Ohio State president helps Intel break ground in the Silicon Heartland
Intel commits to educational opportunities in higher education
On a sunlit afternoon at the center of the Silicon Heartland, President Joe Biden joined Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson, Gov. Mike DeWine and Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger to celebrate the groundbreaking for two advanced chipmaking facilities.
Biden delivered remarks Friday afternoon in Licking County on rebuilding American manufacturing through the CHIPS and Science Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. He led a ceremony that brought together federal, state and local leaders as well as leaders in higher education and industry to celebrate Intel’s more than $20 billion planned investment in a new semiconductor manufacturing site to produce leading-edge chips.
“It’s fitting to break ground for America’s future here in Ohio,” Biden said. “Think about it. There’s kind of a tradition here: The Wright brothers, Neil Armstrong, John Glenn. They defined America’s spirit, a spirit of daring and innovation. Pat [Gelsinger] just laid out Intel’s vision that builds on that legacy.”
In Ohio, the semiconductor factories are expected to generate 7,000 construction jobs and 3,000 long-term positions in manufacturing and engineering. Intel has also made an initial pledge to invest $50 million in Ohio’s higher education institutions. It’s an investment Johnson said Ohio State is prepared to embrace.
“I have the privilege today of representing the region’s higher education sector, which stands ready to educate the workforce that Intel and its suppliers and customers will need,” Johnson said. “At the same time, we support new advances in semiconductor technology through our research. Providing intellectual capital and groundbreaking research for this effort is bigger than any one university alone.”
DeWine said the Intel project would offer an opportunity to the youth of Ohio to stay in the Buckeye state and prosper in a new, innovative economy.
“Ohioans are the heart of the new Silicon Heartland. Right now in Ohio, there are young men, young women attending our 14 public universities, and others in our 74 private liberal arts colleges and universities studying mechanical and industrial engineering and other things, all of whom may one day work here at Intel or in some other great Ohio high tech job,” he said.
The new jobs and opportunities also came with a commitment to equity and diversity.
“Technology plays a critical role in building a digital future, a future that is equitable, prosperous, accessible, and inclusive for all,” Gelsinger said. “And this is why we are so excited about the things that we are going to do together here in Ohio.”
In advance of the ceremony, Intel announced grants totaling $17.7 million that will fund eight projects at more than 80 Ohio colleges and universities. Included in this announcement was nearly $1.5 million for Ohio State and partner institutions across the state working toward the common goal of a more diverse semiconductor industry.
The Ohio Partnership for a Diverse and Inclusive Semiconductor Ecosystem and Workforce, a network of public and private universities, historically Black colleges and universities, community colleges and career-technical centers, proposes to develop an iterative, student-centered, curricular approach that supports the development of a diverse and inclusive semiconductor educational field and skilled workforce throughout Ohio.
Intel also announced $3 million in funding for the Center for Advanced Semiconductor Fabrication Research and Education, which will also be led by Ohio State.