The Phoenix metro area is a rapidly growing domestic semiconductor hub. Numerous investments in the region have created an even greater need for skilled workers ready for careers in microelectronics manufacturing and related areas.

Intel’s stake in Arizona and commitment to creating a responsible, inclusive and sustainable world have led to the company’s reinforced focus on strengthening the talent pipeline. The Intel Labs University Research & Collaboration Office recently sought to fund regional universities and community colleges to broaden participation in engineering and science in higher education and prepare a diverse workforce for semiconductor industry careers.

The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University is leading one of those efforts in a 12-month, approximately $150,000 project to promote participation and inclusive excellence in workforce development for the semiconductor industry and related fields. The project focuses on the full higher education pipeline from first-year undergraduate students to graduate students pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees in relevant programs that are adaptable and scalable beyond ASU and Intel’s initial collaboration.

“We want to trigger students’ interest to go into semiconductors and give them access to interesting, hands-on microelectronics opportunities,” says Lenore Dai, vice dean of faculty administration in the Fulton Schools, professor of chemical engineering, and the principal investigator of the project.

Dai is working with collaborators Tirupalavanam Ganesh, Tooker Professor and associate dean of outreach and student success, and Tami Coronella, director of student success and engagement in the Fulton Schools.

Their work will not only promote new awareness of and interest in semiconductor industry careers, but also support students’ education to ensure they can complete their degree and provide additional opportunities to gain the skills Intel and other microelectronics companies desire in their employees.

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