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Biden lauds Arizona’s emergence as semiconductor hub with $8.5b Intel deal

President Joe Biden’s recent visit to Intel’s Ocotillo Campus in Chandler, Arizona, wasn’t just a photo-op, it was a signal of the Grand Canyon State’s burgeoning future as a semiconductor powerhouse. Biden emphasized the point, telling Tilden Dickson, a local sheet metal worker and Navajo Nation member, “You’re going to be building the future here in Arizona, and Arizona is building the future.” This came as Intel struck a deal potentially worth up to $8.5 billion in CHIPS Act funding, as reported by Phoenix Business Journal.

Arizona has been quickly to adapt and position itself as a prime candidate for CHIPS Act dollars, with a collaborative effort spearheaded by Governor Katie Hobbs. The state has brought together a consortium that includes state and local governments, industry, academia, and other stakeholders, forging an ecosystem ripe for technological advancements. The initiative has led to a slew of new programs designed to boost the semiconductor industry further. According to the Arizona Commerce Authority, this includes industry-led apprenticeships and state-of-the-art training programs.

The heavy investment is yielding tangible results, creating 3,000 direct jobs and constructing two new semiconductor manufacturing facilities, contributing to six in total across the state. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo dubbed the deal “the largest grant to any single company from the CHIPS program,” a testament to the state’s aggressive pursuit of the opportunities presented by the federal initiative. Highlighting the multifaceted improvement, Raimondo added, “This proposed investment will help enable Intel to produce leading-edge chips that power our economic and national security and advanced technology – like AI,” in a statement obtained by Phoenix Business Journal.

The Arizona Commerce Authority outlines important groundwork laying the state’s preeminence in the semiconductor race, all thanks to a strategic meshing of industry and education. Investments totaling more than $100 million have vastly improved the state’s semiconductor infrastructure and research capabilities over the past year. These funds were allocated to universities and training programs, like Arizona State University’s Materials to Fab Center and the University of Arizona’s Micro/Nano Fabrication Center expansions, furthering R&D and industry partnerships.

What makes Arizona’s play even more intriguing are the state’s efforts to foster a robust local supply chain. The Arizona Small-Scale Supplier Consortium (AZ SSC) is a brainchild of this movement, encapsulating businesses across the supply spectrum – from materials to advanced packaging. The AZ SSC projects are poised to generate over 3,800 jobs, bolstering a nearly $1.8 billion investment impact. “We are working relentlessly to create good-paying jobs for everyday Arizonans and build our state’s economic future. With our investments in creating a state primed for investment from semiconductor companies from around the world, I know Arizona can lead the country in advanced manufacturing and technology jobs.” Governor Hobbs told the Arizona Commerce Authority. Hoodline

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