Scenes from an Intel groundbreaking
Your future boss is an 8-year-old Ohioan named Finn Ashby.
- The science whiz from Licking County made such an impression at the Hartford Fair Intel booth that even company leadership took notice, inviting him to Friday's plant groundbreaking as a special guest.
- "It's so nice to meet my future replacement," CEO Pat Gelsinger gleefully predicted on stage.
State of play: Friday's event was a bona fide who's who in government, business, labor and academia. The potpourri of dignitaries glad-handed and repeatedly shouted things like "Today's a great day!"
- The groundbreaking had the buzz of the Arnold Sports Festival, if the enthusiasm for muscles were replaced with public-private partnerships.
Between the lines: Hours under a hot sun helped magnify the dizzying incongruity of this whole project, beyond the oddity of witnessing unbridled bipartisanship.
- A $20 billion investment — three times Ohio State's entire endowment — toward what is now an empty farm field could eventually quintuple in size.
- A project with sweeping trade, manufacturing and national security implications, one that President Joe Biden says will long be seen as a turning point in American history … all to produce computer chips the size of your fingertip.
What he said: "By choosing Ohio, Intel has recognized what we have known all along … [there is no] place that provides more opportunity than the state of Ohio," DeWine said.
- The governor then channeled his inner LeBron James, pointing toward the open field and hinting at Intel expanding with more fabrication plants.
- "[Workers will be] building the third and fourth fabs, the fifth and sixth fabs, and the seventh and eighth fabs, and on and on."
The intrigue: Amid hours of speeches, COSI president and CEO Frederic Bertley's reflections on this "monumental and unparalleled" project stood out.
- Bertley noted the 1950s "Sputnik crisis" spurred the nation to embrace STEM education and eventually land on the moon — with help from Ohio natives like John Glenn and Neil Armstrong.
- Listen to Bertley speak for just a few minutes and you'll be inspired to embark on a science project.
The big picture: Should all go to plan, Buckeye State innovators like Finn will prosper in STEM-focused K-12 programs, then study semiconductors at an Ohio college and eschew a coastal career in favor of a well-paying job in Licking County — fulfilling Gelsinger's prophecy.
The last word: "Made in Ohio, and Made in America, is no longer just a slogan," Biden said as tractors leveled dirt behind him. "It's happening."
More Columbus stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Columbus.