Today is a great day for Phoenix and its quest to become a major technological Mecca in the Southwest region and the nation.

The United States Senate, thanks in part to the leadership offered by Arizona Senators Kyrsten Simena and Mark Kelly passed the bipartisan CHIPS Act by a 64 to 33 vote.

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Designed to reinvigorate the semiconductor manufacturing capacity of the United States, this $280 billion legislation, after it passes the House of Representatives and is signed by President Biden, will:

  • Provide just over $50 billion to address the domestic semiconductor manufacturing shortfall.
  • fund billions for “bolstering scientific research, including authorizing billions of dollars for the National Science Foundation, the Department of Commerce, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.”
  • Install a National Technology Director.

On the Senate passage of the CHIPS Act, President Biden praised the measure in a White House Press Release, stating:

Photo from EE Times

“Today the Senate passed a historic bill that will lower costs and create jobs. As Americans are worried about the state of the economy and the cost of living, the CHIPS bill is one answer: it will accelerate the manufacturing of semiconductors in America, lowering prices on everything from cars to dishwashers. It also will create jobs – good-paying jobs right here in the United States. It will mean more resilient American supply chains, so we are never so reliant on foreign countries for the critical technologies that we need for American consumers and national security. I want to thank Senators in both parties for their hard work on this legislation.

For decades, some “experts” said we needed to give up on manufacturing in America. I never believed that. Manufacturing jobs are back. Thanks to this bill, we are going to have even more of them. The House should promptly pass it and send this bill to my desk.”

After the vote, Arizona Senator Mark Kelly, one of the movers of the CHIPS Act, also praised its passage, saying:

From Senator Mark Kelly

“Just a few minutes ago, after a year and a half of work, we have finally, finally passed our plan to boost microchip manufacturing in the United States.

Microchips go in nearly everything we use. They are in the TV or the cell phone that folks are watching this on. And they are in lifesaving medical devices. And they are in our most advanced weapons systems.

The United States invented microchips and once, we produced forty percent of the world’s supply. Today, we only produce about twelve percent. And we don’t produce any of the most advanced microchips. Now that leaves us vulnerable to disruptions in the supply chain, like the current microchip shortage that has halted production lines and driven up prices. If you’ve recently tried to buy a car, a new car, and waited months, or paid more than you were expecting, the microchip shortage is a big reason why.

So, we’ve worked on a plan, Republicans and Democrats, with incentives to make sure the world’s leading microchip manufacturers grow their operations here in the United States, instead of China or Europe. It also boosts research so that the most advanced chips in the world are invented and produced right here in the United States.

That will mean tens of thousands of new jobs in places like Arizona, which is already a microchip hub poised to grow as Intel and the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company expand and build new manufacturing facilities. That is all made possible by this legislation, and it creates jobs not just with those companies, but also with the companies that supply them the tools and packaging for their products. And these are great-paying jobs. And many of them do not require a four-year degree.

I visited Estrella Mountain Community College just several weeks ago where they are training Arizonans to enter the semiconductor technician career track with just a ten-day course – followed by a guaranteed job interview.

Now, this is an enormous opportunity to reinvent our economy for the future. And this week, we’re getting it done.

This bill has now passed the Senate, and I am confident it will pass the House and be signed into law.

And while this process has been long, it has also shown what we can accomplish when we work together, Republicans and Democrats.

Senators Young, Cornyn, Warner, and I first began working on this at the beginning of last year. We found agreement and worked to build support from our colleagues. And since then, we’ve had to overcome more than a few roadblocks. But what matters most is that we got this done.”

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, whose city will house Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, quickly saluted the CHIPS Act legislation and commented on its positive impact on Phoenix, offering:

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego with CNC Machining Students at Gateway Community College.

“I appreciate the strong leadership by Arizona’s Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema to advance this bipartisan bill. I want to thank the Arizona US Representatives who are working to move the bill forward as soon as possible, and I hope their colleagues will join them. The passage is vital to advance the diverse economy and high-quality jobs I am focused on in Phoenix and our region. We are fast becoming the United States epicenter for semiconductor excellence, complete with jobs and world-class training programs producing top talent. Passage of the CHIPS Act will have lasting impacts for the semiconductor industry and its suppliers, and it is critical to the competitiveness and innovation economy in Arizona and throughout the country.”

Mayor Gallego is right. This legislation when put together with the other initiatives in sustainability, transportation infrastructure, bio-sciences, and post-secondary education career preparation programs should only enhance Phoenix’s position as an attractive beacon for technological industries of all scientific disciplines and provide many high-paying positions for thousands of skilled workers.

 

 

 

 

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