Semiconductor manufacturing in Michigan set to get a boost from CHIPS Act

The legislation, which Congress passed last week, will pump $52 billion in incentives to increase domestic production of semiconductors and microchips that are used in many electronic devices. 

CHIPS Act

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer touts the passage of the CHIPS Act on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022 at Hemlock Semiconductor. Photo credit: State of Michigan

Semiconductor manufacturing is set to receive a boost in Michigan and across the country following the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act.

The legislation, which Congress passed last week, will pump $52 billion in incentives to increase domestic production of semiconductors and microchips that are used in many electronic devices – including vehicles. The auto industry has been disproportionately impacted by chip shortages – with most of the semiconductors being manufactured in Southeast Asia.

Joining remotely on Tuesday at a media event at Hemlock Semiconductor near Saginaw, President Joe Biden said the CHIPS Act will help spur innovation and job creation.

“This bill makes it clear the world’s leading innovation will happen in America,” Biden said. “We will both invent in America and make it in America. We’re going to make sure we include all Americans, including rural and urban communities right here in the industrial Midwest.”

Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Township) worked with Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) to secure funding for U.S. production of semiconductor chips for the auto industry.

Shortages of semiconductors and microchips have slowed production of new vehicles and have left thousands of new cars and trucks sitting in lots waiting for the parts to be installed. According to the governor’s office, the shortages have reduced production and in some cases, idled plants, which affected more than 575,000 auto-related jobs.

New semiconductor factories will likely take years to start up but Michigan companies like Hemlock Semiconductor and Calumet Electronics are already planning expansions, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said.

“And all the way in the Keweenaw [Peninsula], Calumet Electronics, one of a few manufacturers producing organic components for microelectronics, announced an 80-job expansion. In the Keweenaw that’s a big deal,” Whitmer said.

The governor signed an executive directive instructing state departments and agencies to take steps to maximize all available resources from the CHIPS Act to attract more projects and jobs to Michigan.

“[The CHIPS Act] will create and protect tens of thousands of good-paying jobs,” Whitmer said. “And it’ll help lower costs on everything from cars to dishwashers to medical devices and graphics cards. The CHIPS and Science Act will have a significant impact on the state of Michigan.”

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  • Russ McNamara is the host of All Things Considered for 101.9 WDET, presenting local news to the station’s loyal listeners. He's been an avid listener of WDET since he moved to metro Detroit in 2002.