Delta College to play ‘significant role’ as state boosts semiconductor industry

Small but incredibly powerful, semiconductors are little chips that power today’s modern life. But manufacturing these chips requires a skilled workforce that many of Michigan’s schools, including Delta College, are working hard to develop and grow, officials say.

On Wednesday, May 24, Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II was joined by several business and educational leaders from across the state in a press conference outlining the work being done by a public/private partnership called TAT, or the Semiconductor Talent Action Team.

“Michigan is a global leader and hub for advanced manufacturing and innovation, and we have grown our semiconductor industry footprint aggressively,” he said. “Let’s keep working together to bring advanced manufacturing and critical supply chains home as we create economic opportunity in every region and build a brighter future for Michigan.”

TAT’s ultimate goal is to build on the state’s ongoing push to onshore critical supply chains of semiconductors back to Michigan, creating good-paying jobs and reducing delays and shortages in the industry, officials say.

To do this, TAT has already built a consortium of seven higher education partners as well as industry leaders to collaborate in building up and promoting five different career pathways in the semiconductor industry. Those careers include computer engineers, electrical engineers, semiconductor processing technicians, industrial/process engineers, and maintenance and repair workers.

One of the educational institutions rising to this challenge of training workers for these types of careers is mid-Michigan’s very own Delta College, advocates say.

Delta College President Michael Gavin explained how the region remains important to the growing semiconductor industry across the state.

“The semiconductor workforce is part of reimagining what Michigan and — in the case of Delta — the Great Lakes Bay Region can be,” he said. “And Delta will be playing a significant role in that work.”

In Bay County’s Frankenlust Township, Delta College is located near two of the latest semiconductor businesses in the world, Gavin said. SK Siltron in Bay County’s Monitor Township and Hemlock Semiconductor in Saginaw County’s Thomas Township have been working hand-in-hand with Delta College in preparing the workforce to meet the demand and needs of the semiconductor industry.

State officials are looking for more institutions to join the ranks of Delta College in leading the way in semiconductor industry education.