AU a partner with Ohio TechNet Northeast Ohio Semiconductor Workforce Consortium

Published on Sep. 29, 2022

ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University has entered into a partnership with 10 other Ohio higher education institutions that will develop semiconductor career programs by providing training programs. The project, titled “Ohio TechNet Northeast Ohio Semiconductor Workforce Consortium,” is being led by Lorain County Community College.

In conjunction with Intel beginning construction on a $20 billion chip plant in central Ohio—the official groundbreaking was held on Sept. 9—higher education institutions are leading a response and joining forces to help prepare for a massive new workforce.

The consortium that Ashland is a part of will help support semiconductor fabrication and equipment operations, including automation, robotics, microelectronics, semiconductor processing, cleanroom technical training, cybersecurity and data analysis.

The project’s primary objectives include expanding the talent pipeline, broadening the region’s ability to deliver curriculum and experiential learning models, building on existing regional programs, resources and stakeholders and rapidly spreading effective strategies within the consortium.

“It’s a privilege to be one of the participating institutions of higher education in the Ohio TechNet Northeast Ohio Semiconductor Workforce Consortium and to be awarded this grant by Intel,” said Shawn Orr, dean of eAshland. “Our part in the consortium will focus on one of the greatest strengths at Ashland University – teacher education. Over the next three years, as we work with high school STEM teachers and industry professionals newly entering academia, we’ll bring our passion and belief in the transformational power of education to support Ohio’s workforce.”

Ashland will do its part by developing two projects – Smart Manufacturing Semiconductor Bootcamps and an Industry Educator Teaching certificate program.

The Smart Manufacturing Semiconductor Bootcamps are designed off field-based Manufacturing Bootcamps that AU has been delivering to hundreds of Ohio educators the last five years. The semiconductor camps will include a week-long field experience in smart manufacturing for current technical college, community college and university faculty, as well as future instructors. Faculty or future faculty will earn continuing education credit, as they engage in workshop content, including visiting multiple manufacturing facilities, enhancing their understanding of the semiconductor manufacturing industry, exploring career opportunities for their students and collaborating with colleagues from across Ohio.

The Industry Educator Teaching certification program will be a new online offering from AU for industry professionals to become college faculty within their area of expertise. It will address teaching and learning in a higher education environment and include academic philosophy, quality improvement, curriculum development, learning theories and evidence-based teaching.

For more information about the bootcamps, contact Jim Powell, executive director of professional learning, at, and for information on faculty certification, contact Stephanie Meeks, director of workforce development, at

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland, and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.