Teachers Unions, Micron and New York State Launch $4 Million Advanced Technology Learning Framework
SYRACUSE, N.Y.—A pioneering learning toolkit launched today will help hundreds of students develop the foundational skills necessary for career success in the booming semiconductor industry.
The American Federation of Teachers, New York State United Teachers, the United Federation of Teachers, Micron Technology and Gov. Kathy Hochul have partnered on an unprecedented $4 million plan to develop an Advanced Technology Framework based on foundational and technical skills found throughout the microchip manufacturing sector.
The first-of-its-kind framework, developed directly by teachers and Micron, integrates industry-based career exploration to engage students in deeper learning, such as analyzing information, thinking critically and applying knowledge, while providing students with real-life, real-world skills.
“This unique career-connected collaboration between schools, teachers, unions, workforce development and industry links students’ passion and curiosity with purpose, paving pathways to good, middle-class jobs,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “This unique partnership is anchored in our shared vision of real solutions for kids and communities that prepare kids for college, career, civic participation and life. It not only helps students thrive, it plants the seeds of a manufacturing renaissance across New York and around the country.”
The framework will be piloted in 10 school districts and BOCES (Boards of Cooperative Educational Services) over three years beginning in fall 2024. The districts and BOCES are: Baldwinsville, Chittenango, East Syracuse Minoa, Liverpool, New York City (Brooklyn STEAM Center and Thomas Edison High School), Niagara Falls, North Syracuse, Syracuse, OCM BOCES and Watertown. In 2022, Micron announced plans to invest up to $100 billion over the next 20-plus years to build a leading-edge memory manufacturing megafab in nearby Clay, N.Y., the largest semiconductor fabrication facility in the history of the United States.
After a pilot phase, the goal is to scale and sustain the Advanced Technology Framework across New York state to increase the pipeline of students interested in the semiconductor industry and to expand workforce development.
“From New York City to Syracuse, we’ve already seen exciting successes through experiential, hands-on learning programs that emphasize critical thinking, foster kids’ innate curiosity and offer them clear pathways to fulfilling jobs,” said NYSUT President Melinda Person. “Our educators know that building these real-world skills early works, and their expertise is a vital part of this new framework that will strengthen our schools, families and communities across the state of New York.”
Coordinated, collaborative and sustainable education opportunities for New York students in the semiconductor field will elevate the state as a national leader in student preparation for workforce development and industry awareness as well as enhance economic competitiveness, while tackling structural barriers to social and economic justice.
“I want to thank the team of educators who created this framework. By vetting content with industry experts, this team created a toolkit that local school districts can now use to create their own curriculum. This is how we scale up and expand career and technical education,” said UFT President Michael Mulgrew.
Micron and the state of New York will split the $4 million cost of developing the framework. This strategic investment strengthens opportunities for students and communities, helps students prepare for careers, college and life, and improves public schools for all.
“Educators are the essential link in the partnerships we are forging in New York and around the U.S. to build a workforce that is prepared to drive technological leadership,” said Micron Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer April Arnzen, who is also president of the Micron Foundation. “We will develop a framework together with the New York State Education Department and the American Federation of Teachers—with its affiliates New York State United Teachers and the United Federation of Teachers—that will empower teachers to introduce students from all backgrounds to the opportunities a STEM education offers. Equipping teachers with industry knowledge helps build their confidence to inspire students with new possibilities and pathways to careers—including high-tech careers at Micron here in New York.”
“It’s all-hands-on-deck to build the workforce of the future here in Central NY to fill the thousands of new high-tech manufacturing, and innovation jobs spurred by Micron’s proposed $100 billion project and that means investing in the education of the next generation,” said Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY). “From Syracuse to Niagara Falls and Watertown to NYC, Micron’s new initiative to invest in our youth will help students get the skills and knowledge they need to start careers in science and engineering in Upstate NY. I am proud to support Micron’s commitment to fostering innovation, creating jobs, and securing a prosperous future for the next generation of New Yorkers—ensuring they are well-prepared to seize the opportunities emerging from Upstate NY’s booming technology manufacturing industry."
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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.