Michigan launches consortium to train workers for semiconductor industry

The launch of a consortium focused on training workers for the semiconductor industry is being led by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC), the state’s economic development organization. Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II, MEDC officials, and founding members of the consortium made the announcement on Wednesday. The MEDC is sharing information about the initiative with educational institutions in the state to understand their needs in contributing to the development of a skilled semiconductor workforce.

The initiative is motivated in part by the CHIPS and Science Act, which provides over $50 billion in federal funding for domestic semiconductor research, development, manufacturing, and workforce development. To oversee the strategy development, the MEDC has formed a semiconductor talent action team.

The consortium comprises industry associations, higher education partners, and businesses in the semiconductor sector. They highlighted their contributions to the effort during a virtual news conference. The main objective is to train workers for roles in computer engineering, maintenance repair, and semiconductor processing.

Washtenaw Community College (WCC) plans to launch a short-term semiconductor technician training program next year to prepare workers for crucial positions in the electric vehicle (EV) and automotive industry. Lansing Community College will also introduce a 10-day intensive semiconductor boot camp.

The University of Michigan and Michigan State University are among the higher education consortium members. Similar to a program developed for the electric-vehicle sector, the initiative includes a scholarship program that will begin later this summer. Students who enroll in specific degree programs and commit to working for at least a year at partner companies will be eligible for scholarships of up to $10,000.

The MEDC is actively seeking input from institutions across the state to identify areas of collaboration with the industry and to determine the financial support required for their success.

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