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Building the next-generation manufacturing workforce in the Pacific Northwest

Tim Cooper | Managing Director, North America Manufacturing
May 10, 2022 | Life at Lam

Today, the world relies on advanced manufacturing, bringing to life innovations that have reimagined the way we live, work and play.  

The global demand for digital technologies – and the semiconductors that power them – is driving an ever-increasing need for skilled manufacturers across our operations.  

As Lam continues to grow, and with it our manufacturing operations, we are committed to building the manufacturing workforce of the future, from developing collaborative partnerships with colleges to comprehensive training programs that allow our employees to evolve and grow their career with us. 

In the state of Oregon, we are proud to engage over four thousand workers who manufacture chipmaking equipment used around the world. 

We have established an apprenticeship program with Portland Community College and Clackamas Community College in Oregon. This partnership provides students in the microelectronics technology program with the opportunity to gain industry experience over an 18-month training period while applying the information they learned in the classroom on the manufacturing floor. After apprentices have successfully completed the program, the intent is to hire them into our manufacturing team as apprentice assemblers, fast tracking them into the role of fully qualified test technicians. 

At Lam, we cultivate an environment where anyone – in any role – can open new possibilities for success in their career. Assembly technicians interested in transitioning to final test technicians have the opportunity to take classes that offer the skills and knowledge to make this jump – while at work. Partnering with the Portland Community Climb Center, assemblers take part in an eight-week, college level course, paid for by the company, that combines hands-on learning with instruction.  

In late March, Oregon Governor Kate Brown visited our campus in Tualatin to promote Future Ready Oregon 2022, which is aimed at realizing the full potential of Oregon’s diverse workforce and meeting the needs of the state’s employers today and into the future. This is an important initiative ensuring we can staff our highly technical roles within manufacturing. It allows us to continue building and leveraging the value of diversity within our workforce through targeted investment in developing these skills within our underserved communities.  

No one company can build the next-generation workforce, but we’re hopeful that our partnerships with local colleges and comprehensive training programs will build a sustainable talent pipeline in advanced manufacturing.  

Thanks in part to our workforce development programs, we are proud to be recognized by Forbes as a Best Employer in the state.  

In the coming months, we’ll be sharing the programs across our sites that we have developed to attract and empower our manufacturing workforce. Watch this space!  

If you are interested in exploring a career opportunity in advanced manufacturing with Lam Research, please visit our Careers page. 

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