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ON Semiconductor and Semi High Tech University
by Nehal Shah - 2018-08-02 10:27:11.0

As a company, ON Semiconductor celebrates differences and promotes an inclusive environment by valuing the contributions of all employees. STEM UP (science, technology, engineering and math for underrepresented populations) is an affinity network group under ON Semiconductor’s Diversity and Inclusion initiative that strives to promote diversity in STEM both internally and externally. Along with promoting recruitment and retention of diverse populations at ON Semiconductor, we also believe it is equally important to help foster interest in and access to STEM opportunities among diverse populations in the community.

Earlier this year, STEM UP partnered with the SEMI Foundation and Gateway Community College, to sponsor a unique three day career exposure program called Semi High Tech University (Semi HTU) at our site in Phoenix, Arizona. Over the course of three days, a diverse group students from three high schools participated in hands-on STEM activities relating to real world career applications. Employee volunteers taught STEM courses on topics such as quality control, microchips, chemistry, etc. To see how these topics apply to the real-world, students toured our evaluation, characterization, product analysis and technology assessment and characterization labs. Students also visited our reclaim and recycle center where we provide an environmentally responsible solution to our customers and sites for returning, recycling and disposing scrap materials.

Lastly, we prepared students for the professional world by training them on resume writing, interview preparation and proper social media use. Each student was interviewed by an employee and given the opportunity to respond to behavioral style interview questions on leadership, motivation, time management, etc. Some employees even offered to stay in touch with these students as mentors after the three-day program. To celebrate the accomplishments of the students and dedication of our volunteers, we invited family members of the participating students to a graduation ceremony. One student, nominated by his peers, was awarded a $2,000 USD scholarship at graduation as a result of the Semi High Tech operational core values he demonstrated throughout the three days.


Semi High Tech University was an extremely rewarding experience for the company and our volunteers. Over the course of three days, we could see a significant difference in student behavior including their active participation in discussion, enhanced team work and overall interest in STEM.

“SEMI High Tech U gave us a chance to influence the future of our industry and our world. It is a joy to see these bright students capture new ideas and find the fun in science, technology, and engineering! I was excited to see them ‘graduate’ and the changes we made in their lives in those three short days in confidence and personal goals. I can’t wait to do another one!” – Mark Nelson

“For me this was a great opportunity to give something back to the community and more importantly to influence our young minds to consider joining the Semiconductor industry and see it as a dynamic and interesting industry that it is.” – Mehdi Zamanian

“I volunteered to help with the mock interview session because I remember how my first interviews for colleges and jobs were challenging!  Semi High Tech U provided questions and suggestions to use during the interview.  The goal of the session was to help prepare students and offer feedback for them to use when they interview for further education, internships, and jobs.  This process was a great way to provide some real-world feedback and coaching to the student, and encourage them to continue engaging in STEM activities.” – Andrea Kupec

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