This week, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock successfully secured provisions in key bipartisan legislation that will support manufacturing jobs across Georgia and the nation, and direct major science and research investments to Georgia’s historically Black higher education institutions. During an executive meeting of the Senate Commerce Committee, the members passed the bipartisan Endless Frontier Act (EFA), legislation that will make significant investments to boost research and development across the United States, driving technological innovation and job growth.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Senator Warnock also highlighted his efforts to call for a swift federal investigation around the global semiconductor shortage, adversely affecting some of Georgia’s most crucial and innovative manufacturers.
“I’d like to associate myself with the comments from Senator Peters – I think that there’s an urgency here that his amendment addresses with respect, certainly to the auto-industry, but it’s impact on the manufacturing sector in general,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. “We’ve seen this up close in the state of Georgia, our Kia plant there almost had to pause production, recently, because of a lack of semiconductors. So, I think his amendment speaks to this urgency… there’s no question about the impact of the auto industry on our manufacturing sector in general and I’d like to be listed as a co-sponsor of the Peters amendment.”
Last month, in a previous hearing on the Endless Frontier Act, Senator Warnock noted that Kia Motors had to nearly shut down its Georgia plant, causing thousands of workers to stay home because of shortage of semiconductors.
“The current semiconductor chip shortage is having a negative impact on auto production in the United States. Automakers are being forced to reduce output or suspend production. Kia Georgia impacts the livelihood of the hard-working Georgians who work there, and therefore we applaud Senator Warnock for his efforts to find solutions that will benefit Georgia and our industry,” said Christopher Wenk, Vice President of Government Affairs, Kia Corporation.
Moreover, changing habits spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic means that the semiconductor chip is now a reaching crisis point.
Car manufacturers investing in technology-centered electric vehicles, the rising sales of TVs, home computers, and the launch of new gaming consoles plus 5G-enabled mobile phones have all driven demand.