On Friday, President Joe Biden traveled to Ohio to mark the groundbreaking of Intel’s new $20 billion semiconductor plant, one of the first domestic chip-making facilities to emerge from the recently passed CHIPS and Science Act.
The groundbreaking ceremony for what Intel calls the “largest silicon manufacturing location on the planet” took place on Friday. It is part of Intel’s $100 billion investment plan in Ohio over the next ten years.
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The company has stated that the project could require more than 7,000 workers to complete, with the facility expected to house two separate factories and employ 3,000 workers once completed.
Intel had previously delayed the plant’s July groundbreaking ceremony because its plans largely relied “on funding from the CHIPS Act,” which Congress had yet to pass. But after a summer of negotiations, Biden signed the $280 billion tech and science bill last month, calling it “a once in a generation investment in America itself.”
Following a global semiconductor shortage, the bipartisan agreement to boost American innovation in opposition to growing Chinese competition in the tech industry hopes to protect US economic and national security interests.
The emergence of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 disrupted global chip supply chains, making it more difficult for device manufacturers to source semiconductors for their products. At the same time, as offices closed and people began working from home, demand for these goods increased.
“As we saw during the pandemic, when the factories that make these chips shut down, chips shut down. The global economy comes to a halt. We need to make these chips right here in America to bring down everyday costs and create good jobs,” Biden said at the Intel site Friday.
Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger joined Biden at the ceremony, which he described as the end of the Rust Belt and the start of a “Silicon Heartland.” Following the bill’s passage, other major chip manufacturers announced plans for new domestic semiconductor facilities.
Micron announced earlier this month that it would invest $15 billion in a new plant in Idaho. Wolfspeed announced a $5 billion investment in a new semiconductor facility in North Carolina on Friday.
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“Today we broke ground on a future that every Ohioan can be proud of,” Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), Ohio candidate for US Senate, said in a statement on Friday.
“This multi-billion-dollar investment is a culmination of an unprecedented collaboration between federal, state, and private sector leaders that will transform Ohio’s economy and provide future generations an opportunity to build a stable middle-class life right here at home.”