First microelectronics apprenticeship begins in Indiana Uplands region

The College & Career Academy at Washington High School recently announced a partnership with Reliable MicroSystems that will create the first-of-its-kind microelectronics youth apprenticeship beginning in January 2024. Senior Xavier Frank will serve as a Staff Engineer. 

“This internship is the result of the collaboration of local, regional, and state entities, and I believe it to be just the beginning. I am excited to see the hard work of our teachers and students pay off as we implement additional STEM opportunities and increase the academic rigor of our Early College program. We have an amazingly talented pool of young people in our area, and it’s important to keep them here,” said Assistant Superintendent Steve Peterson. 

“We are extremely pleased that Reliable MicroSystems and Washington Community Schools will be the first microelectronics partnership in ROI’s UpSkill Work and Learn program,” shared Kimberly Waldridge, Regional Opportunity Initiatives’ Sector Specialist. “As the microelectronics industry expands in the Indiana Uplands region, multiple opportunities for partnerships with UpSkill, area schools, and employers will emerge. Reliable MicroSystems is paving the way for more students, like Xavier, to gain work experience, on-the-job training, and exposure to career opportunities that align with the national security and defense sector.”

“Through partnerships like the one developed between Washington Community Schools and Reliable MicroSystems, more students have access to high-growth career pathways and employers can proactively build their talent pipeline. The Indiana Chamber of Commerce and the Institute for Workforce Excellence are proud to be part of this partnership by assisting with the EARN Indiana funding to support a portion of the internship salaries,” said Todd Hurst, Institute for Workforce Excellence.

“We’ve been fortunate to partner with Washington Community Schools on our SCALE K-12 project. Washington Community teachers have been eager to integrate new ideas and technologies into their SCALE K-12 curriculum units to help students gain a better awareness of microelectronics in the world around them. The steps taken by Washington Community Schools will help area students enter the workforce better prepared for the changes taking place in our ever-changing world,”  said Rena Sterrett, SCALE K-12 Senior Project Manager.

“We’re excited to bring Xavier on board at Reliable MicroSystems, he has clearly worked hard to get where he is today. Programs like SCALE K-12, as well as others, are critical when it comes to building the talent pool of the future for the microelectronics industry in the United States. If we can cultivate and nurture an interest in STEM fields at an early age, we can encourage more young people to explore the wide range of career fields available to them in STEM. We hope that Xavier will leave this program excited about pursuing a career in microelectronics, ideally right here in Southwest Indiana, and this program will continue to grow in the future. Some fantastic opportunities are coming to this region in the next few years and Reliable MicroSystems is proud to partner with Washington High School, ROI, and others in the local community to help make those opportunities available,” said Dr. Matt Thompson, Reliable MicroSystems Program Manager.