Sen. Schumer pushing bill to invest billions in tech jobs, wants goods made in our region


CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (WROC) — Sen. Chuck Schumer announced on Thursday a $52 billion plan to dramatically increase U.S. investment in technology manufacturing, with the hope that some of that could be for our region.

Schumer says the Rochester-Finger Lakes area can help the nation stay ahead of international competitors — like China — in the technology race of the 21st Century. He’s going to push the Senate to pass a bold $52 billion new plan.

In his proposed bill, Sen. Schumer says keeping the U.S. ahead of the global technology race is key.

“So we have lots of tech opportunities in the Rochester area,” he said Wednesday at Akoustis Technologies off of Route 332 in Canandaigua.

Schumer says the past century has shown, when the federal government invests in science, millions of good-paying jobs follow. And it kept the U.S. number one.

“Unfortunately in recent years, countries like China have closed the gap,” he says.

It’s time for the U.S. he says, to catch up. If we don’t…“It would mean the loss of tens of millions of potential jobs,” he says.

A major part of that tech race — semiconductors, made at places like Akoustis — and chips for things like cell phones, defense, and infrastructure. In this bill, Washington will choose 10 technology centers across the nation. 

“And I am going to use all my clout to have the Rochester-Finger Lakes area be one of those 10 centers,” says Schumer.

Which could mean lots of jobs coming right from University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology and SUNY schools. 

“I strongly support this bill, and thanks very much to Senator Schumer,” says David Munson, President of RIT. Also joining the ranks Wednesday were UR President Sarah Mangelsdorf, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President Bob Duffy, and others.

The bill Schumer says has support all around. “This is one of the great, important, significant things that is completely bipartisan,” he says.

Schumer said the Rochester region in a new study ranked number 1 out of 102 locations to be a tech-economy powerhouse. Senator Schumer says this bill is due for a vote in the Senate on Tuesday.

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