College of Western Idaho (CWI) celebrated National Apprentice Week by hosting Micron Technology, Inc. to showcase future opportunities and possible career pathways made possible through the Micron and CWI partnership. Named a Micron core education partner, CWI is excited to lead efforts in delivering top-level education and skills training to students in support of the company’s recently announced Boise expansion.
On Wednesday, Nov. 16, Micron team members explored the types of instruction CWI Advanced Mechatronics Engineering Technology students receive and the roles apprenticeships will play in their learning. Executives from the company also met with students to share tips about finding a job, and more information about their new Registered Apprentice Technician program, a new Earn and Learn path to semiconductor technology roles for students in rural and underserved communities.
“I was excited to hear about the apprenticeship,” said CWI Advanced Mechatronics student and Micron Equipment Technician, Casey Stiers. “It sounds like a great opportunity for other students who are in their third or fourth semester to learn in depth about how Micron works and explore if this type of field is for them.”
The registered apprentice technician program allows students to enroll in CWI’s Advance Mechatronics Engineering program, work part time at Micron and receive tuition assistance. In addition to the technician apprenticeship, CWI is expanding the mechatronics program to meet the need for additional skilled workers. Expansion plans include investing in more equipment, faculty, and lab space to accommodate more students for the Spring 2023 semester.
“I have been in this industry for a long time. This type of partnership makes me proud and validates what we do,” said CWI Department of Engineering Chair, Robert Novak. “This is huge to have a company like Micron come out to our campus and say, ‘We want your technicians. We value them and we need them.’ With this opportunity we get to raise these students to one day become engineers. That makes me proud.”
Guests from Micron went on a VIP tour of Nampa Campus Micron Education Center, where they experienced real-time student activity happening throughout a variety of mechatronics lab spaces. Micron executives then joined CWI Mechatronics students and faculty for a ‘fireside chat’ event. Fireside chat panelists, which included Micron’s Corporate Vice President of US Expansions, Scott Gatzmeier, CWI Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Denise Aberle-Cannata, and Boise State University Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, Don Plumlee, shared information about Micron future careers, apprenticeships, pathways, and how CWI can help them achieve their goals through programs they offer and support to prepare for these types of careers.
Closing out the event, attendees were able to network with one another over lunch. Micron’s Talent Acquisition team also set up a booth where students were able to try out virtual reality googles and take a virtual tour of Micron and learn more about available career pathways.