CHIPS Act Anniversary Spotlights Good Jobs and Workforce Partnerships

by Mitch Coppes, Government Relations Senior Specialist, Goodwill Industries International

This week marks the first anniversary of the signing of the CHIPS and Science Act, the bipartisan legislation that invests in domestic semiconductor research, development, and manufacturing to promote America’s global competitiveness. The law also seeks to create job opportunities in high-growth industries and upskill workers to meet the demand. President Biden celebrated the anniversary of the CHIPS Act by touting new investments in domestic semiconductor manufacturing jobs and new workforce training programs to serve job seekers and career advancers in those fields. “These investments are creating jobs and opportunities in communities across the country – from Ohio to Arizona, Texas and New York,” said Biden. “In the last year alone, at least 50 community colleges have announced new or expanded programs to help American workers access good-paying jobs in the semiconductor industry.”

Along with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS Act provides significant resources to promote workforce development in critical sectors. The U.S. Department of Commerce has created the CHIPS for America Workforce Development Planning Guide that outlines its priorities for building a robust semiconductor workforce through CHIPS Act funding, which include:

  • Investing in Manufacturing Facilities: Provide funding for the construction, expansion, and modernization of manufacturing facilities which will create new job opportunities for construction workers, technicians, engineers, and other occupations at multiple skill levels.
  • Partnering with Industry and Education and Training Providers: Collaboration between education and training providers and the semiconductor industry will ensure that education and training programs are aligned with industry needs and that students are well-prepared to fill in-demand roles.
  • Supporting Semiconductor Education and Training: Support semiconductor-related skills development throughout the entire education and training system—from K-12 schools and career technical education programs through community colleges and universities. Provide experiential and practical learning opportunities for students and researchers. Offer supportive services to improve access to education and training opportunities for all Americans and increase diversity in the semiconductor workforce.

In addition, the Commerce Department has created the CHIPS for America Teaming Partner List, which allows education and training providers, community-based organizations, workforce development agencies, and other stakeholder groups to share their contact information and capabilities so that potential CHIPS incentives program applicants can reach out and tap into the training and support services available to workers through community partners. While a local Goodwill organization may not be able to apply for CHIPS funding on its own, the list can help facilitate potential partnerships with area businesses and other eligible recipients. Click here to join or view the list.