Syracuse Surge



Syracuse Surge is our strategy for inclusive growth in the New Economy. It is a “people first” plan designed to make Syracuse a leader in the jobs, innovations, and technology of tomorrow. Mayor Ben Walsh launched Syracuse Surge in 2019. We started with acquisition of the Syracuse’s streetlight network and a vow to be a smarter city. At a time when high tech mostly benefited a select few, we made a commitment to upskill people and open new paths to prosperity.


A Plan to Make Syracuse a World Leader in Technology and People

From advanced manufacturing to coding to semiconducting, we believed that preparing our residents for the jobs of the future would make Syracuse more attractive for investment.  

In coordination with our partners in government, business and the non-profit sector, the Syracuse Surge is succeeding. It’s helping to improve thousands of lives in the City and our region: launching innovative workforce programs; expanding broadband access; breaking ground on the state’s first regional science technology engineering arts and math high school. 

Syracuse is now New York State’s “Flagship Smart City” which means that our investments in digital infrastructure, 5G, broadband, and other technologies are empowering our residents and businesses to succeed in an ever-connected world. 

Syracuse Surge builds on investments in technology infrastructure to drive new strategic investment that leads to economic growth, shared prosperity, and neighborhood transformation.


Digital Infrastructure & Empowerment

Syracuse Surge builds on massive investments in future technologies. This includes physical and digital infrastructure which drives new opportunities to Syracuse and the Central New York region. We’re on an exciting path toward economic growth for Syracuse residents and businesses in new, emerging industries that define the New Economy. 

The world and economy of today and tomorrow is all about data-driven solutions that serve people in an increasingly mobile, on-demand world. To succeed in the emerging economy, individuals and businesses require: 

  • advanced telecommunications and computing capabilities data and analytics 

  • artificial intelligence and machine learning 

  • drones and automated systems 

  • memory to enable fast, secure, advanced computing 


That work has already begun in Syracuse. 

Programs & Investments 

  • Investments in Wi-Fi enabled streetlights 

  • Improved safety and more cost-efficient and equitable service delivery 

  • Increased data capacity and global competitive advantage for business 


Education & Workforce Development

Syracuse Surge is about creating more economic opportunity for families in our community. With our training and career development partners, individuals in Syracuse are gaining new skills and leveling-up the education needed for higher-paying careers right here in region. 

Goal: Engaging residents in a better life by developing their skills today, with or without an advanced degree.  

Programs & Investments

Syracuse S.T.E.A.M High School 
The City, New York State Empire State Development, the Governor’s Office, Onondaga County, and the Syracuse City School District broke ground on the $74M Syracuse STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) High School in December 2023. The STEAM School will be the first of its kind in the region to prepare students in high school for career and technical education alongside visual and performing arts further driving that innovation in technology requires skill and creativity. 

Erie 21st @ Le Moyne College 
Erie21 at Le Moyne College is facilitating technology-related skills development with experiential learning programs tailored for middle school, high school, college, and adult learners. 

Southside Campus for New Economy 
A new “Southside Campus for the New Economy” is emerging in on the City’s near south side, which includes the SUNY Educational Opportunity Center where adults can gain sought after skills in computer programming and advanced manufacturing. And a few blocks from SUNY EOC, a world-class STEAM High School focused on the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, arts and math will open in 2025, admitting students from Syracuse and across Central New York to provide a strong foundation for the careers that are in demand today and in the future. 

