SEMI, the global industry association representing the electronics manufacturing supply chain, today announced an urgent call to action to overcome the pressing semiconductor industry challenge of recruiting new talent. In a letter to the CEOs of more than 2,000 global SEMI member companies, Ajit Manocha, SEMI’s president and CEO, called on the executives to act together to attract workers and develop the workforce vital to industry growth.
New talent is key to sustaining robust growth that has broken all semiconductor industry records. Industry analysts at SEMI’s Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS) last week reported that semiconductor device (chip) revenues jumped 22 percent for the year to nearly $450 billion. Semiconductor manufacturing equipment sales rose 36 percent and, with materials, topped $104 billion. In 2018, chip revenues are forecast to increase 7 percent and semiconductor equipment more than 11 percent.
“Talent has become a pinch point,” Manocha said. “In Silicon Valley alone, SEMI member companies have thousands of open positions. Globally there are more than 10,000 open positions. Attracting new candidates and developing a global work force are critical to sustain the pace of innovation and growth. If we do not act together quickly, we will choke our own growth.”
SEMI recently developed a comprehensive roadmap to attract and develop talent across regional, diversity and skill set needs. Manocha’s letter urges SEMI member CEOs to support a collective workforce development roadmap aimed at building and sustaining a talent pipeline for SEMI’s global membership. Workforce development is a pillar of SEMI 2.0, outlined in Manocha’s recent article Work to Do to Keep the Good Times Rolling.
As part of its workforce development initiatives, over the past 17 years SEMI has delivered a hands-on, STEM-based career exploration program to encourage high-school students to pursue STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) educations and careers. Through its award-winning High Tech U (HTU), SEMI has touched more than 6,000 high school students at SEMI member industry facilities in 11 U.S. states and nine countries. Over 70 percent of high school students attending HTU have pursued STEM educations and careers.