Intel Awarded Biggest CHIPS and Science Act Grant to Date

By Cathalijne Adams
Mar 20 2024 |
Screenshot from the White House YouTube live stream on March 20, 2024

The semiconductor company’s expansion will create nearly 30,000 jobs.

The Commerce Department will award Intel up to $8.5 billion and provide the American company with up to $11 billion in loans through the CHIPS and Science Act fund, President Biden announced on Wednesday during a visit to Intel’s campus in Chandler, Ariz. The funds are expected to create more than 10,000 manufacturing jobs and nearly 20,000 construction jobs across Intel facilities in Arizona, Ohio, New Mexico, and Oregon.

This is Commerce’s fourth CHIPS and Science Act funding announcement, and it is the biggest so far from the law’s $52 billion fund. Though semiconductors were invented in America, the United States makes less than 10% of the world’s chips, and none of the most advanced types. But the Biden administration expects to manufacture approximately 20% of the world’s leading-edge chips by 2030.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo called Wednesday’s announcement “a massive step towards ensuring America’s leadership in manufacturing for the 21st century” and “the culmination of years of work by President Biden and bipartisan efforts in Congress to ensure that the leading-edge chips we need to secure our economic and national security are made in the U.S.”

“Make no mistake, fragile global supply chains are not just a threat to our economy, but also to our national security as well,” Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said in remarks delivered before Biden’s speech. “By coming together today, we are declaring that America will not surrender leadership to our competitors. We are choosing innovation over inaction. We are building a future with geographically balanced and resilient supply chains, right here in America, right here in Arizona.”

The CHIPS and Science Act was enacted in 2022 to position American workers and businesses to lead the technology race and strengthen American manufacturing, supply chains, and national security. Since Biden took office, companies have announced more than $240 billion in U.S. semiconductor manufacturing, according to the White House.

The funds Commerce has provided Intel will be used to construct fabs for leading-edge logic chips that power the world’s most advanced technology, such as artificial intelligence, as well as modernize existing manufacturing facilities. The company’s investments in Arizona and Ohio will qualify as the largest private sector investment in each state’s history.

Intel has promised to dedicate $50 million from its CHIPS and Science Act funding to workforce development, partnering with educational institutions and labor unions to develop and train semiconductor and construction workers. This builds on the more than $250 million that Intel has invested in workforce development over the past five years. Additionally, Intel has agreed to increase access to discounted childcare and pilot a childcare reimbursement program.

“If we invent it in America, it should be made in America, and include all of America,” Biden said.

The Ohio State Building Trade signed a Project Labor Agreement for Intel’s Ohio construction that ensures union employment. Furthermore, the tech company’s Arizona and Oregon sites will be built by majority-union construction crews, according to the White House.

Since its passage, the CHIPS and Science Act has granted $1.5 billion to GlobalFoundries, $162 million to Microchip Technology Inc., and $35 million to BAE Systems Electronics Systems. Commerce has received more than 620 statements of interest in CHIPS and Science Act funding and is expected to announce additional grants throughout 2024. But the CHIPS and Science Act is just one part of the Biden administration’s overall industrial policy push that has created nearly 800,000 factory jobs and $676 billion in private investment in manufacturing, according to the White House.

“I’ve been determined to make things in this country again, to build manufacturing capacity,” Biden said on Wednesday. “As I’ve said, we’ve created over 800,000 manufacturing jobs, and we’re still counting, to make sure we are never again in a position where during the pandemic we’re relying on other countries to make things that we badly need here at home to be able to go forward.

“Folks, some folks didn’t believe we could do this, but I’ve made no bones about it,” Biden continued. “I said for a long time, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart, if we invest in America, we change the country’s future and lead the world again. We are leading the world again. We’re proving it’s never been a good bet to bet against America.”