Ohio students looking to score big in the high-tech industry and land jobs at places like Intel’s new Central Ohio computer chip plant now have a strong resource in their corner: a powerhouse group of community college and tech industry leaders who are coming together to fine-tune their training programs so they teach exactly the skills the tech industry is looking for in job candidates.

Dione Somerville, president at Owens Community College, is one of 13 community college and workforce representatives on the new Ohio Semiconductor Collaboration Network Steering Committee.

The committee, formed by the Ohio Association of Community Colleges, will leverage the know-how of all 23 community colleges to develop career pathways that will provide the skills training and talent needs of the semiconductor industry in Ohio.

The committee will be chaired by Scot McLemore, executive-in-residence at Columbus State Community College. Michael Evans, director of workforce partnerships at OACC, will also serve as project manager of the steering committee.

Joining Somerville on the committee are:

Chad Brown – president, Zane State College

Jo Blondin – president, Clark State College

Rebecca Butler – executive vice president, Columbus State Community College

Dorey Diab – president, North Central State College

Eric Heiser – provost, Central Ohio Technical College

Ryan McCall – president, Marion Technical College

Laura Rittner – executive director, OACC Success Center

Terri Sandu – director of Talent & Business, Lorain County Community College

John Sherwood – manager of Talent Strategy, JobsOhio

Sara Tracey – managing director of Workforce, Ohio Manufacturers’ Association

During its first meeting in September, committee members brainstormed about creating a new, common curriculum, professional development opportunities for faculty to better understand the sophisticated workforce needs of Intel and the burgeoning semiconductor industry, and hands-on and experiential learning opportunities for students.

“Ohio’s 23 community colleges are excited to get to work to help Intel make this incredible new venture as successful as possible and we’re grateful to have some of the state’s top education and workforce leaders help us in our efforts to prepare Ohioans for the exciting new semiconductor industry,” said OACC President Jack Hershey.

Intel recently announced that it has awarded a $2.8 million grant to support the Ohio Semiconductor Collaboration Network, which will be led by the Ohio Association of Community Colleges and Columbus State Community College. As part of Intel’s Semiconductor Education and Research Program Grant, Ohio’s community colleges will build and sustain a technician pipeline in the state by adding semiconductor-specific courses and equipment to existing electrical engineering and advanced manufacturing programs. The goal of the project is to ensure that Ohio’s community colleges have the content-aligned capacity to prepare students with the knowledge and skills necessary to fill the thousands of semiconductor technician jobs required to meet the workforce needs of Intel and the semiconductor industry.

The OACC represents the presidents and trustees of the state’s 23 public two-year institutions, working to advance community colleges through policy advocacy and professional development.