Contract Surety

Building A New Silicon Heartland: Indiana



Sparked by the $52 billion allocated by the CHIPS Act in 2022, spending in manufacturing has continued to be strong. Joining projects underway across the country is construction of a nearly $4 billion microchip facility in West Lafayette, Indiana, a state with ambitious plans for the future.


Thinking Big

The push to onshore American manufacturing has already “led to over $688 billion in private company investment,” across the country, with projects ranging “from biotechnology facilities and chip fabrication plants to electric vehicle battery factories and clean energy projects.” Manufacturing builds announced just this spring include: “a $3.9 billion SK Hynix chip plant in West Lafayette, Indiana, a $1.2 billion Fujifilm project in Holly Springs, North Carolina, and a $300 million XNRGY manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona.”


During unveiling of plans for the SK Hynix Chip Plant in Indiana, leaders said it “promises to bring more than a thousand high paying jobs to West Lafayette,” and is “part of a larger effort to bring production back from overseas and start a new ‘silicon heartland’ in Indiana.”  Specifically, the plant will be built at Purdue University’s Research Park, by a South Korean company looking to make the “packaging that goes around its microchips”:


The university is home to one of the top semiconductor and microelectronics engineering programs. Students will be able to intern with the company while also providing a talent pipeline…..Governor Eric Holcomb said: “This is from the north to the southern border in the state of Indiana. What is really separating us from…the competition and why we have a little swagger is because of that talent that is absolutely necessary if you’re going to win in a knowledge based economy ….” 


…The plant will produce high-bandwidth memory chips that will help meet U.S. demand for semiconductors, develop future generations of chips and house an advanced packaging research and development line at the 430,000-square-foot plant.Semiconductor chips are in just about everything people use: phones, computers, even cars. The chips made in West Lafayette will be memory chips that are a part of training artificial intelligence systems.


Mapping Manufacturing Builds

Phoenix has been the leading local for new manufacturing builds overall, with other top markets for manufacturing including: Atlanta, Austin, and Detroit. Exemplifying some of the major projects that have broken ground in the past year are: a $25 billion Samsung chip fabrication plant in Taylor, Texas; and, a $20 billion Intel semiconductor chips plant in Licking County, Ohio. As experts remind us, though, in addition to factories, research and development facilities are also on the horizon, and their locations have specific criteria: “R&D facilities tend to be smaller and located near specific talent such as universities, but at the mass production level, they need a deep labor pool and access to an abundant power supply. Locations with affordable land, lower construction costs, favorable tax structures and financial incentives are most attractive for these types of manufacturing facility projects….”


What’s Your Jam?

Even if it’s not manufacturing or research, there’s money out there waiting to be won. For example, this year alone, the Federal Highway Administration has made  $729.4 million available for the rebuilding of roads and bridges damaged in natural disasters.

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