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OCC Preparing Students for a Micron Future

By Stefan Yablonski

Roger Mirabito, OCC’s executive director of communications.

Onondaga Community College is creating new programs and certificates that will prepare students to work at Micron.

Its professors are working with Micron to tailor curricula to their specific needs so that students learn what they need to know to gain a career in the semiconductor industry.

With at least 85% of OCC graduates already staying in the Central New York region after graduation, OCC President Warren Hilton expects this new partnership will propel that number even higher.

“Onondaga Community College is preparing students for a Micron future. Let me give you a rundown of OCC’s Micron-related things,” said Roger Mirabito, OCC’s executive director of communications.

“In the fall 2023 semester we started our new Micron-related degree program, electromechanical technology A.A.S. (Associate in Applied Science). This is a two-year degree program focused on the troubleshooting of electrical and mechanical systems,” he said.

Construction began in late 2023 on OCC’s Micron cleanroom simulation lab — an enclosed space used in manufacturing to keep particulates and other contaminants away.

It is scheduled for completion sometime in 2025.

It was designed by Ashley McGraw Architects. The general contractor is PAC Construction of Oswego and the electrician is Patricia Electric of Syracuse.

Cleanroom Simulation Lab

“The lab will be a 5,000 square foot, ISO class 5 and 6 cleanroom for training students in the semiconductor and microelectronics industries,” Mirabito said. “This will be a vital tool for OCC to prepare students for a job at Micron’s Clay campus, which will be home to the nation’s largest cleanroom at approximately 2.4 million square feet, the length of nearly 40 football fields!”

OCC’s cleanroom will be housed in the Whitney Applied Technology Center on campus.

It will horizontally divide an existing high-bay space to create new square footage to house the cleanroom and preserve space below to support the expansion of industry training facilities in other technologies to be developed under a separate project.

The project includes all necessary infrastructure to support the cleanroom environment as well as all furniture and equipment to facilitate training students to meet industry needs.

Micron-related activities

• Girls Going Tech camp happened at OCC on May 12, 2023. Participants were approximately 50 eighth grade girls from the Lafayette, Onondaga and Syracuse City school districts.

• Chip Camp happened July 11, 12, 13 with approximately 100 rising eighth and ninth graders from ESM, SCSD, Lafayette and Oswego County high schools. July 11 was on the OCC campus, July 12 was at a cleanroom at Cornell and July 13 was at The MOST.

• Girls Going Tech in Espanol took place Oct. 18, 2023, with approximately 50 students. Completely in Spanish, the program focused on Syracuse City School District female students from specific schools with a high Spanish-speaking population.

Plus, Micron will need other types of jobs to support their facility and operations, he said, adding that OCC’s has offerings “that will help support related needs for this industry.”