Gov. Whitmer Announces New Semiconductor Career and Apprenticeship Network Program Aimed at Creating Good-Paying Jobs
Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to announce Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) approval of support for a new semiconductor technician apprenticeship program intended to strengthen the pipeline of the semiconductor workforce. MSF also approved $1.5 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Coronavirus, Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) funds grant that will be used to plan and develop the program.
The Semiconductor Career and Apprenticeship Network (SCAN) Program grant will provide $1.5 million in CDBG-CARES funding to the SEMI Foundation, an arm of the global microelectronics industry association SEMI. The SEMI Foundation’s mission is to support economic opportunity for workers and the sustained growth of the microelectronics industry by creating pathways and opportunities for job seekers, and tools and systems for semiconductor companies to attract, develop and retain a diverse, innovative and skilled workforce.
The SEMI Foundation will provide the planning and development of the SCAN program in two phases: Phase 1 will focus on the workforce ecosystem by engaging key microelectronics employer partners, end users in the auto and manufacturing space, educational partners and key workforce development partners; Phase 2 will focus on customization through conducting extensive discovery and focus groups with employers to confirm job roles, skills and competencies needed to successfully build and diversify a robust and knowledgeable incoming workforce.
Michigan’s ability to support the semiconductor industry extends from its deep knowledge as a customer of the sector, as the global epicenter of the automotive industry. The state is home to nearly one-fifth of U.S. auto production—more than any other state in the nation—and has the greatest concentration of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) in the country, with 26 having headquarters or technology centers in the state.
Governor Whitmer is tackling the chip crisis facing the auto industry. She worked with SK Siltron, a new semiconductor wafer manufacturing and R&D facility, by investing $302 million and creating 150 jobs near Bay City to support electric vehicle growth and support auto industry needs in-state. She also facilitated the opening of a new facility by KLA, a high-tech, Fortune 500 firm specializing in systems and software integral to chip and electronics manufacturing which created 600 good-paying jobs in Ann Arbor. Michigan’s talent and processes is also supported by Hemlock Semiconductor and the University of Michigan, which is the top global institute for semiconductor training.