**US Chipmakers Struggling to Fill Key Positions Amid Skilled Labor Shortage**
– Hiring Process for Semiconductor Firms Takes Twice as Long as Other Industries
– Biden Administration’s Efforts to Revive Domestic Chip Industry Threatened by Hiring Bottleneck
– Lack of Candidates with Science, Technology, and Engineering Background
– Hiring Bottleneck Slowing Progress in US Chip Industry
– Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Delays Production Start in Arizona Plant due to Construction Worker Shortages
– Workforce Development a Major Concern in the Industry
– Partnership with Trade Schools, Community Colleges, and Universities
– Surge in Applications for Semiconductor Jobs Following Biden’s CHIPS and Science Act
– Texas Leads Expansion of Chip Industry Hiring in the US
US chipmakers are facing challenges in filling key positions, as a shortage of skilled labor poses a threat to the revival of the domestic industry. According to an analysis by Revelio Labs, a labor-market data analyst, semiconductor firms take more than twice as long as their peers in other industries to hire personnel such as technicians or mechanical engineers, with the process typically stretching to around three months.
This poses a significant problem for President Joe Biden’s administration, as it injects $52 billion into the country’s chip industry in an effort to reduce reliance on Asian supply chains and create thousands of jobs. While the subsidies have spurred a wave of investment across the US, a bottleneck in the hiring process could hamper progress.
**Shortage of Candidates with Science, Technology, and Engineering Background**
For years, chipmakers have been raising concerns about the lack of job candidates in the US with a background in science, technology, and engineering. The Semiconductor Industry Association predicts that the industry is set to add 115,000 jobs by 2030. However, based on current degree completion rates, nearly three-fifths of those jobs could remain unfilled.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., for example, has delayed the proposed start of production at its Arizona plant, citing a lack of construction workers with the expertise to install highly technical equipment. The company plans to send staff from its Taiwan facilities to train local workers. EMD Electronics, a semiconductor materials and equipment supplier, has highlighted workforce development as a major concern within the industry.
**Hiring Bottleneck Slowing Progress in US Chip Industry**
Although EMD was able to fill around 75 positions at a new plant in Chandler, Arizona through a mass hiring event, this is far from the number of workers required for large fabrication facilities. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. needs approximately 4,500 workers, while Intel Corp. will need 3,000 for its new plant in Ohio.
The Semiconductor Industry Association has been advocating for immigration reform to enable more individuals who come to the US for college to stay in the country. However, this is a complex issue and progress on a near-term deal seems unlikely.
**Partnerships with Trade Schools, Community Colleges, and Universities**
To address the skilled labor shortage, semiconductor firms are partnering with trade schools, community colleges, and universities to develop training programs. The US Commerce Department has also stated that it will evaluate workforce development efforts as part of the application process for chip funding.
A recent survey by career-services website Handshake showcased a nearly 80% surge in applications for full-time entry-level semiconductor jobs and a 40% increase in internship opportunities. This demonstrates the growing interest in the industry among early talent.
**Texas Leads Expansion of Chip Industry Hiring in the US**
Among the top 50 chip producers analyzed by Revelio Labs, there was a significant increase in the share of job postings based in the US following the passage of Biden’s CHIPS and Science Act to support the industry. Texas emerged as the leader in the expansion of hiring, followed by North Carolina and New York.