Biden boasts return of ‘industrial Midwest’ at groundbreaking for Intel semiconductor plant

LICKING COUNTY — President Joe Biden says the future of America’s workforce will be built in Ohio.

Biden made the remarks while attending the groundbreaking for the $20 billion Intel semiconductor chip plant in central Ohio.

Biden arrived at a Columbus airport on Air Force 1 around 10:35 a.m. Among those who traveled with the president included Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown.

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Hundreds of invited guests were led to their seats at the event The Ohio State Marching Band.

Speakers talked about the importance of the semiconductors, which Biden said powered everyday life. Right now, only 10 percent world’s chips are made in the United States.

“Our work in Ohio will determine whether America’s economic and national security will be strengthened by creating a stable supple of computer chips,” Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said.

Intel’s CEO Pat Helsinger picked Ohio over 40 other possible location for the facility. He said he’s betting on Ohio’s work force and work ethic. He also said the chips are used in almost every type of defense industry product.

“Do we want out national defense to have the most advanced semiconductors in the world? You bet we do,” Helsinger said.

Biden told the crowd it was fitting that they were gathered to break ground for “America’s future” in Ohio.

Biden said that Ohio has always been the home of innovation with people like the Wright Brothers and John Glenn.

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The president stressed that this facility would be important of defense purposes and economic development. He also said this marked the rebirth of manufacturing leadership in the United States, especially the Midwest.

“The industrial Midwest is back,” Biden said.

Biden also told the crowd he wanted to “bury the term ‘Rust Belt’” and “call it the ‘Silicon Heartland.’”

Other speakers at the groundbreaking included Gov. Mike DeWine, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Columbus).

DeWine called the facility a “great victory” for Ohio.

“Ohioans are the heart of the new silicon heartland,” DeWine said.

The $20 billion Intel semiconductor plant promises to create a potentially seismic economic ripple that will reach the Miami Valley.

Contractors are already moving earth on the site and 7,000 construction workers will spend the next three years building the facility. Once completed, 3,000 jobs will be created.

Jeff Hoagland, President of the Dayton Development Coalition, said the Miami Valley have already seen the benefits of the facility.

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