(WSYR-TV)– While most of Central New York is just learning about the tech giant Micron, it’s been a household name for the Rochester Institute of Technology for years. Micron has a longstanding partnership with the university supplying donated equipment and even sponsoring professorships like Professor Karl Hirschman.  

“Our students oftentimes are looking to go to Micron for an opportunity for a co-op placement or permanent placement in usually either the Boise, Idaho or Manassas, Virginia facilities.”

Karl Hirschman, RIT Professor

Now RIT gets to add Clay, New York to the list after Micron’s $100 billion announcement to bring the country’s biggest semiconductor mega fab right down the thruway from the university. 

“It’s just really incredible,” Hirschman said. “It’s going to open up a lot of opportunities for our students they’re just going to be in that much more demand.”

Hirschman says at least 75 RIT alum are already employed at other Micron facilities across the country. He’s hoping that number grows in the years to come with many of his students staying right here in Central New York.

“Our program at RIT is somewhat unique at RIT in that it’s specifically is preparing students for jobs in the semiconductor field so that’s why we are especially excited because we think this is certainly going to boost our enrollment so we can provide more of these graduates that can go and work for Micron.”

Karl Hirschman, RIT Professor

And it’s not just RIT gearing up for the increased workforce but Cornell University too. Research professor Ian Greer said the workforce needed for Micron will be expansive including all kinds of white-collar support jobs.

With the promise of 45,000 jobs over a 20-year span, Greer said it’s vital Micron taps into a diverse network of workers from veterans to those with disabilities in order to succeed in recruiting and retaining employees. 

“In many cases, this involves changing their culture, being more flexible with schedules and attendance policies also thinking about people with disadvantages who face cultural barriers in the workplace, legacies of systematic racism for example or yeah difficulties that disabled people have in the workforce so there are all kinds of things that need to be done to prepare not just workers for this but also employers.”

Ian Greer, Cornell University Research Professor

A task Greer and Hirschman believe Central New York is prepared for.