In ceremonies at the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s (TSMC) new headquarters and fabrication plant (fab) under construction in north Phoenix, Mayor Kate Gallego thanked the company for bringing large-scale semiconductor manufacturing to Phoenix, and thanked President Biden for the CHIPS Act which made this massive impact from TSMC on Phoenix and to the local economy possible.

Also Tuesday, TSMC made its own announcement: it will more than triple its investment in Arizona from $12 billion to $40 billion, making it one of the largest Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in United States history. The company also announced that it will add a second fab to the Phoenix site that will produce of advanced, smaller 3 nanometer (nm) chips, in addition to the already-announced plans for 4nm wafers.  

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“In addition to placing us on the leading-edge of high-tech manufacturing, TSMC’s presence here is nothing short of transformational,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “I can sum up the effect on the community in a single word, and that word is ‘jobs.’ TSMC is already employing close to 10,000 construction workers. Nearly 4,500 people will work at the fab once it is online. Plus, we have already heard from more than 40 of the company’s suppliers who also want to locate in Phoenix. All told, we expect this ecosystem will create up to 80,000 jobs over the next five years, with much of that demand met by local Phoenix talent.”

Arizona State University (ASU) is already a major player in the job training pipeline. Its Fulton School of Engineering, with more than 30,000 students currently enrolled, is poised to provide a vast corps of potential employees from which TSMC can draw. Yet not all employees will need to be Ph.D. level engineers; technicians will also be in high demand. To that end, and with assistance available through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Maricopa County Community College District launched its “Route to Relief” program that includes specific training certifications in semiconductor fields. To date, 18 classes have graduated with 197 people having earned their NIMS Semiconductor Certifications. This program is expected to grow as more people understand the lasting value of working in the semiconductor industry. 

The federal CHIPS and Science Act is a fundamental reason the TSMC expansion is happening, and an equally important factor in attracting suppliers to the area. In his remarks, President Joe Biden underscored that fact, and added an equally powerful observation. “What I’m most excited about is people are starting to feel a sense of optimism as they see the impact of the achievements in their own lives. It’s going to accelerate in the months ahead, as part of the broad story about the economy we’re building that works for everyone,” said the President. He added, “As we build a stronger supply chain, our allies and partners are building alongside us, as well. That’s why what we’re doing here in Arizona matters across the country and around the world.”  

Among the other dignitaries at today’s event was Apple CEO Tim Cook. Apple recently announced it will use TSMC chips made in Phoenix for its iPhones. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Governor-elect Katie Hobbs, and members of Arizona’s congressional delegation also participated in today’s ceremony. 

Mayor Gallego remarked on how far the city has come. 

“I have been looking forward to this day since I traveled to Taiwan three years ago to make the case to TSMC that Phoenix is the place they would want to be. To stand here today with this extraordinary, high-tech future becoming a reality, I am utterly thrilled to imagine what Phoenix will look like in ten years. It will look different, but we will know – like every generation that came before us – that the work we do now is leading to a better life for families throughout this region,” added Mayor Gallego.