State announces blueprint for semiconductor industry

The state announced its blueprint for achieving global semiconductor superiority in Michigan during a virtual press conference on Wednesday, May 24.
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 10:27 AM EDT|Updated: May. 24, 2023 at 11:23 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WNEM) - The state announced its blueprint for achieving global semiconductor superiority in Michigan during a virtual press conference on Wednesday, May 24.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) was joined by Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II and other education and business leaders for the announcement.

“Gov. Whitmer and Lt. Gov. Gilchrist has tasked the MEDC and our new semiconductor talent action team with developing Michigan’s blueprint for achieving global leadership in the semiconductor industry,” said Kerry Ebersole Singh, the EVP chief talent solutions and engagement officer.

The MEDC’s new Semiconductor Talent Action Team (TAT) is a collaborative public/private partnership, focused on making Michigan a top state for semiconductor talent solutions and growth.

“Gov. Whitmer and I are committed to making Michigan the best place to receive from, research, invent, test, build, and deploy semiconductors at scale,” Gilchrist said. “Semiconductors are in countless devices from your washing machine, phone, car, everything you can imagine is made better, stronger and smarter for the presence of these chips.”

Gilchrist said different universities like Delta College, the University of Michigan, Washtenaw, Michigan State, and more have started the collaboration for focusing on semiconductor technician programs.

As Michigan’s manufacturing facilities increase, engineers and technicians will be critical in semiconductor success, the MEDC said.

Michigan’s semiconductor workforce currently ranks among the top 10 in the nation, with job growth projected to grow by at least 11 percent in the next five years. Part of the team’s goal is to get ahead of the game in meeting that need.

“We are looking forward to working with all of you to develop the talent and technologies of the future that will make Michigan second to none, a leader in semiconductor manufacturing,” said U-M President Santa J. Ono.

Semiconductor business leaders say Michigan is among the first states in the nation to drive microchip industry development.

Four-year universities and community colleges are considered a crucial piece of the workforce that Michigan is looking to solve, the MEDC said.

“Our work again is that specialty work with employers and these educational institutions to ensure folks come out of these degree programs that they are ready on day one for these jobs that are here now and those that will be coming and building our state into the future,” Singh said.

To support this effort, an online application (TAT Semi Grant | Michigan Business) launched on Wednesday for prospective higher education consortium members to apply for up to $3 million in grants to:

  • Create a new Michigander Semiconductor Scholarship incentive program that will mirror the state’s popular EV/mobility student recruitment campaign.
  • Develop semiconductor education curricula and flexible training models to jump-start career paths to the five in-demand job roles.
  • Expand and launch new PK-12 semiconductor engagement and awareness efforts such as skills boot camps.

“If they accept a job at one of our core employers we’ve been working within those core degree programs, commit to staying a year, they can earn up to $10,000,” Singh said.

The Semiconductor TAT aims to provide talent and research solutions to meet the projected growth of up to 30,000 semiconductor jobs by 2030.

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