President Biden speaks at Wolfspeed in Durham for Invest in America nationwide tour

DeJuan Hoggard Image
Wednesday, March 29, 2023
President Biden visits semiconductor manufacturer in Durham
In September, Wolfspeed announced plans to create 1,800 jobs with a $5 billion investment over the next 20 years in Chatham County.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- President Biden is in NC and visiting Wolfspeed, a semiconductor factory in Durham.

The president is looking to highlight investments and legislation, including the bipartisan CHIPS Act that is aimed at addressing clean energy and manufacturing.

In September, Wolfspeed announced plans to create 1,800 jobs with a $5 billion investment over the next 20 years in Chatham County.

WATCH: President Biden's full remarks in Durham

Full speech: President Joe Biden speaks at Wolfspeed in Durham on Tuesday.

CEO Gregg Lowe said the trip will allow them to showcase their production of silicon carbide, which is a key component in electric vehicles.

"We're at an exciting time in the automobile industry as we move from the internal combustion engine to the electric vehicle, and we're a core part of that because silicon carbide helps those electric vehicles go further with the same amount of battery but also charge faster," Lowe said.

Tuesday, Wolfspeed cofounder John Edmond shared the excitement when they realized the President was going to visit.

""When I heard he was coming back I was like wow, this is a big deal! And we appreciate what he's doing and his administration, in a bipartisan effort to make it happen. So thank you Mr. President."

RELATED | 'We're super excited about it': Wolfspeed CEO ready to welcome President Joe Biden

Biden's remarks (in part) on Tuesday

"It demonstrates that we're all in this together. And that's what today's about. We're here to talk about what we're doing in America. To invest in North Carolina in building an economy from the middle out to the bottom up. Not trickle down from the top down."

"A building they're constructing will be the size of 38 football fields. We'll have 10 times the productive capacity than what we're standing on today."

"America's coming back! We're determined to lead the world in manufacturing semiconductors."

"I asked the South Korean chip manufacturing company why they're moving billions of dollars to the United States to build factories here. He said, swear to God, because you have the best workers in the world and the safest place in the world to build them."

"Partnerships with HBCUs like North Carolina A&T, NC Central University here in Durham, the community colleges across the state -- they're going to receive $16 million dollars in American Rescue Plan funding to create new pipelines for good-paying jobs in bio-manufacturing, cybersecurity, and shipbuilding."

"We used to invest 2% of our GDP in research and development. In the last 35 years it got down to .7%. But America is coming back. We're determined to lead the world in manufacturing semiconductors. We invented semiconductors in America (applause)."

"And if you had to name the top 5 governors in either party in the United States of America, this guy is one of them. You really are! And you know why? You all know it. Whether you're Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, he has more integrity in his little finger than most people have in their whole body. What he says, you can count on. He's completely, completely, completely straight."

"And you're here on your wedding anniversary. I just want you to know I sent flowers to your wife. I don't know about you (laughs). You better damn well be on time for that dinner!"

"Governor thanks for being here today and thanks for your friendship."

According to a White House representative, Wolfspeed is one of four major investments manufacturers have committed to making in the Tar Heel state, bringing thousands of jobs.

WATCH: Biden speaks about Nashville shooting, gun laws

President Joe Biden opened his remarks in Durham by speaking about the Nashville school shooting and again calling for a ban on "assault" weapons.
  • Wolfspeed is investing $5 billion in a semiconductor materials plant in Chatham County - the largest investment in North Carolina's history - that is expected to create 1,800 jobs that pay an average of $77,000 by 2030.
  • VinFast is investing $4 billion in a new Chatham County facility that will make electric buses, electric SUVs, and electric vehicle batteries. They expect to hire 7,500 workers and produce 150,000 vehicles per year.
  • Toyota is making a $3.8 billion investment in a new lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in Liberty, NC - creating 2,100 new jobs. The company is also putting $1 million toward workforce readiness opportunities.
  • Siemens is investing $220 million in advanced manufacturing and rail services facility in Lexington, NC - creating 500 new jobs to support the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law's investments in Made in America rail and transit.
Conroe police found the tiger wandering on the loose

President Biden landed at RDU shortly after at 1 p.m. and his speech at Wolfspeed began around 2:30 p.m.


Kim Deaner breaks down when the president will arrive and how that will impact traffic in the Triangle.

Raleigh police said drivers should expect traffic delays and road closures between RDU and S. Miami Blvd from 12-4 pm.

Other areas affected include I-40 and 540, Page Rd, S Miami Blvd, and Chin Page Rd.

Drivers are asked to avoid the area and find alternate routes.