Inside Friday's "Silicon Heartland" groundbreaking in Ohio – Axios


Columbus
Axios Columbus is an Axios company.
President Joe Biden is in rural Licking County today to celebrate the groundbreaking of Intel's new semiconductor factory site.
Why it matters: Groundbreaking ceremonies are often scripted, backslapping affairs for political dignitaries, but this marks an important milestone for a project with major regional and national implications.
State of play: Intel considered sites in 40 different states before announcing plans in January for a $20 billion project about 20 miles from downtown Columbus.
Yes, but: Intel waited on a more substantial federal investment before shoveling dirt.
The two fabrication plants being built in Ohio, along with ongoing Intel expansions in Arizona and New Mexico, are part of what Intel calls its "lab-to-fab" pipeline.
Separately, Intel is supporting semiconductor education programs at various Ohio universities and community colleges, including several in the Columbus area.
The big picture: Together, these pipelines are meant to help the U.S. win a chip-making race against China which is building more than two-dozen of its own factories by 2024.
What he's saying: Ahead of the groundbreaking, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger credited leaders in Ohio and Washington "who share a vision to help restore the United States to its rightful place as a leader in advanced chipmaking."
What's next: It will take 7,000 construction workers three years to build the Licking County factories, which will open in 2025 with around 3,000 permanent employees.
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