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38 PCB007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2019 survival. You're seeing the same issues within the SEMI membership as well? Sandoval: Yes, companies want us to not only help diversify their talent pipeline but also in- crease it because they are facing a shortage of incoming workers too. Johnson: Young people today may be receiving perspective from their teachers, parents, and so forth based on experiences back in the '90s, for example. Our industry doesn't operate like that today, and we need different skills. What are some of the changes in the workforce skill set that you're looking for? Sandoval: SEMI is addressing the skills gap in the workforce via our new SEMI Works Pro- gram. Part of this initiative focuses on training and certifications to help provide the right skill sets to incoming and returning workers in our industry. The SEMI University and Mentoring pro- grams put more emphasis on a less acknowl- edged but vital skill set commonly lacking among students—the soft skills gap. Many stu- dents aren't confident in key skills, such as net- working, self-presentation, interviewing, and resume building. When you combine a lack of interview skills and industry awareness with an inability to network, the result is a pool of students unsure about how to engage our in- dustry or seek out lesser-known opportunities. SEMI's university program hosts professional development sessions on campus to help stu- dents with those soft skills, and SEMI's men- toring program connects students to people who are senior within the industry who can help fortify those skills and connect them in- ternally to their organizations. Johnson: I didn't expect that. A lot of tradition- al thinking is that to prepare students for this industry, you load them up with STEM, but you're not doing that. Sandoval: SEMI does have programs that fo- cus on exposing students to STEM, but many of our programs do both. For example, SEMI's High Tech U (HTU) three-day STEM immer- sion high school gives students a view into a "day in the life" through hands-on interactive modules that also includes a soft skills compo- nent. This unique combination of STEM plus soft skills helps our programs stand strong. In fact, SEMI HTU is the longest running STEM immersion program in the country, going on 18 years. Our mentoring and university programs tar- get the existing technical talent pool of electri- cal, mechanical, and chemical engineers and bridge the gap to get them to come into the in- dustry. And I have seen the impact of the men- toring program personally. My brother recently graduated with a chemical engineering degree, but he wasn't aware of all the different career opportunities that he could pursue within the industry. SEMI connected him to an industry mentor who helped him figure different career paths, but more importantly, helped him overcome his

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