NEW ALBANY, Ohio (WCMH) — Intel announced its $20 billion dollar project to build a “mega-site” of semiconductor fabrication plants in central Ohio just over a year ago.
The Jan. 21, 2022, news kicked into gear the largest private-sector investment in state history, and it was preceded by an alluring close to $2 billion incentives package for the technology behemoth on behalf of Ohio.
To mark the milestone, Intel on Monday made the plant-to-be’s name public — it will be called Ohio One, according to a news release.
Looking back on 2022
The pricey initial announcement promised at least 10,000 direct jobs and thousands more indirectly, $100 million in educational partnership investments, and — at its core — a plant on 1,000 acres one county east of Columbus that will eventually manufacture the minuscule silicon wafers powering computers and cars and military weaponry.
But it was not just the chipmaker that put out hefty monetary figures in 2022. Enshrined in the June capital budget, the state pledged $600 million in grants and $691 million in infrastructure investments — partially for a new water reclamation facility — to Intel.
In September, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority laid the groundwork for a job creation tax credit for Intel that could yield another $650 million in credits over 30 years.
But months prior, in the sweltering late summer heat, a major piece of the political and financial puzzle came at the federal level. Back-and-forth over the CHIPS and Science Act put the plant’s groundbreaking on pause, until the legislation ultimately cleared both chambers of Congress in July and President Joe Biden’s desk in August.
WATCH: NBC4 coverage of the Intel announcement from Jan. 21, 2022 in the player above.
Aside from a year’s worth of dollar-and-cent announcements, early Intel-related shifts took place, and preparations began for larger, later ones.
Jersey Township annexed land that included the fabs’ eventual home to New Albany.
Local leaders visited Chandler, Arizona, to learn about how Intel altered the city with a population of 250,000 that was once a farm community of about 30,000.
Much of the build-up culminated on a sunny September day — when Biden, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, political leaders, and other guests converged on that same plot of annexed land for a groundbreaking ceremony, although construction crews had already kicked off work at the beginning of July.
Looking ahead to 2023
At the one year mark, Intel Ohio General Manager Jim Evers wrote in a column that construction crews have collectively clocked “over 150,000 hours to prepare the land for Ohio’s first fabs.”
A drive through the city of Heath in January 2023 likely requires the driver to pass by acres of land primed for manufacturing purchase and decorated with for-sale signs, either by the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority or another seller.
As New Albany construction continues to push forward, Port Authority CEO Rick Platt said in an interview that concrete progress may feel somewhat invisible to many central Ohioans in 2023.
It won’t pack the same punch of pomp and circumstance that they saw in fall 2022.
But Platt assured that preparations for manufacturing growth — Intel-related or not — are chugging along in Intel’s home county.
Some of the work ahead includes developing a proper workforce. “This is going to be the year of realizing that opportunity,” Platt said. “How do we make sure that this wake-up call, about manufacturing careers at Intel, translates into more young people interested, anyone interested, in manufacturing?”
2023 will also be about looking for solutions for growing pains that could be in the pipeline — from roads and public transit to housing.