New Actions Strengthen Arizona’s Premier Semiconductor Talent Pipeline
PHOENIX, AZ (November 15, 2023) — Governor Hobbs today joined leaders from industry, government, academia, and childcare nonprofits to announce a robust set of actions aimed at enhancing Arizona’s premier semiconductor workforce, increasing opportunities for apprenticeships, and supporting Arizona workers and families.
The actions build on Arizona’s already substantial network of training and education assets for advanced manufacturing, including the state’s world class universities and community colleges.
Today’s announced new programs include:
- The first Registered Apprenticeship Program in Arizona supporting the semiconductor industry: Alongside NXP Semiconductors, which is based in Chandler, Governor Hobbs will announce Arizona’s first Registered Apprenticeship Program supporting the semiconductor industry. NXP is in the process of finalizing registration of its apprenticeship program with the State Apprenticeship Office, under the Department of Economic Security. The company’s program will start with the Industrial Manufacturing Technician occupation and explore additional occupations in the future. As part of its Registered Apprenticeship Program, NXP will be providing on-the-job learning as well as covering apprentice tuition costs.
- Increased support for apprentices and programs: The Arizona Commerce Authority will invest $4 million in ARPA funds to support the growth of Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAPs) in Arizona supporting the semiconductor industry. These funds will cover costs such as tuition books, materials, supplies for participating apprentices, and wraparound support services, such as transportation and childcare. The investment will be matched by increased capacity at the Department of Economic Security’s Arizona Apprenticeship Office, which will add additional staff to enhance processing and program management.
- ACA’s Semiconductor Task Force, Employer Collaborative: In addition to the technical assistance and added resources at the State Apprenticeship Office at the Department of Economic Security, the ACA will establish an “Employer Collaborative,” leveraging its Semiconductor Taskforce to promote the use and development of apprenticeship programs. The Employer Collaborative will include launching RAPs in partnership with industry-led intermediary sponsors to facilitate the further creation of semiconductor apprenticeship programs. The proposed program structure would be Arizona’s first multi-employer collaborative approach supporting RAP in the semiconductor industry.
- Launch of the Maricopa Future48 Workforce Accelerator: Governor Hobbs is announcing a partnership with Maricopa Community Colleges focused on meeting the needs of Arizona’s rapidly growing semiconductor industry. In June, Governor Hobbs launched the Future48 Workforce Accelerators, innovative collaborations with Arizona’s community colleges to provide customized, industry-led training in Arizona’s fast-growing advanced manufacturing sectors. Training at the state-of-the-art facility in Maricopa County will take place in close collaboration with semiconductor industry partners, establishing first-of-their-kind training pathways to help more Arizonans enter the microelectronics industry. The new facility represents the third of six Future48 Workforce Accelerators in the state. The first two announcements included partnerships in Yuma, with Arizona Western College, and Kingman, with Mohave Community College, targeting growing industries such as aerospace and solar.
- Meeting childcare needs: DES, OEO, and ACA are collaborating to conduct a Childcare Needs Study to assess gaps across the state across all industries as well as challenges specific to the semiconductor industry. The agencies are also collaborating on meeting with human resources representatives from the advanced manufacturing industry to better understand the needs of workers and families and provide direct technical assistance. The CHIPS Act notably requires employers to provide a childcare plan to support employees for both operating and construction phases. The study will include a needs analysis, a 10-year projection of future demand of childcare, and an action plan to address current and future childcare needs. The Hobbs Administration is conducting the study in partnership with First Things First and a consortium of childcare stakeholders.
- OEO implementing a statewide strategy and local coordination: In addition, the Office of Economic Opportunity and Governor’s Workforce Arizona Council will work with Arizona’s local workforce boards to align strategies and financial resources to support further growing the apprenticeship model, with a focus toward supporting growing demand in the semiconductor industry.