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Taiwanese microchip company agrees to more oversight of its Arizona plant construction

PHOENIX (AP) — A Taiwanese microchip manufacturer that is building its first U.S. factory in Arizona has agreed to greater state oversight over the safety of construction workers, Governor Katie Hobbs announced Friday.

At a press conference against the backdrop of ongoing construction at a site north of Phoenix, Hobbs announced that the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company facility and the state had signed a voluntary protection program.

“Under this agreement, TSMC will adhere to requirements higher than those at the federal level,” the Democratic governor said. “These additional safety measures include increased transparency for workers, closer oversight by the Arizona Department of Occupational Safety and Health, and increased training for foremen and all employees.”

The governor said construction safety standards should match the quality of high-profile projects that are a source of much pride.

Democratic President Joe Biden I visited the site in Decemberand praised him for showing how his policies are promoting job growth.Biden is betting most of his own legacy on Large investments in technology and infrastructure It was approved by Congress in line with a bipartisan policy.

Construction of the plant was first announced in 2020 during the presidency of Donald Trump. At that time, TSMC announced that it would invest a total of $40 billion over eight years to build a second plant in Arizona. Republican Governor Doug Ducey said: The factory will create over 1,600 new high-tech jobs in the state.

Construction will begin in 2021 on more than 1,100 acres (445 ha) of land. The plant is scheduled to be fully operational in 2024. The facility utilizes TSMC’s 5-nanometer technology for semiconductor wafer manufacturing and is capable of producing 20,000 wafers per month.

The company has been criticized by some for bringing in workers from Taiwan to help with the construction. But TSMC said it would not affect the jobs of thousands of American workers already on the ground.

Hobbes also announced Friday the launch of a new initiative to double the number of registered construction and trade apprentices in Arizona over the next three years.

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