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Microchip shortage an opportunity for Kokomo

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The manufacturing industry is facing a worldwide shortage of microchips that are used in everything from vehicles to computers to cellphones. The shortage hit home last month when local Stellantis plants furloughed employees who were making nine-speed transmissions.

It’s a problem that’s not going away anytime soon. Manufacturers will continue to see this issue for years to come, and it will take an industry-wide push to solve it.

Enter the GMCH plant in Kokomo.

While the shortage sends a ripple effect through the entire industry, the GMCH plant houses an empty facility with the capabilities of manufacturing microchips. Granted, one plant cannot solve the microchip shortage, but it could set an example and, even better, bring a much-needed shot of development and industry diversity to Kokomo.

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There is no workforce more deserving of a chance to do this. GMCH employees have proven time and time again that they are ready, willing, and able to step up to the plate. Just look back to the Ventec Life Systems and GMCH’s partnership last year, which brought in 1,000 new jobs and was exactly what Kokomo needed. It was a shot in the arm for Kokomo, and that was thanks to the employees.

But GMCH and its employees can’t do it alone. They will need help. That is why our state representatives, the city administration, county government, and anyone else with the influence and knowledge to rise to this opportunity, like the GMCH workforce did last year, and meet it head-on.

There are bills in the statehouse that are, frankly, a waste of time. There are city projects that can be put on hold. County government won’t miss a beat if its leaders postpone a meeting. We are calling on them to meet with GMCH officials and local UAW membership to work together to address this opportunity and address it now.

It’s a long shot, but it is certainly possible. It’s time for our leaders to step up to the plate and use this opportunity to serve their constituents in a way that could create lasting effects for generations to come.