TCC Joins Penn State, UTA on Microelectronics Certificate for Veterans

FORT WORTH, Texas — Tarrant County College is partnering with Penn State University and the University of Texas at Arlington to offer a free 12-week Microelectronics and Nanomanufacturing Certificate Program to veterans and their dependents.

This innovative approach pairs community colleges with nearby research universities to meet critical demand for semiconductor applications and increase career options for veterans. Funding comes from the National Science Foundation.

Classes begin in September at TCC South, 5301 Campus Drive in Fort Worth. Students will cover the basic skills needed to make devices, including laboratory safety, vacuum technology, patterning, microscopy, characterization, thin-film deposition and etching.

Faculty in Penn State’s Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization (CNEU) will live-stream the program’s lecture portion. Hands-on lab work will take place in a clean room at UT Arlington. TCC will provide transportation to the university.

Participants fulfilling the program will receive a certificate from Penn State CNEU.

“Tarrant County College is excited to enter this partnership with Penn State and UTA,” said TCC South President Daniel Lufkin. “The semiconductor industry requires hands-on training and academic support. It’s gratifying that we can provide that for such a high-demand field.”

The program connects Tarrant area veterans with a robust global industry that contributed more than $6 billion in gross regional product and added 14,100 tech jobs in 2022, according to a report from the Computing Technology Industry Association.

“Texas is well-positioned to be the epicenter of America’s semiconductor industry, and TCC’s dynamic faculty are one reason why,” said TCC Chancellor Elva LeBlanc. “Their knowledge and teaching skills make us a perfect partner with Penn State and UTA to prepare area veterans for lucrative careers.”

Dr. LeBlanc thanked TCC mathematics faculty Mohammad Ganjizadeh and Natalie Johnson for helping author the NSF grant. “Their work with business and university partners resulted in this new microelectronics certificate, and now veterans and their family members who complete this program will become semiconductor technicians ready for high-wage jobs in a rapidly growing industry.”

During a May 7 town hall announcing the partnership, U.S. Congressman Marc Veasey congratulated TCC for securing the grant.

“This grant speaks to TCC South’s dedication to bolstering Tarrant County’s workforce and serving our veterans,” he said. “Continued collaboration across party lines will strengthen our workforce and ensure that veterans and their families have the resources they need to thrive.”

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Tarrant County College is one of the nation’s largest higher education institutions and boasts the second lowest tuition of Texas’ Top 10 community colleges. A comprehensive two-year college with six campuses in Tarrant County and online classes, TCC offers a range of opportunities for learners of all ages and backgrounds, including Associate of Arts and Associate of Applied Science degrees; workforce and economic development programs; technical and skilled trades programs; and customized training for area businesses and corporations.