On his monthly appearance on the America’s Work Force Union Podcast, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer Dorsey Hager told AWF host Ed “Flash” Ferenc the $20 billion Intel project will have a profound impact on Ohio’s economy, especially for members of the building trades.
Over the next 36 months, Intel plans to construct a $20 billion semiconductor chip manufacturing plant in New Albany, Ohio. Construction is expected to begin sometime in July, when crews will begin to move dirt, with groundbreaking before the end of the year, Hager said.
The anticipated construction needs for the project are going to be huge. The initial estimate for manpower at the height of the project is over 7,500 union construction workers, including 3,000 plumbers and pipefitters, 1,800 electricians and 700 sheet metal workers.
Intel plans to begin manufacturing chips at the plant by 2025, he added.
An opportunity for Ohio’s building trades unions to grow
Hager described a trip he recently took to a similar sized Intel plant in Chandler, Ariz. to help understand the scope of the project.
People in Columbus do not fully understand the economic magnitude of what is coming, Hager said. Normally not at a loss for words, Hager admitted he had trouble grasping the sheer size of the project. He jokingly compared it to a father who thinks he has his hands full with two young daughters, then trying to imagine adopting another 36.
The economic impact of the Intel plant will provide Ohio’s Local Unions the opportunity to expand training centers and increase market share. He is letting area high schools and vocational schools around the state know there will likely be a job in Central Ohio for any student interested in the building trades, with the potential to make a six-figure salary.
Hager then discussed plans to expand the Building Futures and Driving Futures programs in order to help meet upcoming demand for workers. The delivery supply chain needed to feed the Intel plant, as well as other building projects in Ohio, will be massive, he said. He is currently in conversations with numerous private entities looking to invest in the programs to ensure a suitable workforce is readily available.
Listen to the entire interview: