Sen. John Cornyn visits Lubbock promoting CHIPS for America Act

Sen. John Cornyn speaking at X-FAB
Sen. John Cornyn speaking at X-FAB(KCBD)
Published: Jul. 17, 2023 at 10:38 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 18, 2023 at 11:42 AM CDT
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Editorial note: This article has been corrected to state X-FAB hopes to acquire funding through CHIPS for America, but has not yet received this funding.

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - U.S. Senator John Cornyn visited Lubbock Monday morning promoting the CHIPS for America Act, bipartisan legislation he led. He toured the X-FAB Texas Semiconductor Foundry, a facility that hopes to receive federal funding through this Act.

Walking the floor at the X-FAB plan in Lubbock on Monday morning, Cornyn saw firsthand American high-tech manufacturing at work. He says he first wanted to invest in this work back in 2021 when he spearheaded the CHIPS for America Act. The COVID-19 pandemic was causing supply chain shortages overseas. Now, the CHIPS for America Act grants funds to bring semiconductor manufacturing back to American soil.

“As I began to think more about the vulnerability, we here in America, dependent on semiconductors mainly coming from Asia about ninety percent of them coming from Asia and about sixty percent coming from Taiwan alone,” said Cornyn.

Semiconductors are in nearly every electronic device. Cornyn says this act was essential in addressing supply chain issues and national security.

“China obviously wants to continue to try to make us more and more dependent on them, which is why we need to do more of that manufacturing here at home,” Cornyn said.

X-FAB is one of the semiconductor foundries that hopes to tap into the funds, to go toward a project it has already approved.

“Today we have a roughly $200 million expansion approved that will bring jobs in excess of one hundred to Lubbock and doubles the capacity for our silicon carbide production,” Lloyd Whetzel, the President of X-FAB Texas, said.

Texas Tech University has committed to working alongside X-FAB in this expansion. President Lawrence Schovanec says the funds will allow students to conduct semiconductor research.

“We will remain committed to doing research that makes a difference, and we will do so while providing our students with practical skills that have an immediate impact on the workforce, and that includes places like X-FAB,” said Schovanec.

Lubbock County Judge Curtis Parrish stated Lubbock is honored to be a part of the cutting-edge research and development the facility represents.

“Now we are moving into even a higher level of manufacturing: silicon chips in a much-needed community, worldwide community, starts right here in Lubbock,” Parrish said.