Intel invests $50 million in Ohio higher education
Intel will invest $50 million into higher education in Ohio to ensure a pipeline of workers is ready for its massive semiconductor manufacturing plant near New Albany.
Driving the news: The tech company announced the initiative Thursday at Columbus State Community College and invited colleges, universities and technical schools to submit grant proposals.
Why it matters: The manufacturing mega-site can't create the essential computer chips that power things like cars, appliances and phones without trained employees.
- Bolstering educational programs will provide Ohioans with high-paying jobs that supply Intel with the engineers, technicians and other workers it needs amid a national talent shortage.
How it works: Intel plans to provide grants over 10 years to support curriculum development, faculty training, laboratory equipment upgrades, student experiential opportunities and semiconductor research.
- Schools are encouraged to collaborate and bring industry partners into the mix.
Catch up quick: Intel announced the $20 billion project in January. Two factories are expected to employ at least 3,000 people at an average salary of $135,000.
- It's the largest single private-sector investment in state history. The company was lured by $2 billion in incentives, including a 30-year tax break.
The big picture: In addition to $50 million for Ohio, Intel and the National Science Foundation will each invest $50 million in grants nationwide.
Between the lines: Ohio's strong higher education network and diverse workforce were big factors for Intel in bringing its plant to the Buckeye State, executives said Thursday.
- They emphasized that community colleges and technical schools will be crucial to recruiting people from diverse backgrounds with a variety of skills and used a two-week "quick start" program launching in Arizona as an example.
What they're saying: "A whole spectrum of talent is going to be required to run this world-class operation," Intel executive vice president Keyvan Esfarjani said at the announcement. "The goal is not to be second or third place. We want to be No. 1."
- " ... the minds and hearts of people in Ohio are all about winning," he joked, referencing Wright State's March Madness victory Wednesday, which he attended with Gov. Mike DeWine.
What's next: May 31 is the deadline for educators and researchers to submit proposals, with funding dispersed this summer.
- Construction on the plant should begin this year with an anticipated opening in late 2025.
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