Global Leader in Wireless Technology Officially Opens Factory of the Future and Only U.S.-Owned 5G Campus in the United States; Commits to Creating More Than 200 New Jobs
Hochul: “I want other companies to see that this is a rebirth of manufacturing, a rebirth of upstate manufacturing. So, this is even bigger than the jobs created here, making jobs here in New York is a huge point of pride for us. And a $100 million project does not come along every day, but I do believe after this, it will be far more commonplace when others say I can have a great quality of life living up here.”
On July 28th, Governor Kathy Hochul visited 5G-wireless technology leader JMA Wireless to help officially open its new headquarters in Central New York. JMA relocated its operations to Syracuse’s southeast gateway adjacent to the city center on Cortland Avenue. The global innovator of software-based 5G technology will invest $100 million in this multi-phase project. The sprawling campus, spanning a city block, currently houses JMA’s headquarters and factory of the future. JMA manufactures its most advanced 5G equipment at the site, including radios, embedded antennas, and millimeter wave products.
AUDIO of the event is available here.
A rush transcript of the Governor’s remarks is available below:
Thank you, everyone. Thank you. How sweet it is. This is like a homecoming and it was a little rougher last time I was here, John. I was kind of scared. We went to the top of the building and looked over and I was like whoa. This is for someone who doesn’t really love heights, this is a little bit of a challenge, but I embraced it.
And I just want to thank you for having the vision to invest in this neighborhood that was crying out for help. And you answered that call by bringing hundreds of great jobs right here. So, John, thank you for, and visionary is the word, because you never gave up on this community. I guarantee you are enticed to go all over this country because those governors out there are pretty aggressive, but we are very happy that you stayed in the birthplace of this great business. We’re really, really proud. So, thank you for having us be here today.
Also, really proud to be joined by so many extraordinary elected officials who I’ve come to know and love. I spent a lot of time in this area. I find a lot of excuses to come back here. First of all, County Executive Ryan McMahon, we have been working very closely on a very big project and so, we’ll just leave it at that, but things are getting really good. Things are feeling kind of green these days. So, we’re real excited about that.
And again, also our Mayor, we’ve walked the streets so many times – in good times and bad, and I came back here often during the pandemic to just see how we are surviving, how our little businesses are doing. You’ve always had such a good heart in fighting for the people that you represent. So, thank you. We have great leaders in Albany from this area. People I’ve developed great friendships with and I want to welcome Senator Rachel May and thank you for joining us here today. Rachel May.
Assemblymember Pam Hunter is here. Great to see you, Pam. We’ve walked your district as well. Nice little nightlife area there. It’s a lot better than it was when I was in college. We didn’t have anywhere to go. Your area’s tremendous. And John Mannion, I want to thank him for journeying to New York City just a day or two ago in your capacity as Chair on the committee dealing with disabilities, and signing some really significant legislation that you drafted to lift up the community on the 32nd anniversary of the enactment of the American with Disabilities Act. So, thank you as well.
Gov. Hochul, County Executive Ryan McMahon and Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh
Senator Bill Magnarelli, we’ve worked together a long time as well. I so appreciate, not just seniority because that makes it sound like we’re old, but also the wisdom and the depth of experience you bring to this as well. But, I had to take a little shot because I’m probably older than you are. I don’t know. Assemblymember Al Stirpe, too. We have met many times and you have a lot of heart and passion and a fighting spirit for your district as well. So, thank you.
I had a chance to come here often as Lieutenant Governor over eight years because I was the Chair of the Regional Economic Development Council. And they’re really huge supporters of this project. We’ll talk about that in a couple minutes, but leadership there matters as well. And I want to thank, Linda Le Mura, President of Le Moyne College, but also somehow you find the time to also co-chair the Regional Economic Development Council.
Randy Wolken, we had many conversations over the years to talk about MACNY and all the work that you’re doing to really elevate manufacturing. We talk about this. I also want to give a shout out to Randy too. Long before people were talking about needing child care and workplaces, we spoke about this, and we’ve now made that one of the cornerstones of our work. And when we talk about where the money’s going to go, and we have some discretion based on what the local community wants, we’re talking to businesses about – well, tell us about your child care plans first. Are you putting in a facility? Are you going to make it easier for your workers to have flexible hours? What are you doing to help address the needs of families? Because it is no longer just one family’s problem, it is an economic problem for society. So, you’ve been a great visionary there as well. So, thank you.
