ALBANY, N.Y. — June 12, 2023 — Today, the National Institute for Innovation and Technology (NIIT), the leader in developing the U.S. semiconductor talent pipeline, launched the nation’s first Career Opportunity Hub in New York’s Capital Region.
The Opportunity Hub utilizes a broad range of programs and support structures to build the region’s tech talent pipeline. Career Opportunity Hubs are part of NIIT’s larger, nationwide strategy to grow the workforce in tech-based industries. The strategy helps to ensure the entire education system provides a skills-based pathway to careers and “learn and earn” opportunities through innovative Registered Apprenticeships. Key initiatives include:
- New opportunities through the National Talent Hub, a state-of-the-art career portal that aligns jobseeker qualifications, academic curriculums, and in-demand skills from industry in real-time. All students in the Capital Region BOCES system can create National Talent Hub profiles free of cost, allowing them to receive credit for prior learning and apply it to NIIT Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAPs) with participating employers, thus creating a seamless apprenticeship pathway from education to career.
- Establishing the nation’s first semiconductor-specific Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) within a world-leading semiconductor R&D, Innovation and Commercialization facility for advanced digital, analog and power technologies. NY CREATES employees, who operate and maintain the state-of-the-art research lab at the Albany Nanotech Complex will participate in the NIIT’s Growing Apprenticeships in Nanotechnology and
- Semiconductors (GAINS) program. GAINS provides individuals the ability to learn on the job while building experience and skills through working with industry partners. GAINS is implemented through an exclusive U.S. Department of Labor contract and designed to meet the workforce demands of the semiconductor and nanotechnology-related fields.
- Substantial increases in RAP participation by prominent tech companies. Under the NIIT GAINS program, GlobalFoundries, who pioneered the first GAINS program and just graduated their first apprentices under the program, Applied Materials and PlugPower will expand innovative, competency-based programs to offer a wider range of training opportunities for jobseekers and incumbent workers and create an expanded talent pool for employers.
A new NIIT employer partnership program that incentivizes companies to invest in building the regional talent pipeline by equipping jobseekers with foundational and transferable skills for advanced manufacturing and nanotechnology-related fields. Under the program, employers who invest in attracting and training employees that choose to move to other companies can be compensated for their efforts.
“Through collaboration with our partners in education, industry, and government, we are providing the Capital Region of New York with the tools and resources necessary to engage a broader population and create an integrated pathway to high-value careers in strategic industries,” said Mike Russo, President and CEO of NIIT. “These innovative Registered Apprenticeship Programs will build a strong tech ecosystem that will not only bolster the local economy, but also contribute to national security and our global competitiveness.”
In New York and across the nation, three principles guide NIIT’s work:
- Connecting the entire education system with industry to facilitate skills-based learning.
- Ensuring our diverse population – including students, adults, veterans, and underserved communities – are aware of and have access to the career opportunities created by NIIT’s partner organizations.
- Offering scalable programs, tools and infrastructure to build the advanced manufacturing talent pipeline.
Following the launch of the New York Hub, NIIT will work state-by-state to institute similar programming and resources in regions across the country as well as additional cities across Upstate New York. This collaborative effort between industry leaders, academia and other stakeholders will bolster job opportunities in strategic sectors nationwide. In addition, employers with multi-state operations can leverage NIIT programs and services to create more seamless processes and eliminate the need to recreate programs and solutions in multiple locations.
“We are thrilled to be a part of the New York Career Opportunity Hub and its commitment to building a robust tech talent pipeline in our region. The hub and its innovative career portal mark a significant milestone in connecting individuals with employers based on their training and in-demand industry skills,” said Capital Region BOCES Senior Executive Officer, Joseph P. Dragone, Ph.D. “This transformative initiative empowers our students to leverage their skills and knowledge, bridging the gap between academia and industry, and ultimately driving economic growth in our region.”
“Plug is pleased to partner with NIIT to expand our registered apprenticeship program at Vista Technology Park, creating the nation’s first clean energy program for a hydrogen generation manufacturer under GAINS,” added Plug CEO Andy Marsh. “As a leader in the global green hydrogen economy, we must continuously evolve our talent management strategy to meet our customers’ ambitious sustainability goals. Being a part of NIIT’s first Career Opportunity Hub will enable us to do just that by allowing us to reach a wider talent pool, train more effectively and scale nationally.”
“I’m proud to celebrate this landmark effort by NIIT to pave the way for a brighter future in our nation’s tech-based industries,” said Congressman Paul D. Tonko. “By establishing America’s first Career Opportunity Hub right here in our Capital Region, NIIT is building on the steps we’ve taken through the CHIPS and Science Act and other efforts to turn our region into a global hub for semiconductor manufacturing and high-tech innovation. In collaboration with our partners in education, industry and government, we are building a strong technological ecosystem that will not only strengthen our local economy, but also bolster our national security and enhance our nation’s competitiveness on the global stage.”
“The registered apprenticeship at our manufacturing facility in Malta, New York, continues to be successful and is an important element of our strong ongoing commitment to workforce development,” said Hui Peng Koh, incoming general manager of GlobalFoundries manufacturing facility in Malta, New York. “We look forward to growing this program, in collaboration with NIIT’s Career Opportunity Hub, to continue creating new doorways into the semiconductor industry for the region’s diverse pool of talented candidates.”
About the National Institute for Innovation and Technology (NIIT)
The National Institute for Innovation and Technology (NIIT) is a 501(c)(3) with a mission to identify roadblocks to innovation in strategic industry sectors – those important to the nation’s security and global competitiveness – and ensure they are eliminated. Talent pipeline development is the major focus of NIIT, and through comprehensive industry engagement, NIIT is leading the deployment of a national strategy and infrastructure to broaden and build the talent pipeline for the semiconductor industry and strategic industry sectors. Through its National Talent Pipeline Development Initiative and the support of the federal government, NIIT has developed a comprehensive, nationally integrated approach that includes the alignment of programs K-12 through post-secondary education and adult and veteran training, infrastructure to attract a broader population and improve access and connections to career and needed training, and the ability to scale to support the nation. For more information, visit www.niit-usa.org.