal is to not just train people but create a pipeline for them to employers and jobs that can be turned into wealth creation for the community.
“How do we help someone who’s a programmer, a gamer turn that skill into a local business in The Tech Garden who maybe lives on the southside or Near Westside,” Robinson tells NewsChannel 9.
He says the growth of tech infrastructure is creating the new blue collar, mid-level jobs that don’t necessarily require a college or sophisticated degree but are still well paying.
Robinson and his team are already talking to fast growing high tech companies like TCG Player in the Galleries in downtown Syracuse that are hungry for new talent.
“How might we partner with them to develop and apprenticeship program to take some of the folks in their warehouse to bring them up to junior engineer level.”
The whole goal is to eventually take the current growth of Downtown Syracuse and the developing tech corridor down Warren Street and move it into southern Downtown Syracuse and then into the southside of Syracuse.
“The hope is that we really learn the models that work and then well after this grant is done we can continue those things, ” Robinson adds.
The goal is to use the $3M grant to reach about 700 people over the next three years.
Robinson says of those 700 they would expect to net about 450 career advancements or placements.