One Year Later, Here’s How the CHIPS and Science Act Benefits Pennsylvania

President Joe Biden speaking at his campaign kickoff for reelection in Philadelphia on June 17, 2023 (Photo: Sean Kitchen)

By Sean Kitchen

August 9, 2023

The CHIPS and Science Act was signed into law one year ago today. Here are three examples of how one of President Biden’s key policy achievements is benefiting Pennsylvania.

It’s been one year since President Joe Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act into law, in an effort to boost the nation’s manufacturing of microchips and semiconductors and strengthen supply chains following the shortages of the pandemic.

The law incentivizes construction of domestic semiconductor fabrication plants to make microchips, which are critical for the production of cars, cell phones, and medical equipment.

Most chip manufacturing currently takes place in Taiwan, and the disruption of the pandemic wreaked havoc on supply chains, causing shortages of these products in the US and sending prices surging—particularly for vehicles.

In response to the experiences of the pandemic, Congress passed the law to help incentivize American companies to manufacture a crucial product for everyday life at home, instead of relying on importing foreign-made chips. The legislation provides $39 billion in semiconductor manufacturing incentives to persuade companies to set up domestic manufacturing plants and $13.2 billion for research and development and workforce development.

Congresswoman Susan Wild (D-Lehigh), who advocated for the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act, released a state celebrating the bill’s one year anniversary since being signed into law.

“I worked to pass the CHIPS and Science Act into law, because it’s by investing in making things here at home that we strengthen our economy and create good-paying jobs for American workers. One year later, the CHIPS Act is revitalizing our domestic semiconductor industry to grow our workforce and help regions like ours build on our long, proud history as a manufacturing powerhouse,” Wild said in the statement.

Here are three examples of how the CHIPS and Science Act benefitted Pennsylvania over the past year.

EMD Electronics In Schuylkill County

 

Gov. Josh Shapiro joined leaders from EMD Electronics in April to announce the company’s $300 million semiconductor specialty gasses manufacturing facility in Hometown, Schuylkill County.

EMD, described as a global leader in semiconductor and electronics manufacturing, will build a new 96,500 square foot facility for integrated specialty gases. According to Shapiro’s office, the project will help meet surging demand in the semiconductor industry by doubling the production capacity of tungsten hexafluoride and nitrogen trifluoride, key elements in semiconductor manufacturing.

The investment will create 200 jobs in Schuylkill County, including 68 permanent union jobs.

“We have enormous potential here in Pennsylvania to be an economic leader and drive innovation on a global scale. Investments in projects like this one further prove this point. EMD Electronics is expanding and bringing more jobs to Schuylkill County,” Shapiro said.

Penn State and University of Pennsylvania Join Northeast University Semiconductor Network

 

Last month, Penn State and the University of Pennsylvania were two of the 21 founding institutions of the newly formed Northeast University Semiconductor Network, which focuses on enhancing curriculum and developing new research and learning opportunities for the next generation of the US semiconductor industry’s workforce.

This newly formed network was founded by Micron Technology, an American-based semiconductor company focused on computer memory and computer data storage products.

White House Picks Pittsburgh as Workforce Hub

 

As reported by the Pittsburgh Tribune, the White House picked Pittsburgh to be one of five Workforce Hubs around the country. The Biden Administration will partner with state and local officials and community leaders to drive effective place-based workforce development efforts to help train workers in key sectors, including the production of chips.

According to the White House, Pittsburgh is a hub for innovation across critical sectors with strong growth in advanced manufacturing, including robotics and biomanufacturing, as well as clean energy.

The other Workplace Hubs include Phoenix, Columbus, Baltimore and Augusta, Ga. Funding for these hubs comes from Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, which allocated $369 billion for energy security and combating climate change.

 

Updated: This story was updated to include a statement from Congresswoman Susan Wild (D-Lehigh)

Author

  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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