ACC, Samsung Partner to Give Students Start on Tech Careers

ACC is helping high school students get a jumpstart on careers in high-demand technology fields. The college partnered with Samsung Austin Semiconductor to host SEMI High Tech U, an initiative of the SEMI Foundation to promote education and career awareness in high-tech fields.

Students in the clean room at Riverside Campus.

Dozens of students from the Austin, Manor, and Round Rock school districts took part in the three-day event in February. SEMI High Tech U uses industry professionals and educators to guide hands-on activities involving statistics, nanotechnology, solar and alternative energy technologies, electronics, and math.

“Tech jobs are in demand, but having the right education and training is critical,” says Dr. Alberto Quinonez, chair of ACC’s Electronics and Advanced Technologies Department. “We are proud to work with Samsung and our other partners to raise awareness of this field through SEMI High Tech U.”

Samsung activities included the “human calculator,” a Twister-like event in which students attempted to avoid getting tangled while they simulated electron flow as binary numbers translate to decimals. The participants tackled robotics and engineering at ACC’s Riverside Campus, even donning “clean room” gear as they learned about high-tech manufacturing. Students also participated in mock job interviews for tech careers.

Students get hands-on robotics training.

“Austin is a mecca for high-tech jobs, and it is important that we prepare our students with the tools and training they need to become members of a prepared workforce of the future,” says Catherine Morse, general counsel and director of public affairs for Samsung Austin Semiconductor. “This program is an excellent opportunity to get local high school students interested in technology and help them think about potential career opportunities.”

The three-day event marked the first SEMI High Tech U program in the state.

“As a fast-growing technology hub, Austin was chosen as the perfect city to launch the SEMI High Tech U program in Texas,” says Lisa Anderson, vice president of the SEMI Foundation. “With the support of semiconductor and technology companies, the program will stimulate career and education interest in technology for students in Central Texas.”

The SEMI Foundation plans to host another SEMI High Tech U program in Texas this fall.

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