John Edmond ’83 made his mark in the global electronics industry as a co-founder of Cree Inc., a global leader in the manufacture of LED components and semiconductor products for power and radio frequency applications. Now, John, who grew up a short drive from Alfred in Cohocton, New York, is making a difference closer to home.
Cree, based in Durham, North Carolina, recently announced plans to build a $1 billion factory in Marcy, New York, that will be the world’s largest silicon carbide fabrication facility. The 480,000-square foot plant at the Marcy Nanocenter site on the SUNY Polytechnic Institute campus will make silicon carbide wafers for automotive-qualified power and radio frequency semiconductors. It is expected to be up and running by 2022.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters recently that the development is expected to create more than 600 jobs over eight years, with annual payroll exceeding $46 million. In addition, the state estimates that approximately 570 indirect jobs will be created over the next 20 years, resulting in more than $4.3 billion in economic impact.
John, who earned a bachelor’s degree in ceramic engineering at Alfred University and is a member of our University’s Board of Trustees, is thrilled his company will provide a much-needed boost to New York’s economy.
“I am very excited that Cree will be coming to New York State,” John said. “For those who grew up there like myself, it has become painfully obvious that jobs have migrated out of the state and that there is a huge need to bring good paying jobs back home. This move will be a major economic boost for the state and that region. This is a win-win for New York State and Cree.”
John represented Cree last week at Alfred University’s Engineering Career Fair and spoke to students about the upcoming new opportunities with his company. (Thanks to the organizing efforts of our Career Development Center, Cree was one of more than 40 organizations participating in this year’s Fair that drew over 320 students to our Joyce & Walton Center.)
Cree plans to partner with community and four-year colleges in North Carolina and New York to develop training and internships initiatives which will help prepare workers for high-tech careers at both locations. That bodes well for young workers throughout the state, especially students and alums from our own Inamori School of Engineering.
Please join me in thanking John and his Cree management colleagues for their willingness to invest in New York and for continuing to look to our University for the talent that has been so integral to their historical success.