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GlobalFoundries Trains More Maintenance Techs with Nationally Unique Apprenticeship Program Sponsored by CEG


GlobalFoundries (GF) is one of the world’s leading computer chip manufacturers with its most advanced semiconductor facility in Malta, New York. Crucial to the 24-7 operation of this 300mm, leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing facility are maintenance technicians, whose duties include monitoring, sustaining, and improving the equipment and/or processes. Their work, mostly performed in cleanroom environments, includes preventive, corrective maintenance on semiconductor equipment as well as monitoring, controlling and testing it for manufacturing readiness.

The Challenge

GF employs maintenance technicians of varying skill levels in Malta and needs to maintain its workforce. The manufacturer relies on a talent pipeline consisting of students graduating with associate’s degrees in fields such as electrical engineering or mechatronics, as well as individuals coming with technical experience from other industries, such as automotive. Service members leaving the military for civilian careers are another major talent pipeline for the company.
The apprenticeship program has attracted a diverse applicant pool in the region, ranging from recent high school graduates to those looking to change careers, as well as reaching candidates from underrepresented populations.
— Tara McCaughey, GF's U.S. Workforce Development Lead

MEP's Role

GF launched a first-of-its kind apprenticeship program for the semiconductor manufacturing industry. To create this Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship Program, GF partnered with the Center for Economic Growth (CEG), Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC), the Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY), and the National Institute for Innovation and Technology (NIIT). CEG is part of the New York MEP and the MEP National Network™.

In January 2021, GF began internally registering employees in the Industry Approved Apprenticeship Program (IAAP), and the program was later opened to non-employees. Program apprentices undergo 2,700 hours of paid on-the-job training over about 16 to 24 months, with all work hours counting towards that goal. They also receive related instruction from HVCC through online courses as well as in-person lab work at the HVCC North Campus in Malta, near the GF facility.

CEG serves as a group sponsor for this New York State registered apprenticeship. That means CEG works as an intermediary with the New York State Department of Labor on behalf of GF and the apprenticeship program. Workforce Development Director Christine McLear manages the program’s records and reporting and coordinating required coursework. The apprenticeship program has provided GF with assistance monetarily through the SUNY Apprenticeship Program (SAP), New York Colleges Apprenticeship Network (NYCAN), and the Apprenticeship Expansion Grant (AEG 2) to help support the related instruction needs of apprentices at their companies.

Created January 12, 2023, Updated December 2, 2023