Optimism for Intel has reached a fever pitch recently. Among remarks reportedly given by State Senator Jay Hottinger from Newark last month was the following:
“We’re now going to have five fabs,” Hottinger said. “It makes us the largest chip manufacturer in the world. The opportunities and spinoffs from this will be phenomenal.”
In the article published in the Newark Advocate (can be read here), Hottinger followed that remark by suggesting that officials are already in talks with almost half of the 30 to 40 suppliers potentially coming to Ohio.
Each of these “fabs,” or individual factories, will generate up to 1,500 higher-than-average salary positions (the projected annual salary will be $135,000). The first two fabs have prompted a recent statewide call for 7,000 construction workers.
Those numbers, of course, do not represent the impact that Intel suppliers will have as well, at the same event, Congressman Troy Balderson said two suppliers recently told him they will come to central Ohio and employ about 1,000 each.
“This is a game-changer for our kids,” Balderson said. “This changes every outlook that every kid had in a 60-mile radius, and the opportunity our kids are finally going to have here. For every Intel job, there’s going to be six outside jobs” (same article as above).
To some extent, unless there is widespread immigration to the Buckeye State, this is a bit of a zero sum game. One area’s gain is another’s potential loss. Other areas of the state have raised concerns.
The Dayton Daily News’ recent article “Ohio’s giant Intel project could siphon Dayton workers: What it means locally” looks at that very issue. In the article, several business leaders are quoted as saying that local areas must begin to plan ahead and concentrate on training skilled labor. An official from Sinclair College is quoted in the article as saying the construction companies are calling his department regularly seeking candidates.
Two additional topics are coming up across the region – how to build infrastructure quickly and how to provide the housing which will be in great demand. The summer of 2022 has seen entities like the Mid Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) move into high gear to facilitate turning planning and action. Not surprisingly, Licking County, Intel’s new home, joined MORPC this summer.
Lastly, it should be mentioned that Dayton is about a one and a half hour drive from the Intel site, part of which trip involves Columbus traffic. Southern Richland County is just an hour away.