Cincinnati Edition: What will Intel's plant mean for Ohio? – University of Cincinnati

WVXU’s Cincinnati Edition talked to University of Cincinnati experts in economics and computer science to explain what Intel’s proposed fabrication plants will mean for Ohio’s economy and technology industry.
Intel Corp. announced last month it will open two new semiconductor fabrication plants outside Columbus as part of an estimated $20 billion investment in Ohio.
The three-year construction project represents the biggest private investment in the history of the state, offering the promise of new high-tech jobs for thousands of residents, including many graduates of the University of Cincinnati.
Michael Jones, an associate professor of economics in UC’s Lindner College of Business, joined UC College of Engineering and Applied Science professors Ranga Vemuri and Rashi Jha in talking to Cincinnati Edition host Lucy May about Intel’s announcement.
Jha said semiconductors are found in computers but also in unexpected places like kitchen appliances.
“As you know, semiconductors are the backbone of any processor,” Jha told Cincinnati Edition.
Michael Jones, UC's Lindner College of Business
Vemuri said new fabrication plants promise to attract related industries, creating a ripple effect across Ohio’s tech sector.
“From our perspective, this is truly a dream come true,” Vemuri said. “There is nothing like this in Ohio or anywhere else in the Midwest.”
UC has deep ties to Intel and other tech companies. Many students across UC’s colleges work in high-tech jobs after graduation, Vemuri said.
About 50 of his 130 graduate students over the years launched their tech careers at Intel, he said. 
“We have a very strong relationship with Intel through our former graduate students. And we’re looking to further strengthen that relationship,” Vemuri told WVXU.
“This is not the Rust Belt anymore,” Vemuri said. “This could be the Silicon Belt.”
Jha said high-profile tech companies could establish a new presence near the Intel plants to support its future needs.
“This represents an awesome opportunity for Ohio and a tremendous opportunity for growth in terms of bringing other companies to the region,” Jha said.
Ohio has promised tax incentives of as much as $2 billion, according to the Columbus Dispatch. But Jones said Intel’s new plants are expected to draw private investment and employment that will generate new tax revenue, which is why Ohio competed so hard with other states to get Intel’s business.

“This is like the Joey Votto of investments — they’re swinging big,” Jones said.

Listen to the Cincinnati Edition interview.
Featured image at top: University of Cincinnati experts are optimistic about the potential economic impact of Intel’s investment in two new semiconductor fabrication plants in Ohio. Photo/Brian Kostiuk/Unsplash

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