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GlobalFoundries welcomes Gov. Scott, Sen. Welch, others to celebrate CHIPS funding

Mar 1, 2024

Global Foundries - Gov. Scott
Vermont politicians visited the GlobalFoundries site March 1 to celebrate CHIPS funding. Gov. Phil Scott, Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman, Sen. Peter Welch and former Sen. Patrick Leahy were among those in attendance. Jackie DiBartolomeo

ESSEX JUNCTION — Dozens of GlobalFoundries employees crowded into a press room Friday afternoon for remarks from Gov. Phil Scott, Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and others celebrating the recently-awarded $1.5 billion in planned federal funding for the company.

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced Feb. 19 the whopping number in planned funding for GlobalFoundries through the U.S. CHIPS and Science Act. The act bolsters funding for research on and manufacturing of semiconductors in the United States.

While much of the proposed funding will go toward improvements in the company’s New York campus, part of it will go towards GlobalFoundries’ Essex Junction semiconductor fabrication plant, or “fab.” 

The sum will be used to upgrade existing facilities to expand capacity, as well as to create the nation’s first facility capable of high-volume manufacturing for “next-generation” gallium nitride semiconductors. 

These semiconductors are used in electric cars, power grids, data centers, 5G and 6G cellphones and more technology forms. 

“The support from the Department of Commerce in the state of Vermont will enable GF to continue to invest in our U.S. footprint, and as we complement that growth with our other facilities around the globe,” said GlobalFoundries President and CEO Dr. Thomas Caulfield at the Friday event.

Welch spoke at the press conference to praise GlobalFoundries for remaining on the cutting edge and promoting chip technology innovation across the United States as a whole.

“It requires public policy and public dollars to help a private company that is committed to following through and making certain that we have the chip technology and the chip manufacturing capacity to meet the needs of everyday Americans,” Welch said. 

Scott took to the stage at the Friday press conference to thank the Biden administration as well as the “bipartisan coalition in Congress” for getting the funding across the finish line.

In his speech, he praised GlobalFoundries for its public impact. 

“The CHIPS Act funding was produced, helped by Congress, and will help the U.S. stay on the cutting edge. And I am very, very proud of our small state having a pretty big role on the global stage as a result,” he said.

Four-hundred new GlobalFoundries hires will be made possible in Vermont because of the CHIPS funding, Scott added. 

With that, he and several other speakers at the Friday event praised GlobalFoundries for the local jobs it offers, encouraging young people to remain in Vermont amid concerns of an aging population in the state.

“If you’re a developer, designer or student working on the next big idea, you should be working right here and looking right here in Vermont,” Scott said. 

“Today’s young adults want to live in a place where they can go skiing and hiking on the weekend and work at dynamic, exciting, high-tech, innovative jobs during the week. And this investment is going to open so many doors for young Vermonters,” said Rep. Becca Balint (D-Vt.), who appeared virtually at the press conference from Washington, D.C.

To help get local students interested in science, GlobalFoundries donated a new biology and chemistry lab to Essex High School back in January.  And to attract young talent to its ranks, the company recently announced a student loan repayment program, paying the first $28,500 of student debt for current employees and new recruits to the company. 

Caulfield discussed the loan repayment program at the Friday event to an outburst of applause from GlobalFoundries employees. 

Some funding will also go toward new workforce development efforts for the company, including new internship and apprenticeship programs, a 12-step outreach program, additional educational and training programs and other resources. 

Caulfield also told event-goers that CHIPS funding will extend not only to facility updates, but to sustainability updates, as well. 

“That will include the adoption of new industry-leading sustainability practices aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improved wastewater treatment at this facility,” he said. “I think it’s only fitting that [in] the Green Mountain State, that we will lead in making this ‘fab’ one of the greenest in the country.”

Story Written by Jackie DiBartolomeo, Saint Albans Messenger

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