President Biden visits NC Triangle, tours Durham's Wolfspeed
President Joe Biden came to Durham yesterday to tour Wolfspeed, an N.C. State-born semiconductor firm expanding its operations in North Carolina amid surging demand for its chips from electric vehicle makers.
Driving the news: The presidential visit is part of a tour meant to highlight manufacturing growth in the country and bills like the Chips and Science Act, which incentivize companies like Wolfspeed to build facilities in the U.S.
- Wolfspeed, founded as Cree in 1987, originally focused on LED lights — but in recent years has transitioned solely to making silicon carbide chips.
Why it matters: Wolfspeed is planning to build a $5 billion silicon carbide facility in Chatham County that could employ up to 1,800 workers.
- Neill Reynolds, the company's chief financial officer, said the CHIPS Act is an important part of the company's growth.
- Already, state and local governments will provide about $775 million in incentives if Wolfspeed meets hiring and investment goals.
What they're saying: Biden remarked he originally visited the company in 2010 to see its light bulbs.
- "Hell of a lot more than light bulbs now," he said.
Go deeper: Wolfspeed CEO explains $5 billion Chatham County expansion
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