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'Big is an understatement': Officials break ground on $15 billion Micron fab plant in Boise

Micron groundbreaking
Posted at 12:09 PM, Sep 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-12 17:11:42-04

BOISE, Idaho — Work on Micron's $15 billion investment in Boise is officially underway with a groundbreaking ceremony at the home of the new plant on Monday.

Officials including Micron President & CEO Sanjay Mehrotra, Gov. Brad Little and Boise Mayor Lauren McLean and more spoke at the event for the new facility.

Little said it's a win, win for everyone.

"This is going to be great for Micron, it's going to be great for Boise, it's going to be great for Idaho, and mostly it's going to be great for America," Little said.

Mehrotra said he couldn't be happier, but Idaho News 6 reporter Don Nelson had to ask him about Micron's rich history in the Treasure Valley, considering co-founders Joe and Ward Parkinson were sitting front and center.

"Yes, we have a very rich history thousands of engineers that worked hard over four decades plus innovative technology to the fore-front of the semiconductor business for Micron and I think this is what we are building the future on," Mehrotra said.

Micron groundbreaking

The $15 billion investment toward the memory fabrication facility will be the first of its kind in the U.S. in 20 years. The investment comes as the "first of Micron's multiple planned U.S. investments following the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act," company officials announced September 1. The company plans to invest the $15 billion over the course of 10 years, with the goal of "ensuring domestic supply of leading-edge memory required for market segments like automotive and data center, fueled by accelerating adoption of artificial intelligence and 5G," according to a press release from Micron.

This announcement considered so big the White House made sure Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm was in Boise to share how the Biden Administration has had long and hard discussions about America taking back what they started — chip manufacturing.

"We could continue buying to make these things overseas or we can make them in America," Granholm said. "We could support jobs beyond the borders or invest in jobs here in America."

This conversation has actually been going on for quite sometime between Micron and the City of Boise. As a matter of fact, Boise Mayor Lauren McLean said there was always two things that always came up.

"The people at Micron today the impact you have had on our community, and continue for what the future means, the potential for what it means for our kids, their kids, and theirs," McLean said.

Related: Mountain Home ready to welcome influx of people moving with Micron expansion announcement

So when you crunch the numbers it breaks down like this: 17,000 total Idaho jobs, 2,000 direct Micron jobs and an additional 15,000 jobs in the community. It's those kind of numbers that put a lot of smiles on a lot of faces in southeast Boise Monday morning.