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State leaders reflect on what the Intel groundbreaking means for Ohio

 Keyvan Esfarjani, senior vice president and general manager of Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Operations at Intel Corporation, speaks to the media at ean event in Newark, Ohio, announcing a massive computer chip plant that is to be built in the area northeast of Columbus. He is surrounded by state officials.
Daniel Konik
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Keyvan Esfarjani, senior vice president and general manager of Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Operations at Intel Corporation, speaks to the media at ean event in Newark, Ohio, announcing a massive computer chip plant that is to be built in the area northeast of Columbus. He is surrounded by state officials.

Federal and state leaders are reflecting on what the new Intel plant in central Ohio means for the region ahead of Friday’s ceremonial groundbreaking.

The ceremony will be the next step in what is expected to be the single largest private sector investment in state history.

President Joe Biden will join Gov. Mike DeWine along with other leaders such as U.S. Senator Rob Portman and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown.

Brown said the ceremony will mark a celebration of what he described as many years of fighting for new industrial policy. However, Brown said there is still a lot more work ahead.

“It really is the beginning of helping startups all over the state, helping tech firms, helping small manufacturers that are going to feed into this whole commercialization and industrial policy,” said Brown. “It's a celebration of some accomplishment, but it really is the kick off to do much more. And none of us should be satisfied until we really begin the process of doing much more."

The Intel project is a $20 billion investment for a new semiconductor manufacturing facility. The computer chip plant is expected to bring in 7,000 construction jobs along with 3,000 long-term positions with Intel.

Construction has already been in progress but the ceremonial groundbreaking scheduled for July was put on hold as Congress debated a piece of legislation that would pump more subsidies into the industry. In late July, federal lawmakers eventually passed the $52 billion CHIPS Act.

Brown was a vocal proponent for passing the CHIPS Act in Congress. Every Ohio congressional delegate voted for the measure except for four Republican U.S. House members: Jim Jordan, Warren Davidson, Brad Wenstrup and Bob Latta.

DeWine has said Lt. Gov. Jon Husted and others in the administration were key players in securing Ohio as the site of Intel’s new project.

DeWine was asked what the ceremonial groundbreaking means for the state, in a statement he said, “Intel has recognized that Ohio has abundant resources to support domestic manufacturing: an abundance of water, ample and reliable electricity, a central location within a day’s drive of 60% of the population of the U.S. and Canada, and, most of all, our people, representing a skilled workforce. It is a great day for Ohio, and the best is yet to come!”

Intel has said the project has the potential to expanded in several other phases that could add up to a $100 billion investment at the central Ohio site.

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Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.