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Wolfspeed launches Apprenticeship Program


Wolfspeed signs first apprentice for Registered Apprenticeship Program to support workforce development for its Mohawk Valley Fab.

The National Institute for Innovation and Technology and the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) has applauded U.S. semiconductor manufacturing company Wolfspeed for the establishment of its New York Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP). As the nation's leader in semiconductor talent pipeline development, the Institute serves as the USDOL's national Intermediary responsible for expanding Registered Apprenticeships (RAs) throughout the semiconductor and nanotechnology industry supply chains.

Facilitated by the Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY) through the Institute's Growing Apprenticeships in Nanotechnology and Semiconductor (GAINS) program, Wolfspeed's program will provide opportunities for workers that are looking to expand their skills and build a career in the semiconductor and advanced manufacturing industry.

"We commend Wolfspeed for championing domestic semiconductor manufacturing with the establishment of its Registered Apprenticeship at their Mohawk Valley Fab," stated Mike Russo, President and CEO of the Institute. "As the USDOL Intermediary dedicated to expanding Registered Apprenticeships throughout the semiconductor and nanotechnology-related supply chains, we're thrilled to offer technical support and subject-matter expertise to Wolfspeed through our GAINS program. Registered Apprenticeships provide individuals from all backgrounds with the chance to obtain high-quality jobs and vital skills through a learn-and-earn framework, presenting a significant opportunity for Americans exploring career and educational pathways."

The GAINS Program equips individuals in Wolfspeed's RAP with crucial skills for career advancement. Employers and apprentices alike benefit from the Institute's resources, including the National Talent Hub – an interactive online platform facilitating skills assessments, educational and career planning, professional development support, training progress tracking, and program administration assistance. These initiatives align curriculum, cultivate regional talent pipelines and foster a dynamic workforce.

"Our GAINS program is scalable and extends to all participating employers' sites across the U.S. However, we work closely with regional partners to implement our program effectively. In New York specifically, I'd like to thank Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC) for providing the Required Technical Instruction for the program and to MACNY for serving as a group sponsor," stated Martha Ponge, National Apprenticeship Director at the Institute.

Earlier this month, Wolfspeed celebrated the official signing of Aaron Albright as the first apprentice in the Mohawk Valley program. Albright has been with Wolfspeed for the past 18 months, initially starting on the materials handling team before advancing to the manufacturing technician team. In January 2024, he transitioned into his current role as an Equipment Apprentice.

Albright and future Wolfspeed apprentices will complete a 16-month program for placement in the company's Equipment Technician career pathway in an Industrial Manufacturing Technician role. The RAP involves 2,700 hours of on-the-job training and 216 hours of college instruction provided by MVCC.

"At Wolfspeed, we are committed to making the next generation aware of the incredible career opportunities in the semiconductor industry and broader STEM fields to help power a better and brighter future," said Wolfspeed Chief Human Resources Officer, Margaret Chadwick. "Our New York RAP will simultaneously train up-and-coming industry professionals while helping us develop our workforce and reach capacity expansion goals at our Mohawk Valley Fab. We are excited to work with our apprentices, building out the semiconductor industry here in the U.S., and we're grateful for collaborators like the Institute, MACNY, and MVCC who help to make these advancements possible."

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