Micron Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: MU) today announced the formation of the Northeast University Semiconductor Network, a partnership focused on collectively developing the next generation of the U.S. semiconductor industry’s workforce. The network will drive foundational and emerging research to increase students’ opportunities for experiential learning across the semiconductor ecosystem.
At a press conference in Syracuse, New York, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan joined Micron executives as they revealed the new network, which includes twenty one founding member institutions, and the publication of a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL). The DCL opens two NSF solicitations and follows a previously announced partnership between Micron and NSF to support future workforce development efforts at institutions of higher education, aligned with the strategic vision laid out in the CHIPS and Science Act.
“Alongside government partners, Micron is taking bold action to cultivate and support collaboration between institutions of higher education to develop a diverse and robust STEM talent pipeline – a model that we look forward to advancing in other regions,” said Micron President and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra. “By uniting institutions across the Northeast, we can further develop the talent needed to produce leading-edge memory at Micron’s massive scale here in New York. U.S. technology leadership and the future of the American semiconductor industry depend on the development of a diverse, highly skilled workforce that is fully prepared to excel in tomorrow’s STEM careers.”
Also on April 10, Micron will facilitate two roundtable discussions at Syracuse University’s National Veterans Resource Center at the Daniel and Gayle D’Aniello Building, with representatives from the region’s technician, apprenticeship and community colleges as well as four-year institutions.
Combining the reach of traditional and nontraditional pathways into the semiconductor industry, the Northeast University Semiconductor Network will expand and prepare the next generation of talent through a framework centered on collaboration, innovation and problem solving. Micron, in partnership with the network institutions, will champion efforts to modernize and enhance curriculum by sharing industry-backed technical content, expanding experiential learning programs for greater access to cleanrooms and teaching labs, and bolstering research opportunities for students. In all these efforts, the Northeast University Semiconductor Network will work to reach more underrepresented students.
The NSF solicitation announced today is the next step in the partnership between the Micron Foundation and NSF to jointly invest $10 million to fund and develop semiconductor curricula in colleges and universities across the country. ExLENT: Experiential Learning for Emerging and Novel Technologies supports inclusive experiential learning opportunities designed to give learners the skills needed to succeed in STEM and strengthen the semiconductor workforce, while IUSE: Improving Undergraduate STEM Education supports projects to improve STEM teaching and learning for undergraduate students.
“Now that Central New York has landed the largest investment in U.S. history, it’s all-hands-on-deck to prepare a new generation of workers to fill the tens of thousands of new construction, manufacturing and innovation jobs that Micron’s $100 billion project will create in Syracuse and across Upstate New York. When I wrote the CHIPS and Science bill, new groundbreaking partnerships like the Northeast University
“At the core of NSF’s priorities is a commitment to building strong partnerships across government, industry and academia to create powerful innovation ecosystems across the country,” said NSF Director Dr. Panchanathan. “It is the strength of these collaborations combined with the implementation of the CHIPS and Science Act that will lead us to solutions to society’s most pressing issues. I want to thank Leader Schumer for his steadfast support of NSF and our critical mission. Together, our collective impact will continue to create change at speed and scale and fuel exciting discoveries, innovations and jobs for decades to come.”
The founding partners of the Northeast University Semiconductor Network were identified based on their strong collective undergraduate and graduate programs in engineering and other STEM degrees. Spanning seven states, they bring together thousands of undergraduate and graduate STEM students, access to teaching labs and cleanrooms, and a strong foundation of collaboration across institutions. The Northeast University Semiconductor Network will bolster programs that connect universities to community colleges and non-traditional pathways with strong diversity programs to increase equitable access to STEM education.
“Brown is pleased to join the Northeast University Semiconductor Network in alignment with our focus on generating new research that will make an impact in the world, as well as our commitment to collaboration in solving the problems of tomorrow,” said President of Brown University Christina H. Paxson. “The U.S. is experiencing a manufacturing transformation, and partnerships with leading companies such as Micron are critical. The exciting work that’s ahead will require that we collectively generate equitable opportunities for people of all backgrounds to propel innovation.”
“We are living through an American manufacturing revolution, one that Carnegie Mellon is proud to help accelerate through our world-class research and talent,” said Carnegie Mellon University President Farnam Jahanian. “This network will bring together some of the brightest engineering minds and boldest visionaries in the country, supercharging the nation’s work to advance national economic prosperity, competitiveness and security by manufacturing leading-edge semiconductors. CMU is thrilled about the opportunities that lie ahead for our students and graduates and are excited to work with Micron and university partners to build the workforce of the future.”
