This week the National Institute for Innovation and Technology (NIIT), the leader in developing the U.S. semiconductor talent pipeline through Registered Apprenticeships (RAs), is celebrating the U.S. Department of Labor’s 9th Annual National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) and the first annual National Semiconductor Day.
NAW is a national celebration to showcase the success of RAs and the instrumental role they play in rebuilding our economy, advancing diversity and equality in the workforce, creating high-quality jobs, and supporting underserved communities.
“Registered Apprenticeships change lives. The ‘learn-and-earn’ model is a key piece in solidifying the global competitiveness of our economy by increasing opportunity and providing pathways to success in the rewarding and rapidly growing semiconductor and advanced manufacturing industries,” said NIIT President & CEO Mike Russo.
Throughout the week, NIIT will participate with partner organizations across the country in promoting the efficacy of RAs as part of a nationwide workforce development effort, including a live webinar event. “Emerging Industries, Inclusive Futures: DEI in Workforce Development Through Registered Apprenticeships Accelerator Roundtable,” on November 14, 2023 at 2 p.m. Eastern.
During the webinar, NIIT and industry leaders from the University of Rochester’s Advance 2 Apprenticeship Project, work2future, and Manufacturing Works will speak to strategies for intentionally building diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into workforce development efforts, the opportunities that RAs in the semiconductor industry provide to underrepresented populations, and why these programs are not just a moral imperative, but a business necessity.
Advance 2 Apprenticeship is an employment initiative though the University of Rochester’s Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities in partnership with The Manufacturers Association of Central NY and funded by The NYS Council on Developmental Disabilities, which is working to improve access for people with disabilities to apprenticeship programs.
Advance 2 Apprenticeship offers pre-apprenticeship training courses in manufacturing for people with and without disabilities who can benefit from additional support to succeed. Advance 2 Apprenticeship is paving the way for neurodiverse learners to succeed by utilizing universal design within curriculum, training for business and connecting wrap around support for students.
Manufacturing Works, a Northeastern Ohio-based nonprofit, has created opportunities for workers that take them on a pathway from student to journeyman, including certification and access to apprenticeship programs.
“Given the significant expansion of the semiconductor industry in Ohio, we know it is imperative to make investments statewide in growing the area’s skilled workforce through apprenticeships and related programs. Through a commitment of $20 billion in investment by Intel, Manufacturing Works is intensifying their focus on assisting this industry and partnering with NIIT to do so,” said Manufacturing Works President and Executive Director Ken Patsey.
On November 15, 2023, NIIT will hold the first National Semiconductor DayTM, a day created to highlight the monumental technical advances and economic benefits brought about by the semiconductor industry. The U.S. semiconductor industry employs almost 300,000 Americans and directly contributed $264.4 billion to the U.S. GDP in 2020.
“Semiconductors have revolutionized the way we live, work, and connect. From smartphones to life-saving medical equipment, the innovations powered by semiconductors have shaped our world, and our national security and global competitiveness hinge on our ability to innovate and lead in this critical sector.
At NIIT, we felt that it was important to establish National Semiconductor DayTM coinciding with National Apprenticeship Week, to call attention to the important work being done in the semiconductor industry and the role Registered Apprenticeships play in expanding the pipeline of talent to include individuals from all backgrounds and walks of life,” said Russo.