President Obama Visits Applied Materials in Austin

President Obama Visits Applied Materials in Austin

President Obama visited Applied Materials facilities in Austin, Texas on Thursday, May 9. Obama visited the facility as part of his focus on manufacturing jobs, high-tech skills and technology that will drive long-term economic growth. The administration’s announcement cited Applied Materials’ contribution to innovation and job creation.Obama told more than 1,000 employees at Applied Materials that the government can play an important role in expanded high-tech manufacturing in the U.S.  “We’ve got to do everything we can to help the kind of high-tech manufacturing that you’re doing right here at Applied,” the president said. “And we want to make sure it takes root here in Austin and all across the country. And that means, first of all, creating more centers of high-tech manufacturing.”


Obama at Applied MaterialsThe same day, the White House announced it would push to get funding for three new “manufacturing innovation institutes,” opening up a nationwide competition for centers focused on digital manufacturing and design, lightweight and modern metals, and next-generation power electronics. “We want the next revolution in manufacturing to be ‘Made in America,’” Obama said.Applied Materials is a global semiconductor equipment company and a long-time SEMI member with public policy, communications and technology staff that collaborate closely with other SEMI member companies to promote industry-wide competitiveness issues with legislators and policy makers in the U.S. and around the world.

Applied Material’s 1.9 million square foot Austin facility represents the company’s largest manufacturing facility and second-largest employee site.  It is primarily dedicated to manufacturing advanced chip-making equipment and enabling rapid product commercialization for the world’s chip producers.  Last fall, Applied Materials celebrated its Austin facility’s 20th anniversary and 20,000th system shipment.  Between 125-500 chip-equipment systems are manufactured per quarter to serve Applied’s global customer base.“We are pleased to see the President of the United States visiting a global semiconductor equipment manufacturer to emphasize the role of manufacturing in our economy,” said Denny McGuirk, president and CEO of SEMI. “Manufacturing is an important economic multiplier that provides high-paying jobs and secondary jobs throughout the nation.

”Nearly 500 companies in North America are SEMI members, including large multi-billion dollar enterprises such as Applied Materials as well as many small- and medium-sized companies that provide the enabling high-tech components, sub systems and materials to produce sophisticated machinery to manufacture micro- and nano-technology products such as integrated circuits, flat panel displays, LED lighting, photovoltaic systems, micro-electromechanical devices (MEMS) and other electronics.According to an analysis of government data by the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), the U.S. semiconductor industry supports more than one million American jobs including direct jobs and related jobs in other sectors. In his February State of the Union address, President Obama outlined a number of priorities that concern SEMI members, including a focus on manufacturing, research and development, corporate tax reform, high-skilled immigration reform, solar energy and international trade.  

SEMI is working with administration officials, legislators and SEMI members to promote these, and other, policies beneficial to high-technology manufacturing. SEMI maintains an office in Washington, D.C. and voice in the Nation’s capital. SEMI public policy professionals work with member companies to garner support for a wide range of issues that affect industry — including Presidential priorities like the Advanced Manufacturing Program and federal funding of basic research at the National Science Foundation (NSF) to immigration and corporate tax reform. SEMI works on very specific government issues such as educating policymakers on the impact of export controls and fighting for industry priorities on trade agreements.

SEMI members are frequently active participants in this industry representation. Accordingly, SEMI Americas hosts its annual Washington Forum event which brings SEMI industry executives to Washington for two days of meetings, events, and speakers to share the latest public policy priorities with government officials inside the beltway.  This year, 23 SEMI member executives and other participants took part the event in which they covered a wide variety of policy interests including, high-skilled immigration reform, intellectual property, solar PV, and federal R&D investments in a total of over two dozen meetings, including meetings with White House staff.

For more information about SEMI and North American public policy, visit http://www.semi.org/en/issues/publicpolicy/ctr_026004 or contact Jamie Girard at jgirard@semi.org.

For information on SEMI and European public policy, visit http://www.semi.org/en/issues/publicpolicy/P043813 or contact Rania Georgoutsakou at gourania@semi.org.

For more information on SEMI public policy in other regions of the world, visit http://www.semi.org/en/Issues/PublicPolicy.

May 23, 2013