Amid a global microchip shortage, industry pioneer Intel announced on Friday that it will invest over $20 billion in Ohio to build two new plants, with significant room to expand beyond them in the future.
The project is the single largest private investment the state has ever seen, and it is poised to help Intel recover the position it lost to Samsung in 2021 as the world’s top semiconductor supplier.
After completing the first phase of the project — the construction of which is estimated to employ over 7,000 workers — Intel anticipates the plants will bring 3,000 direct jobs, paying an average annual salary of $135,000, to Ohio. Those jobs will include “factory operators and equipment technicians to engineers and business support functions,” says Intel spokesperson Lisa Malloy.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine tells Fortune that Intel’s impact on jobs will extend far beyond those associated directly with the two new plants. In addition to the construction and Intel-specific jobs coming to the state, he predicts that thousands more will inevitably spring up in related industries and community services, like equipment and material suppliers, restaurants, and entertainment — what he calls the “economic spin-off” of the company's decision to build in the state.
The question of whether Ohio can accommodate the tall order for labor was central to the state’s lengthy process of courting Intel. “That was one of the things they really looked at, to see if we had the capacity to produce the people with the degrees and the background that they needed,” says DeWine.
Intel pledged $100 million to support partnerships with the National Science Foundation and educational institutions in the state with the goal of solidifying a pipeline of Ohio-educated talent from the state’s 14 four-year public universities, 23 two-year community and technical colleges, and over 50 private colleges and universities.
According to Malloy, these partnerships will range “from collaborative research projects and laboratory equipment upgrades to building semiconductor-specific curricula for associate and undergraduate degree programs.”
The new educational initiatives in Ohio will be based on already existing programs Intel has established in other parts of the U.S. Malloy pointed specifically to the company’s new semiconductor technician boot camp program designed in collaboration with Arizona’s Maricopa County Community Colleges (MCCC).
The scope of jobs open at Intel’s existing U.S. campuses are representative of what will become available in Ohio in the coming years – from positions that don’t require higher education to those that prefer candidates with master’s degrees or PhDs in engineering.
This story was originally featured on Fortune.com