Valley vies for spinoff from $20 billion Intel factories | News, Sports, Jobs



A render shows plans for two new state-of-the-art Intel processor factories in Licking County, Ohio. Announced in January 2022, the $20 billion project spans nearly 1,000 acres and is the largest private sector investment in Ohio history. Production could start as early as 2025. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

WARREN – The potential for spin-off economic opportunities in northeast Ohio and the Mahoning Valley from chipmaker Intel’s $20 billion investment in semiconductor manufacturing near Columbus is excellent. , but it pays to be prepared, say development officials and educators.

“There are a lot of unknowns, but what we do know is that we will need a skilled workforce. We know what the skills of the semiconductor industry are… what is going to be important is that we are ready,” said Jennifer Oddo, executive director of the training and innovation division of the Youngstown State University workforce. “Whether we have the programs, we have the initiatives in place for the service, whether it’s technical-level work or students moving into engineering positions.”

The investment — Ohio’s largest economic development project — has enabled local officials to take the necessary steps to be able to try and build on the momentum, workforce development works with YSU and other higher education institutions on supply chains.

Intel opened the two new state-of-the-art chip factories, also known as fabs, in Licking County in September. Production could start as early as 2025.


Part of what’s happening in the region is the Northeast Ohio Intel Supply Chain Task Force, a group of economic development officials from the Valley, Cleveland and Akron regions. / Canton and members of the business and higher education communities to learn more about Intel, semiconductor manufacturing and related companies that support the chip manufacturing industry.

This is to get information about Intel.

The group has been meeting for months, starting with a survey to better understand what opportunities exist, who to target to attract, what Intel’s expectations are for a supply chain company, how the region can make itself attractive to second-tier suppliers, etc.

“We’ve learned enough to effectively attract other chipmakers and their suppliers, and I think some of these projects are already underway,” said Guy Coviello, president/CEO of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber.

It’s “an exciting opportunity” as the chip manufacturing industry is expected to grow tremendously, Coviello said.

“By bringing together these economic development organizations from northeast Ohio, it hopefully gives us an advantage,” he said.

In addition to the chamber, the task force is made up of Team NEO, Greater Cleveland Partnership, Greater Akron Chamber, and Stark Economic Development Board. There is also Charles T. George, CEO of Hapco Inc., Strangpresse and Triptech; Kimberly Gibson, Director of Ecosystem, America Makes; and Frank Li, Principal, Rayen School of Engineering, Youngstown State University.

Some of the information they collected relates to onsite selection – some vendors must be located on Intel’s campus, others must be located within an hour, and still others may be further away, including including Tier 2 suppliers who supply suppliers. .

They also learned from site selection that these chip factories need access to large amounts of water and electricity and cannot be near highways or railroads.

A Canfield task force member and businessman, George owns and operates multiple businesses, and he said he believes Intel’s plan presents a generational-like opportunity that includes, but also goes beyond, the opportunities that ‘Intel presents.

There are also chances of gaining traction with Tier 2 vendors and companies that use the chips in their own applications, such as automobiles.

“When a company like Intel chooses Ohio, other people start paying attention to the state, so maybe our region’s biggest opportunity is in the companies beyond Intel who said that maybe we should look at Ohio, maybe Ohio is a good place to build a factory or put a distribution center or put a research and development center in – any of those things.


Plus, it’s a different type of workforce — a new type of high-tech workforce that needs specialized training and education to work in the industry. .

To that end, three regional colleges are participating in an effort to develop semiconductor-focused education and workforce programs.

YSU, Kent State University and Eastern Gateway Community College are part of collaborative efforts funded with $17.7 million by Intel to develop the programs. The investment is the initial phase of the chipmaker’s $50 million pledge to state colleges and universities for educational programming.

YSU will partner with 10 northeast Ohio colleges and universities to offer training programs in automation, robotics, microelectronics, and semiconductor processing.

Kent State will lead a network of 13 other colleges and universities to prepare the workforce to manufacture small electronics. All seven branches of KSU are part of the effort, including Kent State University at Trumbull in Champion.

EGCC is one of 16 community colleges and technical schools in Ohio that are part of the Artificial Intelligence Incubator Network. EGCC worked with the other schools in the group and Intel and Dell Technologies to provide regional and regional students with training and employment opportunities.

The funding is intended to help address labor shortages in semiconductor manufacturing and technical challenges to develop new chip manufacturing capabilities.

“There was an initial concern (that) we don’t want to have a brain drain, we don’t want to train our students to go to Columbus, but we know the ecosystem is going to spread all over Ohio, so we think there is going to be a tremendous opportunity,” said Oddo. “So all of the students, anyone here in the region who wants to participate in this industry, YSU really prepares those students through our STEM program, through the work of our microelectronics programs.”

There could also be a bridge to YSU and Foxconn’s recently announced plans to develop and launch a national electric vehicle workforce training and innovation center.

“What YSU is doing with Foxconn is critically important to the Valley’s economic success and forward thinking on YSU’s part. We can create many jobs in this emerging technology, but only if the community produces the human capital needed to fill the jobs,” Coviello said.

The electric vehicle industry offers additional opportunities in the supply chain and value chain. The Inflation Reduction Act contains provisions aimed at advancing opportunities in energy manufacturing and vehicle manufacturing, he said.

“For example, we should see more and more opportunities around the production of solar panels and the life cycle of electric vehicle batteries. Recycled materials from old batteries can become metal for electric vehicles. The components old batteries can be used for new batteries, so it makes sense that these battery recycling/manufacturing facilities are close to EV and EV battery manufacturers,” Coviello said.

“Battery makers need to reduce their dependence on China. Environmental policies make new mines in the United States almost impossible. The focus and investments are therefore on the recycling of electric vehicle batteries. As Ohio expands in electric vehicle manufacturing, we become increasingly valuable to chipmakers because a single vehicle can have thousands of chips. Electric vehicles have twice as many chips as ICE vehicles,” Coviello added.

“Think of the number of chips in a car now,” Oddo said.

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