Letters: Indiana chased out electronics industry

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has formed the Accelerating Microelectronics Production & Development Task Force to become the leading state in the semiconductor industry [“Indiana launches task force to boost state’s semiconductor industry,” May 27]. While this may look good, there are some very serious flaws.

Indiana used to have six semiconductor [fabrication plants]. But for some unknown reason, our politicians (Republican and Democrat, city and state, past and present) as well as their respective economic development officials said that they did not want to support our electronics industry with its semiconductor fabs.

What is even more unbelievable: Indiana had numerous opportunities to pursue semiconductor fabs announced over the past year but was nowhere to be seen, as usual.

Over the past four decades, not only did Indiana lose these semiconductor fabs, but also well over 550 other electronic manufacturers that were located here with 110,000 highly educated people.

Furthermore, Indiana once employed 130,000 in the electronics industry, a number that has declined to 20,000 today. More losses are coming, and Indiana is doing absolutely nothing to keep these companies and college technology graduates here. Moreover, past history shows that 80% of these companies moved to other high-priced and high-taxed states, not to China and Mexico, as we are always led to believe by our politicians and economic development officials.

Knowledgeable electronic industry leaders have repeatedly told our city and state economic development officials to pursue wafer fabs and other leading-edge electronic companies to rejuvenate this industry here. These same officials even today continue with their negative attitude towards this industry. It has been known coast to coast for decades: Indiana is chasing out its electronics industry.

While I wish this task force the best, they also need to show the entire nation that Indiana wants to improve its approach towards this industry. They must stop future losses here while pursuing major electronics industry catalysts like other states are doing at record-setting speed.

__________

–Lawrence W. Wallman, president

International Microelectronics Assembly and Packaging Society, Indiana chapter

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