High Tech U Program Benefits Both Students and AMIS Employees


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High Tech U Program Benefits Both Students and AMIS Employees

In what has become an annual tradition at AMI Semiconductor (AMIS) headquarters in Pocatello, Idaho, the High Tech U program developed by SEMI returned for the fourth time this past October. During the program, students from local high schools including Century, Highland, Pocatello and New Horizons spent three days conducting experiments and attending presentations by industry professionals.

As a company deeply ingrained into the local economy, AMIS has long been a supporter of educational programs and initiatives in its community. To better support these initiatives, the company continues to support a formal partnership with Idaho State University and School District 25 in Pocatello to strengthen the link between these organizations and to insure ongoing reconnection activities for the HTU graduated students.

“We were very excited when the SEMI foundation approached us,” said Christine King, CEO of AMIS. “The program is a logical extension of the work we’ve been doing here in Idaho to help build a strong local high tech workforce.” With about 900 employees, AMIS is one of the state’s largest employers.

Above and beyond the obvious academic benefits of the program, King sees additional value, including community goodwill generated by the program, and the fact that AMIS employees enjoy their involvement as volunteer instructors. It is also important to King that the program curriculum includes various “soft skills” components that focus on areas such as professional behavior guidelines within the organization and effective job interviewing techniques.

Even among the active CEOs of High Tech U sponsor companies, King stands out as generous with her time and level of involvement through speaking during the programs, and sharing her personal story with the students. “My journey began as a young single mother on public assistance,” she explains. “I want these students to see that no matter how difficult their circumstances, or how daunting the personal challenge, anything is possible if you dream big and try hard.”

In addition to King, the program is supported by the District 25 Superintendent, Mary Vaugner, and the president of Idaho State University, Arthur C. Vailas. Both have indicated a high level of interest in providing support for future program development.

SEMI High Tech U is an industry-driven math and science-based career exploration program for high school students and teachers.

For more information, or to become involved in upcoming SEMI High Tech U programs, please visit www.semi.org/foundation.