Governor Ron DeSantis announced that he is awarding $6 million to Osceola County in order to expand the southern corridor of the county to connect with the NeoCity technological research and development district.
DeSantis placed focus on semiconductor chip manufacturing, calling the ongoing chip shortage a major issue facing not just Floridians, but for businesses nationwide.
“Manufacturing is something that we need to do a better job of. We’ve worked really hard … to expand our manufacturing footprint and we want to continue doing that moving forward,” said DeSantis. “Semiconductors are a huge issue. If you look at how the supply chain works, we are overly dependent on foreign nations, including Taiwan, which is a good ally of ours but is one that is under really serious pressure by the CCP in China, so I think the more we can do manufacturing semiconductors here, the better off we’ll be.
Taiwan is home to the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), a global leader in semiconductor production and export, holding over 58 percent of the global market share. Their chips are used in a plethora of American-made products like cars and computer technology, which leads to concern given the ongoing chip shortage the company has faced since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The shortage has led to a scarcity of semiconductors available for purchase, driving up the prices of products that utilize the technology. Used cars, for example, have seen their value appreciate in some instances. Likewise, computer production has been brought to a massive slowdown as both corporations and at-home PC builders struggle to find graphics cards and likewise components.
NeoCity is a developing extension of the growing tech scene in central Florida and its surrounding areas, housing both domestic and international technology companies, with an intended purpose of becoming a ‘catalyst for high-tech innovation and creation, including jobs and capital investment.’
NeoCity is strategically located between two state universities, the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida, which boast top engineering programs. The schools would have opportunities to conduct research within NeoCity facilities, and could eventually serve as a job pipeline for the two schools.
Osceola County officials expect the investment to lead to tens of thousands of new jobs, according to the governor.
Valencia College also received $3.7 million to create new workforce programs that will focus on semiconductor and chip manufacturing and production. “Today is a prime example of how we can better Floridians and the lives of all Floridians.
The job growth grant fund is intended to invest in infrastructure and workforce development and today we’re doing both,” said Department of Economic Opportunity Secretary Dane Eagle. “We’re creating jobs that would otherwise be shipped overseas. This is just the beginning of what NeoCity is going to produce.”
DeSantis alluded to future funding towards industries like auto manufacturing, seeking to emulate the steps states like Tennessee and South Carolina have taken in implementing a system that educates and trains domestic vocational workers. “Key sectors of our economy should not be captive to foreign nations, particularly outfits like the Communist Party of China, and even allies like Taiwan, how that could impact if there was a disruption there,” said DeSantis. The more we have this capacity within our own country and state, the more secure our economic supply chain will be. I think we’ll be doing more in the coming weeks, months, and years.”