TechElect Advances Proposals to Create and Sustain American Jobs

Thursday, May 24, 2012, 12:00am

by Semiconductor Industry Association

A new nonpartisan campaign called TechElect, launched by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), is bringing together America’s technology and innovation leaders to promote the issues that are important to our industries and to share ideas with the presidential campaigns.

TechElect’s top priorities — outlined in a document titled “Six Steps to Jobs, Prosperity and Innovation” — align with many of the core priorities of the semiconductor industry. For example, TechElect supports boosting math, science, and engineering skills in our students and protecting America’s technological leadership through strategic investments in scientific research. SIA strongly advocates for government investments in both STEM education and research funding — two of the fundamental building blocks of our industry’s future.

TechElect also encourages immigration reform that allows the world’s best and brightest minds to stay in America so they can create products and jobs here. Our industry has long supported this effort, and SIA was pleased to see Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduce legislation that would reform the immigration policy that is causing the U.S. to lose many job creators to competitors abroad.

Last week, I was pleased to participate in TechElect’s first conference call, during which I discussed advancing the priorities that will expand our industry and boost the economy. Here are some of the topics I covered:

  • The semiconductor industry is a great American success story. Semiconductors were invented in America, and the U.S. still leads the industry today in terms of innovation, manufacturing and design. Today, semiconductors are one of America’s top exports, and the U.S. is the leading provider of semiconductor technology to the rest of the world.
  • The semiconductor industry has helped build the major technology breakthroughs of the last 50 years, and our greatest potential lies ahead.
  • Semiconductors create jobs and drive our economy. Our industry employs almost 400,000 Americans directly, and semiconductor technology enables millions of additional high-tech jobs in the U.S.
  • We’ve just scratched the surface of our potential. Eight of the top 20 U.S. corporate patent recipients are semiconductor companies, showing that the rapid pace of innovation across our industry is unrivaled.
  • Long-term, basic research — performed at universities and funded by the industry and the federal government — is critical to sustaining the pipeline of discoveries that fuel our industry and the economy.
  • That’s why our industry invests $20 billion in research and development annually. That’s 17 percent of total sales, which is one of the top rates of any industry.
  • With smart government policies — including investments in basic research, corporate tax reform, and high-skilled immigration reform — the semiconductor industry can continue to create jobs, drive economic growth and develop the technologies needed to solve our most pressing challenges.

I look forward to continuing this conversation and telling our industry’s story in the weeks and months ahead.