A shortage in the supply of semiconductors first hit the automotive industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly two years later and we are still experiencing a global disruption that is predicted to last well into 2022 and potentially beyond. Much of the analysis and media coverage has focused on the semiconductor supply chain, and rightfully so, but it’s the widening talent shortage that has the Westerwood Global team thinking ahead.
Korn Ferry, a human resources consultancy, recently conducted a 20-country study which warns that “the United States faces one of the most alarming talent crunches of any country.” The cascading effect of what has largely been dubbed the Great Resignation has impacted nearly all industries, semiconductor included, and the end is hardly in sight. The latest jobs monthly report was much better than expected, but employers across the nation are still clamoring to find top talent and skilled labor.
FOA Q1 Meeting
Westerwood Global recently had the privilege of presenting on this issue at the Fab Owner’s Alliance (FOA) Collaborative Forum on March 3, 2022. Frank Smith, Director of Service US, presented an overview on the current recruiting challenges in the semiconductor space and some of the tactics we are using to combat it as well as the workforce services we can offer. One of our current strategies working with local community colleges aligned with a new initiative announced at the forum by SEMI: The ASA-SEMI Partnership.
The partnership between the American Semiconductor Academy (ASA) and SEMI strives to build a workforce development program to address the widening talent gap. The objectives, found here, include developing a diverse talent pipeline from K-12 and partnering with over 200+ universities and colleges to align course curricula for future industry needs. These academic programs will have access to over 400+ SEMI members, including Westerwood Global, that span that entire microelectronics ecosystem and are able to offer hands on experience and non-degree continuing education.
“At a critical time for the industry, Westerwood is pleased to be partnering with SEMI and other key company leaders to provide workforce development solutions that meet the needs of the industry while also fostering talent,” comments Nigel Wenden, Westerwood Global’s CEO. “The ASA-SEMI Partnership could not come at a better time as investments in new manufacturing facilities and increasing chip demand are widening the talent gap even further. The talent pipeline, much like the supply chain, is in need of diversification and innovation and we are glad to be a part of the solution.”