New semiconductor career, apprenticeship program aims to create jobs

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LANSING, Mich. (WNEM) – A new semiconductor career and apprenticeship program, announced by the governor’s office, hopes to create good-paying jobs.

The Michigan Strategic Fund approved $1.5 million in grant money that will be used to plan and develop the program.

“As global demand for semiconductors continues to grow, Michigan is poised to be at the center of semiconductor and battery manufacturing and R&D efforts nationwide,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. “Michigan is one of only three states that will be launching planning work to define curricula to support employers in the semiconductor industry. With this new apprenticeship program, along with our global manufacturing and automotive R&D leadership, we are leading the charge in addressing the universal industry demand for semiconductors while creating good-paying jobs for Michiganders.”

A grant from the Semiconductor Career and Apprenticeship Network will provide $1.5 million in funding to the SEMI Foundation, which supports economic opportunity for workers and growth of the microelectronics industry.

“SCAN is a critical program that will provide economic opportunity and mobility to Michigan residents and support the health of the microelectronics industry by addressing its significant workforce challenges,” said Shari Liss, executive director of the SEMI Foundation. “We are thrilled to launch this important work in partnership with the strong workforce development organizations and ecosystem within Michigan.”

The foundation will plan and develop the program in two different phases. Phase one will focus on the workforce by engaging key microelectronics employer partners, end users in the auto and manufacturing space, educational partners, and key workforce development partners. Phase two will use focus groups with employers to confirm job roles, skills and competencies needed to enter the workforce.

“As Michigan continues leading the mobility industry in the development of electric and autonomous vehicles, we must remain competitive and ensure that our friends and neighbors are prepared and trained to help us address the global demand for semiconductors,” MEDC CEO and Michigan Strategic Fund President and Chair Quentin Messer, Jr. said. “We’re grateful for Governor Whitmer’s efforts in leading national, bipartisan support for full funding of the CHIPS Act, which would boost domestic chip production, shore up American manufacturing, and support businesses and workers across Michigan.”

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