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The Lesker Company Provides Vacuum Training Systems for Workforce Development in the Semiconductor Industry

August 31, 2023 | By KJLC Blog

The United States is engaged in a colossal effort to reshoring critical semiconductor manufacturing technology in order to better insulate domestic demand from international supply chain instabilities. This will create thousands of new jobs, requiring a substantial expansion of the US workforce skilled in vacuum science and its application.

Figure 1: Technical staff being trained on the vacuum Science training system within a clean room at the Kurt J. Lesker Company.

The Lesker Company is leveraging its Lesker U program to support organizations committed to training that new labor force. For example, company representatives have been working with the Ohio Association of Community Colleges to help design the vacuum technology curriculum to be shared among the 23 campuses that service the state. Further, Columbus State University (Columbus, Ohio) has recently purchased one of our Vacuum Training Systems, designed by our Mike Sadusky and Leadership Development Group #1, that will help new technicians better understand the working of a vacuum system and the extreme hygiene required to achieve consistently pristine vacuum conditions.

The Lesker vacuum training system enables students to:

  1. Learn how to operate a manual high vacuum system, including the sequential pump down procedure and reading pressure from various sensors.
  2. Users also learn how to disassemble and re-assemble a vacuum system.
  3. And the use appropriate vacuum hygiene practices, include proper outerwear, gloves, masks and the use of cleaning materials.
  4. The system also provides a hands-on demonstration of conductance losses, the impact of fingerprints and other contamination, and the effect of outgassing on base pressure.

While several of these systems have been sold to other universities, this is the first, of what may be many, systems going into the Intel - Ohio workforce development program. In addition to the training system, the university also bought a leak detector, and eventually they will purchase extra hardware, pumps and fluids to support their vacuum science program. In addition to offering the Vacuum Training System in its original configuration, bespoke versions are also being designed to match exactly the job skills required for specific semiconductor fab maintenance functions, like pump change-out and repair.

The list of new semiconductor manufacturing facilities to be built in the US includes new facilities by Intel, Samsung, Texas Instruments, and TSMC. A full list follows:

Figure 2: A list of new semiconductor fabrication facilities planned for the US as of August 2023. (Ref: Portions taken from 'U.S. Semiconductor Renaissance: All the Upcoming Fabs', Anton Shilov , published August 29, 2022,

It is estimated that the re-homing of the US semiconductor industry will create 115,000 new, high skilled jobs by 2030, according to Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), in partnership with Oxford Economics. SIA warns that, without some focused effort on workforce development, as many as 67,000 of those jobs may go unfilled, putting the re-homing effort at risk.

Systems Vacuum Science Deposition Techniques

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