Intel & Micron Join US Women-in-Construction Drive

Intel & Micron Technology early adoptors of US government's CHIPS Women in Construction Framework, designed to double number of women in construction

The US government has announced an initiative to double the number of women in the American construction workforce over the coming decade.

The CHIPS Women in Construction Framework is a set of five best practices. Intel and Micron Technology have made the first voluntary commitments to the Framework. 

These recruitment and retention best practices will help support on-time and successful completion of CHIPS program-funded projects. Semiconductor manufacturing companies that have already signed non-binding Preliminary Memoranda of Terms (PMT) can voluntarily adopt the Framework.

The Framework is part of US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo’s ongoing Million Women in Construction initiative, under which companies will work with contractors, trade unions, and other community and workforce partners to implement best practices. 

“It’s a simple question of maths,” said Raimondo. “If we are going to meet the national and economic security imperatives of the CHIPS Program, we are going to have to figure out how to fill the hundreds of thousands of jobs we are creating, and we won’t fill those jobs without growing our construction workforce to include more women.” 

She added: “The CHIPS Women in Construction Framework will help get more women into our construction workforce by bringing together companies, communities, unions, and other workforce training partners to both develop the talent pipeline and ensure workplaces have the support systems needed.”

CHIPS framework with contractors and unions 

Companies that voluntarily adopt the Framework will collaborate with contractors, trades unions, and other community and workforce partners in their efforts to implement the following practices:

  • Set goals and monitor progress towards increasing the participation of women on CHIPS-funded construction projects.
  • Build community partnerships with community organisations with a track record of increasing women and economically disadvantaged individuals’ exposure to and recruitment into the construction industry.
  • Develop training pathways such as training investments, apprentice utilisation goals, or apprentice readiness program partnerships that serve women and economically disadvantaged individuals.
  • Provide access to supportive services such as child care or transportation that will increase retention of women and economically disadvantaged individuals in the workforce.
  • Maintain healthy, safe, and respectful workplaces and prevent and address harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and violence through workplace training, policy and practice

The Department of Commerce also announced the first voluntary company commitments – from Intel Corporation and Micron Technology. Intel’s investments in Arizona, New Mexico, Ohio, and Oregon are set to create over 20,000 construction jobs. 

Intel and its contractors have a long history of partnerships with trades unions, including a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) for construction of Intel’s Ohio fabrication and construction workforce efforts that expand access and opportunity for workers at all of its manufacturing sites. 

PLAs help secure the skilled and trained workforce required to complete a high-quality project on schedule.

Intel creating construction jobs for women

“Intel is a leading US semiconductor manufacturer, and we’re proud that our worksites are creating thousands of construction jobs nationwide,” said Intel Chief Global Operations Officer Keyvan Esfarjani. 

He added: “With leadership comes responsibility and we’re committed to supporting our contractors and other stakeholders in their efforts to hire and train more women in the field.

“As Intel embarks on a generational expansion of its US manufacturing operations, we appreciate the opportunity to work with the Biden-Harris Administration and support our contractors and key partners on our shared goal to attract more women to construction careers.”

Micron Technology’s investments in Idaho and New York are expected to create 9,000 construction jobs. Both of Micron’s project sites will operate under PLAs that also include provisions to expand access to economically disadvantaged individuals.

Micron Executive VP of Global Operations, Manish Bhatia, said: “Our leading-edge memory manufacturing depends on a skilled US manufacturing and construction workforce. 

“Currently, construction workforce availability is one of the most pressing issues facing the US semiconductor industry at a time when we need all the well-trained workers we can get. 

“Our historic commitments in Idaho and New York, supported by the CHIPS and Science Act grants, focus on developing the next generation of construction careers.”

He added: “Through PLAs and with the support of our community partners, we are creating pathways for all, including women and veterans in construction, while addressing barriers to entry, including increasing access to childcare at our sites.” 

“Women make up nearly half of America’s workforce, yet remain vastly underrepresented in industries like construction, which needs more skilled workers to fill these high-paying jobs,” said Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su. 

She added: “That is why the CHIPS Women in Construction Framework is so important. To fulfil the promise of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda and to rebuild the nation’s economy from the middle out and the bottom up, we’re making sure that no talent is left untapped.”  

About CHIPS for America

CHIPS for America is part of President Biden’s economic plan to invest in America, stimulate private sector investment, create good-paying jobs, manufacture more in the US, and revitalise communities that have been left behind economically. 

CHIPS for America includes the CHIPS Program Office, responsible for manufacturing incentives, and the CHIPS R&D Office, responsible for R&D programs. Both sit within the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 

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