Intel and Micron Join CHIPS Initiative to Double Female Construction Workforce

In a groundbreaking move to boost female participation in the construction industry, Intel and Micron Technology have announced their commitment to the CHIPS Women in Construction Framework. This initiative, launched by the U.S. Department of Commerce, is part of the broader CHIPS for America program and aligns with Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo’s Million Women in Construction initiative, which aims to double the number of women in the construction workforce over the next decade​.

Key Objectives of the CHIPS Women in Construction Framework

The CHIPS Women in Construction Framework outlines several key practices designed to foster a more inclusive and supportive work environment for women in the construction industry. These include:

Setting Hiring Goals:

  • Companies are encouraged to set specific targets for hiring women and economically disadvantaged individuals. This involves monitoring progress to ensure these goals are met and continuously adjusting strategies to improve outcomes.

Building Community Partnerships:

  • The initiative emphasizes the importance of collaborating with community organizations that have a track record of increasing women’s and economically disadvantaged individuals’ exposure to and recruitment into the construction industry. These partnerships are vital for reaching potential candidates and providing them with the necessary support to enter the field.

Developing Training Pathways:

  • Investments in training programs and apprenticeships specifically designed for women and economically disadvantaged individuals are crucial. These training pathways aim to equip participants with the skills and knowledge required to succeed in construction roles.

Providing Supportive Services:

  • To improve retention rates among female workers, the framework advocates for providing access to supportive services such as childcare and transportation. These services address common barriers that women face when pursuing careers in construction.

Ensuring Safe Workplaces:

  • Creating healthy, safe, and respectful work environments is paramount. The framework includes measures to prevent and address harassment, discrimination, and violence through comprehensive workplace training, policies, and practices​.

Commitments from Intel and Micron

Intel Corporation:

Intel’s projects in Arizona, New Mexico, Ohio, and Oregon are expected to create over 20,000 construction jobs. These projects will operate under Project Labor Agreements (PLAs), which help secure a skilled workforce and expand opportunities for women and economically disadvantaged individuals. Intel’s Chief Global Operations Officer, Keyvan Esfarjani, emphasized the company’s commitment to supporting the hiring and training of more women in the construction field. “With leadership comes responsibility, and we’re committed to supporting our contractors and other stakeholders in their efforts to hire and train more women in the field,” Esfarjani said.

Micron Technology:

Micron’s projects in Idaho and New York are anticipated to generate around 9,000 construction jobs. Similar to Intel, Micron’s projects will also operate under PLAs, focusing on creating pathways for women and veterans in construction. Micron’s Executive Vice President of Global Operations, Manish Bhatia, highlighted the company’s focus on developing the next generation of construction careers with the support of community partners. Bhatia stated, “Our leading-edge memory manufacturing depends on a skilled US manufacturing and construction workforce. Through PLAs and with the support of our community partners, we are creating pathways for all, including women and veterans in construction, while addressing barriers to entry”.

This initiative addresses the critical shortage of skilled construction workers needed for the semiconductor industry. By increasing the representation of women and providing essential support services, the CHIPS Women in Construction Framework aims to build a sustainable talent pipeline and foster economic growth from the ground up. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo underscored the importance of this initiative, stating, “If we are going to meet the national and economic security imperatives of the CHIPS Program, we are going to have to figure out how to fill the hundreds of thousands of jobs we are creating, and we won’t fill those jobs without growing our construction workforce to include more women”​.

The framework’s success will be measured by the ability of companies to meet their hiring goals, the strength of community partnerships, the effectiveness of training programs, and the overall improvement in workplace environments. The CHIPS Women in Construction Framework represents a significant step towards a more inclusive and diverse construction industry, crucial for the timely completion of CHIPS program-funded projects and the revitalization of communities through economic empowerment​.