VTSU Partners with State’s Largest Private Employer to Increase Enrollment in Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship Program

Partnership with GlobalFoundries awarded a $850,000 Federal Employment and Training Administration (ETA) grant

As high-tech jobs grow, Vermont Industry increasingly needs maintenance technicians to manage complex processes and maintain advanced equipment. This, coupled with the retirements of many skilled workers, means opportunities for well-paid careers close to home. GlobalFoundries (GF), Vermont’s largest private sector employer, and Vermont State University (VTSU) have partnered to develop the GlobalFoundries Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship Program to educate more students—especially recent high school graduates—for open positions.

GF and VTSU have partnered together to market and create interest for GF’s Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship opportunity to students, recent high school graduates, and those looking for a career change.

“Engineer technician careers available at GlobalFoundries and other Vermont employers are plentiful and pay well,” said Jeffery Higgins, professor at VTSU. “We just need resources to make high school students and others aware of the opportunities and of the program we offer to help prepare them.”

The current GF Maintenance Technician Apprentice program includes a combination of on-the-job learning at GF and engineering courses offered through VTSU. Students work full time while pursuing their studies and receive full-time employee benefits and a competitive salary.

“Workforce development is a key priority for GF, and we are proud of our apprenticeship program in Vermont, the first of its kind in the in the U.S. semiconductor industry,” said Ken McAvey, Vice President and General Manager of GF Burlington. “GF thanks former Senator Leahy and Senator Welch for their longstanding support. The program, in partnership with VTSU, will advance our efforts to create the semiconductor workforce of the future right here in the state of Vermont.”

“We know there are still many students in Vermont—roughly 40 percent—who are not currently pursuing higher education options after high school,” Higgins noted. “Jobs at Vermont companies like GF not only provide good starting wages; they often offer tuition reimbursement for those students who decide to pursue college after employment. At GF, for example, employees have the opportunity to continue coursework to pursue an associate, bachelor’s or graduate degree through GF’s education reimbursement benefit. Many students are unaware of these benefits.”

The ETA grant, supported by then-Senator Patrick Leahy, funds a position within VTSU that will create and execute a strategic plan to communicate with high schoolers and others who would be good candidates for the apprentice program. It will also provide funding for the communications spending necessary to reach potential students.

Not only will the new outreach program benefit students; it will bolster the local economy by training employees who are in critical need at GlobalFoundries and other Vermont manufacturing sites.

“Strengthening our workforce in alignment with employer needs is an essential role of Vermont State Colleges and an important part of the mission of Vermont State University,” remarked David Bergh, interim president of VTSU. “We’re so happy to partner with GlobalFoundries and to have the support of former Senator Leahy and the ETA, so we can spread the word about the opportunities offered by the Maintenance Technician Apprentice Program.”

For more information about the program, and to apply for the GF job that enrolls one in the program, visit Careers (myworkdayjobs.com).