WEST LAFAYETTE — Semi-conductors what are they and why have politicians spent so much time talking about them lately?
The Secretary of State came to Purdue University to talk about them on Tuesday. Both state and local politicians toured Purdue’s Birck Nanotechnology Center. There, they met students researching the technology which is used in virtually all technology we all use daily.
"What we've seen this morning is for me an incredible source of optimism," Antony Blinken the U.S. Secretary of state said.
The tour included the Scifres Nanofabrication Laboratory, which has one of the world’s largest university cleanrooms. While at Purdue, the guests also were briefed on the university’s new suite of semiconductor degree programs, ranging from undergraduate through graduate study, and Purdue’sScalable Asymmetric Lifecycle Engagement (SCALE), a preeminent U.S. program for semiconductor workforce development in the defense sector.
Semiconductors are needed for computers, phones, and other electronic products we all use that are technologically advanced. Most aren't made in the United States.
"The Chips Act is an investment in America, " Gina Raimondo the United States Secretary of Commerce said.
The Chips Actwas signed last month. It invests 280 billion dollars into increasing the production of semi-conductors. Most of that funding will go to universities like Purdue, to make the technology better. But when creating production, the goal is to also create more jobs.
"As we implement the Chips Act there is a component for investing in apprenticeships and workforce development partnerships,” Raimondo said.
The U.S. Currently represents 12 percent of global semi-conductor production.Which is down from 37 percent in 1990. That is something state and national leaders hope will change by investing in manufacturing infrastructure that already exists in the Midwest.
"Semiconductors play a central role in all of that,” Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb said. “This is just a natural extension of the very mature supply chain that we already offer not just Hoosiers for careers but the world for advancement. “
The White House says by manufacturing semiconductors here at home the new facilities expected to be built could create hundreds of thousands of high-paying jobs.
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