Intel announces nearly $1.5M grant for statewide workforce-development partnership


In advance of today’s groundbreaking in Licking County, Intel announced grants totaling $17.7 million that will fund eight projects at more than 80 Ohio colleges and universities. Included in this announcement was nearly $1.5 million for The Ohio State University and partnering institutions across the state working toward the common goal of a more diverse semiconductor industry.

The Ohio Partnership for a Diverse and Inclusive Semiconductor Ecosystem and Workforce, a network of public and private universities, historically Black colleges and universities, community colleges and career-technical centers, proposes to develop an iterative, student-centered, curricular approach that supports the development of a diverse and inclusive semiconductor educational field and skilled workforce throughout Ohio.

Ayanna Howard portrait in library

“Intel is steadfast in its commitment to a diverse workforce, and we are prepared to help them realize that vision in Ohio,” said Ayanna Howard, dean of the College of Engineering and leader of the initiative. “Along with partners throughout the state, including HBCUs, community colleges and career tech centers, we will build a holistic, inclusive semiconductor educational ecosystem that welcomes students from all backgrounds.”

Led by Ohio State, this partnership offers the needed capacity to increase the representational diversity within the semiconductor industry, while simultaneously creating and piloting innovative strategies to engage in and expand upon the necessary training, development and education of the future semiconductor workforce. Among the participating institutions are:

  • Apollo Career and Technology Centers
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Central Ohio Technical College
  • Central State University
  • College of Wooster
  • Columbus State Community College
  • C-TEC of Licking County
  • Denison University
  • Kenyon College
  • Marion Technical College
  • North Central State College
  • Oberlin College
  • Ohio Wesleyan University
  • Rhodes State College
  • Tri-Rivers Pioneer
  • University of Dayton
  • Wilberforce University

Within the three years of funding, the partnership seeks to:

  • Establish a framework for the next phase of the semiconductor educational ecosystem.
  • Develop a new host of curricular offerings in response to assessed gaps in current options. These will include at least 20 modules, 20 new or revised courses, five certificate programs and enhanced associate’s and bachelor’s degrees.
  • Increase awareness of the semiconductor industry through credit-bearing and non-credit bearing introductory courses and at least four rapid learning events. 
  • Partner with the University of Cincinnati and Kent State University to enable augmented and virtual reality access to semiconductor instrumentation and cleanrooms.
  • Award 200 certificates, 425 bachelor’s degrees and 200 advanced degrees in which students have semiconductor knowledge and competencies.
  • Increase the number, percentage and diversity of students prepared and excited to enter the semiconductor workforce in central Ohio.

This announcement comes six months after Intel’s initial pledge to invest $50 million in Ohio’s higher education institutions. Intel also announced $3 million in funding for the Center for Advanced Semiconductor Fabrication Research and Education, which will also be led by Ohio State.