Dear Secretary Raimondo,
Thank you for your work to strengthen American semiconductor manufacturing, and the Department of Commerce's efforts with Congress to pass the CHIPS for America Act. As Congress works to fully fund the important programs authorized by the law, we write to express our strong support for considering Virginia for sites to establish the National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC), National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program (NAPMP), and other federal investments in semiconductor research and manufacturing.
We appreciate the Department of Commerce's leadership in convening business leaders and government officials to address supply chain disruptions and semiconductor chip shortages. These issues are at the heart of rising prices that are impacting Americans' pocketbooks. Additionally, investing in domestic semiconductor manufacturing is crucial for US global competitiveness and national security. As such, we strongly support robust funding for the CHIPS Act, and believe Virginia is uniquely positioned to effectively leverage federal investments to strengthen domestic manufacturing.
Virginia's leading technology workforce and semiconductor manufacturing presence make the Commonwealth an ideal location for future federal investments in semiconductor research and manufacturing. Virginia has the second highest concentration of technology workers in the US, and net technology employment in Virginia grew by more than 27,000 jobs between 2010 and 2019. Virginia also has strong education infrastructure, especially in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) degrees and credentials. In 2019-20, Virginia's public and private nonprofit colleges and universities awarded 122,869 degrees and certificates in areas such as health care, business, education, information technology and other demand fields.
In addition to the Commonwealth's highly prepared workforce, there are several shovel-ready sites in Virginia that are eager to support new manufacturing, research, and development. Multiple leading semiconductor manufacturing companies, such as Micron Technology and GeneSiC, have already chosen Virginia for large investments, such as for new semiconductor manufacturing plants, or expanding operations. Virginia has been named the "Top State for Business" five times since CNBC began ranking states for doing business in 2007, most recently ranking first in 2021. For these reasons, Virginia is strongly suited to be a responsible steward of federal investments in domestic semiconductor manufacturing and research, and promote U.S. global competitiveness in this key sector.
We continue to strongly support the Department's work in promoting domestic semiconductor production and research, and we urge you to consider Virginia for the NSTC, NAPMP, and other investments as the Department implements the CHIPS for America Act. Thank you for your full and fair consideration of this request, consistent with applicable agency guidelines.