MARCY, N.Y. — Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC); Wolfspeed, Inc.; and MACNY, The Manufacturers Association of Central New York are partnering to develop a New York State registered apprenticeship program.
It’s part of the National Institute for Innovation and Technology GAINS (Growing Apprenticeships in Nanotechnology and Semiconductors) program, of which MACNY is a lead partner.
“In celebration of National Apprenticeship Week, Wolfspeed is excited to announce the start of a registered apprenticeship program in the Mohawk Valley,” Wolfspeed’s Chief Human Resources Officer Margaret Chadwick said in a news release. “This new offering will create even greater opportunities for technical semiconductor knowledge, skills, and hands-on workplace experience for the next generation.”
Wolfspeed will welcome the apprentices to its Mohawk Valley Fab 200 mm silicon-carbide fabrication facility, which opened this past April. The program will build on Wolfspeed’s existing relationship with MVCC as the two organizations work together to build a pipeline for the next generation of high-tech jobs in the region.
MVCC will provide the required related technical instruction — classroom and/or lab learning experiences for apprentices — which will expand upon the work already taking place at Wolfspeed.
MACNY, a U.S. Department of Labor apprenticeship ambassador, will oversee and ensure the success of the program.
“By 2030, the manufacturing industry will need to fill four million jobs,” MACNY President/CEO Randy Wolken said. “A lack of high-skilled workers threatens to leave more than half of those positions vacant. Registered apprenticeship is a vital solution to bridging the skills gap and filling a crucial need within the industry.”
The “learn while you earn” model of the apprenticeship provides apprentices with a direct career pathway and a nationally recognized credential, Wolken added. It allows employers the chance to develop and prepare their future workforce, improve productivity and profitability, and increase employee retention, he said.
Under the GAINS program, the apprenticeship is competency-based versus hours-based, which helps meet the unique needs of the tech sector. It’s also more cost-effective and efficiently targets training to meet required job proficiencies.
“Partnering with Wolfspeed, MACNY, and Mohawk Valley Community College brings together a fantastic combination of industry, workforce, and education to solve the nation’s tech talent crisis through effective training programs,” Mike Russo, National Institute for Innovation and Technology president and CEO, said.