Senator Reverend Warnock Praises Passage of His Provisions to Boost U.S. Manufacturing, Strengthen Skilled Workforce in Landmark Jobs & Competition Legislation

The U.S. Innovation & Competition Act, championed by Senator Warnock, passed the Senate today
Legislation passes the Senate following the Kia plant in West Point, GA sitting closed for two days due to lack of semiconductors; Senator Warnock pushed hard to ensure the legislation addressed and promoted efforts to prevent future domestic semiconductor shortages
 Expansive legislation will invest hundreds of billions of dollars to increase nation’s R&D capacity to spur innovation, create jobs 
The bipartisan legislation includes provisions authored and championed by Senator Warnock to boost GA manufacturing jobs by addressing national semiconductor shortage
Legislation also includes provision authored by Senator Warnock to strengthen GA’s skilled workforce by investing in HBCU’s R&D capacity
Senator Reverend Warnock: “This bill is a critical first step toward creating the jobs that will help Georgians get to work”
ICYMI: Senator Reverend Warnock cements key provisions in Bipartisan Bill to accelerate job growth in Georgia – READ HERE
Senator Reverend Warnock: “The only way for us to continue to lead is to invest in American products. That will speed up our effort to make sure that we invest in semiconductor production right here in the United States and the kind of research and development that will make that possible” – READ HERE
VIDEO: A member of the Commerce committee that advanced the legislation, Senator Warnock has been working to address and promote domestic semiconductor production – WATCH HERE
TIMELINE: Senator Warnock’s Leadership to Address the U.S. Semiconductor Shortage – READ HERE

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) acclaimed the passage of the bipartisan U.S. Innovation and Competition Act that includes provisions he authored and championed that will help create jobs in Georgia by spurring innovations in science and technology. Senator Warnock, a member of the Commerce committee that advanced the legislation, fought to successfully include provisions in the legislation to promote and fund U.S. semiconductor production; the Senator’s efforts follow recent reports regarding the detrimental impacts of the U.S. semiconductor shortage on American manufacturing and the nation’s economy, and come on the heels of a two-day work stoppage at car manufacturer Kia’s West Point, GA factory due to a lack of semiconductors to build their products. Additionally, Senator Warnock authored and championed provisions in the legislation to direct additional federal funding to the nation’s HBCU’s and minority-serving STEM programs to increase the research and development (R&D) capacity at these institutions, allowing them to compete for funding dollars on the same playing field as their counterparts while in turn creating new jobs and strengthening the pipeline of skilled American workers.

“This bill is a critical first step toward creating the jobs that will help Georgians get to work,” said Senator Warnock.“From fighting to get dedicated funding to increase R&D capacity at our HBCUs to promoting a strong U.S. semiconductor supply chain, I’m proud to have played a role in getting this bipartisan legislation over the finish line, including ensuring it has provisions that will support Georgia jobs and help our state create even more good-paying job opportunities.”

The bipartisan U.S. Innovation & Competition Act of 2021, a first step in the American Jobs Plan, is sweeping legislation that will spur job growth in Georgia and nationwide by dramatically increasing funding for science and engineering research and technology to advance U.S. leadership and competitiveness in scientific and technological innovation. 

See below a partial breakdown of provisions Senator Warnock championed in the bill to create jobs in Georgia and bring R&D investments to the state:

Provisions to Address U.S. Semiconductor Shortage

  • CHIPS: The legislation includes a $52 billion investment in U.S. semiconductor production through the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America program.
    • Joined by Senator Jon Ossoff, Senator Warnock pushed hard to include this vital investment in the legislation. 
  • GAO Study: The legislation includes a Warnock-authored provision mandating a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on the U.S. semiconductor shortage and its impact on domestic manufacturing, to identify gaps in the domestic supply chain.
  • Supply Chain Resiliency: Senator Warnock also authored a bipartisan provision included in the legislation, co-sponsored by Senator Blackburn, making sure semiconductors are prioritized as an essential good that the Supply Chain Resiliency Program—a new program created by the bill to address supply chain issues—must track to prevent future shortages. 
  • Impact on Automakers: With facilities like Kia’s West Point, GA factory in mind, Senator Warnock co-sponsored an amendment to address the specific impact of the U.S. semiconductor shortage on automakers, which was successfully included in the bill.

(See a full timeline of Senator Warnock’s Leadership to Boost U.S. Semiconductor Production HERE.)

Federal Investments in HBCUS

  • Capacity Building at HBCUs: Senator Warnock successfully included bipartisan language in the final legislation creating a $750M grant program for HBCUs and MSIs to build their institutional research capacity.
    • This critical funding would help create jobs by enabling these institutions to hire new administrative staff, train faculty on the grant process, and increase their ability to move products to the market, either on their own or through industry partnerships. 
      • A recent report from the National Science Foundation found that just 30 institutions account for 42% of all R&D spending by colleges and universities across America. None of these 30 institutions were HBCUs or minority-serving institutions (MSIs).
      • In recent years, Georgia higher education institutions received a total of $1.18 billion in federal funding for science and engineering activities, but only $39.8 million of that funding went to HBCUs located in Georgia, which only represents 3.38 percent of total Federal funds obligated to the state for science and engineering. [SourceSource].

Federal Investments in Local Innovation and Technology

  • Regional Technology Innovation Hubs: the legislation provides $10 billion for the creation of regional technology hubs to coordinate research efforts across the country; Atlanta, Georgia is likely a strong candidate to become such a hub.
  • Minorities in STEM: the bill increases opportunities for low-income Americans and communities of color to join the STEM workforce by increasing funding for community colleges and creating new scholarships and apprenticeships.
  • Higher Education Funding: The bill includes significant federal investments to increase research funding for Georgia’s world-class universities, like Georgia Tech, that will help create new jobs both within university research centers and through technology test beds; within new programs to bring research to market; and within regional technology hubs.