New Apprenticeship Initiative Aims to Diversify Semiconductor Workforce in Virginia

Sterling, Va., May 15, 2024 — The National Institute for Innovation and Technology™ (NIIT), in collaboration with Micron Technology and Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), has announced the launch of a new semiconductor manufacturing Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) in Virginia. Unveiled on April 24, the initiative aims to create accessible pathways for workers through a “learn-and-earn” model, significantly increasing opportunities for traditionally underrepresented communities.

During the roundtable discussion at the launch, NIIT President & CEO Mike Russo emphasized the importance of Registered Apprenticeships in expanding the talent pool for the semiconductor manufacturing sector. “Registered Apprenticeships not only prepare individuals for lucrative careers in high-demand sectors but also exemplify our commitment to inclusive growth and diversity in the tech industry,” said Russo. “By breaking down barriers to education and training in a format where individuals can earn while they learn, we are opening doors for a broader spectrum of talent to enter and thrive in semiconductor and advanced manufacturing.”

Russo highlighted the collaboration with Micron and NOVA as a reflection of a shared vision to create opportunities that go beyond traditional pathways. He commended Micron for its leadership in providing greater opportunities for those without degrees to pursue rewarding careers.

April Arnzen, Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer at Micron, and President of the Micron Foundation, also expressed enthusiasm for the program. “Micron is expanding the talent pipeline for the semiconductor industry by supporting non-traditional pathways to employment. Through partnerships such as this, we are opening access to high-tech jobs of the future for all,” said Arnzen.

Anne M. Kress, President of NOVA, shared her excitement about the collaboration. “The exciting new apprenticeship from NOVA and Micron provides students with the chance to ‘learn and earn,’ seamlessly integrating classroom learning with paid, hands-on work experience. Apprenticeships offer a transformational new onramp to life-changing careers for students and can expand and boost Micron’s local talent pipeline,” said Kress.

Building on a previous collaboration between NIIT and Micron in Idaho, the Virginia RAP aims to integrate industry needs with educational outcomes effectively. The first cohort of Equipment Technician Apprentices is expected to begin this summer.

Following the program launch, President Biden visited Syracuse to designate the city as a new “Workforce Hub” and celebrate Micron’s award of $6.1 billion in federal CHIPS funding. This funding supports Micron’s plans to invest approximately $50 billion in advanced memory manufacturing through 2030 in Idaho and New York. The Institute’s work in New York, initiated with the New York Career Opportunity Hub in 2023, is expanding to cover other cities in Upstate New York and the Syracuse region, working with Micron and other industry employers to build the region’s talent pipeline and establish semiconductor manufacturing RAPs.

For more information on NIIT’s national efforts to establish RAPs, visit