The bipartisan bill aims to provide a boost to the nation’s semiconductor workforce.
House lawmakers Wednesday introduced the latest bipartisan legislation focused on addressing the nation’s semiconductor shortage.
Introduced by Rep. Haley Stevens, D-Mich., the Creating Helpful Initiatives to Produce Personnel in Needed Growth Industries, or CHIPPING In Act of 2022 takes a three-pronged approach to the shortage. First, the legislation creates National Science Foundation awards for universities, nonprofit organizations and consortia to foster “research, development and related activities, to advance innovative approaches to developing, improving and expanding evidence-based microelectronics education and workforce development activities and learning experiences at all levels of education, and for other purposes.”
“We invented and innovated the semiconductor chip in the United States but are currently only manufacturing 12% of the global supply,” Stevens said in a statement. “We’re experiencing the semiconductor chip shortage first-hand in Oakland County, where we have parking lots full of cars that cannot be sold due to missing chips. Solving the semiconductor chips shortage and investing in the semiconductor workforce is essential to our country’s success as we re-shore American manufacturing and lead the world in innovation.”
The bill also establishes traineeship programs that can fund research by students who pursue microelectronics in their advanced degrees. The program would prioritize proposals from Historically Black College and University, Tribal College or University or Minority Serving Institutions in an effort to recruit students from groups currently underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math careers.
“It is important to ensure that the next generation of workers are equipped with the skills needed to compete,” said Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio, one of several of the bill’s co-sponsors. “I am glad to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan legislation which will incentivize U.S. colleges and universities in training the future of the semiconductor workforce.”
In addition, the legislation would create a national network for microelectronics education—a national network of partnerships “to coordinate activities, best practice sharing and access to facilities.” The network would enhance and broaden participation in the field of microelectronics, according to the lawmakers.
The legislation has support from the American Automotive Policy Council, the American Semiconductor Academy Initiative, Intel and the SEMI industry association.