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New semiconductor wafer jobs coming to Missouri

Missouri is gaining 75 new jobs thanks to an $800 million supply agreement between semiconductor manufacturers GLOBALFOUNDRIES (GF) and GlobalWafers (GWC).

The new jobs will go to GWC’s MEMC facility in O’Fallon, where specialized wafers — thin slices of semiconductor used to manufacture solar cells and integrated circuits — are manufactured for GF’s facilities across the country. Ameren Missouri helped facilitate the deal through its Economic Development Incentive which provides discounts on energy to new or expanding companies that meet the criteria outlined in its Smart Energy Plan. 

“Missouri is a great place to work and we are encouraged by the GLOBALFOUNDRIES and GlobalWafers announcement to expand operations in O’Fallon,” Matt Forck, vice president of community, economic development, and energy solutions at Ameren Missouri, said. “With the Ameren Missouri Smart Energy Plan, we are able to help businesses grow, bringing new jobs to the area while ensuring smart, reliable energy is always available to power the grid of the future.”  

The deal included a $210 million capital expansion for the facility, and the announcement comes as the world faces a semiconductor chip shortage, impacting everything from the auto industry to household appliances. 

According to Ameren, 12 percent of the world’s semiconductor manufacturing capacity is in the U.S. The industry garnered Congress’s attention as well; U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, a supporter of the massive bipartisan U.S. Innovation and Competition Act that passed by the Senate this week, praised the opportunity to grow the industry in Missouri. 

“The supply chain of these computer chips is highly complex and largely dominated by other countries,” Blunt said. “We need to begin making more chips at home to protect U.S. industries from chip shortages like we have seen in recent months. This announcement is good news for semiconductor manufacturing and will create steady, good-paying, high-tech jobs for Missourians.”

Gov. Mike Parson also welcomed the expansion and Missouri’s effort to bolster the nation’s supply. 

“We’re proud to see a Missouri business step up to address the critical semiconductor need we are seeing in countless industries all across our state and nation,” Parson said. “MEMC’s expansion will strengthen the global semiconductor supply chain, promote American manufacturing, and support good-paying jobs right here in Missouri.”

The wafers will be used for a myriad of applications including 5G, aerospace, radar, and wireless connectivity. The expansion was made possible by more than $9 million in investments from the state, Ameren, Spire, Greater St. Louis Inc., and the city of O’Fallon.