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Idaho Workforce Development Council grant to fund university’s ‘Semiconductor for All’ program

Idaho students will have new opportunities to learn about the exciting possibilities of the semiconductor industry and gain skills, knowledge and abilities needed to pursue careers as technicians, designers, engineers, researchers and more.

A new program called “Semiconductor for All” will receive initial funding from an Idaho Workforce Development Council grant. Semiconductor for All will enable education leaders at Boise State University to develop outreach and courses and to develop stronger education pathways for the semiconductor industry for students from their first years of elementary school through high school, from their bachelor’s degree to their Ph.D.

“We are proud to serve students of all ages all across Idaho and to prepare them for the careers that are vital in securing a bright future for our state—and our national security,” said Dr. Marlene Tromp, Boise State president. “This program will help students access and prepare for emerging careers in technology and innovation and will connect them to all the exciting opportunities that a university education offers. This will help people to earn a good living and make an impact on the world around them.”

Beginning with Introduction to Semiconductors, dual enrollment coursework will focus on helping students engage with and understand the industry. The course will be available for high school students throughout the State of Idaho via Idaho Digital Learning Alliance (IDLA).

“The development of these courses, outreach programs and education pathways for the semiconductor industry will not only provide students with the opportunity to explore and pursue careers in the field, but it will also support the growth and development of the industry by providing a well-trained and diverse workforce,” said Sin Ming Loo, Boise State University electrical and computer engineering professor.

A second course available through the program, STEM for Semiconductors, provides students with a deeper investigation of the field through hands-on experience and real-world applications. This course (also supported by IDLA) provides students with access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, as well as opportunities to work with industry professionals. Students are exposed to the industry and potential careers early on in order to make more informed decisions when it comes to post-secondary education and career choices.

Based on the coursework, and augmented by annual summer camps, students are encouraged to continue on their education pathways to associate degrees, undergraduate degrees and advanced degrees. Education pathways and collaboration with community colleges are important for this initiative. The robust pathway offerings provide students with the necessary skills and knowledge to enter and excel in the semiconductor industry. The effort will also provide upskilling and professional development opportunities to help individuals stay current and advance in a competitive field.