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Intel project provides proof of Ohio’s value

Some will argue quite convincingly that America has struggled to keep up with competing nations in technological advances and the manufacturing that comes with them.

Ohio took an enormous step last week in overcoming that struggle, advancing not only our state, but our nation, in production of semiconductor chips used in the manufacture of everything from phones to automobiles, and from appliances to video games.

Chip shortages fueled by business shutdowns during the pandemic have interrupted production of new vehicles and electronic devices for more than a year. Not only has it disrupted the U.S. economy, it has created a vulnerability in our nation’s defense since eight of every 10 chips are produced in Asia. Industry experts predict demand for these chips only stands to grow greater because of the development of more and more electronic devices requiring them.

We recently used this space to point out the struggles that have come from America’s tendency to send manufacturing overseas. Those decisions have been exacerbated with supply chain struggles that have touched all of us in recent months.

Ohio, which already has done an outstanding job in the aspect of reshoring, scored another giant win last week when it was announced that a suburb of Columbus had been chosen by Intel as home to a new $20 billion (yes, billion with a “B”) operation in two factories on a 1,000-acre site in Licking County, just east of Columbus. The two new factories, called fabs, are expected to create 3,000 company jobs — many of them highly skilled — and 7,000 construction jobs. The facility will support tens of thousands of additional jobs for suppliers and partners, Intel and local and state officials said Friday.

It will help alleviate a global shortage of chips while also signaling the giant company’s commitment to manufacturing crucial technology products in the U.S. The move also could create a new technology hub in central Ohio as related businesses that support chip manufacturing open new facilities and bring expertise to the region.

This business currently is dominated by Taiwan. Chips built here in Ohio won’t just reduce supply chain pressures, but will also bolster U.S. national security while bringing more tech jobs to the region.

This huge win is proof that Ohio is continuing to move in the right direction.

A report released just last September by Reshoring Initiative, a U.S.-based initiative that promotes reshoring and provides tools and support for companies evaluating locations, had ranked Ohio No. 1 to that point in reshoring announcements, with 37 companies totaling 12,423 jobs.

That report had indicated that most of the jobs coming back to America’s shores are in the fields of transportation equipment, primarily in electric-vehicle battery production.

Now, we are well aware that Intel’s decision to come to Ohio brings incredibly significant benefit to all Ohioans.

First, the chips soon being manufactured in nearby Columbus will very likely be of great benefit in the growing local manufacture of electric vehicles.

Further, as Greater Cleveland Partnership President / CEO Baiju Shah said on Twitter, “This is BIG for all of Ohio. Chips will create supplier and downstream product opportunities. Also adds to Ohio’s Smart Manufacturing reputation.”

Additionally, to support a well-trained workforce, Intel is committing $100 million to partnerships with local educational institutions including Ohio universities, community colleges and the U.S. National Science Foundation.

In all, the project is expected to add $2.8 billion to Ohio’s annual gross state product, Gov. Mike DeWine said.

The hard work by Ohio officials and economic development experts in landing this incredible project must be saluted.

Success breeds success. A growing Intel presence in our state will make it that much easier to attract advanced-manufacturing talent and capital to Ohio. Undoubtedly, this project will send a very direct message that Ohio is high-tech and open for business.

It also should send an equally strong message to all Ohio cities and regions, including our Mahoning Valley, that we must think big. Intel’s selection of Ohio is proof positive that anything is possible.

editorial@vindy.com

SCRIPTURE

He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.

1 Peter 1:20 NKJV

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