Ohio Governor, Intel CEO Announce Location for Microchip Plants

By Michael Sakal
Michael Sakal
Michael Sakal
Michael Sakal is an Epoch Times reporter who covers the state of Ohio.
January 21, 2022 Updated: January 21, 2022

In what is being touted as the largest private economic development project investment in Ohio history, Gov. Mike DeWine and Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger announced on Jan. 21 that the semiconductor manufacturing giant will place two of its fabrication plants in Licking County outside Columbus.

A $20 billion project, Intel’s microchip plants are aimed at enhancing the global economy, bolstering national security, and adding thousands of local jobs, DeWine and Gelsinger said.

Intel, which has plants in Oregon, Arizona, and now forthcoming in New Albany, near Columbus, plans to build the largest and most technologically advanced plants of its kind in the world.

Gelsinger boasted they will transform Ohio into “The Silicon Heartland.”

Within the next five years, Intel plans to set up shop and employ 3,000 people at the plants and helping create 7,000 construction jobs.

High-tech jobs at Intel will average $135,000 in annual pay to make microchips that Gov. DeWine said simply are “the brains that power everything in our future”—cell phones, cars, farming combines, electronics, and even artificial intelligence and security intelligence.

Epoch Times Photo
Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger was in Ohio on Jan. 21 to announce plans for a $20 billion project that includes two microchip plants in New Albany outside of Columbus. Construction on the plants are scheduled to begin later this year with a completion date of 2025. (Photo courtesy Twitter)

“We cannot take the access to technology for granted,” said Gelsinger, a native of western Pennsylvania. “This will make our supply chain more resilient.”

He added, “This sends a message to China and the rest of the world that our essential products will be made right here in the United States.

“In Oregon, we have formed “the Silicon Valley,” in Arizona we have formed “the Silicon Desert,” and in Ohio we will build “the Silicon Heartland.”

Gelsinger, who was at the White House the morning of Jan. 21 where he got to introduce President Joe Biden for an event, said there has been strong bi-partisan support to keep microchip plants in the United States.

Intel reportedly had originally considered putting the plant in China, but that plan was blocked by the White House. It wasn’t known whether that plan was blocked by former President Donald Trump’s administration or Biden’s.

It is said to be Intel’s first major project in 40 years.

Construction on the first Ohio plant is planned to begin later this year and be completed by 2025.

Gelsinger said that Intel selected Ohio for the project in part because it would “Geographically balance the surrounding supply chain need,” and help better control the supply chain issues that have plagued the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It also would help strengthen Ohio’s technological capabilities in becoming a leader in the industry, Gelsinger said.

Gov. DeWine said during the celebratory and festive press conference that his office began discussing the project with Intel in May, and received the letter from Intel on Christmas Day that Ohio had been selected as the site for the plants.
The selection process was competitive, helping greatly expand the Buckeye State’s foundation in manufacturing. So far there are 140 suppliers in Ohio for Intel and the state plans to add more.
Intel’s project is expected to create more than 10,000 long-term jobs locally, according to DeWine, who negotiated with Intel to secure the project for Ohio.
Epoch Times Photo
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (L) and Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger (R) during Intel’s Jan. 21 announcement of the microchip manufacturing giant’s plans to build two plants in New Albany near Columbus. Construction on the $20 billion is planned to begin later this year. (Photo permission/courtesy of WSYX Columbus Channel 6)

“This is a major win for Ohio and a game changer,” DeWine said. “We worked, we fought, and we won to bring these jobs to Ohio.

“This is a special day for Ohio and a great day for Ohio,” DeWine added. “This is about American jobs, it’s about national security. We must make more products in the United States.”

Ohio is within one day’s drive of 60 percent of the U.S. population and also has 14 public universities, 74 private colleges and 23 community colleges to draw working talent from, DeWine said.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the United States has been plagued with supply chain and workforce issues as well as a major short of microchips.

That has been heavily evidenced by the Ford Motor Company.

The automaker’s Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake near Cleveland has had to park hundreds of heavy-duty trucks at nearby parking lots throughout Lorain County because the plant has not had microchips to install in them for several months.

The announcement for Intel’s project comes about seven months after construction started on the Taiwan-based and Apple Partner, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing on a new $12 billion chip plant in northern Phoenix, Arizona.

The Taiwan company, which is Intel’s rival, purchased land near where three major interstates converge in the Grand Canyon State—Interstate 17, State Route 51 and the Loop 101, which is a north-south bypass that goes through the burgeoning suburbs west of Phoenix.

That facility is expected to open in 2024 and produce wafers built on the company’s 5-nanometer process and employ 3,000 people.

Over the next decade, Gelsinger and Keyvon Esfarjani, Intel’s senior vice president for global manufacturing and supply chains, said Intel plans to invest an additional $100 million partnering with Ohio universities, private colleges, and community colleges to attract talent to state campuses.

Esfarjani noted that the facility will be environmentally friendly and focus on high water conservation standards.

Intel also supports community and non-profit organization projects through matching grants, he said.

“We are investing in Ohio, and we will continue to invest in Ohio,” Gelsinger said.

Michael Sakal is an Epoch Times reporter who covers the state of Ohio.