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Workforce development is key to growing manufacturing talent pipeline

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AUSTIN - As Samsung Austin Semiconductor continues to grow and expand in Central Texas, we see it as a transformative opportunity for the region when it comes to economic and workforce development. During the next two years, we expect to hire an additional 2,000 employees to operate our Taylor facility. We currently have 3,300 employees and another 8,000 in additional workforce. As we look to tomorrow, one of the challenges the semiconductor manufacturing industry is facing is growing, training and maintaining talent. Building the talent pipeline and career pathways will be imperative to increase the talent pool. Samsung Austin Semiconductor's manager of workforce development, Kwee Lan Teo, is managing pipeline development and industry outreach initiatives for our company. Teo, who came to Samsung Austin Semiconductor after heading the talent and workforce initiatives at the Austin Chamber of Commerce, understands the challenges the industry faces. "The Austin Chamber of Commerce is one of the handful of chambers in the nation that has consistently dedicated a third of their budget towards workforce and education initiatives for more than decade," explained Teo. According to the National Association of Manufacturers , during the next decade, four million manufacturing jobs will be needed and 2.1 million are expected to go unfilled "if we do not inspire more people to pursue modern manufacturing careers." Nurturing young talent "Building the talent pipeline goes beyond engaging Texas students at an earlier age but also ensuring that our curriculum is aligned with postsecondary options that are relevant to sustaining our pipeline development," Teo said. In an effort to do that, companies like ours are working with educational institutions to educate students on the career options available to them. Our workforce development team host tours for students to give them an inside look at the industry and explain what a career with us could look like. "The more information our students, their families, and educators have on the different career pathways in the semiconductor industry is critical in their early decision-making process," added Teo. "We will be looking outward as well to collaborating with companies similar to ours and partnering on common initiatives so that we can further sustain our growth in the future."
Students from Hutto ISD's Farley Middle School visiting Samsung Austin Semiconductor. A good example of how various organizations are working together to tackle this issue is Austin Community College's IMPACT Manufacturing Academy , which provides technician training for local high school students to complete dual credit courses leading to an industry certificate. Samsung Austin Semiconductor's career pathway programs gives students the opportunity to apply what they're learning in school to real world solutions. Our High School Graduate Internship Program (HSGI) is a 10-week internship for aspiring technicians. Select students from HSGI will be invited to join our Fab Apprentice Program, which allows students to complete their Associate's Degree and work with us two days a week. We will pay 100 percent of tuition and books as long as the student maintains a 3.0 GPA or higher. Other talent pools To fill the workforce gap, the semiconductor manufacturing industry will have to work together to find more creative ways to get talent into the workforce faster. With more than 600 veterans in our workforce, Samsung Austin Semiconductor is a "We Hire Veterans" company. We will be more active in career fairs that target veterans and military members who are getting ready to transition out of the military. Samsung Austin Semiconductor currently has partnerships with Austin Community College, Skillpoint Alliance, Texas State Technical College and Temple College to provide training programs for positions that are in high demand. We also have employees who represent the company on external workforce-related boards and committees to further expand our commitment to developing the pipeline. While 2022 was a busy year, 2023 is expected to be even busier for the workforce development team as they work on strengthening their relationships internally and externally to find ways to address workforce pipeline challenges. To learn about the career opportunities at Samsung Austin Semiconductor, click here.