Military veterans could fill labor shortage in semiconductor manufacturingEngineering360 News Desk | September 16, 2021
Helping to create pathways to careers in semiconductor manufacturing for U.S. military veterans, SEMI, the trade association representing the global electronics design and manufacturing supply chain, has announced a new partnership with Heroes MAKE America, an initiative of the Manufacturing Institute (MI) to build connections between the U.S. military community and the manufacturing industry. The MI is the 501(c)3 nonprofit workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers.
"About 200,000 men and women transition out of the military each year, and many of them have the skills and experience that would position them to excel in our industry," said Ajit Manocha, SEMI president and CEO. "These highly trained, team-focused, disciplined and talented individuals have the opportunity to be successful in challenging and mutually rewarding careers with SEMI member companies. Our industry has not been very visible to them, but our participation in the Heroes MAKE America Initiative will bring more awareness to the ecosystem around the production of the chips that are enabling innovations across our lives."
SEMI's partnership with Heroes MAKE America will give SEMI members access to resources to attract and retain military veterans transitioning to the workforce. The resources include profiles and resumes of military personnel who have graduated from training and certification courses geared toward manufacturing under the U.S. Department of Defense's SkillBridge program.
"When we launched Heroes MAKE America, we set out to create an initiative that went above and beyond to support transitioning service members, veterans and their families," said MI executive director Carolyn Lee. "Heroes isn't just about helping our participants earn in-demand qualifications and industry-specific certifications. It is about helping to connect them to the manufacturing industry and, in turn, prepare them to find and excel in a lucrative career in manufacturing. We are honored to serve the military community through Heroes and are grateful for the support of SEMI and its members in this effort."
To date, Heroes MAKE America has graduated participants from military installations in Kansas, Texas, North Carolina, Georgia and Kentucky. Graduates represent 136 different military specialties with an average of 11.5 years in service. More than 47% of the graduates are from minority populations. The program has a 92% placement rate at more than 250 companies across 39 states since its launch in 2018.
The shortage of skilled workers is among the greatest challenges faced by semiconductor manufacturers. According to a recent study by the MI and Deloitte, the U.S. manufacturing industry will need to fill four million jobs by 2030. As many as 2.1 million of those positions could go unfilled because of the worker shortfall.