VIDEO: Sen. Kelly Speaks with New Arizona Semiconductor Workers About Importance of His CHIPS Law

Recently, Arizona Senator Mark Kelly spoke virtually with two Arizonans about how his CHIPS Act of 2022, now law, will support job training programs to get Arizonans the skills needed to fill the high-paying microchip manufacturing jobs created, many of which will not require a four-year degree.

During the conversation, Kelly heard from Tarji Borders and Angela Taylor who secured jobs at Intel in Arizona after completing the Maricopa County Community College District’s (MCCCD) 10-day semiconductor technician Quick Start program in August. Kelly’s CHIPS law provides funding for workforce development programs, like MCCCD’s, that bring industry and academia together to meet growing semiconductor workforce demands. 

Watch the video by clicking HERE

Borders shared with Kelly how MCCCD’s workforce training program got her the skills needed for a job at Intel. “I was looking for a change. I was unemployed. I had been unemployed for over a year. And I was living off of student loans. And so I needed employment. I’m a single mom and I just was looking for an opportunity. I checked my spam folder one day and I saw an advertisement. Yeah, it’s very strange, but I saw an advertisement from Fresh Start and it was, you know, promoting this semiconductor Quick Start program. And I said I don’t have anything to lose. I didn’t really understand what hardware manufacturing was about, but I just felt confident that I could do it if I was taught the right skills…” said Borders.

In the conversation with Kelly, Taylor also highlighted how MCCCD’s program provided her with a new opportunity. “…I worked as a salesforce administrator with Amanda Hope. And so I help with their software there. I love what I do. But it just doesn’t pay enough. And I also have a child that himself has been battling cancer and uses a wheelchair and he wants to someday have an Ironman suit, he calls it. So, an exoskeleton, and I want to be a part of that movement that helps him to get what he needs in life,” said Taylor.

Thanks to Kelly’s legislation, Arizona will see more success stories like Borders and Taylor’s. “The reality is that there are so many Arizonans who want the chance to be in your shoes, but they might not know that this opportunity is available to them. But thanks to the passage of our CHIPS Act, more Arizonans will have a chance to get one of these great paying microchip manufacturing jobs. As you know, many of these jobs do not require a four-year degree. Now, we just need to be able to recruit and train the workforce needed to fill these great-paying jobs…” said Kelly during the conversation.

As a chief negotiator of the CHIPS Act, Kelly worked to ensure that his legislation not only boosted Arizona’s position as a leader in microchip manufacturing but also included funding to invest in the pipeline of talent needed to fill these high-paying jobs. Kelly recently welcomed U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to Mesa Community College and Arizona State University to highlight how Arizona colleges and universities are working with manufacturing companies to meet workforce needs. Kelly was also named a ‘CHIPS Champion’ by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) for his leadership role in negotiating and getting the CHIPS Act over the finish line.

Earlier this year, Kelly introduced the bipartisan Strengthening STEM Ecosystems Act, which establishes a National Science Foundation Program to support state-based public-private consortia which work to help students pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), including STEM jobs which do not require a four-year degree. Kelly’s bipartisan bill was included as a part of the CHIPS law.

Watch Kelly’s conversation with Arizonans by clicking HERE