Intel investment an opportunity for Dayton

The Intel microchip semiconductor plant announcement in New Albany represents the largest single private sector investment in Ohio’s history. Every single one of us has been impacted by the low supply and high demand of semiconductor chip imports, and instead of just accepting it, Ohio said, “We’ll solve that problem.” If Ohio wasn’t on the world’s radar as a technology player, it is now.

The Dayton region is located just 87 miles from New Albany, the site of Intel’s investment. When you couple our close proximity with the fact that our area boasts 31 higher education organizations and a business community with a solid foundation in advanced manufacturing and high-tech innovation, we’re well-positioned to take advantage of this historic investment.

The numbers attached to this Intel “megaproject” are staggering: a $20 billion investment, 3,000 direct jobs with average salaries of $135,000, and 7,000 construction jobs. There will absolutely be a significant economic impact on the Dayton area economy. In fact, Intel’s CEO Patrick Gelsinger said during the investment announcement that if there’s a concrete company in Ohio that’s not working for Intel next year, he wants to know about it.

When you look at this win with a wider lens, you realize the potential for exponential growth sparked by this single decision. When a corporate technology company like Intel makes an investment of this magnitude, other companies take notice. Intel has said it already works with 140 Ohio companies (a number of those are Dayton-based), and it expects to recruit 30-40 new companies to Ohio. What wasn’t said is that many times non-related technology companies watch the industry leaders, and follow in their footsteps.

If it has not been said yet, let me be clear: we want these companies in Ohio, and there’s no better place than right here in the Dayton region. The business case is simple. If you need a skilled workforce, access to 31 colleges with 100,000 students, a low cost of doing business, a business-friendly environment, and a strategic geographic location at the crossroads of I-70/I-75 – we got you.

Corporate investment follows a skilled workforce, and Intel saw something special in the future workforce of Ohio. Dayton area colleges already have solid footing in producing highly skilled students who specialize in advanced engineering, nanofabrication and advanced manufacturing. Dayton area interns, apprentices, and employees can easily live and work in the region and support the Intel growth in central Ohio. We’re just an hour’s drive away, and it just makes sense that Intel would tap in to the resources found here in Dayton.

It does not stop with this announcement. Intel has said this $20 billion seed could bloom into a potential $100 billion investment, meaning the economic impact of this announcement could be 5x the impact we are talking about today. We must come together as statewide business leaders, economic developers and public leaders to support and maximize this opportunity. This is a win for Dayton and for all of Ohio.

Now that Ohio is on the world stage as a global technology leader, let’s take it to the next level.

Chris Kershner, CAE
President & CEO
Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce

Download a PDF of this article as it appeared in the Dayton Daily News.