Intel will build five fabs; vendors scout central Ohio sites

GRANVILLE — State Sen. Jay Hottinger, R-Newark, said the recent passage of the CHIPS Act in Congress means computer chip maker Intel Corporation will build five manufacturing plants in Licking County instead of two. .

Hottinger made his comments Thursday night during the Licking County Chamber of Commerce’s Washington Night at the Granville Inn.

Intel had pledged to invest $20 billion to build two factories at the site, a mile south of Johnstown, on land in Jersey Township recently annexed to New Albany. The site can accommodate up to eight fabs, officials said.

The inauguration of the Intel project is scheduled for September 9, during the visit of President Joe Biden. The company said the investment could reach $100 billion with federal grants and congressional action tax credits. Intel said it would hire 3,000 employees to operate the two factories, which are expected to begin production in 2025.

State Sen. Jay Hottinger, R-Newark, recently toured Intel sites in Israel and came away more impressed with the company and its future role in Licking County.

“Now we’re going to have five fabs,” Hottinger said. “It makes us the biggest chipmaker in the world. The opportunities and the payoff from that will be phenomenal.

Hottinger said of the 30 to 40 vendors likely to come to Ohio, Central Ohio officials are already in talks with 15 of them.

“About three weeks ago Intel had an event in Columbus, a supplies event,” Hottinger said. “There were about 300 people there. And a third of the individuals, it was their first time ever to come to Ohio. The purpose of this meeting was for Intel to try to convince its suppliers to come to Ohio. State of Ohio.

“So when we talk about the ripple effect and new opportunities, it’s real and it’s meaningful.”

Congressman Troy Balderson, R-Zanesville, said two vendors recently told him they would come to central Ohio and employ about 1,000 people each.

“It’s a game-changer for our kids,” Balderson said. “It changes every perspective every kid had within a 60-mile radius, and the opportunity our kids are finally going to have here. For every Intel job, there will be six outside jobs”

Balderson said it was important to involve mothers in the making opportunities for their children. He said former Ohio State football coach John Cooper told him that the key to securing a football player’s commitment was to get the consent of the father’s mother. boy.

“We have to involve our mothers here a little bit, because they are the ones who do not know what manufacturing is at 21st Century,” Balderson said. “They need to see these facilities. We have THK. They need 100 people. It’s robotics and it’s a two-year degree. You can eat off the floor.

“I grew up in filth and dirt and it’s not like that anymore. It’s important to show our moms that their kids can make six figures pretty quickly out of school. It’s a big problem.

Amy Rippel-Elton, a Newark Democrat who opposes Balderson in the upcoming 12th congressional district election, took issue with Balderson’s comments about moms.

“It’s crap,” Rippel-Elton said. “Many of us work in these jobs. These are the best paying jobs we can get in our district. We understand. I’ve been in factories from coast to coast and border to the other. This point of view is so outdated, it’s ridiculous. Thinking because we are women, we have no idea.

A rendering of what Intel's $20 billion microchip factory might look like is planned for Jersey Township in Licking County.

After the event, Balderson was asked to explain why moms are key.

“Because moms care about their boys and girls,” Balderson said. “It’s all about moms. Dads are always on board. Moms want to know that their (kids) will be okay.

Grow Licking County Executive Director Alexis Fitzsimmons said GLC has about 60 leads this year from businesses interested in Licking County. But identifying them can be a challenge.

“Sometimes we don’t know they’re suppliers to Intel,” Fitzsimmons said. “Sometimes there are code names. Job numbers have ranged from 30 to 100.”

Hottinger said his main concern with Intel is finding housing for all employees who come here.

Newark Mayor Jeff Hall said while Newark doesn’t have a lot of land available, there has been interest.

“We’ve had contact with real estate developers,” Hall said. “We have very little land. They want 30 acres, zoned, with utilities. Realistically, housing is going to grow around utilities. You can’t always sit back and pick your level of growth.”

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