Kelly, Budd Introduce Bill to Boost Microchip Manufacturing Workforce

Today, Senators Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Ted Budd (R-NC) introduced the CHIPS Training in America Act, a bipartisan plan to strategically boost the microchip manufacturing workforce to meet the demand created by semiconductor manufacturers establishing or expanding their operations in the United States.   

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) estimates that, without changes, the United States will fall short of meeting growing demand for microchip manufacturing workers, with the majority of unfilled jobs being technician positions that do not require a four-year degree. The CHIPS Training in America Act will require a national microelectronics workforce development strategic plan and establish a grant program to increase workforce development partnerships between industry and localities and community colleges, such as those already started in Arizona.  

“Microchip manufacturers are investing tens of billions of dollars to grow their operations here at home, and now we’ve got to get more Americans the skills and training they need to fill the great-paying jobs being created,” said Kelly. “Our bill takes a strategic approach to boost the types of partnerships between manufacturers and community colleges that we’re already seeing working in Arizona. That’s how we’re going to get more Arizonans and Americans the skills they need to start careers in microchip manufacturing, without a four-year degree.”   

“North Carolina leads the way in technological innovation and manufacturing. I am proud to work with Senator Kelly to introduce the CHIPS Training in America Act, which will better direct already-appropriated workforce development funds towards job-specific training in microelectronics. By partnering industry with educational institutions, this bill will help workers compete for good-paying jobs while also making it possible for more critical semiconductor assembly, packaging, and testing to be brought back to the United States,” said Budd.    

“As semiconductor production and innovation expands in the U.S., it is critical for government and industry to work together to promote a robust and skilled semiconductor workforce. The bipartisan CHIPS Training in America Act of 2024 advances key priorities of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, creating valuable resources and benchmarks to support the growing U.S. chip industry workforce. We commend Sen. Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Sen. Budd (R-N.C.) for introducing this important legislation and urge prompt Senate action,” said the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA)

“On behalf of the Arizona Community College Coordinating Council (AC4), we would like to express our deepest appreciation to Senator Kelly, for introducing the CHIPS Training in America Act and his continuing support of Arizona community colleges. We are aware and appreciative of the ongoing efforts of Senator Kelly to ensure workforce funds are appropriated through the CHIPS Act and used in their most efficient and effective manner. The bill, which would create a grant program for community colleges, is critical to AC4’s ability to continue to serve key industries, such as microelectronics, computer science, and engineering,” said Todd Haynie, President of Eastern Arizona College and Chair of AC4.  


The CHIPS and Science Act included multiple independent approaches to prioritize workforce development:  

  • $200 million for the National Science Foundation (NSF) to administer the very flexible CHIPS for America Workforce and Education Fund;  
  • $11 billion for the National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC) to support semiconductor research and development, ensure collaboration among stakeholders, and serve as the coordination point for workforce development across the microelectronics ecosystem;  
  • A requirement for companies receiving CHIPS incentives to maintain a workforce plan demonstrating investments in recruiting, training, hiring, and retaining a skilled and diverse workforce.  

The CHIPS Training in America Act will ensure a coordinated, cohesive federal investment in microelectronics workforce development. Specifically, the bill uses existing appropriations to:  

  • Require the development and maintenance of a national microelectronics workforce development strategic plan, plus short-term goals and metrics;   
  • Minimize duplication between NSF and the NSTC as the NSTC stands up workforce development programming;  
  • Authorize the NSTC to develop and disseminate degree, credential, and certificate frameworks in microelectronics and semiconductor workforce development programs;  
  • Establish a grant program to expand workforce development programs in semiconductor and related fields through partnerships among industry, states and localities, and community colleges or career and technical programs.  
    • This program would also help guide industry investment in scaling programs that work to fulfill their CHIPS incentives workforce requirements.  

Click here for full text of the CHIPS Training in America Act.