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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Launch of Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity’s Semiconductor Workforce Symposium: Building Technical Capacity for a Skilled 21st-Century Workforce

In June 2022, President Biden announced the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity, or “Americas Partnership,” at the Ninth Summit of Americas in Los Angeles, California. The Americas Partnership charts a path forward to tackle economic inequality, foster regional economic integration and good jobs, and restore faith in democracy by delivering for working people across the Western Hemisphere.

Under President Biden’s leadership, the U.S. State Department is committed to working with its counterparts in Americas Partnership countries to explore opportunities to grow and diversify the global semiconductor ecosystem using funding from the International Technology Security and Innovation (ITSI) Fund, appropriated under the CHIPS Act of 2022. These efforts will support collaboration with countries on a suite of new diplomatic and capacity-building programs to create a more resilient, secure, and sustainable global semiconductor value chain, in support of U.S. industry and capacity.

Among the first of these efforts, the State Department plans to organize several symposiums, starting in Costa Rica in February 2024, to build the workforce capacity of Americas Partnership countries. These symposiums will offer a forum for stakeholders, including governments, industry, organized labor, and academia, to collaborate on educational programs that directly meet the semiconductor industry’s needs within the larger global supply chain. These engagements will provide opportunities to build linkages between industry and community colleges and technical institutions and identify critical workforce development needs, as well as for partners to discuss how to align educational programs with those needs, creating a pipeline of talent and employment from academia to industry. The symposiums will also include tailored content focused on curriculum development, industry alignment, and workforce development strategies from community colleges and technical schools with programs in semiconductor technology. Ultimately, these efforts will help achieve one of the Americas Partnership’s priority goals, which is to bolster regional competitiveness in the semiconductor supply chain, in support of U.S. industry and capacity.

Hosting the first symposium in Costa Rica will also highlight the Costa Rican government’s leadership in establishing a public-private Center of Excellence under the Americas Partnership to provide technical training for the region related to semiconductors, cybersecurity, and other high-tech digital economy fields. Linkages established through the symposium among regional technical institutions, academic partners, and industry will also support Costa Rica’s center.

In August 2022, President Biden signed the CHIPS Act of 2022, a U.S. law that appropriated new funding to boost domestic manufacturing and research of semiconductors in the United States. The CHIPS Act of 2022 created the ITSI Fund, which provides the U.S. Department of State with $500 million ($100 million per year over five years, starting in Fiscal Year 2023) to promote the development and adoption of secure and trustworthy telecommunications networks and ensure semiconductor supply chain security and diversification through new programs and initiatives with our allies and partners, in support of U.S. industry and capacity.

More information about the ITSI Fund: The U.S. Department of State International Technology Security and Innovation Fund.

Official news published at https://www.state.gov/launch-of-americas-partnership-for-economic-prosperitys-semiconductor-workforce-symposium-building-technical-capacity-for-a-skilled-21st-century-workforce/

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