I was going to talk about all my times visiting here, but John covered that very nicely. I just was actually here in the fall. I will note though, when I spoke at the commencement, the overdue 2020 Syracuse University Commencement, and it was a wonderful homecoming for people who had been denied the privilege. The place I was in had a different name, it wasn’t called the JMA arena. So, things have changed since I was last here, but thank you for also investing in my Alma Mater in that way. I won’t go into the whole story of how I fought against carrier a long time ago. I think you all know the story, but I’m really, really proud that we do have the Ernie Davis Field. And we also have your name – this company that really sends a message. We think about vision and the future and future jobs and technology. To have that associated such a profound way at the university really makes a difference. So, thank you for doing that as well.
This is extraordinary. 120,000 square feet. And this manufacturing campus, and I love the word manufacturing, I really do because it means we’re back to our roots. We’ve always built with our hands. We’ve always built with our minds and our intellect, and that’s why the Erie Canal communities thrive for such a long time. I’m at the other end of it, from Buffalo. But New York City would not be New York City without the Erie Canal.
And it came right through here and in the process, communities got their origins, but also such manufacturing facilities were built along there that it’s really in our DNA, particularly as Upstaters, to just make and create. So, having a manufacturing, a state of the kind 5G facility really is just extraordinary. How you’re going to be making radios and antennas and millimeter wave products, I don’t even know what that is, but it sounds really cool.
Also, making it in America. This defies what has happened globally for the last many decades where we’ve not leaned into our innovation and our manufacturing capabilities and our workforce. We’ve not done that because those jobs and those ideas all went overseas. No more. And I do believe that your statement here, John, doing this at home is going to send a message to others that when you’re all dealing with your supply chain issues because you want to buy everything, don’t complain to us because we’re going to make these right here, not just in America, but in New York State. And I want other companies to see that.
JMA Wireless Employees at work manufacturing 5G Technology
I want other companies to see that this is a rebirth of manufacturing, a rebirth of upstate manufacturing. So, this is even bigger than the jobs created here, making jobs here in New York is a huge point of pride for us. And a $100 million project does not come along every day, but I do believe after this, it will be far more commonplace when others say, “I can have a great quality of life living up here.” I mean, the access to the Adirondacks and the lakes and the wineries are not far from here, the attraction – why are you laughing at the wineries? Somebody has to taste the product. I do give out the Governor’s Wine Cup every year.
I got to know my product. So, it’s just – what we have here is incredible. The tiny little communities, the vibrant cities. And so, I do believe that there is a rebirth and a reorientation toward places like upstate after the pandemic because so many people found a haven here in upstate New York.
And so, we’re going to continue supporting the businesses, the communities and putting our money where our mouths are. Over $5 million of state support thanking the REDCs as part of the Upstate Revitalization Grant. This is exactly what we’re talking about. We have more to do more supportive products like this, but this really does talk about a comeback, and this site once coined textile. It was a laundry facility for 86 years, you know. They go bankrupt.
All of a sudden, 90 people are out of work, and you have really a building that just kind of hauntingly reminds people of a better past. Now when people go by they’ll be excited. They’ll be energized. And people in this very community can come by here and say, “I can get trained. I can get a job all the way up, entry level up to advanced engineering.”
JMA Employee at the former Coyne Laundry location. JMA is building a campus.
These are all happening right here. So, the South Side neighborhood, which has had enough blow over the years is now realizing that they matter a business like this, an investment here of this scale says to this community, you matter, the people who live here matter, and that is profound. That is why I’m so excited about this product.
When you decided to go in this community, John, that was transformative. So, it’s over 200 jobs. And I just want to say how proud I am of what you’re doing here. You have over 500 people working in this area. And we’re just getting started though, as I go downtown and I see the Hotel Syracuse that was shuttered, not long after I graduated for a long time again, another a reminder of a glorious past. Now it’s just a spectacular building and the Salt City Market. How’re they doing? I haven’t been there a little bit. Are you doing okay? I mean, I love the Salt City Market. What an ingenious conception to bring in people who – they got their own little skills.
They like to make a certain kind of food, but they don’t have the ability to pull all together. And those support for the rent and all these staffing they can do and the training. I think it’s ingenious and every city should have something modeled after what you have here. I love it. Salina 1st, minority led development in Syracuse investments.
We’re supporting them with NYSERDA funding. Spaces right out here, the tech garden, we walked through the tech garden the last time I was here. The Excellus Building, the Post-Standard Building, so many things are going on here. And we’re going to continue supporting it. And I know our job, you know, because I was in local government for a long time.
