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Training a World-Leading and Diverse Manufacturing Workforce

President Biden is committed to revitalizing American manufacturing and innovation, particularly in the manufacturing of semiconductors or chips. A skilled and diverse pipeline of workers is critical to building a sustainable domestic semiconductor industry.

The skilled workers who will fill these jobs have never been in higher demand, and the United States is poised to expand and strengthen the semiconductor workforce. Thanks to the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act, the Commerce Department is overseeing $50 billion to revitalize the U.S. semiconductor industry, restore U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing, support good-paying jobs in local communities across the country, and build a skilled and diverse workforce.

One key priority of CHIPS Act investments is to build out the domestic semiconductor workforce. Run by the Commerce Department’s National Institute for Standards and Technology, the CHIPS for America initiative will help create hundreds of thousands of good jobs that can change lives, offer family-sustaining benefits, and lead to long-term careers.

Creating a New Generation of Innovators

The Commerce Department is committed to ensuring the next generation has the tools to thrive in a 21st-century economy. Funding from the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act offers a unique and historic opportunity to expand the nation’s capacity for semiconductor production and prepare the American workforce for good jobs in advanced manufacturing and engineering.    

Industry estimates show our nation will have a shortage of 300,000 engineers and 90,000 technical workers by 2030. To meet that demand, Commerce Secretary Raimondo has called on semiconductor companies to work with high schools and community colleges to train 100,000 new technicians over the next decade through apprenticeships, career and technical education, and career pathway programs. She also has called on colleges and universities to triple the number of graduates in semiconductor-related fields, including engineering.

More than 60% of the jobs in a CHIPS manufacturing facility don’t require a college degree. And the manufacturing sector is one of the best places for workers without college degrees to find high-wage jobs.

Building a Skilled and Diverse Workforce

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that diversity, equity, and inclusion are vital to filling high-skilled manufacturing jobs. Recruiting, training, and retaining a large, skilled, diverse workforce will be critical to strengthening the U.S. semiconductor ecosystem. President Biden and Commerce Secretary Raimondo are committed to diversifying the manufacturing workforce, including people with disabilities, people of color, and women. Secretary Raimondo has called on colleges and universities to expand their recruitment pipelines so that more underserved populations – including women, under-represented communities, and veterans – get into semiconductor-related fields.

Hiring Women in Construction

Last year, Secretary Raimondo announced the Million Women in Construction initiative, which calls on chip manufacturers, construction companies and unions to work on ways to reach the national goal of hiring and training another million women in construction over the next decade. This initiative will not only help meet the demand for chips, but other industries and infrastructure projects as well.

Childcare as an Economic Imperative

The country needs more workers – including women – to deliver on the President’s bold agenda and unlock the full potential of our economy. And equipping families with access to affordable, accessible, reliable, and high-quality childcare is core to getting more women into the workforce and making America competitive. Building strong care infrastructure is an economic imperative and reliable and affordable childcare reduces costs for businesses. Investments in reliable care for children are essential to getting Americans, especially women, back to work and supporting continued economic growth and competitiveness for the U.S.

As part of the CHIPS for America program, companies seeking substantial CHIPS funding are required to submit a robust childcare plan that reflects the needs of their workers’ communities where they plan to build. 

The Department of Commerce’s mission is to create the conditions for economic growth and opportunity for all communities. Essential to that mission is the need to build sustainable, employer-driven career pathways to meet employers’ talent demand and connect Americans to quality jobs.