Bob Swan, chief executive officer of Intel Corp. (Credit: Cayce Clifford)
The Honorable Joseph R. Biden Jr.
President-elect of the United States
Dear Mr. President-elect,
Congratulations on your election as our 46th president. I also want to congratulate Vice President-elect Kamala Harris for her historic achievement and recognize the role your administration will play in inspiring our next generation of leaders.
2020 has been a particularly disruptive year for the American people. And we know you are focused on uniting our nation to overcome the challenges posed by COVID-19, racial strife, a growing skills gap and increasing global competition.
In 1968, America was in a similar place. We were a nation divided over the Vietnam War, divided by race, undergoing a recession and experiencing mass protests shaping the political landscape. In this environment of change and upheaval, Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore came together and founded Intel, starting a silicon revolution that gave rise to many future technologies. Today, Intel is the only U.S.-based manufacturer of leading-edge semiconductors, with more than 50,000 employees across the country and innovation hubs in Oregon, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico and California. We again stand at the ready to support the next generation of technological advancements.
As the leader of a company driven by our purpose to create world-changing technologies that enrich the lives of every person on Earth, I am grateful for your recognition of the role technology plays in solving our nation’s largest societal challenges. As you begin to further develop your policy agenda, I urge you to focus on the following areas:
Investing in Technology to Solve the Challenges Posed by COVID
Artificial intelligence, high performance computing and edge-to-cloud computing are critical components in government collection and analysis of data, diagnostics, treatment and vaccine development. Intel technology has helped accelerate access to quality data to deliver remote care and protect medical professionals from exposure to infection. As you know, this pandemic has widely affected education, work and other aspects of our daily lives. It is crucial to expand investments in broadband connectivity, particularly to lessen the impact of COVID on the underserved and in communities of color.
Increasing U.S. Manufacturing
Your planned investment in American-made goods is critical to U.S. innovation and technology leadership. According to the Semiconductor Industry Association, the U.S. accounts for just 12% of global semiconductor production capacity, with more than 80% taking place in Asia. Rising costs and foreign government subsidies to national champions are a significant disadvantage for U.S. semiconductor companies that make substantial capital investments domestically. A national manufacturing strategy, including investment by the U.S. government in the domestic semiconductor industry, is critical to ensure American companies compete on a level playing field and lead the next generation of innovative technology.
Investing in Digital Infrastructure
Smart infrastructure spending will help address pressing economic and climate change needs. This will include technology designed to make cities and energy systems smarter and more efficient. Widespread deployment of advanced 5G telecommunications networks will fuel efficiencies for businesses in all industries and enable more U.S. innovation. Upgrades to our infrastructure must not only handle the technology of today but spur domestic development of the technologies of tomorrow.
Developing a 21st Century Workforce
In the U.S., Intel hired more than 4,000 people this year, and it still has 800 positions to fill. We produce the most complex technology on the planet and need access to the best talent available. We are designing STEM curricula to help feed the workforce pipeline and make next-generation training and skills more accessible. This year, we partnered with Maricopa County Community College District in Arizona to launch the first Intel-designed artificial intelligence associate degree program in the United States.
While we work to build a greater pipeline of U.S. high-tech workers, American universities and companies provide opportunities to smart, hard-working people from all over the world. They return the favor many times over with their contributions to this country and our technology leadership. The U.S. has welcomed global talent for decades and should continue to support immigration programs needed by Intel and other high-tech companies to operate in the U.S.
At Intel, we believe the current and future workforces need to reflect the makeup of this nation. We also share your commitment to make racial equity a top priority. We set ambitious goals for Intel’s next decade. We aim to double the number of women and underrepresented minorities in senior leadership at Intel, and to collaborate within our industry to create and implement a Global Inclusion Index to track industry progress in areas such as greater levels of women and minorities in senior and technical positions, accessible technology and equal pay.
Intel has enjoyed working closely with presidential administrations over the past 52 years on policies that help the United States lead the world in technological innovation. I look forward to working together in a shared mission to tackle the many challenges facing our nation today as we prepare for an equitable and prosperous future.
CEO, Intel Corporation