New semiconductor program planned for Hamilton High School in Chandler

By Bridget Dowd
Published: Thursday, May 9, 2024 - 1:26pm
Updated: Thursday, May 9, 2024 - 1:45pm

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Three people in full/body white suits and blue surgical gloves work in a factory or laboratory-type setting.
Maria Hollenhorst/Marketplace
Students in the Semiconductor Technician Quick Start training course at Mesa Community College practice while wearing “bunny suits,” the required workwear at fabrication plants.

The Chandler Unified School District is partnering with the University of Arizona to create a new semiconductor program for high schoolers.

The district’s governing board entered into an agreement Wednesday night with UA’s vice president of semiconductor strategy to help draft curriculum. The district hopes the two-year program will begin fall 2025 at Hamilton High School.

Jessica Edgar directs PreK-12 curriculum and instruction for the district. She says CUSD was approached by several business partners in the area who are going to need people to build their future workforce.

“They have expressed concerns for being able to fill these positions from the clean room space all the way up to the executives in semiconductor and just having those innovative thinkers," Edgar said. “You know, we may start in the Chandler Unified School District, but if it’s fantastic and it meets the needs of the semiconductor industry in other areas, let’s provide that support to the nation, so that we really can work in the greater good.”

She says the goal is to provide a head start to both students who want to enter the workforce right after high school and those who want to go on to get a higher education.

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