Semiconductor Workforce and Talent Assessment

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Title Semiconductor Workforce and Talent Assessment
Type report
Publisher Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission
Author ECOnorthwest, Wilfred Pinfold
Issue 2024-04-16
Date Accessed 2024-04-16
File Paper

The report provides an overview of Oregon’s semiconductor industry and workforce.

The passage of the CHIPS and Science Act (CHIPS Act) initiated a historic investment in U.S. semiconductor manufacturing, research and development (R&D), and sourcing, providing much-needed support for the development of domestic manufacturing capacity. The $52.7 billion investment is expected to drive demand for highly trained workers throughout the industry’s complex production processes.

State lawmakers passed the Oregon CHIPS Act in April 2023, allocating $240 million to 15 companies planning expansions and CHIPS funding applications, with a goal of cementing Oregon’s position as a global center of the semiconductor industry. Oregon officials expect $40 billion in new semiconductor investment in the coming years, which they anticipate will create 6,300 direct new jobs and 1,000 construction jobs in the state. This economic activity will spur opportunities for upskilling Oregon’s workforce and provide high-quality and high-wage employment for Oregon residents.

Current educational pathways leading to the semiconductor workforce must expand to meet the scale of the CHIPS Act investments. High schools, workforce training providers, community colleges, universities, and the semiconductor industry will each play a role in supplying the workforce the CHIPS Act investments will support. This assessment of Oregon’s semiconductor-related education programming serves as the first step in informing stakeholders of gaps and assets in semiconductor talent development pathways.

The report provides an overview of Oregon’s semiconductor industry and workforce; a summary of engagement with interested parties across Oregon, including industry, education, and workforce development representatives; an analysis of student-level data, provided by the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC), regarding enrollment in selected education pathways in Oregon’s public postsecondary institutions and employment outcomes for completers of these programs; and recommendations focused on strengthening education pathways and diversifying the semiconductor workforce.