Governor Laura Kelly announced that EMP Shield, an industry leader in protecting electronic devices from destructive magnetic pulses, plans to invest $1.9B in a computer chip manufacturing facility in Burlington. The facility will create more than 1,200 jobs averaging $66,000 annually.
EMP Shield will build its facility on 300 acres in a measurably secure campus located at the emerging regional cluster. The company will be joined by six out-of-state suppliers, resulting in an additional 1,000 jobs created in Coffey County.
“Bringing economic prosperity to every corner of the state – particularly rural Kansas – has been a priority since my very first day in office,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “We achieve that with this project, creating thousands of high-paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree and proving that every Kansas community is ripe for investment and growth.”
EMP Shield plans to have four production lines operating in approximately 235,000 square feet of facilities in the new industrial park that will produce thousands of chips per week. Its suppliers will manufacture necessary components and prepare the final products for delivery.
“This high-tech advanced manufacturing project will provide lucrative career opportunities for hard-working Kansans,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “Our economic development strategy is designed to keep nurturing the roots of our young talent so they can remain here in Kansas.”
EMP Shield will leverage state support to apply for CHIPS Act funding to see its plans to fruition.
The project came together shortly after the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) Act was signed into law last August. The bipartisan legislation called for every aspect of computer chip production to be brought back to the United States – specifically into rural areas of the Midwest. Additional stipulations include private-public partnerships as well as the involvement of higher education institutions.
“Coffey County appears to really hit the sweet spot for everything requested for CHIPS Act funding,” EMP Shield Founder and Lead Engineer Tim Carty said. “Everything is falling into place, and the state’s strong support hopefully gets us one step closer to a favorable federal response.”
EMP Shield is working with area partners such as Coffey County; Flint Hills Technical College; Allen County Community College; Pittsburg State University; the University of Kansas; Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce; Wichita Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and Unified School Districts 243, 244 and 245.
“There are workforce development programs already in place that will enable high school graduates and those with two-year degrees to train up and get very high-paying jobs,” Carty said. “This will allow those who grow up here to stay in Kansas, enjoy our quality of life, and not have to go to San Francisco.”
Bus routes to transport workers from metropolitan areas will be established, and there will be purposeful diversity, equity, and inclusion outreach. “This next-generation technology project will help our community grow and make our country safer. That’s a win for everyone,” Carty said.
Governor Kelly’s remarks from the event can be found here.