$1,000,000 “Challenge Grant” goal achieved for SEMI high tech industry workforce development

In July during SEMICON West 2014, James C. Morgan, chairman emeritus, Applied Materials, Inc., announced a challenge where he would match up to $500,000 in donations to the SEMI Foundation to secure $1 million of funding support for workforce development.  With generous “Morgan Challenge Matchmaker” contributions, the SEMI Foundation recently reached its goal of $1 million for workforce development.

Contributors to the SEMI Foundation through the “Challenge Grant” included: Art Zafiropoulo, Ultratech; Rick Wallace, KLA-Tencor; Martin Anstice, Lam Research; Archie Hwang, Hermes Epitek; LT Guttadauro, Fab Owners Association; T.J. Rodgers; and the Urbanek Family Foundation.   A “success” party took place on October 18 at Ferrari Silicon Valley, hosted by Art Zafiropoulo, CEO of Ultratech.

As part of the challenge grant success party, six graduates of SEMI’s High Tech U program gave short narratives on the impact that HTU had on their lives.  Of the six students who attended, two have jobs in high tech, three are majoring in an undergraduate STEM program and one has returned to school to get his masters in civil engineering. Lisa Anderson said that 76 percent of HTU students who attended HTU between 2006 and 2010 are now employed in a STEM field.

The SEMI HTU alumnus spoke about the program giving them their first-ever exposure to direct STEM and semiconductor equipment industry experience or confirmed and deepened their developing interest in STEM education after seeing the linkage to industry delivered by HTU’s volunteer instructors.  Each former HTU student was clear that the SEMI HTU was an important experience  that shaped their later decisions on pursuing STEM-based careers.

“I’m pleased and honored by the generosity of the donors in meeting my challenge grant,” said Jim Morgan. “They will make it possible for thousands of young people to learn about the importance of math, science and the opportunities in high-tech careers through the phenomenal High Tech U program. Now the High Tech U program can proceed to the next level and achieve even greater impact.”

The SEMI Foundation supports STEM education and promotes career awareness in the areas of semiconductor and high-tech manufacturing and technology. 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; Lisa and Art Zafiropoulo

Denny McGuirk, SEMI (left); Art Zafiropoulo,Ultratech (center) accepting his award for his Million Dollar Challenge Donation of $100,000; Dana Ditmore, SEMI Foundation (right).

“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 encourage others 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.

For more information on the SEMI Foundation and High Tech U, visit www.semi.org/Foundation

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