by James C. Sherlock
Among the things that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has made clear is the vulnerability of Taiwan and with it, the access of the U.S. economy to the 90% of advanced computer chips manufactured there.
The national security requirement for domestic chip manufacturing brings opportunity. It is the nation’s most urgent manufacturing priority. So, why not build the needed plants in Virginia? Is the Commonwealth organized to attract those investments?
For the answer to the last question I looked at the Virginia Department of Commerce and Industry, the State Council on Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV) and Virginia’s engineering schools and found nothing to suggest Virginia is making an organized effort.
Much of Virginia’s headline effort in engineering education is to expand opportunities for Amazon workers in Northern Virginia.
I suggest Virginia focus its Department of Commerce and Trade on chip manufacturing, create dedicated educational consortiums, identify available facilities and workforces like those of the shuttered Rolls Royce plant in Prince George County and offer tax abatement packages to actively recruit semiconductor manufacture. Continue reading