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NIIT Announces Nation's First Semiconductor Competency Standard

The first-of-its-kind standard establishes a cohesive list of knowledge, skills and abilities required to succeed in the semiconductor industry

HANOVER, Md., Oct. 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Institute for Innovation and Technology (NIIT), the nation's leader in semiconductor talent pipeline development, announced today the establishment of the nation's first dynamic Semiconductor Competency Standard (SCS).

Until now, no standard existed for the semiconductor industry. Created by the NIIT, the SCS was developed with comprehensive industry and stakeholder engagement. The creation of this standard is timely due to the growing job market in the domestic semiconductor supply chain. By housing the SCS in the NIIT's National Talent Hub portal, NIIT has developed a singular tool in which industry skillset requirements are updated in real-time enabling more accurate connections with job seekers who have relevant skills, and to help education and training providers ensure alignment with job requirements.

"The new Semiconductor Competency Standard comes online as developing talent in this industry is essential," said Mike Russo, President and CEO of the NIIT. "The NIIT is proud to provide this service to such a strategically important industry. The SCS will enable entities to invest in deployment of what is intended to be a national resource instead of funding the development of new standards and solutions."

Competency standards are used to ensure education and training programs align with industry job requirements. Careers within the semiconductor industry, like other tech-based advanced manufacturing industries, are continually changing as technology advances, and the knowledge, skills and abilities required to be proficient in related roles need to be reflected in any standard. The dynamic nature of the new SCS means that it can evolve alongside ever-changing job requirements.

"Before the development of the Semiconductor Competency Standard and National Talent Hub, educators across the U.S. did not have a clear picture of exactly what competencies their programs needed to focus on or whether industry needs were changing. With this new competency model educators across the country now have access to real-time information regarding priorities from the U.S. semiconductor industry," said Robert Geer, Professor at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the State University of New York Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly), Director of the Northeast Advanced Technological Education Center, and a member of the national Micro Nano Technology Education Center. "Now, the process is simplified by using one dynamic standard that uses up-to-date information from across the industry to help educators develop modern curriculum to position our students for success."

NIIT will utilize the SCS as it partners with companies and states across the nation to develop Registered Apprenticeships in the nanotechnology and semiconductor industry. Earlier this year, NIIT announced it received an exclusive $9.5 million, 4-year contract with the U.S. Department of Labor to expand these apprenticeship programs.

About the NIIT

The NIIT is a 501(c)(3) with a mission to identify roadblocks to innovation in strategic industry sectors – those important to the nation's security and global competitiveness - and ensure they are eliminated. Talent pipeline development is a major focus of the NIIT, and through comprehensive industry engagement, the NIIT has developed a national strategy and infrastructure to broaden and build the talent pipeline for the semiconductor industry and strategic tech-based industries. Through its National Talent Pipeline Development Initiative, the NIIT has developed a comprehensive, nationally integrated approach that includes the alignment of programs K-12 through higher education and adult and veteran training, infrastructure to improve access for a broader population and to connect individuals to career and needed training, and the ability to scale to support regional economic development priorities throughout the nation. The NIIT has the exclusive U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship contract to develop and expand innovative Registered Apprenticeship Programs throughout the nation within the strategic supply chains of the semiconductor industry and nanotechnology sectors.

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