NEW ALBANY, Ohio (WCMH) — Amidst a scene of pomp, circumstance and heavy machinery, President Joe Biden helped Intel break ground Friday on a $20 billion facility to manufacture computer chips in central Ohio.
Biden was joined in Licking County, on land being annexed into New Albany, by Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, Gov. Mike DeWine and many other dignitaries for a massive groundbreaking ceremony.
Biden called it “the story of a field of dreams in the middle of Ohio where America’s future will be built. … That’s what’s happening on these 1,000 acres.”
Watch: President Joe Biden speaks
They spoke from the future site of the Intel facility, with the land behind them being graded as they spoke and with each speaker introduced by Ohio State University’s marching band. It was a moment that was months, if not years, in the making.
“This is an historic moment for the Buckeye State,” DeWine said. “By choosing Ohio, Intel has recognized what we have known all along: that there is simply no better place to raise a family than Ohio, no better place to live, no better place to start or to grow a business and no place that provides more opportunity than the state of Ohio.”
Watch: Gov. Mike DeWine speaks
Biden traveled to Ohio on Air Force One with Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, among others.
“I remember looking out the window of the plane at all the places ignored by Wall Street and passed over by corporate America and forgotten by our government,” Brown said. “And I thought about how from that day forward, we’re going to change that. I remember turning to Rob [Portman] and the Secretary [of Commerce Gina Raimando], and saying, ‘Today, we are burying the term Rust Belt.’
“America invented the semiconductor, as you know, but today, 90% of them are made overseas. Pat, all of you, that stops today.”
Watch: Intel site then and now
Crews could be seen Wednesday setting up tents in advance of Biden and Intel executives’ arrival. The president committed in August to attend the groundbreaking ceremony after he signed legislation giving a funding boost to Intel for their semiconductor fabrication plant.
Gallery: Images from the groundbreaking
Intel previously delayed the groundbreaking ceremony for its $20 billion venture into Ohio as it waited for Congress to move on the CHIPS and Science Act, a bill that further boosted the company’s efforts to build its biggest operation yet. The company made the move in hopes of pressuring the U.S. House and Senate to finish passing it before they went into recess in August.
Still, it’s evident that Intel was confident it wouldn’t see any interruption over the legislation. A company spokeswoman confirmed to NBC4 that construction crews started early work at the New Albany site anyways at the beginning of July.