We always said, “Why doesn’t Albany give us the money?” We’re giving you the money. You give us the vision, we’ll fund it. And that’s my commitment to you as well. So, I look forward to many more ways that we can showcase the glory of upstate New York, what we have here, the uniqueness. And I truly do love this community and I love the people in this room who never gave up through some tough times, you stuck.
You always said there can be a better day for our people tomorrow. So, I do want to thank all of you. I’m going to change the program a little bit because as we saw there is lightning out there and I have to fly. Not that I would mind being stuck in Syracuse for a long time. Is the Varsity still there?
Alright. You know, I worked at the Varsity. I had a really important job that I’ll describe. I was and this’ll say how old I am, but you can look it up on Wikipedia anyhow. 1980 Winter Olympics, U.S. versus Russia. Remember the big hockey game? Yeah. My job was to call out the numbers at the Varsity Pizzeria. Like, “Number 20, your pizza’s now ready.” Haven’t lost my skills. So, what I did when I was there because the game was going on while I had to work, I was given the play by play of what was going on. So, I felt like I maybe I had a career in being a radio announcer and a calling.
That didn’t work out that well, but I have such great memories of this community. I really got my start and my passion for public service on a campus not far from here. And I’ll never forget that or the people who launched me to become the Governor of the State of New York.
So, thank you everyone. And let’s cut the ribbon.
JMA Wireless ribbon cutting
Local leaders weigh in on the new $100 million multi-phase project
State Senator Rachel May, “Central New York is a great place to live, play, raise a family, and do business. JMA’s successful expansion and investment in Syracuse is great news, and their choice to put down deeper roots here is a sure sign of our region’s bright future. I look forward to seeing their continued success, and the continued growth of Syracuse and CNY.”
State Senator John W. Mannion, “Investment, technology jobs, and community revitalization is the winning combination for economic development in Syracuse and Central New York and the JMA expansion epitomizes what we are working across government to accomplish. As a 5G hub, Syracuse will be at the center of nationwide advancement in wireless technology while adding hundreds of good jobs on the Southside. I commend Governor Hochul, JMA, and our local government partners for this successful project.”
Assemblymember Pamela J. Hunter , “Central New York continues to be an innovation hub for the technologies of the future. JMA Wireless’ new hub will provide good paying jobs and lay the foundation for additional economic development based in tech. I look forward to working with Governor Hochul as these investments create more opportunities within our region.”
Assemblymember William Magnarelli , “JMA’s commitment to downtown Syracuse and investment in the area is proof that Central New York is able to accommodate economic growth that will continue to put us at the forefront of the technology industry. Establishing Central New York as a 5G hub is a step to complete smart city development.”
Assemblymember Al Stirpe, “I have all the respect and confidence in the world in JMA Wireless. Since our first interactions in 2013, JMA has always exceeded whatever goals we have set for them, and I’m confident that they will continue to do so. The City of Syracuse and its constituents will be the beneficiaries of JMA’s new 5G Manufacturing Campus. This will be the tip of the spear of the Syracuse Surge!”
Onondaga County Executive J. Ryan McMahon II , “The momentum in our local economy is undeniable. The hundreds of new jobs being created by JMA and other companies is exciting news for our community. Thank you to all of our partners who helped make this a success.”
Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, “Syracuse is making its mark as a smart city around the world, and JMA’s new 5G Manufacturing Campus on the Southside serves as a perfect example of the city’s progress. This historic investment will support the renaissance that is occurring across the city and will supplement the Syracuse Surge – our strategy for inclusive growth in the new economy. I thank the many partners who have invested in Syracuse and in this project, including Governor Hochul, Empire State Development and JMA itself, and look forward to what we continue to accomplish together.”
Central New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Randy Wolken, President & CEO of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York, and Dr. Linda LeMura, President of Le Moyne College, said, “The regional council is fully committed to the future of Downtown Syracuse. By supporting transformative projects like the JMA expansion, we are furthering our efforts to reinvigorate the area, creating a welcoming place for millennials, families and others looking to experience all that the area has to offer.”
About JMA Wireless
Founded in 2012, JMA is restoring U.S. leadership in wireless technology at a critical time in the transition to 5G. Based in Syracuse, New York, JMA makes the world’s most advanced and only all-software-based 5G platform, which it designs, codes, and manufactures in the United States. JMA’s cutting-edge technology—most notably a revolutionary software solution called XRAN—is ushering in a new era of innovation and connectivity for businesses, workers, and ultimately consumers. For more information, visit www.jmawireless.com.