As of today, the House and Senate have both passed the CHIPS and Science Act, an important step toward the enactment of bipartisan jobs and competitiveness legislation. In response, Andrew Stettner, Director of Workforce Policy and Senior Fellow at The Century Foundation, released the following statement:
“Over the past two years, American manufacturing has proved essential to the country through several crises, providing personal protective equipment throughout the pandemic and supply chain emergency that followed and producing computer chips when a shortage loomed that spiked the price of cars and many other goods. But for the sector to grow to meet demand—and to help in our transition to a green economy—significant investments are needed.
“The CHIPS and Science Act, which today passed the House of Representatives on a bipartisan basis and is headed to the President’s desk, will strengthen our economy and supply chains, diversify our manufacturing workforce, and create good-paying jobs for people across the country. The legislation starts, but does not end, with critical new investments in semiconductors, and will set the stage for growth of good paying jobs in Ohio, Idaho, and across the nation. Moreover, the law will increase access to manufacturing jobs for people who have not historically had access by bringing technology and advanced manufacturing development to new regions and mobilizing higher education to equip students for jobs in manufacturing.
“Of particular notice, the law includes a historic new Regional Technology Hub program that endorses a vision of bottom up technology and manufacturing economic development, and sets a goal of increasing technology and manufacturing jobs among underrepresented communities and in rural areas. Furthermore, the act includes key provisions that would increase the capacity at Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other Minority-Serving Institutions in technology research, and would authorize new and expand existing programs to support diversity across STEM careers.
“Unfortunately, the legislation is missing important pieces. It does not include a provision part of the America COMPETES Act to reauthorize the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program, denying unemployment benefits and employment services to tens of thousands of workers each year who lose their jobs due to globalization. This program expired as of July 1, 2022, and Congress must find a new vehicle to reauthorize it.”
“Nonetheless, it will be exciting to see President Biden sign this historic bill into law and get to work on the implementation of and appropriations for its provisions.”