SEMI, the global industry association representing the electronics manufacturing and design supply chain, today announced that, in partnership with Ignited Education, Foothill College and Krause Center for Innovation, it has won a $1 million California Apprenticeship Initiative (CAI) New and Innovative Grant for the development of a semiconductor pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship program to expand the pathway to careers in the microelectronics industry. The SEMI Foundation and its partners will develop the industry career training program to be offered by California community colleges and ultimately schools in other states. The program will connect CAI partners with SEMI member companies to define job competencies that shape the coursework.
The CAI funding will support the SEMI Foundation’s work to build the SEMI Career and Apprenticeship Network (SCAN), aimed at helping overcome the U.S. microelectronics industry’s talent shortage as the federal government continues to invest in apprenticeships. The grant also supports the foundation’s efforts to promote a more inclusive workforce. SCAN will offer training that equips workers with the technical skills needed to enter high-demand, entry-level jobs in the microelectronics industry. It will also expand the pool of skilled workers for hiring companies.
“Securing the CAI funding is a key step in building out SCAN as we work to develop a national apprenticeship network, recruit more people of color and women to the industry, and create industry credentials recognized nationwide,” said Shari Liss, executive director of the SEMI Foundation. “We look forward to continuing the vital work with our partners to expand access to jobs across the semiconductor industry and enable more people to enter rewarding careers.”
CAI New and Innovative Grants fund the development of pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs to strengthen sectors that drive economic growth while creating opportunities for workers in underserved communities to enter high-wage professions. CAI funds workforce development projects across 20 sectors including advanced manufacturing, global trade and logistics, agriculture, energy and life sciences to help build connections between students and employers.
Foothill College will develop coursework covering the competencies for various high-need positions in the microelectronics industry. Complementing the work of Foothill College to reach students early in their education, Ignited and the Krause Center for Innovation will create middle school foundations and high-school pathways pre-apprenticeship programs featuring engaging student experiences and teacher-training workshops. The SEMI Foundation will ensure the programs meet the industry’s workforce needs.
“Talent pipelines are powerful,” said Jeff Schmidt, Chief Executive Officer of Santa Clara, Calif.-based Ignited. “They open new doors, offer experiences that shape us, and provide role models that inspire our career choices. SCAN will build a strong, compelling pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship pipeline that will change the lives of students and families that need it most. We’re proud to support the SEMI Foundation and this amazing group of partners who are doing such critical work for the microelectronics industry.”
“Foothill College is proud to partner with SEMI,” said Chris Allen, Dean of Apprenticeship Programs at Foothill College, based in Los Altos Hills, Calif. “This is an exciting opportunity for our faculty to collaborate with the microelectronics industry to help align work competencies with curriculum development. We look forward to building this new and innovative apprenticeship pathway at this crucial time in the redevelopment of the U.S. semiconductor manufacturing industry.”
SEMI member companies, government agencies and other industry stakeholders interested in developing or participating in microelectronics apprenticeship programs can contact the SEMI Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org.