Microelectronics & Nanomanufacturing Certificate Program for Veterans


What You'll Learn

This course will cover the basic technologies used to fabricate microelectronic devices, including laboratory safety, vacuum technology, patterning, thin film deposition and etching, microcopy, and characterization.

CostFree for veterans and dependents
Duration12 weeks
Apply DeadlineAugust 1, 2024
Start DateSeptember 3, 2024
FormatHybrid: Live-streamed & In-person labs

Apply Now!

Have Questions?

Carrie Coates Whitmore
Director of Continuing Education and Workforce Development
Tompkins Cortland Community College

Lynn Rathbun, Ph.D. 
CNF Laboratory Manager

Break into the growing semiconductor industry in Upstate NY! 

TC3 is partnering with Penn State and Cornell University to bring veterans and their dependents a free opportunity to earn a certificate in microelectronics and nanomanufacturing. The program is open to six students in the first cohort. Some expenses are eligible for reimbursement. Classes will be live streamed Monday-Friday 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at TC3’s campus with 1-2 days of hands on lab activities at the Cornell Nanoscale Facility. 

Who's Eligible?

This program is exclusively for Veterans and their dependents. Recent veterans looking to enter the workforce as well as long-term veterans looking for career change and reskilling are equally welcome. Applicants with prior knowledge or experience with science and technology will receive priority. 

This course is a significant time commitment, particularly for those just reentering the classroom. We do not recommend taking a significant course load in addition to this program. 

At this time, TC3 and Cornell are offering this as a non-credit course. The course is free and does not require GI bill funding. Students looking to obtain or maintain GI bill funding may need to take additional courses. Please consult with TC3’s Veterans Financial Aid Officer by contacting James Janke at jankej@tompkinscortland.edu.

What Microelectronics Technicians Do 

Technicians make the semiconductor industry work. Two of the most common pathways include a microelectronics process technician or an equipment technician. 

Microelectronics process/manufacturing technicians are at the heart of the semiconductor fabrication plant, commonly known as the “fab”.  They are the “cooks” who process the silicon wafers resulting in working chips. Each wafer goes through hundreds of precisely documented chemical and physical recipes using several complex machines (generally called tools). They work under the direction of the scientific and engineering staff. They can work in large factories, small companies, or university/government laboratories. 

Equipment technicians install, maintain, and fix the tools in the microelectronics fab. This requires a combination of mechanical, computer, and electronics skills in addition to the background knowledge taught in this course. Field Service Engineers work for tool manufacturers and service equipment on site at the fabs that operate them.

The Upstate NY Technology Hub

Upstate New York has had a long history as a high technology region, with dozens of small and large companies from Albany to Corning and from Rochester to Binghamton. Tompkins County sits right in the middle. There has been significant demand for entry-level laboratory and manufacturing technicians throughout the region. 

In 2023, Menlo Microsystems announced their commitment to manufacture their Ideal Switch® in Ithaca, NY. This is a multi-year investment of $150 million to fully onshore their production. This investment is creating 100+ high-tech jobs locally over the next five years.

In 2022, Micron announced it would build a huge fabrication complex in Clay, NY, increasing the demand for manufacturing technicians significantly. Micron itself will require 10s of thousands of workers, with another similar amount in surrounding support industries. Many of these will be entry-level positions. The federal government, the state, and NY academic institutions are all implementing programs to address this need.

What if I don't get into the Fall cohort? 

We only have six spots for the Fall 2024 cohort. If you don’t get in, don’t despair! We will consider fall applications for the Spring 2025 cohort.  In the meantime, we recommend taking courses in the Micro-nano Fabrication Safety Credential that will give you prerequisite knowledge in chemistry, electrical circuits, safety in the cleanroom, and existing technology. To enroll in part-time classes, visit our registration website

Next Steps

  1. Apply to the program 
  2. Questions? 

    Carrie Coates Whitmore
    Director of Continuing Education and Workforce Development
    Tompkins Cortland Community College

    Lynn Rathbun, Ph.D. 
    CNF Laboratory Manager



This program is funded by the National Science Foundation ATE program under award DUE-2229983

Blue globe with yellow lattuce coming out of the sides. Three white letters say NSF.

Industry partners

  • Applied Image (Rochester)
  • Global Foundries (Albany)
  • Intel
  • KLA
  • Menlo Microsystems (Lansing)
  • Micron Technologies (Coming to Syracuse)
  • Nanoscience Instruments
  • NXP
  • Qorvo
  • TEL (Tokyo Electron) (Albany and elsewhere)
  • Texas Instruments
  • TSMC
  • Wolfspeed, Inc. (Marcy, NY)
  • Pall Corporation (Cortland)

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. NNCI-2025233. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.