The science and technology industries are on track for major new construction in the United States, as Florida and Arizona are set to receive massive financial boosts from technology fabrication companies in 2021 and beyond.
In September of 2021, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced plans for the construction of a $300 million satellite fabrication facility in Merritt Island, Florida, and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey attended the groundbreaking of two new semiconductor fabrication facilities at Intel’s Ocotillo campus in Chandler, Arizona — facilities which Intel will be spending $20 billion to build.
Terran Orbital will be investing at least $300 million in new construction and equipment for a Commercial Spacecraft and Constellation Facility, according to DeSantis’ September 27, 2021, announcement, in a move that will return “valuable spacecraft manufacturing opportunities and capabilities to the State of Florida.”
Terran Orbital is a manufacturer that primarily designs and fabricates satellites, calling themselves a “world leader in small satellites” that is focused on “industrializing satellite production.”
As per the governor’s release, the facility will serve as the “largest satellite manufacturing facility in the world.”
“We know that this will have a hugely positive impact on this area,” Governor DeSantis said. “This builds on a lot of success we’ve had on the space coast in recent years.”
The project specifically partnered the company with Space Florida, the state’s aerospace economic development agency.
Frank DiBello, President and CEO of Space Florida, noted that the agency was focused on getting new construction and projects — such as Terran Orbital’s new facility — on the docket and off the ground: “This announcement is yet another milestone in Florida’s leadership in space commerce, offering state-of-the-art development at the spaceport.
“We’re blessed right now with an abundance of capital,” DiBello added. “And frankly, Florida has more opportunities than it does resources to respond [to it]. So it’s a good time for the industry growth.”
Construction of new Intel semiconductor facilities will create new jobs — and may ease a major global supply problem
Further west, the technology industry is getting a major boost as Intel broke ground on two new semiconductor manufacturing plants at the company’s Ocotillo campus on September 24, 2021, in a project that will see the company spending $20 billion on new construction.
“We want to have Arizona and Intel be the unquestioned leaders for the world’s supply of leading-edge semiconductors,” Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said at a groundbreaking ceremony Friday.
The construction of the two facilities will bring Intel’s Ocotillo campus to a total of six factories, and are expected to be operational by 2024. The investment will additionally add more than 3,000 “high-tech, high-wage” jobs alongside 3,000 construction jobs, according to the company.
The new facilities will likely be integral to solving the world’s semiconductor shortage, as well — supply shortages stemming from the pandemic have put pressure on major industries ranging from motor vehicles to home electronics and appliances throughout 2020 and 2021.
Industry leaders are looking for an avenue towards increased supply, and are warning that the economic problems coming from the shortage could continue if supply doesn’t rise.
“If it stays business as usual, and everything’s up and to the right, this is going to be a very painful period, including in 2022 for the duration of the year,” said Marvell Technology CEO Matt Murphy.
With the presence of facilities like Intel’s Ocotillo campus, Arizona has come to the forefront as the country’s top location for new semiconductor fabrication, with Forbes Magazine even going so far as referring to it as “US Semiconductor Central” in March 2021.
According to Governor Ducey’s press release, semiconductor manufacturing employs more than 22,000 people in Arizona, putting it among the top four states for such employment.