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Big businesses in the region discuss ways to address supply chain issues with Wild, US Commerce Secretary


Some of the Lehigh Valley's largest employers say they're still experiencing supply chain issues.

"If you miss any one of those components it really is disruptive to our process and for our ability to bring a truck down the line," said Mike Lovati, Senior Vice President of Group Trucks Purchasing North America at Volvo.

Representatives from Mack Trucks, Lutron, and Infinera joined Congresswoman Susan Wild and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo Wednesday to talk ways to improve it, like the bipartisan Innovation and Competition Act, which is currently in the U.S. House.

The bill would invest $52 billion in domestic semi conductor production.

"Every product Lutron makes has at least one if not multiple semi conductors in it, and the supply chain challenges that we face have had a big impact on our ability to deliver to our customers," said Lutron Co-President Ed Blair.

"Infinera is not only a consumer of semi conductors, but we are actually a producer of semiconductors," said Darrell Engel, senior Director of Operations and Site Leader at Infinera.

"We're actually looking to expand and so support through things like the Competes Act can really go a long way."

The bill would also invest in STEM education, reauthorize the National Apprenticeship Act, and create Regional Innovation Hubs, an addition from Congresswoman Wild.

"I am a huge advocate for the Lehigh Valley to be one of those regional innovation hubs. We have the perfect combination of manufacturers and institutions of higher learning," Wild said.

The Senate has its own Competition Act, which Republican leaders have been pushing for. However, neither bill has been passed both chambers, and there is concern any help may come too late.

"We've got to look at this as our constituents on both sides of the aisle winning, if America wins with better competition, and better manufacturing, and better production," Wild said.

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