Henrico Citizen: Virginia Congressional delegation urges Commerce secretary to consider Virginia for semiconductor sites

Apr 21, 2022
In the News

HENRICO CITIZEN

All members of the Virginia Congressional delegation are calling on the U.S. Department of Commerce to consider Virginia for future locations of major semiconductor production and research facilities — as efforts to fund the CHIPS for America Act continue.

In a letter sent to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Rep. Abigail Spanberger and Sen. Mark Warner, along with the other elected federal representatives from the state, urged the department to consider Virginia as the site for the National Semiconductor Technology Center and National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program — two initiatives established by the CHIPS for America Act that would be funded by legislation currently under consideration by Congress.

In their letter, the legislators also outlined what they view as Virginia’s longstanding leadership in the semiconductor industry, as well as the reasons why Virginia’s economy would be best suited for the new centers.

“Virginia’s leading technology workforce and semiconductor manufacturing presence make the Commonwealth an ideal location for future federal investments in semiconductor research and manufacturing,” they wrote. “Virginia has the second highest concentration of technology workers in the US, and net technology employment in Virginia grew by more than 27,000 jobs between 2010 and 2019. Virginia also has strong education infrastructure, especially in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) degrees and credentials. In 2019-20, Virginia’s public and private nonprofit colleges and universities awarded 122,869 degrees and certificates in areas such as health care, business, education, information technology and other demand fields.”

In addition to Spanberger and Warner, who spearheaded the effort, the bipartisan letter also was signed by U.S. Senator Tim Kaine and U.S. Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA-08), Ben Cline (R-VA-06), Gerry Connolly (D-VA-11), Bob Good (R-VA-05), Morgan Griffith (R-VA-09), Elaine Luria (D-VA-02), A. Donald McEachin (D-VA-04), Bobby Scott, (D-VA-03), Jennifer Wexton (D-VA-10), and Rob Wittman (R-VA-01).

Virginia is already home to multiple shovel-ready sites – including in Henrico – that are ready to support new semiconductor manufacturing, research, and development, the legislators wrote.

“We are ready,” said Anthony J. Romanello, executive director of the Henrico Economic Development Authority. “Thanks to the hard work of Rep. Spanberger and Sen. Warner to move the CHIPS Act forward, Henrico and the Commonwealth of Virginia are poised for semiconductor investment. We have a long history of innovation in the semiconductor industry, and with our robust infrastructure, shovel ready sites, and talented workforce we are ready to meet the needs of the semiconductor industry.”

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