Group says technical programs won’t be sacrificed
View of the The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the University at Albany, Monday May 7, 2012, in Albany, N.Y. (Philip Kamrass / Times Union archive)
ALBANY — Sematech, the computer chip consortium based at Albany NanoTech, is laying off 20 support staff as it restructures its operations.
Sematech, which received $300 million from the state to move from Austin, Texas to Albany, was created in the 1980s to help the U.S. semiconductor industry compete against Japan.
Since leaving Austin, the organization has lost some of its autonomy at Albany NanoTech, which is operated by the University at Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.
Sematech has also become involved in new ventures at the NanoCollege, including a solar manufacturing initiative at the NanoCollege called the U.S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium.
“Sematech is restructuring and streamlining its business support operations to meet changing technology and customer requirements,” Sematech spokeswoman Erica McGill said Friday. “We’re identifying internal efficiencies, and opportunities to outsource certain administrative services.”
NanoCollege spokesman Steve Janack said 20 people would be affected. But he stressed that tomorrow, all of those people are expected to apply for new jobs at the NanoCollege job fair, which is being held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to fill 300 jobs. The event is already at capacity with 800 people registered. Janack said that another job fair will be scheduled soon to deal with the public demand.
McGill said job losses were only coming in business support operations. The bulk of Sematech’s industry expertise comes from “assignees” from member companies.
McGill added: “Our primary focus is on preserving and enhancing our technical programs. Sematech is aligning the evolution of our technical program portfolio to the priorities of our members and the industry.”
The NanoCollege is essentially taking over administrative functions at Sematech, such as human resources and IT that it already does. The money saved will be put into the consortium’s technical programs, maximizing the state’s investment in Sematech.