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Biden virtually joins Michigan leaders to celebrate bipartisan CHIPS Act

President Joe Biden virtually joined Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Tuesday to tout the recent federal legislation that supporters said will boost American manufacturing, create jobs and lower costs by stabilizing the supply chain.

“The bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act will make a once-in-a-century investment in American industry to create and protect tens of thousands of jobs, bring supply chain from China to Michigan, and help lower costs for working families on electronics, cars, and so much more,” Whitmer said during a press conference at Hemlock Semiconductor in Saginaw County.

The CHIPS and Science Act, which garnered bipartisan support in the U.S. House and Senate,  would fund $52 billion in incentives to boost domestic semiconductor production and research.

There is a global shortage of semiconductor chips, which has been exacerbated by the pandemic and supply chain constraints, affecting industries across the country from auto manufacturing to consumer electronics, home appliances, medical devices, agriculture and defense. 

Bide, who said he was “thrilled as hell” when the CHIPS Act passed, planned to visit Michigan in-person Tuesday, but had to cancel the trip due to a “rebound” COVID-19 case.

“The way I see this bill, in Michigan, it’s about chips and it’s about cars. This bill has supercharged our efforts to make semiconductors here in America,” Biden said. 

“For the sake of our economy, jobs, cost and national security, we have to make these semiconductors in America once again.”

Biden and Whitmer were joined Tuesday by U.S. Rep Dan Kildee (D-Flint), and virtually by U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) and Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.). 

“The CHIPS and Science Act will provide a significant boost for Michigan workers, manufacturing and our economy,” said Peters. “I was proud to lead the charge with Senator Stabenow to secure funding that will expand domestic manufacturing of semiconductor chips, including for our auto sector, and pass this legislation through the Senate.

Whitmer signed an executive directive Tuesday that instructs state departments and agencies to leverage all available resources from the CHIPS and Science Act to aid in bringing in jobs to Michigan. 

The executive directive also instructs departments and agencies to identify opportunities for workforce development geared towards the needs of the semiconductor industry, including adapting existing programs, collaborating with higher education institutions and providing targeted education and training.