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U.S. Department of Commerce Launches CHIPS Women in Construction Framework with Initial Voluntary Commitments from Intel and Micron

Announcement is Part of Secretary Raimondo’s Million Women in Construction Initiative

Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the CHIPS Women in Construction Framework, a set of five best practices, as well as the first voluntary commitments to the Framework from Intel Corporation and Micron Technology. The Framework is part of U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo’s ongoing Million Women in Construction initiative that aims to expand the American construction workforce by doubling the number of women in construction over the next decade. Under the Framework, companies will work with contractors, trade unions, and other community and workforce partners to implement best practices that will expand the construction workforce by increasing the participation of women and economically disadvantaged individuals. 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) may voluntarily adopt the Framework.

“It is a simple question of math. 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,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “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.”

Adoption of the Framework is intended to build upon the existing efforts of these companies and best practices established through labor, industry, government, and community leadership to increase representation of women and economically disadvantaged individuals in the construction workforce.

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:

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

As part of today’s launch, the Department of Commerce is also announcing the first voluntary company commitments from Intel Corporation and Micron Technology to participate in the Framework. Intel Corporation’s investments in Arizona, New Mexico, Ohio, and Oregon are estimated to directly 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 fabs 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 is a leading semiconductor manufacturer in the United States, and we’re proud that our worksites are creating thousands of construction jobs nationwide. 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,” said Intel Chief Global Operations Officer Keyvan Esfarjani. “As Intel embarks on a generational expansion of its U.S. 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 estimated to directly create over 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’s leading-edge memory manufacturing depends on a skilled U.S. manufacturing and construction workforce. Currently, construction workforce availability is one of the most pressing issues facing the U.S. 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,” said Micron Executive Vice President of Global Operations Manish Bhatia. “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. Micron is proud to formally join the Biden-Harris Administration to increase the talent pipeline and create a more inclusive workforce. This further builds on Micron’s existing partnerships, and our commitment to a percentage of eligible construction and ongoing spending with diverse businesses, including women-owned businesses, which will ensure the jobs Micron’s projects create are inclusive of women.”

“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. “That is why the CHIPS Women in Construction Framework is so important. To fulfill 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.”  

In the coming months, companies that have adopted the Framework will work with the CHIPS Program Office (CPO), the Department of Commerce, and collaborate with local partners, such as contractors, trades unions and community-based organizations to develop and implement activities carrying out the best practices outlined in the Framework. The Department of Commerce expects that today’s announcements will be the first of several expected announcements under the Framework, which is available to all CHIPS applicants that have entered into a PMT with the Department. Adopting the Framework is not a requirement for receiving CHIPS funding, but CPO welcomes all companies who enter into a preliminary memorandum of terms with the Department to adopt the Framework and implement its best practices.

Originally posted at https://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2024/05/us-department-commerce-launches-chips-women-construction-framework

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