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Semiconductors are a critical component of the electronics industry in the United States. And yet the work of making these important parts falls to a handful of manufacturers concentrated in only a few countries. To reduce the risk of the supply chain, chipmakers are investing in the US market – and creating jobs. Many of these organizations are looking for ways to encourage students to consider a career in the semiconductor industry.

Exploding market

Semiconductors are a huge global market – sales of 613 billion dollars in 2022 – an increase of 10.4% over the previous year, according to Statistics of world trade in semiconductors (WSTS). The US union will experience the strongest growth in each region, the group predicts.

However, continued growth requires chipmakers to invest in infrastructure and hire people to support operations. Since the beginning of 2021, the semiconductor industry has announced nearly $ 80 billion in new investment in the United States by 2025, according to Semiconductor Industry Association. Intel, Samsung, Texas Instruments, GlobalFoundries, Cree, Micron and SK Group are investing in semiconductor manufacturing in the United States.


Source: WSTS

To meet the growing capacity requirements for critical semiconductor applications alone, the United States needs to add about 5.5% of world production, according to report from In practice, this would mean adding 18 to 20 plants to the US landscape, which would provide between 70,000 and 90,000 jobs, an increase in the current workforce of about 50 percent.

Filling the pipeline

Attracting trained workers to jobs is not an easy task. In fact, all manufacturing sectors in the United States are having difficulty recruiting after the Covid-19 explosion. The electronics industry is partnering with faculty to increase the workforce by encouraging students to consider a career in the semiconductor industry. GlobalFoundaries, for example, has an ambassadorial program that puts its volunteer staff in STEM outreach classrooms in elementary school, said Tara McCahy, head of workforce development at GlobalFoundries, during a recent SIA webinar. The US semiconductor workforce.

“Hopefully, by engaging with students, they can understand the possibilities right in their backyard,” McCahy said, adding that students are given a chance to learn about their technological careers by trying on “bunny costumes.” carried in waffles or working with fast circuits to find out how electronics work. For students, the company offers internships that can be turned into full-time work after graduation.

Semiconductor organizations are getting creative about how they can educate students in new ways. “We need to expose students to what semiconductor work looks like and what opportunities exist at all levels of education, from undergraduate to graduate,” said Loria Brown Gordon, assistant dean at Du Bois Harvey Honors College at Jackson State University in Jackson, MS. during the webinar. She cites online and personal internships, mentoring programs and exposure to research opportunities as examples of successful strategies.

“Minority students, underrepresented and lower-income students are a population of people who need to be exposed in order to develop the industry. These are people who do not understand the intricacies and all the possibilities that exist, so you need to involve them in high-impact activities, “said Gordon.


Source: SIA

Schools and industry need to build the pipeline together, said Lea Palmer, executive director of AzAMI Workforce at Maricopa Country Community Colleges during the webinar. The Arizona-based school system has partnered with Intel to create a workforce pipeline, working together to identify industry needs; developing and then implementing an action plan; and then refine the program based on the results.

“Targeted skills are absolutely critical to help students enter the organization’s door and be productive,” she explained. The program has $ 2.5 billion in funding from the state and foundations. The classes, which also give students standard equipment and supplies to use, are intensive two-week courses that offer students college credit.

The program is aimed at women, veterans and other underrepresented groups. “Building this new model is about focused competencies,” Palmer said. “I think that attracting this model has led to a new population in the sector with new diversity and opportunities for justice.

Although in its infancy, the program is popular, with 372 students passing the pre-enrollment test and another 391 on the waiting list.

Spreading a wide network will be a critical strategy for creating this new workforce. “The recipe is that you absolutely need to address the range of people you’re putting in the workforce from two-year degrees to PhD candidates,” said Robert Gere, head of workforce development at NY Creates, a New York State-based collaboration. academic and industrial partners. . “You need to attract those who come from neighboring areas, as well as those who are currently in the workforce.

NY Creates has partnered with IBM and others to discover the 300 mm Si fab, where students experiment while working in a semiconductor factory. “Getting the right competencies and skills training for students is essential, so we use the ability to give students hands-on experience,” Gere said. The 12-week, 24-hour internship at the Albany Nanotech complex has completed 75 interns so far.

Although they require time, energy and investment, technology organizations are proving that strong partnerships with educational institutions can provide a steady stream of skilled workers for the industry.

author: Hailey Lynn McKeefrey

Hailey Lynn McKeefrey

Hailey Lynn McKeefe has spent more than 28 years writing in technology and business. She began her career as an editor in periodicals such as Macintosh News, EBN and Windows Magazine. After more than 16 years as a freelance journalist, she has written on a wide variety of technology topics, with a focus on the supply chain, components, security, storage, healthcare and small and medium enterprises. Living in the heart of Silicon Valley, Hailey has written for many leading business and business publications and websites, including EDN, EETimes, Information Week, CRN, eWeek, Channel Insider, Channel Pro, Redmond Channel Partner, Home Office Computing and TechTarget. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a bachelor’s degree in literature. Follow her on Twitter @HaileyMcK.

Semiconductor Industry Needs to Recruit Talent Early

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