WASHINGTON — During the State of the Union address on Tuesday night, President Joe Biden touted Intel’s plan to take over 1,000 acres of empty land 20 miles east of Columbus and build a $20 billion semiconductor mega site.
"It won’t look like much, but if you stop and look closely, you’ll see a field of dreams, the ground on which America’s future will be built,” Biden said. “That’s where Intel, the American company that helped build Silicon Valley, is going to build its $20 billion semiconductor mega site."
In January, when the Intel project was announced, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine called it the largest single private sector company investment in Ohio’s history. The mega project, which could balloon to $100 billion within the next decade, is expected to employ 3,000 people, earning an average salary of $135,000 a year.
Biden used the Intel factory to mention his Bipartisan Innovation Act that will make investments in emerging technologies and American manufacturing.
Biden spoke about inflation that’s affecting the country and Ohioans at home, from the grocery store shelves to the gas pump. He argued that the way to fight inflation is to re-imagine and redefine the Rust Belt by having more infrastructure and innovation in the states, which he said would drive down costs by boosting manufacturing.
He blamed automobile sales as one of the reasons for inflation, reiterating that there weren't enough semiconductors to make all the cars to fit the demand— a problem that state officials say can be fixed with the new Intel factory coming to Licking County.
“I think I have a better idea to fight inflation. Lower your cost, not your wages. That means make more cars and semiconductors in America," Biden said.
Biden also talked about how his administration is providing job training and debt-free medical care to veterans who need care after serving. He pledged to find out more about the hidden dangers that troops face, like the burn pits that were in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The widow of Sgt. First Class Heath Robinson, of Ohio, a soldier stationed just yards from burn bits and later developed cancer, was in the audience.
“Danielle is here with us tonight. They loved going to Ohio State football games. And he loved building Legos with their daughter. But cancer from prolonged exposure to burn pits ravaged Heath’s lungs and body,” he said.
The full transcript of the address can be read here.
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