Semiconductor manufacturers will have to provide affordable childcare for their workers, according to a clause in the Chips Act.
New regulations will mean that companies are required to provide day-care facilities near to their manufacturing sites. They could also provide subsidies to workers so they can pay for childcare separately.
This clause only applies to companies applying for $150 million or more in funding, but other applicants are also advised to put these measures in place.
These measures were released in the First Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) on February 28th. It covers not only childcare provisions, but other measures to improve support for the workforce and their community.
Secretary of the Commerce Department, Gina Raimondo, praised the inclusion of a childcare clause. She has said in the past that a lack of childcare provisions prevented people from returning to work post-pandemic.
According to Raimondo, manufacturers and unions need to work with the department towards some grand goals. She hopes they can hire and train another million women in construction in the next ten years. This, she said, will help meet demand not only in the chip industry but across other industries.
Other provisions in the first NOFO require applicants to show their understanding of the Chips Act’s objectives. They also have to demonstrate partnerships with local governments, a plan for workforce training and supply chain risk and intellectual property theft mitigation plans.
Both the NOFO and the original legislation in the Chips Act will bring any foreign investment under a microscope. While foreign companies can apply for certain manufacturing incentives, there are stipulations. This include ineligibility if the country is listed as a ‘foreign entity of concern’, or if the application is funded by one.
There will be two further NOFOs released further down the line. The second NOFO will be based around semiconductor materials and equipment, and the third will be for R&D facilities.
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