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Business & Economy

President Biden comes to Central Ohio for Intel groundbreaking

President Joe Biden speaks before signing the "CHIPS and Science Act of 2022" during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, in Washington.
Evan Vucci
/
AP
President Joe Biden speaks before signing the "CHIPS and Science Act of 2022" during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, in Washington.

After months of promises and concerns from local residents, President Biden comes to Central Ohio Friday for the ceremonial groundbreaking on Intel’s massive new Licking County campus.

Biden joins Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Ohio's U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman and several other state and local leaders at the Jersey Township site that is expected to be home to the largest private sector investment in Ohio history.

The $20 billion project includes at least two semiconductor chip factories, also known as “fabs,” that seek to offset a shortage of domestically-produced semiconductors that are used in everything from new vehicles to smartphones. The pandemic and subsequent supply chain issues exposed some of the risks of relying on foreign production of semiconductors.

The project happened in part because of $2 billion in state grants, infrastructure spending, and tax credits. Intel will also get help with future planned expansion at the site from the CHIPS Act, the federal funding bill that pumps billions of dollars in federal subsidies into the semiconductor industry.

“Today is a day for builders. Today America is delivering,” Biden said as he signed the bill into law last month.

The ceremony will mark a celebration of what Brown described as many years of fighting for new industrial policy. However, he said there is still a lot more work ahead.

“It really is the beginning of helping startups all over the state, helping tech firms, helping small manufacturers that are going to feed into this whole commercialization and industrial policy,” Brown said. “It's a celebration of some accomplishment, but it really is the kick-off to do much more. And none of us should be satisfied until we really begin the process of doing much more."

The Intel project is a $20 billion investment for a new semiconductor manufacturing facility. The computer chip plant is expected to bring in 7,000 construction jobs along with 3,000 long-term positions with Intel.

Brown was a vocal proponent for passing the CHIPS Act in Congress. Every Ohio congressional delegate voted for the measure except for four Republican U.S. House members, Jim Jordan, Warren Davidson, Brad Wenstrup and Bob Latta.

DeWine has said Lt. Gov. Jon Husted and others in the administration were key players in securing Ohio as the site of Intel’s new project.

DeWine was asked what the ceremonial groundbreaking means for the state, in a statement he said, “Intel has recognized that Ohio has abundant resources to support domestic manufacturing: an abundance of water, ample and reliable electricity, a central location within a day’s drive of 60% of the population of the U.S. and Canada, and, most of all, our people, representing a skilled workforce. It is a great day for Ohio, and the best is yet to come!”

Intel has said the project has the potential to expanded in several other phases that could add up to a $100 billion investment at the central Ohio site.

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Business & Economy IntelJoe Biden
Steve Brown grew up in nearby Richwood, Ohio and now lives there with his wife and sons. He started his journalism career as a weekend board operator at WOSU while majoring in journalism at Ohio State, where he also wrote for the student newspaper The Lantern and co-founded the organization Students for Public Broadcasting.
Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.