One of the most auspicious aspects of the Biden administration’s surge in industrial policy legislation is the possibility of creating thousands of new, accessible, and tech-related blue-collar and “new-collar” jobs for people without college degrees.
The potential for such work has been most widely championed in the context of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. Less noticed, though, is the potential of last summer’s CHIPS and Science Act, which seeks to reignite domestic semiconductor manufacturing after decades of offshoring.
Through the CHIPS and Science Act, the subsidiary CHIPS Act of 2022 appropriates $39 billion to subsidize the construction or expansion of U.S. fabrication plants for both leading-edge logic and memory components as well as mature-technology semiconductors. This has already prompted multibillion-dollar investments in Columbus, Ohio, Syracuse, N.Y., and other areas. Such manufacturing facilities promise a solid source of good jobs—including for people with fewer formal degrees, lower-income people, and people in non-coastal areas of the U.S.