Gov. Hobbs announces initiative with TSMC microchip company aimed to help workers

Gov. Katie Hobbs outlined a new safety plan with TSMC for its plant in north Phoenix.
Published: Aug. 4, 2023 at 7:34 AM MST|Updated: Aug. 4, 2023 at 8:27 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A new program between Gov. Hobbs and TSMC microchip company is aiming to protect workers and bring more specialized apprentices to the state.

On Friday, Hobbs announced the signing of a voluntary protection program between the state and TSMC. The governor said under the agreement, TSMC will agree to have greater transparency for workers, closer oversight from ADOSH, and increased training for employees. “These are just a few of the significant steps that will help ensure the safety of all Arizona workers on site,” she said. “We need to make sure that the standards set match the industry and the importance of the job.”

The governor also spoke about the launch of a new program called Build It Arizona. The program is a new initiative aimed at doubling the number of construction and trade apprentices in the state by 2026.

”I have no doubt that with the Build It Arizona initiative, we can continue building the state’s high skilled and dynamic workforce,” she said. “These programs play a significant role in Arizona’s economic development by strengthening our local workforce. As apprentices graduate with enhanced skills and knowledge, they’re better prepared and can quickly contribute to increased productivity and innovation.”

The microchip plant project is part of a $40 billion investment by TSMC to bring a second massive facility in Arizona. The plant is set to be completed next year near I-17 and Loop 303. However, the company recently drew controversy from blue-collar workers who claimed they were receiving pay cuts after the chip manufacturer announced it was bringing in workers from Taiwan to speed up construction. TSMC responded to these claims, saying they were temporarily bringing visa holders to ramp up the project. The company also said the move wouldn’t affect the 12,000 workers currently on site for construction.

In early December, President Biden paid a visit to the Valley to tour the site and spoke about bringing jobs to the state. In addition, other economic groups predicted the Valley would get an economic boost with the Taiwanese chipmaker coming to Phoenix. A spokesperson with the Arizona Chamber of Commerce said the development will create at least 20,000 new jobs.

Arizona’s Family will be streaming the announcement live at 8 a.m. MST.

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