The Center for Economic Growth (CEG) will be vastly expanding its role in upskilling the Capital Region’s workforce through a first-of-its-kind apprenticeship program for the semiconductor manufacturing industry. CEG has partnered with SEMI, the industry association representing the end-to-end electronics design and manufacturing industry; Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC); and the Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY) to launch an apprenticeship program that will train more than 50 GLOBALFOUNDRIES employees under SEMI’s Industry Approved Apprenticeship Program (IAAP) that trains them in skills required by the electronics industry.
MACNY will be playing a key role in the expansion of registered apprenticeships serving the semiconductor industry in New York State. This first-of-its-kind apprenticeship program, specifically supporting the semiconductor manufacturing industry, will utilize the newly branded curriculum for the IAAP, developed by SEMI. The IAAP is a competency-based, SEMI sponsored program, and is designed to identify skills gaps and deliver targeted training that efficiently meets industry employers’ hiring needs.
The program leads to a nationally recognized credential issued by SEMI. In addition, GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ commitment to registered apprenticeship will establish a NYSDOL registered apprenticeship program. They will partner with SUNY’s Hudson Valley Community College and ToolingU to provide the technical related instruction. Apprentices will be afforded the opportunity to earn a low cost/no cost 2-year degree and will also attain a NYSDOL Journey Worker card upon completion of their apprenticeship. SEMI is the global industry association representing the electronics manufacturing and design supply chain worldwide.
The partnership being developed by GLOBALFOUNDRIES, SEMI, CEG, and MACNY is a product of the Manufacturers Alliance Intermediary Apprenticeship Program (MIAP). MIAP, established in 2016 with a pilot program hosted by MACNY in Central New York, was the first association group sponsor for registered apprenticeship in New York State. MIAP has since expanded statewide through the seven alliance partners and now represents hundreds of small and medium sized manufacturers and their apprentices in advanced manufacturing and IT trades. Randy Wolken, MACNY’s President and CEO, states, “Partnerships such as these are the hallmark of the success of MIAP. We seek to partner with employers, community-based organizations, and other supporters of apprenticeship to leverage the resources we have and expand and grow apprenticeship in support of our manufacturers across all of New York State.”
As it has with other manufacturers, CEG will serve as a group sponsor of the SEMI IAAP for GLOBALFOUNDRIES apprentices and SEMI Certs process, ensuring that the program meets the competency requirements of the industry. CEG will be responsible for apprentices as they undergo training, will manage New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) required records and reporting, and organize participants’ outside coursework so the program can be registered. Apprentices from GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ Fab8 in Malta will be taking HVCC courses, which are the first to be certified under the SEMI Certs program. SEMI plans to scale up the program to support the talent pipelines at other sites.
“Amid the effort to manufacture more advanced electronics domestically, it is crucial for our region to be able to quickly skill up semiconductor industry workers, which apprenticeship programs like this are designed to deliver,” said CEG Senior Vice President Michael Lobsinger. “We are thankful for the support of all our partners at MACNY, SEMI, HVCC and NYSDOL.”
By year’s end, HVCC expects to register approximately 50 apprentices and 100 by 2021. It will be a NYSDOL-registered apprenticeship program, under which apprentices can receive tuition reimbursement for required technical training. The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) is providing funding for the program. The Capital Region’s Advanced Electronics Cluster employed 9,975 in 2019, including 3,635 semiconductor device manufacturing and 5,675 in R&D in physical, engineering and life sciences.
Since launching the Capital Region Manufacturing Intermediary Apprenticeship Program (MIAP) in 2018, CEG has onboarded more than two dozen apprentices for several greater Capital Region manufacturers and software firms. Examples include:
- Beechnut, Florida: 15 electromechanical technician apprentices
- Electrometrics, Johnstown: 2 machinist apprentices
- Espey Mfg. & Electronics Corp, Saratoga Springs: 1 2 CNC and 1 welder apprentices
- Greno Industries, Scotia 2 CNC machinist apprentices
- Plug Power, Colonie 2 electromechanical technician apprentices
In 2019, CEG expanded the Capital Region MIAP to include the state’s first software developer apprenticeship program. Partners for this program include SUNY Schenectady County Community College (SUNY Schenectady) and Albany Can Code, Inc. Last spring the graduated three of regions first software developer apprentices from Jahnel Group in Schenectady, Troy Web Consulting in Troy and MVP Healthcare in Schenectady. CEG has continued expanding its apprenticeship programming for the Capital Region’s Software-IT Cluster to include a computer support technician apprentice for Tech II in Saratoga Springs and a data analyst apprentice for Velan Studios in Troy.