CINCINNATI — Although Intel will establish a campus 140 miles away, educators and business leaders in Cincinnati hope the region can benefit from the ripple effect of the project when it opens in 2025.
What do you want to know
- Cincinnati hopes Intel will bring a network of high-tech manufacturers to the region
- The city is developing its infrastructure and workforce to attract businesses
- The Port has reserved potential sites for industrialists
- UC trains its students in microelectronics, hoping Intel brings a pipeline of jobs
- The university is part of a network of partner institutions to develop microelectronics manufacturing
With Intel coming to the Midwest, they hope other high-tech manufacturing along the industry’s supply chain will follow, which is why Cincinnati is investing in developing its workforce. work, its infrastructure and its recruitment, to lead these companies to the queen city.
According to Kimm Lauterbach, president and CEO of REDI Cincinnati, attracting cutting-edge manufacturers has been one of the city’s long-term goals for years, but with Intel building its new manufacturing facilities less than two hours from road, she said it was a unique opportunity to entice companies to become part of a potential new network of makers.
“For us, that means the opportunity to produce, much more in STEM talent and research, the ability to really become that HUB,” she said.
In its latest capital budget, Cincinnati set aside $7 million for REDI Cincinnati and the Port to identify potential industrial sites in the area that could serve a potential company looking to supply equipment to Intel or work with the silicon chips and wafers that the fab will produce.
“We thought about preparing the site, what we need in terms of water and sewage capacity, and how do we make sure our roads would help ensure that we can also move the products,” said said Lauterbach.
Besides a location to start, Lauterbach said businesses are looking for a strong local workforce, and she thinks that’s one of Cincinnati’s strongest selling points.
“We have a rich manufacturing heritage,” she said. “If you’re a freshman at Ohio State or UC, Miami, NKU, you’ll actually have a pipeline into employment with Intel or one of their vendors in 2026 when you graduate.”
The University of Cincinnati is one of 11 institutions in the Midwestand one of eight in Ohio, which has partnered to establish the Midwest Regional Network to meet national semiconductor and microelectronics needs.
Following the announcement of Project Intel, the schools formed the network to capitalize on industry growth in the Midwest and serve as a source for continued research and development.
According to Dr. Rashmi Jha, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at UC, many of its graduates already have the skills and experience that these types of industries are looking for. They rarely have the chance to apply them in their country of origin.
“Many of our students at the University of Cincinnati work in various places at Intel,” she said. “So the fact that Intel wasn’t in Ohio, they had to take those jobs where they got those opportunities.”
UC already runs a cleanroom facility where students learn how to fabricate and work with silicon wafers, with the Intel project opening around the time many of its students will graduate, Jha said she is looking expand what this program offers and put even more students on the path to a career in microchip manufacturing.
“We will launch a large number of small modules for targeted training,” she said. “All of these things are extremely critical to training the next generation of semiconductor workforces and we can do that in our cleanroom.”
In the years leading up to Intel’s opening, Jha said she was confident the project would have a long-term impact not just on the region, but on the country as a whole, and she said that she planned to do everything she could to ensure her students had the skills to thrive in the growing field of microelectronics.
“We will be ready,” she said.