How to overcome Reality's semiconductor self-identification, training and up-skilling challenges

J. Spyres
Training All People, Inc (Tap3d),
United States

Keywords: VR, workforce development, upskilling, trainig


Reality has limitations, Industry has constraints, and America needs 90,000 new technicians in the semiconductor industry by 2030. I could address the equipment bottlenecks to training this number of people (which VR helps with), and I could address the dangers that are greatly reduced by using VR, but neither of those matter unless we have the people who want to be trained to begin with. Despite many positive words, if we go off actions, many in industry are living in a “Field of Dreams” mentality – that is, if they build the fabs, the technicians will come. But they won’t. At least, not in the number we need. Walk into a high school or a college that is focused on workforce development, and ask someone what a carpenter does. You will almost always hear some variation of “They build stuff with wood.” Next, ask them what kinds of stuff do they build? “Houses, chairs, tables” are usually among the answers given. Then ask what types of tools does a carpenter use when they are building those? “Hammer, saw, nails, tape measure" usually are said pretty quickly. Then ask them if they have ever worked as a carpenter; the answer is usually no. These answers are not surprising. Try it yourself, and see the answers you get. Next, ask what a semiconductor technician does? Usually, I get blank stares, and if they do not know what a technician does, they likely don't know what the technician builds, or the types of tools they use. But yet, they could answer all the same questions in regards to a carpenter position, which they also never held. Interesting. This is because the carpenter is something they have seen and can identify too. Whether they want to do carpentry work doesn’t change the fact that they understand what the opportunity of being a carpenter is. The same isn’t true for the technician, and this is the challenge of the semiconductor industry VR training helps solve this problem by immersing anyone, anywhere, in the job environment and uses haptic feedback and required physical movements to lead to a tactile learning that a powerpoint presentation could never match. But most importantly, it impacts the user with a vision of what they are doing, and it's how America can get the 90,000 new technicians they need – When people lack a vision of the industry’s work, they are unlikely to put forth the effort to attain it for themselves, and VR gives them that vision, and demystifies the opportunity. It is time we stop acting like we’re in the field of dreams, and accept the reality of our situation. If we are to get the people we need, we need those people to understand the opportunities, and “see it” for themselves as an opportunity that they can identify with, and Virtual Reality simulations is a safe and realistic path to helping people make this connection.