CHIPS Act: Good Jobs, Healthy Neighborhoods

The CHIPS and Science Act directs at least $280 billion in federal spending over 10 years to promote semiconductor manufacturing in the United States, of which $39 billion has been appropriated for grants to chipmakers. While we support its goals, the bill didn’t go far enough in ensuring the permanent jobs that will be created are high-paying ones with good benefits. It’s also unclear whether the public will get meaningful information on which companies will get money through the legislation and how much, and what communities will get in return. We’re fighting for that transparency.

Much of the CHIPS Act’s money is structured as public subsidies to companies — as tax breaks, grants, and more. States and localities are piling on cash of their own, though the Act itself doesn’t require this. However, it’s at the state and local level where officials can add strings, like requiring companies to pay market-based wages and adding strict controls to mitigate hazardous conditions for nearby neighborhoods.

We believe semiconductor factories subsidized by our tax dollars should be models of high-road economic development. We’re a founding member of CHIPS Communities United, an alliance of labor, labor, environmental, social justice, civil rights, and community organizations, to make sure we get there.

Recent work on the CHIPS and Science Act