“Cornell University is pleased to join Micron, Senator Schumer and Director Panchanathan at the launch of the Northeast University Semiconductor Network,” said Cornell University President Martha E. Pollack. “Senator Schumer’s vision and leadership made the CHIPS and Science Act a reality, and helped to pave the way for Micron’s historic investment in Central New York. The National Science Foundation’s ongoing commitment, in partnership with the Micron Foundation, to support the research, development and teaching capacities of universities like Cornell will solidify Upstate New York’s place at the center of a reinvigorated domestic semiconductor industry.”
“CUNY is deeply committed to ensuring student equity across our University system and lifting students and graduates from all backgrounds in STEM careers,” said The City University of New York System (CUNY) Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “As a new partner in the Northeast University Semiconductor Network, CUNY will play an active role in preparing a diverse workforce that has the advanced technical skills to support Micron’s leading-edge memory manufacturing fab, creating a more inclusive U.S. workforce.”
“A strong, vibrant semiconductor industry is vital to U.S. prosperity and security, and important for ensuring our place at the forefront of the tech field. For those reasons, as well as the impact it can have on our effort to advance students in STEM careers, NYU is pleased to be part of Micron’s Northeast Semiconductor Network,” said President of New York University Andrew D. Hamilton. “Innovative approaches to learning and technical skill development, which could involve facilities such as NYU’s cleanrooms and teaching labs, are critical to developing a workforce of the future that has the advanced skills needed to compete and succeed in the semiconductor industry.”
“RIT is looking forward to contributing to the Northeast University Semiconductor Network, alongside the support of Micron,” said Rochester Institute of Technology President David Munson. “This will further bolster our ability to best educate the workforce that will keep America at the forefront of the semiconductor industry. Semiconductor research and development underpins critical technologies ranging from artificial intelligence to biomedical sensors. It is essential that government, business, and educational institutions continue on a collaborative path to assure a reliable supply of leading-edge chips that will enable a prosperous and secure future.”
“RPI looks forward to contributing to Micron’s talent pipeline development and the broader success of U.S. manufacturing through the Northeast University Semiconductor Network,” said President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Martin A. Schmidt. “Micron’s investment in leading-edge memory manufacturing will require a workforce with the technical skills to support this critical work and RPI is ready to play a role in preparing the workforce of the future through our cleanroom and other innovative teaching approaches.”
“We are proud to have SUNY join Micron’s Northeast University Semiconductor Network to prepare students across SUNY for successful careers in semiconductor manufacturing,” said The State University of New York System (SUNY) Chancellor John B. King, Jr. “Together we are laying the foundation for educational and economic opportunity for SUNY students across the state. Building on Micron’s strong partnership with Onondaga Community College, the entire SUNY System is committed to ensuring our programs, curriculum and hands-on training prepare New Yorkers for prime technician and engineering roles inside Micron’s leading-edge memory manufacturing facility and throughout the semiconductor industry.”
“Syracuse University is proud to partner with Micron to advance this once-in-a-generation investment here in the Central New York Community,” said Syracuse University Chancellor and President Kent Syverud. “The Northeast University Semiconductor Network will cultivate collaboration to unlock new opportunities for educators and students in the semiconductor industry. Together with our fellow Northeast universities and colleges, we will develop the workforce of the future, strengthening our region’s and our country’s position as a leader in manufacturing and technology.”
“We are pleased to partner with Micron and these institutions to help prepare the next generation of workers to power our nation’s growth as a global leader in semiconductor manufacturing,” said University of Virginia President James E. Ryan. “Our University is home to many talented and dedicated educators, students, and researchers who are ready to play an important role in this effort alongside our partners in this new network.”
“Innovative partnerships among institutions of higher education and industry will be essential to meeting the needs of the national semiconductor industry and memory manufacturing,” said President of Virginia Tech Timothy Sands. “We look forward to working with Micron and others in the development of leading-edge technologies, content, and teaching modules for our unique Chips-Scale Integration major at Virginia Tech.”
Today’s announcements expand on Micron’s commitments in Central New York. In October 2022, the company announced the selection of Clay, New York as the site of a new megafab that will increase the domestic supply of leading-edge memory and create nearly 50,000 New York jobs, including approximately 9,000 good paying Micron jobs.