James C. Morgan announces $1,000,000 “Challenge Grant” for high tech industry workforce development

James C. Morgan, chairman emeritus, Applied Materials, Inc., today announced his commitment to match up to $500,000 in donations to the SEMI Foundation. The SEMI Foundation supports STEM education and promotes career awareness in the areas of semiconductor and high-tech manufacturing and technology. Morgan announced the “challenge grant” — to secure $1 million of funding support for workforce development — during the SEMI Press Conference at SEMICON West 2014, the largest microelectronics manufacturing event in North America.

Morgan committed to pledging up to $500,000 to the SEMI Foundation and invited others in the high-tech industry to join him in contributing in blocks of $50,000 or more. Over the next three months, Morgan will match every contribution of $50,000 or more.  A “success” party is planned in October at Ferrari Silicon Valley, hosted by Art Zafiropoulo, CEO of Ultratech.

“Today, we all have a role in supporting students’ success in their academic and career goals,” said James Morgan. “The SEMI Foundation has gotten thousands of young people excited about the importance of math, science and the opportunities in high-tech careers through its dynamic High Tech U program. It is time for the industry to take the High Tech U program to the next level and achieve even greater impact. I encourage you to commit qualifying contributions during the challenge period to the SEMI Foundation.”

Through High Tech U, the SEMI Foundation has conducted more than 170 programs for both students and teachers with a combined impact on more than 350,000 individuals.  High Tech U programs consist of a three-day “hands-on” science-based curricula and interactive professional skills development program. SEMI held 20 programs in 2013 in Europe, Japan, Korea and the United States.  The Foundation plans to expand the impact of the High Tech U franchise through enhanced program development, portal-based student engagement and tracking, industry employment information assistance and other improvements.

“Jim and Becky Morgan epitomize leadership and generosity through their tireless work to foster education,” said Denny McGuirk, president and CEO of SEMI.  “We commend his numerous contributions to SEMI, our industry, and the youth who will occupy high-tech careers in the future. We also encourage others to accept the challenge and to support the SEMI Foundation.”

Morgan has an extensive history in business and philanthropy. He is chairman emeritus of Applied Materials. He previously served as chairman of the board from 1987 to 2009, and as chief executive officer from 1977 to 2003. Morgan is the recipient of the 1996 National Medal of Technology, IEEE Robert N. Noyce Medal, and Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s “Spirit of Silicon Valley Lifetime Achievement Award.” Morgan was vice chairman of the President’s Export Council in 2003. He was appointed to the 2002 U.S.-Japan private Sector Government Commission. From 1996 to 1997, Morgan served on the Commission on U.S. Pacific Trade and Investment Policy. From 1988 to 1992, he served on the National Advisory Committee on Semiconductors.

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