Syracuse Surge Workforce Training 
Syracuse Surge Workforce Training, which includes advanced manufacturing and coding and software programs, has enrolled more than 1,000 participants in training and up-skilling programs in its early stages. These programs include:  

  • Surge Advanced Manufacturing, a short-term entry-level training program designed to prepare adults for positions in high-tech industries 

  • Electromechanical Mechanical Technician, a short-term mid-level program 

  • Surge Defense, a long-term, mid-level and skill-specific training program 

  • Le Moyne College's ERIE21 which trains city school students for tech-centered pathways to good careers 

  • Le Moyne College's Lock 3 and Lock 4 Cyber Security and Computer Science Certificates

  • Surge Coding Apprenticeship, which trains project management, technical skills, effective communication for future software apprentices  

  • Careers in Code, a partnership with Hack Upstate to teach software coding to adults 

Business Development & Entrepreneurship

Exciting, high growth companies are coming to Syracuse and Central New York as a result. Companies like JMA Wireless, which established the first US-based 5G manufacturing site in Syracuse. Companies like Micron, which announced a $20 Billion plan to establish semiconductor manufacturing operations in our region in Clay, NY, are preparing to call Central New York their home. These companies and more are creating high-tech jobs for decades to come.  

As our city and region is home to innovative players in high-tech manufacturing, digital solutions, and uncrewed aerial systems (aka drones), our emerging semiconductor industry is bringing massive investment and deep expertise to New York and beyond. Whether you run an established company, or you’re interested in starting up a new venture, there has never been a better time to grow your business in Syracuse. 

Programs & Investments

Tech Garden Expansion 
The City of Syracuse and partners broke ground on The Tech Garden expansion. The $32M project will add 46,000 square-feet of space to the region’s key tech business incubator facility. The Tech Garden expansion advances CenterState CEO’s work in launching high-potential early-stage businesses and anchor Syracuse's City Center Innovation Hub. 

Center City Innovation Hub 
Technology Innovation Hub, investing millions of dollars each year to incubate tech start-ups and enable those with an entrepreneurial spirit to create next businesses right here in Syracuse. A $20 Million + investment will see the vertical expansion of the Tech Garden in downtown Syracuse, which will dramatically increase the number of start-ups in Central New York. 

Genius New York 
This region is a leader in research and development of drone-related technologies, and Syracuse is home to Genius NY—the world’s largest start-up competition for drone tech with annual funding of $3 Million from the State of New York. 

Surge Accelerator 
CenterState CEO in partnership with the City launched the first Syracuse Surge Accelerator Cohort. The program advances Black-Indigenous-Persons of Color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs and accelerates new or existing tech-related startups within the city of Syracuse. 

Syracuse Surge Accelerator Fund 
To ensure that innovation and start-up programs are equitable and inclusive, the Syracuse Surge Accelerator was recently established to provide start-up funding and technical assistance to people of color, women, and veterans—those historically underrepresented in the tech start-up space. 

NY SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub 
Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo jointly applied and were awarded as a federal Tech Hub, a designation created in the CHIPS & Science Act. The “NY SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub” designation positions the region as a global hub for workforce training, innovation, and manufacturing of semiconductor technology. The NY SMART I-Corridor Tech Hub proposal will now compete for the next phase of the tech hubs program, which will invest $50-$75 million in up to 10 regions chosen from the 31. Ultimately, the program could grow up to $10 billion, meaning that successful tech hubs may have the opportunity for significant additional funding. 

Preparing Our People to Surge

Housing, transportation and other supports are needed for educational/ training and job opportunities to truly be inclusive. We are partnering with affordable housing developers to build hundreds of new housing units. Partnering with Centro to deploy a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) to physically connect residents to opportunities. And preparing our residents to surge to meet the increased demand for employees. Our partnerships with community organizations are critical readying our people for the opportunities present and to come. 

Surge Link: Community Broadband Program  
The City launched a municipal broadband service for households whose income is at or below 200% of Federal Poverty Guidelines or participate in a federal assistance program. Surge Link provides high speed internet for eligible underserved residents in the Southside and Westside neighborhoods. Since launching, the program has already served over 400 families. 

Digital Empowerment Program 
The City launched the Digital Empowerment Program (DEP) in partnership with the Syracuse Community Center Collaborative. The program provides digital literacy and technical assistance services to Syracuse residents engaging them in safe and effective use of the internet and digital tools to achieve a higher quality of life. In 2023, the program served more than 500 residents and distributed about 200 Chromebooks to families without computers at home.