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Building the semiconductor workforce of the future

The University of Utah is one of thirteen founding partner members of the Northwest University Semiconductor Network, a partnership with and created by Micron Technology, Inc. whose goal is to help develop the next generation of the United States’ semiconductor industry’s workforce.

Micron, one of the world’s largest semiconductor companies, made the announcement on Monday. In a press release, the company stated the Northwest University Semiconductor Network will “drive foundational and emerging research to increase students’ opportunities for experiential learning across the semiconductor ecosystem, with equitable access for underrepresented students, including those in rural and tribal communities.”

The network will prepare students through collaboration, innovation and problem-solving. Partner institutions and Micron will advocate for efforts to modernize and enhance curriculum by “sharing best practices and industry-backed technical content, expanding experiential learning programs for greater access to cleanrooms and teaching labs, and bolstering research opportunities for students.”

“Partnerships between institutions of higher education, government and industry leaders like Micron are critical so that together, we can build an inclusive and robust talent pipeline equipped with the high-tech skills that will advance U.S. technology innovation and leadership,” said April Arnzen, Micron senior vice president, chief people officer and president of the Micron Foundation.

The founding partners of the Northwest University Semiconductor Network were identified based on their strong collective undergraduate and graduate programs in engineering and other STEM degrees, as well as on their vast R&D expertise and hands-on learning opportunities for students, according to Micron.

The partnership network offers access to teaching labs and cleanrooms, a strong foundation of collaboration across institutions, programs connecting to community colleges, and strong diversity programs to increase equitable access to engineering education, the company’s press release stated.

“We are honored to have the University of Utah serve as a founding partner of the Northwest University Semiconductor Network,” said U of U President Taylor Randall. “The steady growth of our state’s tech sector is vital to the overall health and well-being of Utah’s economy and this new network will help to continue to grow a workforce that is in high demand.”

Randall said partnering with Micron and other regional universities is a win-win for the University of Utah.

“We get to share our elite Utah Nanofab facility, and our faculty, students and researchers get to collaborate and learn from some of the nation’s best in order to play an integral role in a new era of semiconductor manufacturing in the U.S.,” he said. “Thank you to Micron for building this partnership. We look forward to the innovation that will come from it.”

This is the second partnership network between Micron and universities across the country. In April, Micron announced the Northeast University Semiconductor Network, a partnership between the company and 21 universities across the eastern U.S., including Harvard University, Columbia University, and Princeton University.

More information on the Northwest University Semiconductor Network can be found here.

Full list of founding partners of the Northwest University Semiconductor Network:

  • Boise State University
  • Idaho State University
  • Montana State University
  • Oregon State University
  • Portland State University
  • San José State University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Davis
  • University of Idaho
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Utah
  • University of Washington
  • Washington State University


  • Xoel Cardenas Senior Communications Specialist, Office of the Vice President of Research