Department of Commerce Outlines Workforce Rules for CHIPS funding

Prevailing wage requirements, registered apprenticeship rules, and the recommended use of project labor agreements included within guidelines for firms to utilize $39 Billion to expand semiconductor manufacturing.

The Commerce Department released its first notice of funding under the guidelines laid out in the CHIPS and Science Act on February 28th. The program, which offers $39 Billion in federal funding for constructing, expanding, or modernizing semiconductor fabrication plants, lays out several requirements to ensure that companies use the highest-skilled labor force available.

Under the terms of the Chips and Science Act, companies seeking this funding must pay a prevailing wage to the workforce. Also, applying firms must provide a detailed workforce plan that illustrates how they intend to develop a skilled workforce through registered apprenticeships and other similar workforce development infrastructure.

The Commerce Department also strongly recommends using project labor agreements to ensure that the work is completed to the highest possible quality and on schedule. In a released fact sheet outlining the first funding opportunity, the Commerce Department detailed its commitment to invest in a diverse and highly skilled construction workforce that provides opportunities for all.

SMACNA supports these provisions as they promote the use of a highly-skilled union construction workforce that can deliver maximum quality and value to the customer and the American taxpayer.