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Supply chain issues create multi-billion dollar opportunities for small town America

Semiconductor microchips shortage to go into 2022
Taylor TX
Posted at 2:16 PM, Dec 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-15 14:16:14-05

The shortage of semiconductor microchips is expected to last well into next year. It's an issue that is having an effect on the delivery of electronics like smartphones and laptops.

The supply chain problems mean items coming from overseas are severely delayed, but some companies are deciding to change that path and build their products in America.

“We’re that quintessential downtown USA; that's what it looks like here,” said Cort Geis of his town of Taylor, Texas.

In every town’s story, there’s a moment that shapes what it becomes. Generations from now, people may look at what happens on land just outside of Taylor as that moment.

“This will be the single most consequential development for our local economy since the railroad was laid through here in the 1870s," said Taylor Mayor Brandt Rydell.

Next year, Samsung will break ground on a facility that will make semiconductor microchips.

Samsung says it will create 2,000 jobs and be its largest-ever U.S. investment at $17 billion.

“At the time I got the call, I surely thought they meant 200 jobs and $17 million. That’d be more of what I’m accustomed to seeing as the mayor of the city of Taylor," Mayor Rydell said.

The facility is expected to change the direction of Taylor, but also this country— away from relying on those overseas to produce nearly all the microchips that have been in such short supply.

“With greater manufacturing capacity, we will be able to better serve the needs of our customers and contribute to the stability of the global semiconductor supply chain," Samsung Electronics Device Solutions Division Vice Chairman and CEO Kinam Kim said in a press release about the project.

“It’s pretty exciting. Taylor’s not really a place that’s on the map as far as most people are concerned," said Liz Avants, whose husband owns Waxplant, a record store and skate shop in Taylor.

Taylor isn’t a stranger to attention; it's been used in movies like Transformers and Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

But people know what’s to come is different, for better or for worse.

"This is, yeah, beyond what we’ve seen before for sure as far as change," said Gayle Kahler, whose lived in Taylor since the 1980s. “I think the businesses are really excited about it. A lot of people who interact a little bit more with what’s going on in Taylor and other people are concerned it’s going to make more traffic. More difficult to do things and get around so we’ll see.”

For businesses like Geis’ music venue and bar, Black Sparrow Music Parlor, Samsung is a sign of hope.

“Smart growth, not a lot of you know commercialized, I don't want to say names, but we want the mom-and-pop aspect to be a big part of what Taylor is, and I think we can achieve that," Geis said.

It’s hard to sum up what Samsung's move could mean for this town, but at Texas Beer Company, the new brew on tap sends a pretty strong message.

“The idea of a Samsung beer, that we now lovingly call the Sammie," said Texas Beer Company CO-Founder JD Gins.

Many say the move of a Korean tech giant into a small Texas town shows just how much the world has changed, and how important it is the supply chains we all rely on change with it.

“As everybody in this country kind of got accustomed to supply chain always benefiting America, and if we want, if we see the challenges unfolding right now, if we want to manufacture, we want good jobs then we need them to be in this country," Gins said.

Samsung isn't the only major company shifting operations to the United States. In December, Toyota announced it is building a $1.3 billion plant to build lithium batteries near Greensboro, N.C. and will employ 1,750 people.