PHOTOS: In Phoenix, Senator Kelly & Commerce Secretary Raimondo Highlight Jobs Coming to Arizona from Kelly’s CHIPS Law, Major Broadband Investments
Today, Arizona Senator Mark Kelly welcomed Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to the Phoenix area to highlight the investments, lower costs, and great-paying jobs coming to Arizona from Kelly’s CHIPS Act of 2022 and the Kelly-shaped Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in a series of events with business, education, and tribal community leaders. Kelly and Raimondo’s joint events also emphasized the strong partnerships across private and public sectors in Arizona that will create more jobs and greater economic opportunities for Arizonans, including those without a four-year degree.
As part of their swing through the Phoenix area, Kelly and Raimondo first joined the CEOs of Corning Inc. and AT&T at Mesa Community College (MCC) where they announced the construction of a new $100 million fiber optic cable manufacturing facility in Gilbert. This announcement is a credit to the Kelly-shaped Bipartisan Infrastructure Law which requires more broadband materials to be made in America and provides incentives for companies like AT&T and Corning to partner with states like Arizona to expand access to high-speed internet in rural and underserved areas. While at MCC, Kelly, Raimondo, Mesa Mayor John Giles, Gilbert Mayor Bridgette Peterson, and MCC President Dr. Tammy Robison toured a technology classroom where they saw first-hand how students are getting the skills needed to fill manufacturing jobs like those at Corning’s new Arizona facility.
In keeping with their focus on economic development and job training, Kelly and Raimondo visited Arizona State University (ASU) where they toured a fully functional microchip manufacturing facility with ASU President Dr. Michael M. Crow and local leaders. Following the tour, Kelly and Raimondo hosted a roundtable discussion about the important role community colleges and universities like ASU play in building a pipeline of talent needed to fill the thousands of high-paying Arizona jobs created by Kelly’s CHIPS law, many of which don’t require a four-year degree. The conversation also touched on how Congress can continue to support these investments and partnerships.
“Arizona’s growing microchip industry will be the backbone for the entire nation. With investments already announced from TSMC and Intel, and many more announcements from their suppliers and equipment makers in the pipeline, this is a big deal for Arizona,” said Senator Kelly, a chief negotiator of the CHIPS Act of 2022, during the roundtable conversation. “It will mean lower costs and tens of thousands of great-paying jobs, many of which don’t require a four-year degree. Now, we need to make sure Arizonans have the skills to work them.”
Kelly and Raimondo’s roundtable discussion and tour included U.S. Representatives Greg Stanton and Tom O’Halleran, ASU President Dr. Michael M. Crow, Greater Phoenix Economic Council President & CEO Chris Camacho, Arizona Commerce Authority Chief Innovation Officer Brian Sherman, Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson, TSMC Senior Vice President Brian Harison, Applied Materials Vice President of Business Development Satheesh Kuppurao, Microchip Technology Vice President of Back-End Operations Mathew Bunker.
Following their tour at ASU, Kelly and Raimondo visited the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona where they announced over $105.8 million in grant funding from the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP) which will support the development of broadband deployment plans for the Navajo Nation, White Mountain Apache Tribe, San Carlos Apache Tribal Council, Hopi Tribe, and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe. Kelly and Raimondo were joined by tribal leaders receiving these grants as well as U.S. Representatives Tom O’Halleran and Greg Stanton. The Kelly-shaped Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides additional funding for the TBCP, which will build on the success of today’s announcement.