Press Release
Posted August 5, 2022

Lorain County Community College will partner with colleges and universities in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana to form the Midwest Regional Network to Address National Needs in Semiconductor and Microelectronics.

The network will collaboratively develop innovative solutions in higher education to best support the onshoring of the advanced semiconductor and microelectronics industry and address the industries’ research and workforce needs. The network was formed in part due to the recent decision by Intel Corporation to build its most advanced chip manufacturing operation in Ohio and to address the broader, national efforts to promote U.S. leadership in semiconductors and microelectronics.

“This is more than just one company coming to Ohio; it’s about an industry embedding itself in the Midwest with the potential to create a Silicon Heartland right here,” said Lorain County Community College President Marcia J. Ballinger, Ph.D. “Through a decade’s worth of preparation, LCCC has become a comprehensive community college nationally recognized for innovative workforce programs specializing in semiconductors, micro-electromechanical systems, and microelectronic manufacturing. And the collaborative approach to this network, where each institution brings its own niche strength within this global industry, will ensure we all capitalize on the possibilities ahead.”

Joining LCCC in the new network are:

  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Columbus State Community College 
  • Michigan State University
  • Ohio State University
  • Purdue University 
  • Sinclair Community College
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Dayton
  • University of Michigan 
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Wright State University

Each institution’s president recently signed a memorandum of understanding to form this network, which is intended to be open and is expected to grow beyond these initial institutions. Partner institutions will leverage existing research, curricular and experiential learning assets within the region to fuel the domestic growth of robust semiconductor and microelectronics innovation and supply chain ecosystems

“In this era of rapid innovation and change, companies need talent that’s not only well-trained but well-experienced,” Ballinger said. “Lorain County Community College has emerged as a leader in developing and embedding hands-on learn and earn internship programs in partnership with regional companies. And as the supply chain swells as the semiconductor industry takes root in Ohio, our partnerships with industry will grow, and our students in the program, who already have a 100 percent job placement rate upon graduation, will reap the benefit.”

LCCC also provides the academic network access to 100,000 square feet of education and training center, including class 100, 1,000, and 10,000 clean rooms, as well as established curriculum through its short-term training certificate, one-year certificate, associate degree, and applied bachelor’s degree programs in micro-electromechanical systems and smart industrial automation. 

Initial activities for the network include: 

  • Develop a common, secure, information-sharing platform to make it easier to identify expertise, equipment, facilities, and curricular programs of interest to facilitate joint programming, research, and outreach initiatives across the network.
  • Encourage regional collaborations and promote workshops around opportunities to pursue funding that will grow regional capacity to support identified needs across the semiconductor and microelectronics ecosystems.
  • Develop pilot mechanisms to connect existing research, facilities, and curricular/training assets across the region to optimize their use to address regional needs and opportunities.

“By knitting together our efforts across the Midwest and working together to meet the workforce and innovation demands that will surely stem from advances within the semiconductor industry, we can amplify the impact within local communities,” Ballinger said.