Sen. Kelly, Rep. Stevens Urge Department of Labor to Support American Workforce Programs to Maximize Impact of CHIPS and Science Act

This week, Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Representative Haley Stevens (D-MI-11) sent a letter to Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su urging the Department of Labor (DOL) to bolster America’s semiconductor workforce development programs.   

Since the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act, over $200 billion has been invested in creating a domestic supply chain of semiconductors and bolstering U.S. leadership in designing next generations chips, but the number of qualified workers to build this future has not kept pace. Sen. Kelly and Rep. Stevens, key authors of the CHIPS and Science Act, thus are specifically requesting DOL use its existing authority for workforce development, including through apprenticeships and coordination with existing state-based programs, to ensure that the United States closes the widening workforce and skills gap in the semiconductor industry.  

“The passage of the CHIPS and Science Act that I negotiated in Congress created an unprecedented opportunity for American workers to benefit from good-paying microchip manufacturing jobs, many of which don’t require a four-year degree,” said Sen. Kelly. “As we continue to see investments in microchip manufacturing in Arizona and across the country, we need an all-hands-on-deck approach to workforce development from federal partners to ensure American workers are ready to take on these jobs.”    

“We can’t build chips in the U.S. without skilled workers, which is why it is so important that the CHIPS and Science Act included legislation like my Chipping in Act to address these workforce challenges,” said Rep. Stevens. “I am thrilled with the work federal agencies are doing to build out a robust semiconductor manufacturing workforce; but there is much more to be done. I look forward to Acting Secretary Su’s response and I hope, building off our suggestions, the Department of Labor can be a key partner in this work.”   

Read the letter here.