August 09, 2023

Lee Celebrates Black Business Month and One-Year Anniversary of CHIPS Act by Touring Black-Owned Bay Area Tech Company

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-12) toured Black-owned satellite manufacturer Akash Systems in West Oakland to celebrate Black Business Month. This visit comes after Rep. Lee supported their bid to receive funding from the CHIPS and Science Act.

The CHIPS and Science Act, passed one year ago Wednesday, makes historic investments in American manufacturing, supply chains, and national security. Akash Systems is pioneering the development and use of certain advanced semiconductors for U.S. critical infrastructure and national security needs. The company is seeking $300 million inCHIPS and Science Act funding to expand their manufacturing footprint in the Bay Area, a proposal Congresswoman Lee and Senators Padilla and Feinsteinwrote to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo in supportof in June. Today, Rep. Lee toured the Akash manufacturing site, met with workers, and spoke with the leadership team about the impact investment from CHIPS would have on the company.

“Today, I had the opportunity to witness the technological innovation, good-paying jobs, and workforce diversity that Akash Systems is bringing to our East Bay communities firsthand,”said Rep. Lee.“Strong companies like these are leading the revitalization of American manufacturing while spurring transformational investment in underserved communities. I thank the Akash team for hosting me today and urge the Biden Administration to give Akash its full and fair consideration for CHIPS funding.”

Congresswoman Lee has long fought for diversity in the tech industry. TheRonald V. Dellums Memorial SMART Fellowship, a program made possible by Rep. Lee’s legislation, is aimed at boosting the number of minority students in science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics (STEAM) fields through robust financial scholarships to college students. Applications for the inaugural year of the program are currently open through the Department of Defense.