Rep. Houlahan hosts U.S. Commerce Secretary on high-tech tour, roundtable in Malvern

L to R: David Valletta, Vishay Executive Vice President – Worldwide Sales; Gina Raimondo, U.S. Secretary of Commerce; and Chrissy Houlahan, U.S. Representative of PA-06 viewing Vishay’s product display cases

Yesterday, Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-6) hosted U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo, and business, government, and student representatives from Chester County for a tour and roundtable at Vishay Intertechnology in Malvern. Vishay is a local manufacturer of semiconductors, and Houlahan invited the Secretary to visit in response to the global semiconductor shortage. The discussion centered on workforce challenges, supply chains, and STEM education in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Secretary Raimondo and Rep. Houlahan also stressed the importance of passing the Bipartisan Innovation Act to further boost America’s manufacturing sector and global competitiveness. The legislation is in the final stages of negotiation between the House and Senate—the final step before heading to the President’s desk for signature – and Houlahan is part of the group negotiating the final bill.

“I’m incredibly grateful to Secretary Raimondo for coming to Chester County to see for herself why we continue to attract the best businesses and workforce in the world,” said Houlahan. “Together, we explored Vishay Intertechnology, a world-class semiconductor manufacturer with an inspiring history, and discussed workforce challenges that remain. As part of the team negotiating the final Bipartisan Innovation Act, I look forward to working with my House and Senate colleagues to deliver it to the President as quickly as possible so, in turn, we can address many of the challenges we discussed here in Malvern, unjam our supply chain, and deliver on our promise to the American people to support jobs here at home.”

“The United States must reestablish itself as a global leader in semiconductor manufacturing. Thanks to the hard work of leaders like Representative Houlahan, we’re close to getting a bill to the President’s desk to do exactly that,” said Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. “Representative Houlahan has been a crucial partner in pushing forward bipartisan legislation that will revitalize American manufacturing, strengthen critical supply chains, and lower prices for families across Pennsylvania and the entire country. I am incredibly thankful for her leadership on this issue.”

L to R at table: Secretary Raimondo; Rep. Houlahan; Peter Henrici, Vishay Senior Vice President Corporate Communications and Corporate Secretary; and Britney Smith, Delaware County Community College Student and IT Intern during roundtable.

The roundtable discussion focused on the success of businesses like Vishay and how public and education officials can continue supporting a pipeline of students whose skills meets the needs of manufacturing companies.

“Vishay was honored to host distinguished federal, state and local leaders to discuss important U.S. technological infrastructure matters and initiatives to promote a diverse labor force,” said Peter Henrici, Senior Vice President – Corporate Communications and Corporate Secretary

As Chester County continues to grow in population and job opportunities, it’s critical to have all facets of business and government working in sync.

“It was great to be with Madam Secretary Raimondo, Congresswoman Houlahan, and many other Chester County leaders at Vishay Intertechnology to learn more about the company’s operations and mission,” said Laura Manion, President and CEO of Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry. “The Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry strongly encourages Congress to pass the broadly supported Bipartisan Innovation Act to fund the CHIPS and FABS Acts to accelerate domestic production of semiconductors. Semiconductors are essential to nearly every sector of the economy and incentivizing increased domestic manufacturing capacity is critical to strengthening the workforce, national security and our long-term global competitiveness.”

“Chester County’s economic strength comes from its diversity, its determination to lead the way in sectors such as manufacturing, and its desire to invest in the business leaders of the future through education partnerships,” said Chester County Commissioners Marian Moskowitz and Josh Maxwell, Chair and Vice-Chair respectively. “We were honored to be part of the discussions with Secretary Raimondo and Representative Houlahan that showcased Vishay Intertechnology – one of the world’s largest manufacturers of semiconductors and passive electronic components, whose headquarters are based right here in our county.”

Others in attendance included: Dr. Karen Kozachyn, Delaware County Community College (DCCC) Vice President of Workforce and Economic Development; Britney Smith, Computer Programming student at DCCC; Patrick Hayakawa and Gary Smith from the Chester County Economic Development Council; PA State Rep. Kristine Howard; and a representative from PA State Sen. Carolyn Comitta.

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