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VET S.T.E.P. by NY Creates aims to help veterans get employment in tech industry

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The semiconductor industry is hiring veterans. A program called VET S.T.E.P. aims to help veterans get employment in the technology industry, and training is ongoing at NY Creates in upstate New York. 

It’s an exciting time for technology and the semiconductor industry for veterans and active-duty military personnel. Some are working to provide opportunities where these individuals can use the skills and discipline obtained through their military experience. So, funded by the National Science Foundation and hosted by NY Creates, this is a 10-week program with hands-on training at the Albany Nanotech Complex. 

Semiconductors are used to essentially control the flow of electricity and are components of computers, smartphones and many other electronic devices. This VET Semiconductor Training and Experience Program hopes to further the expansion of the industry by adding valuable individuals trained by the U.S. military. Spectrum news spoke with a veteran who is in this program to understand just how technology and their experience combines in this particular field. 

“We all have a lot of skills that we develop over years of being in the military, and sometimes it’s hard to find industries that really understand the amount of knowledge and capabilities and capacity that military people have,” said veteran Christine Fernandez. “And so this is a great opportunity to really bridge from productive life in the military to a productive civilian life.” 

NY Creates is an innovation hub that aims to further accelerate the growth of technology and facilitate research efforts in nanoelectronics, advanced analog and more. 

“Veterans coming out of the U.S. military are a gold mine for the semiconductor industry,” said Dr. Robert Geer, vice president of education and workforce development at NY Creates. “You know, they’re a very disciplined group. They’re used to taking on projects in which they do a lot of self-directed work. They’re used to working in a in a structured environment with very complex systems. So, it’s a natural. And to be honest, when those folks walk into our doors, they have 80% of the skills they need. I think what’s really a shame is that they don’t know that. And so a large part of this program is showing them what the semiconductor industry is, what those careers are, and saying, you know, you’ve got the skills to walk into this job tomorrow.” 

In 2022, the Housing Assistance Council and the Home Depot Foundation stated that 7.5% of veterans in New York lived in poverty, out of nearly 700,000 veterans living in the state. The same year, the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that almost 1,000 veterans were homeless in New York. Currently, there are more than 800,000 veterans living in the state. The NY Creates program aims to be a help for the nation’s fifth-largest veteran population. 

If you are a veteran looking for opportunities or know someone who can benefit, visit ny-creates.org

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