Moody’s Investors Services says Syracuse Surge project has potential to boost local economy, improve education and keep people from leaving Syracuse

The Syracuse Surge plan to build a regional Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math (STEAM) high school and workforce training Center for tech jobs in the old Central Tech High School is getting rave reviews from Moody’s Investors Services, one of the world’s top credit rating firms. In a Jan. 15 report, Moody’s said the project, which will receive more than $70 million in state funding under a proposal by Governor Cuomo, has the potential to benefit the local economy, reduce out migration from the region, and lessen social barriers that have negatively impacted local education.

The grand but long vacant Central Tech High School is located in the heart of the Southside Campus for the New Economy, a key component of the Syracuse Surge. It would be restored as the new regional STEAM high school and workforce training center.

The report, which appeared in the Moody’s US Public Finance Credit Outlook, called the project “credit positive” for local government. It identifies three primary areas of potential:


”If successful, the project will have a wide-ranging positive effect on the local economy. The City of Syracuse (A1 stable) and the Syracuse City School District will benefit the most, since 60% of the students attending the new STEAM school will come from within the city. High-quality education is key to having a successful workforce, something the city has historically struggled with.”


“The new STEAM school has the potential to break down some of the social barriers that have contributed to poor educational outcomes in Syracuse high schools. By opening the school to all students in the county, the school will reduce segregation by race and income.”


“The STEAM school and training center will aim to work with employers to develop programs that will develop relevant skills and provide job-specific training. Such initiatives have the potential to slow out-migration from Onondaga County (Aa3 stable) by preparing students better for the workforce and providing a source of skilled workers for existing employers and for businesses considering locating in the county.”

Mayor Walsh included the regional STEAM high school in the Syracuse Surge plan, our strategy for inclusive growth in the New Economy. The Governor proposed to expand the project by including a tech worker training center. The site would be the centerpiece of the Southside Campus for the New Economy, a multi-property center of education and workforce training to help students and adults prepare for technology careers.

Moody’s Investors Service is a leading provider of credit ratings, research, and risk analysis. Moody’s commitment and expertise contributes to transparent and integrated financial markets. The firm’s ratings and analysis track debt covering more than 135 sovereign nations, approximately 5,000 non-financial corporate issuers, 4,000 financial institutions issuers, 18,000 public finance issuers, 11,000 structured finance transactions, and 1,000 infrastructure and project finance issuers. 

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