GO Virginia Region 7 Funds Ground-breaking Statewide Semiconductor Initiative
Updated: Apr 26
For Immediate Release
April 24, 2023
Fairfax, VA – The GO Virginia Northern Virginia Regional Council (Region 7) in coordination with the state board approved a $3.3 million grant to fund the Virginia Alliance for Semiconductor Technology (VAST). This public, private, academic collaboration comes at a time of national focus on semiconductor, nanotechnology, and chip manufacturing.
The VAST initiative combines workforce development, research and development, specialized equipment and facilities infrastructure, along with corporate expertise and support to entrepreneurial ventures to help ensure Virginia becomes a recognized leader in the semiconductor industry. Based in Arlington at the Virginia Tech Research Center, VAST partners with George Mason University, the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Norfolk State University, and Northern Virginia Community College. VAST also relies on private sector partners led by Micron Technology Inc, and includes the support of companies like BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman Corp.
The workforce development aspect of the program encompasses certifications in the semiconductor career field. Training efforts will have a particular focus on underserved communities and veterans. These classes will include equipment training in specialized labs and yield in at least 500 certifications over the next three years.
In a statement from Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, he said, “Together, our private and public sector partnerships will create new opportunities in semiconductors, microelectronics and nanotechnology to drive critically important economic sectors and technology leadership. I look forward to collaborating with the many schools in Virginia that are producing research and highly trained students that will accelerate the development of our VAST ecosystem.”
“Northern Virginia has long been recognized for its prominence in the technology sector and it is fitting that our region takes this important step in establishing Virginia as a leader in nanomanufacturing,” stated Danny Vargas, Chairman of GO Virginia’s Region 7 Council. He added, “The VAST program positions us for continued growth in this sector in the future and will have a positive impact on improving the lives of many families for years to come.”
“I appreciate all the effort put behind this initiative by GO Virginia’s Region 7 Council and its managing director, Susan Baker” stated Masoud Agah, the concept creator and the founding director of VAST and the Virginia Microelectronics Consortium Professor of Engineering at Virginia Tech. “The VAST ecosystem leads the semiconductor and nanotechnology landscape based on leveraging our strengths, enabling creative partnerships, advancing our infrastructures, developing new knowledge and skills, and sharing our resources,” he said.
VAST will look to partner with companies in Virginia and companies looking to start businesses in Virginia as partners and collaborators. Please contact Professor Agah with VAST (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
About GO Virginia Region 7:
GO Virginia is a business-led economic development initiative with funding to invest in collaborative projects that create private sector jobs in high-paying, high-growth industries and bring more business opportunities to the commonwealth. Region 7 encompasses the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William as well as the cities therein. For more information on GO Virginia Region 7 visit www.gonorthernva.com.