The ingredients that will make Indiana the future economy are starting to come together.
With several recent economic development announcements, the Hoosiers have seen the vision of Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers, and other government and business leaders to transform the state into computer chips, electric vehicle batteries, and more. Such as can be a center of production and development. high tech progress.
But if the state wants to outperform other states and become a central and national tech hub, it will maintain its fanatical drive towards economic development and create a pool of educated and skilled workers. need to increase.
A series of recent developments are boosting the state’s hopes.
In May, automaker Stellantis NV announced that it had signed a deal with renewable battery company Samsung SDI to build a $2.5 billion electric vehicle battery plant in Kokomo. The factory, he said, will open in 2025 and create up to 1,400 jobs.
A month later, Taiwan-based MediaTek USA announced a partnership with Purdue University to establish a computer chip design center at its West Lafayette campus. Following this, Minnesota-based SkyWater Technology announced that it would build a $1.8 billion semiconductor factory in Purdue if it could receive federal funding through the new CHIPS and Science Act.
Last week, a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions filed a tax relief application for its St. Joseph County facility. The facility could bring in more than $2 billion in investment and more than 1,000 jobs for him, based on similar projects elsewhere. Northern Indiana.
Holcomb hasn’t stopped his commitment to economic development. This week, he led a delegation from Indiana to visit Taiwan and South Korea to lure more Asian companies to invest more in Indiana.
In order for Indiana to become not just one of the 20 technology hubs envisioned and funded by the CHIPS Act, but a full technology leader, what it takes to compete with other landlocked states is , is a continuous promotion of this kind.
As IBJ’s Peter Blanchard notes in an article on page 1A, Ohio already has a slight edge with its $20 billion semiconductor fab in Columbus. In Texas, Samsung Electronics plans to build up to 11 of his $191 billion chip factories.
One of Indiana’s biggest challenges is providing the high-tech workforce it needs to support economic growth.
Indiana’s universities are doing their part. For example, Purdue University is launching a semiconductor engineering program. But that hasn’t solved Indiana’s low college enrollment rate and shortage of skilled workers.
In 2020, only 53% of Indiana high school graduates went straight to college, down from 58% the year before.
That certainly won’t help create the 41,000 more skilled tech workers the state needs by 2030, according to TechPoint, an advocacy group for Indiana’s tech industry.
The group has launched an initiative called Mission 41K to help the state achieve its goals. But achieving it will require a holistic approach by government, business and academia.
Everyone must be on board. •
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