Wolfspeed’s supplier outreach: Fueling growth in Chatham County

By Gene Galin

Pittsboro, NC – Wolfspeed, the global leader in silicon carbide manufacturing, is making waves in Chatham County, North Carolina. With the construction of its huge 2.1 million square-foot facility, Wolfspeed is reaching out to local suppliers, both big and small, as it seeks to build strong partnerships that will power its expansion. In my discussion with Leslie Buckheit, the coordinator of the Wolfspeed supplier event at the Chatham Ag Center, we talked about the company’s goals, its commitment to small and diverse businesses, and the exciting prospects it offers for Chatham County’s economic landscape.

A Silicon Carbide Giant in the Making

Wolfspeed’s venture in Chatham County is no small endeavor. Their sprawling facility, spanning an area larger than 36 football fields, is set to become the world’s largest silicon carbide factory. But what exactly is silicon carbide, and why is it so crucial in the electric vehicle market?

Silicon carbide (SiC) is a revolutionary semiconductor material known for its superior performance and efficiency compared to traditional silicon. It enables wide bandgap semiconductor solutions that enable the dramatic technology shifts underway within the automotive, communications infrastructure, and industrial markets. Wolfspeed’s Chatham County facility is dedicated to producing SiC materials that will drive these industries transformation.

Suppliers Wanted: Diverse Opportunities Abound

As Wolfspeed gears up for this big undertaking, it is actively seeking suppliers across a wide spectrum of services and products. From janitorial needs to processing engineers, from electrical labor areas to office supplies, Wolfspeed’s requirements are vast and varied. The company’s message is clear: it welcomes businesses of all sizes and backgrounds to join hands in this exciting journey.

One noteworthy aspect of Wolfspeed’s approach is its commitment to small and diverse businesses. Leslie Buckheit, Senior Director of Indirect Procurement & Supply Chain Planning, emphasized that the company aims to allocate 20 percent of its spending to local small and diverse businesses at their Siler City facility. Wolfspeed understands the importance of fostering growth and diversity within its supplier base, reflecting its dedication to Chatham County and surrounding counties.

Partnering for Success

While the massive facility in Chatham County undergoes construction, Wolfspeed is already in discussions with potential suppliers. Some partnerships may be established even before the facility becomes fully operational. The company plans to bring in various suppliers at different stages of the project, ensuring that local businesses have ample opportunities to participate in this transformative journey.

Wolfspeed’s supplier outreach extends not only to direct partnerships but also to collaborations with Tier 1 suppliers. By aiding these suppliers in meeting their goals, Wolfspeed contributes to a thriving ecosystem of businesses in the region, strengthening the local economy.

How to Get Involved

Suppliers eager to join Wolfspeed’s exciting journey can attend events like the recent one at the Chatham Ag Center. However, if participation in such events is not possible, there’s another avenue: Wolfspeed’s website, wolfspeed.com, provides a dedicated section for suppliers. Here, interested businesses can register and provide essential information about their offerings.

Even if you’re not ready to engage immediately, registering on the website ensures that Wolfspeed is aware of your business and its capabilities. This proactive step can be the first toward establishing a productive partnership.

Wolfspeed’s Ongoing Commitment

As construction progresses and the facility in Siler City takes shape, Wolfspeed’s engagement with the local community will only intensify. The company’s eagerness to work hand-in-hand with Chatham County is palpable. Leslie Buckheit, herself a North Carolina native, shared her pride in being part of this transformative endeavor.

Wolfspeed’s arrival in Chatham County heralds a new era of economic development and innovation. With its commitment to local businesses, diversity, and community collaboration, the company is poised to make a lasting impact on business growth within Chatham County.

The company’s outreach to local suppliers, coupled with its dedication to small and diverse businesses, demonstrates its commitment to the community’s prosperity. For businesses seeking to become part of this remarkable journey, the doors are wide open. Register on Wolfspeed’s website, explore the opportunities, and be prepared to play a vital role in shaping the future of technological innovations and the economic landscape of Chatham County.

Quick Notes

  • Wolfspeed is a major silicon carbide manufacturer with over 60% market share.
  • The company is seeking a wide range of suppliers, from janitorial services to processing engineers and electrical labor.
  • They have a specific focus on engaging small and diverse businesses, aiming for 20% of their spending at the Siler City facility.
  • The facility in Siler City is under construction, and Wolfspeed plans to bring in suppliers gradually as it develops.
  • Interested suppliers can register on Wolfspeed’s website for more information.
  • Wolfspeed is excited to collaborate with the community in Chatham County and is proud to be in North Carolina.

Watch the video conversation with Leslie Buckheit on YouTube

00:10 Wolfspeed is hosting an event to engage with suppliers and showcase their world’s largest silicon carbide factory in Chatham County.

  • Suppliers can learn about Wolfspeed’s activities in Chatham County.
  • They are excited to connect with potential business partners.

00:57 Wolfspeed is expanding their materials factory to support their growing business in the electric vehicle market.

  • The materials factory is as big as 36 football fields.
  • The factory is used for growing materials that are then moved to their fabs worldwide.

01:26 We are the largest silicon carbide manufacturer with over 60% market share.

  • We have a wide range of suppliers for janitorial needs, PPE, processing engineers, electrical labor areas, forklifts, and office supplies.
  • Our business is continuously growing and we are expanding the market.

01:59 Wolfspeed aims to spend 20% in Siler City with small and diverse businesses

  • Wolfspeed has a combination of specific diverse and small business outreach
  • Wolfspeed is also looking to work with groups in addition to direct business

02:36 Wolfspeed is hosting an event to find suppliers for their community goals.

  • The event is scheduled to open at 8 AM on Wednesday and close at 4 PM.
  • If unable to attend, interested suppliers can visit wolfspeed.com for more information.

03:10 Supplier Day provides information and registration

  • Supplier Day allows registration for those unable to attend
  • There are various links for more details about the business
  • The facility in Siler City will open next year for trades with businesses

03:40 Bringing in various suppliers at various times for building expansion

  • The sign-up process may not guarantee immediate reach out for services
  • Individuals representing different departments can provide specific time frame for suppliers

04:14 Wolfspeed coming to Chatham County

  • Excited to work with the community
  • Happy and blessed to be in North Carolina