April 5, 2023

First Graduates Complete GF Fab 8 Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship Program

GlobalFoundries (Nasdaq: GFS) (GF) announced the first three graduates of its GF Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship Program at Fab 8, which is the first Registered Apprenticeship of its kind in the U.S. semiconductor industry.  Launched externally in 2021 with the National Institute for Innovation and Technology (NIIT) as part of its “Growing Apprenticeships in Nanotechnology and Semiconductors” (“GAINS”) program, the program offers candidates a unique opportunity to develop semiconductor experience while working in the field and serves as a nationwide model for others to follow as the U.S. faces a critical shortage of qualified talent in this high growth era.

Semiconductor manufacturing requires highly specialized and automated technical equipment, often numbering in the hundreds or thousands in each cleanroom, and this equipment requires preventative maintenance, troubleshooting, and optimization. People with hands-on mechanical, electrical, and problem-solving skills are critical to keep the high-tech equipment optimally running in a 24 x 7 manufacturing environment.

“The registered apprenticeship at GF Fab 8 has been successful as part of our ongoing commitment to workforce development, creating a new doorway into the semiconductor industry and attracting a diverse pool of locally based individuals and increasing their career growth opportunities,” said Peter Benyon, General Manager at GF Fab 8. “It is exciting to see our first three graduates complete our GF Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship Program here at Fab 8.”

The apprenticeship at GF is a full-time paid position with benefits at GF’s Fab 8 manufacturing facility in Malta, NY, and all training is at no cost to the apprentice. While in the program, participants follow a learning plan that includes a combination of on-the-job-training, instructor-led classes, web-based courses, and college courses. It is designed to be completed in 16-24 months with a High School diploma or equivalent, a mechanical interest, and no previous semiconductor experience required. Upon completion of the apprenticeship, the apprentices receive a journey workers card, which has state and federally recognized credentials certifying their skills and training experience.

Leveraging strategic regional partnerships was critical to implementing the GF Registered Apprenticeship. Apprenticeship program college courses are offered through Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) and are covered by a SUNY apprenticeship grant. The courses are aligned to industry requirements standards through NIIT’s Semiconductor Competency Standard, enabling employees to receive college credits that can be used towards a degree as well as training certifications for their future careers.

“The GAINS program has served to enhance our partnership with GF by creating a more cohesive alignment between their gateway technician positions and our academic programs,” said Jonathan Ashdown, Executive Dean of HVCC North. “The apprenticeship has stimulated additional collaborations including a reinvestment by GF in our training facilities and equipment. We are now able to train more students with our academic programs and place them earlier into promising careers with GF.”

The New York Department of Labor (NYSDOL) worked with GF to tailor the Industrial Manufacturing Trade (IMT) for the semiconductor industry. The apprenticeship is a hybrid time-based and competency-based Industry Approved Apprenticeship Program (IAAP).

NYSDOL Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “Apprenticeships establish a pathway into the workforce, empowering New Yorkers to earn wages while developing new skills and growing in a chosen profession. As part of The Center for Economic Growth’s apprenticeship program, GF incentivizes workers to join New York State’s fast-growing green economy by offering a pathway into the semiconductor field with great pay and on-the-job training. We are proud to have GF as an apprenticeship partner.”

The National Institute for Innovation and Technology (NIIT) was the intermediary and facilitated the initial process and coordinated resources and partners.

“The NIIT GAINS program, which is being scaled nationally under an exclusive U.S. Department of Labor contract was first piloted at GF at Fab 8 in Malta, New York,” said Mike Russo, President and CEO of the National Institute of Innovation and Technology. “They have shown a strong commitment to working with NIIT and our regional partners to develop the program as well as unparalleled dedication to expanding opportunities to a broader segment of the population by providing “learn and earn” opportunities. This has served as a model for the program that we are scaling nationally, which will help meet the needs of this strategic industry and impact countless lives throughout the U.S. for generations to come.”

The Center for Economic Growth (CEG) was the sponsoring organization, for administration of the apprenticeship and state and federal apprenticeship funding.

“In addition to being at the leading edge of chip manufacturing, GF is ahead of the curve when it comes to workforce development, and the CEG is proud to serve as the group sponsor for the Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship Program. Together, we have created a model for the semiconductor industry that fosters diversity and inclusivity by creating a pathway to good-paying jobs in advanced manufacturing. CEG will continue to relieve GF of the administrative requirements associated with such apprenticeship programs by managing records and reporting as well as coordinating required coursework,” said CEG President and CEO Mark Eagan.

For more information about the GF Fab 8 Apprenticeship Program, click here.