POLITICS & ELECTIONS

President Joe Biden is naming ‘tech hubs’ for 32 states, Puerto Rico to help industry, create jobs

Oct 23, 2023, 3:04 AM | Updated: 10:33 am

President Joe Biden looks on as Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo speaks on the South Lawn of the Wh...

President Joe Biden looks on as Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo speaks on the South Lawn of the White House, Aug. 9, 2022, in Washington. The Biden administration is designating 31 “tech hubs” in 32 states and Puerto Rico to help spur innovation and create jobs in the specific industries that are concentrated in these areas. “I have to say, in my entire career in public service, I have never seen as much interest in any initiative than this one," Raimondo told reporters during a Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023, conference call to preview the announcement. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. (AP) — The Biden administration is designating 31 “ tech hubs ” touching 32 states and Puerto Rico to help spur innovation and create jobs in the specific industries that are concentrated in these areas.

President Joe Biden was set to announce the hubs Monday at the White House.

“I have to say, in my entire career in public service, I have never seen as much interest in any initiative than this one,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told reporters during a Sunday conference call to preview the announcement. Her department received 400 applications, she said.

“No matter where I go or who I meet with — CEOs, governors, senators, congresspeople, university presidents — everyone wants to tell me about their application and how excited they are,” said Raimondo, who planned to join Biden for the announcement.

The tech hubs are the result of a process Raimondo’s department launched in May to distribute a total of $500 million in grants to cities.

The $500 million came from a $10 billion authorization in last year’s CHIPS and Science Act to stimulate investments in new technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing and biotech. It’s an attempt to expand tech investment that is largely concentrated around a few U.S. cities — Austin, Texas; Boston; New York; San Francisco; and Seattle — to the rest of the country.

The program, formally the Regional Technology and Innovation Hub Program, ties into the president’s economic argument that people should be able to find good jobs where they live and that opportunity should be spread across the country, rather than be concentrated. The White House has sought to elevate that message and highlight Biden’s related policies as the Democratic president prepares his reelection bid in 2024.

The 31 tech hubs reach Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Montana, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Virginia, New Hampshire, Missouri, Kansas, Maryland, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Minnesota, Louisiana, Idaho, Wyoming, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, New York, Nevada, Missouri, Oregon, Vermont, Ohio, Maine, Washington and Puerto Rico.

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President Joe Biden is naming ‘tech hubs’ for 32 states, Puerto Rico to help industry, create jobs