Senators Padilla and Warnock Push to Bolster Diversity in Semiconductor Workforce

Written by: Katherine Zehnder
Published on: Jul 28, 2022

Photo credit: Gorodenkoff/Adobe Stock

U.S. Sens. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., and Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., Wednesday applauded the passage of the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors for America Act. 

The legislation passed in the Senate by a vote of 64-33.

According to Sen. Padilla’s office, the CHIPS Act is intended to create jobs, lower costs, support national security, boost domestic manufacturing, strengthen domestic supply chains and preserve American competitiveness in the 21st century.

The legislation includes a provision  Sens. Padilla and Warnock championed to ensure jobs created through the legislation serve disadvantaged groups and bolster diversity and inclusion in the semiconductor industry. 

Today, 4% of the semiconductor workforce is black and 13% is Hispanic, compared to 10% and 17% respectively in all manufacturing field.

“As this transformational legislation advances through Congress, I am pleased to see that it includes our provision to ensure that jobs created from this bill are distributed equitably and taxpayer funding will also support minority-, veteran-, and women-owned businesses,” Sen. Padilla said in the news release. “This bill is a good step in ensuring America keeps its competitive edge and reducing our dependence on foreign governments. 

“As a mechanical engineer, I understand firsthand how important these investments are to increase our STEM workforce and reassert American leadership at the forefront of scientific innovation and technology,” he said. (“STEM” stands for science, technology, engineering and math.)

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