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Semiconductor Industry

The SEMI-SUNY Poly Awarded $6 Million Grant to Fulfil Semiconductor Industry Crisis

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Funded by NSF’s Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program to train college students for electronic industry

Today, the talent shortage is the most critical issue the semiconductor industry is compromising with. The talent involved in the advanced manufacturing of electronics is critical to maintaining U.S. leadership in the semiconductor industry. Providing well-trained technicians and organized programs are the initial and effective steps many major organizations are working on. Some of them working-out-loud are SEMI and SUNY Poly providing the workforce to the semiconductor industry.

SEMI, the global industry association representing the electronics manufacturing and design supply chain, and SUNY Polytechnic Institute has announced that they have been awarded a $6 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund workforce development initiatives for the microelectronics manufacturing industry.

The project is funded by the NSF’s Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program, which focuses on educating technicians for the advanced-technology fields that drive the nation’s economy. The amount aims to fund a pilot program that includes a unified competency model, course curriculum, web portal, and engagement with industry and training providers.

The purpose behind funding

  • The NSF funding provided over for three years has been targeted to support the development and implementation of a semiconductor workforce certification program designed to meet the industry’s most pressing needs.
  • The funding will enable SUNY Poly to scale its high-tech-centered courses and bolster its support of technology companies in the Albany and Utica, New York region and beyond.
  • The pilot strategically focuses to enable the region to better support STEM education and technology career pathways across K-12, higher education, and adult training.

SUNY-SEMI role play

  • SUNY Poly, with campuses in Albany and Utica, New York, will administer the grant and serve as the academic partner for the program.
  • SUNY Poly as a recognized leader in semiconductor-related technology development and education will strengthen the program in working with businesses to develop programs for training semiconductor industry technicians.
  • SEMI joined forces with SUNY Poly to provide direct industry input into this certificate program – a great way to keep technical education aligned with their industry’s workforce needs.
  • SUNY Poly is thrilled to work alongside industry and government to contribute to the health of the future talent pipeline in New York State, across the United States.

How the program will be projected?

  • The pilot program will first focus on SEMI’s efforts to engage industry in developing a talent competency model based on skills the semiconductor industry needs most.
  • SUNY Poly will then leverage the model to build a technician-level course curriculum for area community colleges and mechatronics programs.
  • Students completing the courses will receive technician certifications as credentials, endorsed by SEMI, for working in the semiconductor industry.

How the program will benefit college students?

The certification program will be part of SEMI Works™, SEMI’s groundbreaking, industry-driven initiative to grow the talent pipeline for the electronics manufacturing industry.

The engagement with SEMI members across the electronics manufacturing supply chain ensures that job education and training meet the needs of advanced manufacturing. The joint forces look forward to establishing a regional talent development program that they can scale to grow the talent pipeline.

Professor of Nanoscale Science Dr. Robert Geer, who leads the SUNY Polytechnic research project, said, “Working with SEMI on this first-of-its-kind certification to strengthen the 21st-century high-tech workforce will allow our region’s undergraduate college students to be perfectly positioned to pursue outstanding STEM-related careers. As a result, they will be highly sought after – and uniquely qualified – to thrive in cutting-edge semiconductor and electronics systems technology fields, including AI, power electronics, integrated photonics, and computer chip manufacturing at SEMI member companies, as well as others. We are pleased to pursue educational and workforce development solutions that will have a positive impact, reverberating around the world.

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