Delta College announces $500K expansion to in-demand semiconductor curriculum

Mid-Michigan’s Delta College is investing half a million dollars in its in-demand semiconductor curriculum and will offer a pre-engineering path to align with partner institutions Michigan State University, Saginaw Valley State University and Central Michigan University.

Leaders with Delta College and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. Talent Action Team were joined by state legislators and executives with Hemlock Semiconductor and SK Siltron CSS during a press conference Monday, Sept. 18, to announce the start of Delta’s more than $500,000 state-of-the-art training programs that respond to the state’s increased demand for skilled technicians and engineering professionals in the semiconductor industry.

Michigan’s semiconductor workforce ranks among the top 10 in the nation, with job growth of at least 11% projected in the next five years, according to an MEDC news release.

“Delta College’s goal is to be one of the leading educational institutions in America in semiconductor programming,” Delta College President Michael Gavin said in a statement.

Gavin was joined at the press conference by MEDC Talent Solutions Director Christopher Rishko; state Sen. Kristen McDonald Rivet, D-Bay City; state Rep. Amos O’Neal, D-Saginaw; state Rep. Bill G. Schuette, R-Midland; Hemlock Semiconductor Chairman and CEO AB Ghosh; and SK Group Director of State and Local Government Relations and Community Engagement Keida Ackerman.

“Michigan is among the first states in the nation with a consortium that has successfully identified the key skills and competencies employers need to drive future microchip industry development,” McDonald Rivet said in a statement. “I’m delighted Delta College is going to build upon that foundation of achievement.”

Delta College provides opportunities for a career credential, one-year certificate, associate degree and transfer pathways to four-year institutions. Currently, Delta offers an associate degree in mechatronics technology, chemical process technology and mechanical engineering technology.

Now, the college is investing more than $530,000 in its semiconductor curriculum expansion, including $292,000 enabled by MEDC’s Semiconductor Higher Education Grant Initiative. In addition, Delta has submitted a Congressionally Directed Spending Request that is currently funded in the U.S. Senate at $284,000, with a decision expected by federal lawmakers in October, the release states.

“The MEDC is thrilled to support Delta College’s innovative semiconductor curriculum expansion plan,” Rishko said in a statement. “Delta’s announcement today is a major step forward in helping build on our state’s push to onshore critical supply chains of semiconductors back to Michigan, creating good-paying jobs and reducing supply chain delays and shortages.”

As part of the semiconductor curriculum expansion, Delta will begin offering a pre-engineering path to align with partner institutions Michigan State University, Saginaw Valley State University and Central Michigan University, the release states. This will allow student participants to have access to well-defined and easily expandable paths, including training, industry certification, career credentials, a one-year certificate, associate degree and transfer opportunities, that will prepare them for jobs in the semiconductor field.

Delta officials expect to serve 100 individuals in 2024 and up to 200 more participants in the following two years, according to the release. The target audience includes existing students in relevant degree pathways, adult learners seeking to change careers, current workers in need of semiconductor skills, underserved populations and high school students.

Workforce and employer partners in Delta’s expanded semiconductor curriculum rollout include Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works!, Hemlock Semiconductor and SK Siltron CSS.

“This truly is a unique and powerful partnership with state government, private industry and academia all rowing in the same direction to drive Michigan forward in this vital segment of our state and national economy,” Ghosh said in a statement.

“This is both an important moment and a critical opportunity for Michigan. We have this unique chance — right now — to plant the flag and declare ourselves the home to high-tech industries of the new economy,” Ghosh added. “To be successful, we need a long-term vision and commitment to building vital industries here at home over the next 30 to 40 years. And that is exactly what we are doing.”