COLUMBUS, Ohio — The City of Columbus is taking extra steps to address the workforce demand.

They’re doing it with the help of community colleges like Columbus State and the Ohio Semiconductor Collaboration Network.

What You Need To Know

  • The network comprises more than two dozen community colleges 

  • The goal is to raise awareness as the Biden administration has designated Columbus as a center for industry investment

  • Columbus is one of five cities tapped by the administration to tackle workforce demand 

  • The network is focused on the manufacturing industry

“It's going to bring another layer of need and demand for those manufacturing technicians," said Scot McLemore, chair of the Ohio Semiconductor Collaboration Network, as Intel prepares to set roots in Ohio.

That’s technicians in the semiconductor sector, which is using chemicals and gases and optics in a sophisticated way, but in processes that step by step, create what is called a chip McLemore added. By raising awareness about the industry, he’s hoping they’ll see an uptick in student interest. 

That’s as the more than 20 schools within the Ohio Semiconductor Collaboration Network are working together to develop a curriculum that students will be able to engage with this fall semester. Those new courses would open the door for students to gain a semiconductor technician certificate and a two-year associate's degree.

McLemore said the goal is to make sure they get the fundamental knowledge needed to assist companies like Intel and others in the industry. This is why they are aiming to work strategically across the state.

“Ohio Manufacturers Association, the Ohio Association of Community Colleges, and others to really determine how best to engage our communities and help them in getting prepared for all these wonderful technician opportunities," he said

McLemore sees this as a game changer for Ohio.

“Not only will it provide opportunities in those industries, but we know that for manufacturing historically, that many more jobs are created in health care and retail when manufacturing is successful in the region," he said.