SIA, FIRST Announce Partnership to Strengthen U.S. STEM Workforce

Partnership will focus on enhancing talent pipeline to equip students with skills needed for science and technology careers


WASHINGTON—May 4, 2022—The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) and FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) today announced a partnership to enhance STEM education and interest among students and bolster workforce development. With demand for highly skilled workers currently outstripping supply of U.S. STEM graduates, this partnership is critical to ensuring the United States maintains its innovation edge in a range of critical technologies, including semiconductors. SIA represents 99% of the U.S. semiconductor industry by revenue and nearly two-thirds of non-U.S. chip firms. FIRST is a a global robotics community preparing young people for the future through exciting, mentor-based programs that build both STEM and well-rounded life skills.

Together, SIA and FIRST will collaborate on equipping PreK-12 students with the skills necessary to pursue a career in science and technology, facilitating mentorship programs that improve the workforce talent pipeline for the semiconductor industry, and addressing public policy matters affecting STEM education and workforce development in the U.S.

“Semiconductors are the fundamental enabling technology of modern electronics throughout our economy, and the semiconductor industry relies on a highly skilled and diverse workforce to maintain its economic and strategic advantage,” said Cristiano Amon, President and CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated and 2022 SIA Chair. “Leadership in semiconductor research, design, and manufacturing demands access to the best scientists, engineers, and technicians. SIA is proud to announce this partnership with FIRST focused on building a strong, STEM-proficient workforce through engaging students across the U.S.”

With mentorship and financial sponsorship opportunities, this partnership will recruit students from all backgrounds, especially among underserved and underrepresented communities, to ensure a diverse and inclusive future STEM workforce.

“We’re thrilled to be formally partnering with SIA to create greater access to learning and mentorship programs that will provide students the necessary skills and resources to succeed in STEM careers—starting as early as PreK,” said Dean Kamen, FIRST Founder and President of DEKA Research and Development Corporation. “With many SIA companies already supporting FIRST through both sponsorship and employee volunteerism, we’re certain this official collaboration will foster even greater outcomes for students as they pursue STEM-related interests and activities.”

A strong U.S. semiconductor industry is critical to the U.S. economy. According to a recent SIA and Oxford Economics report, the U.S. semiconductor industry accounts for roughly a quarter of a million direct jobs in the U.S, with the largest two segments being production occupations and engineering. Additionally, for each U.S. worker directly employed by the semiconductor industry, an additional 5.7 jobs are supported in the wider U.S. economy, either in the supply chains of the semiconductor industry or through the wage spending of those employed by the firms themselves or their supply chains.


About SIA
The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) is the voice of the semiconductor industry, one of America’s top export industries and a key driver of America’s economic strength, national security, and global competitiveness. Semiconductors – the tiny chips that enable modern technologies – power incredible products and services that have transformed our lives and our economy. The semiconductor industry directly employs over a quarter of a million workers in the United States, and U.S. semiconductor company sales totaled $258 billion in 2021. SIA represents 99 percent of the U.S. semiconductor industry by revenue and nearly two-thirds of non-U.S. chip firms. Through this coalition, SIA seeks to strengthen leadership of semiconductor manufacturing, design, and research by working with Congress, the Administration, and key industry stakeholders around the world to encourage policies that fuel innovation, propel business, and drive international competition. Learn more at


FIRST® is a robotics community that prepares young people for the future through a suite of inclusive, team-based robotics programs for ages 4-18 (PreK-12) that can be facilitated in school or in structured afterschool programs. Boosted by a global support system of volunteers, educators, and sponsors that include over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies, teams operate under a signature set of FIRST Core Values to conduct research, fundraise, design, build, and showcase their achievements during annual challenges. An international not-for-profit organization founded by accomplished inventor Dean Kamen in 1989, FIRST has a proven impact on STEM learning, interest, and skill-building well beyond high school. Alumni of FIRST programs gain access to exclusive scholarships, internships, and other opportunities that create connections and open pathways to a wide variety of careers. Learn more at