April 21, 2024
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Binghamton University receives $1 million to support job training in electronics manufacturing

New cleanroom equipment creates ideal space for students to learn advanced packaging processes

A new $1 million in funding will help Binghamton University provide job training for more than 100 students a year in the growing advanced chip manufacturing industry.

The funding, announced today by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, will help purchase equipment necessary to train students on the fundamentals of semiconductor and modern electronics manufacturing processes.

“With the semiconductor industry booming in Upstate NY, we need to start getting our students the hands-on training now to prepare them to fill these careers to ensure these projects will be a success,” said Schumer.

The Nanofabrication Lab (NLAB), located at the Innovative Technologies Complex, is a cleanroom used for advanced electronics packaging. The lab is part of S3IP, a New York State Center of Excellence that has over 120 companies performing research in electronics packaging and in areas relating to materials, failure analysis, and reliability testing. Additional equipment was needed to enhance the capabilities of the lab and get it up to today’s industry standards.

The new equipment will allow the NLAB to serve as a teaching lab, where students will learn the protocols, techniques and skills necessary for working in a cleanroom environment, preparing them for job opportunities in the semiconductor and electronics manufacturing industry. The University expects to train at least 100 people each year, including graduate students, undergraduates, and local community members working in area industries or hoping to land jobs in those companies.

President Harvey Stenger said the project aligns perfectly with many of the campus’ key goals.

“As a premier public university, we focus on education as well as access,” he said. “We also recognize our role and responsibility when it comes to workforce development. Equipping our laboratories with the latest tools gives our students and our partners an important advantage. I’m grateful for Senator Schumer’s continued partnership, and I look forward to seeing our cleanroom serve as a learning space for our own undergraduates as well as high school and community college students from the region.”

A robust set of training opportunities will be made available through short courses and certificate/micro-credentialing programs. The facility will also support engagement activities with Historically Black Colleges and Universities through summer training programs and joint research projects. The first such HBCU joint program is expected to begin in June 2024.

Bahgat Sammakia, vice president for research and director of the S3IP Center of Excellence, said that efforts to reinvigorate the microelectronics industry in the United States rely on a skilled workforce.

“The workforce we need can only be a reality with improved opportunities for training,” he said. “Experience working with this state-of-the-art equipment in a cleanroom environment will give students a big boost when they enter the job market. And manufacturers in New York State and beyond will be able to recruit talented workers who have relevant expertise that can help their companies grow and thrive. Thank you, Senator Schumer, for this most recent support and for the CHIPS and Science Act, which is helping to fortify the entire semiconductor ecosystem.”

Posted in: Campus News, Watson