Silfex partners with Clark State to address labor needs

A scene from a Silfex drive-through job fair held in the fall, provided by the company.
A scene from a Silfex drive-through job fair held in the fall, provided by the company.

A high-tech manufacturing firm with a facility in Springfield has partnered with Clark State Community College to develop a pilot program that aims to give participants the skills needed for advanced manufacturing.

Representatives of Silfex, which creates precision components used to make and operate semiconductor tools, said that six employees participated in the program that consisted of a total of 40 hours of training.

Those selected to participate had applied for open positions at the company as it looked for additional workers at both its Eaton and Springfield facilities.

ExploreCoronavirus: Which Clark County ZIP Codes have the most cases?

The program is part of a larger strategy to secure employees that can be trained to fill positions that require more advanced skills as it can be hard to find qualified candidates.

The topics in the program involve automated machining processes essential for working with silicon.

Silfex is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lam Research, based out of California, and has the world’s largest custom silicon growing operation across both of its locations in Ohio.

“By teaching these skills, it is our hope to build a pipeline of workers for machining positions,” said Crystal Jones, Clark State’s vice president for marketing, diversity and community impact.

“If participants decide to move forward with their learning and career progression, Silfex will help pay for additional classes as part of our education reimbursement program,” she added.

Siflex is going through a growth mode and recently filled over 100 open positions at its two facilities in Ohio.

Growth for the company comes at a time as more employers have shifted their staff towards remote work due to the coronavirus pandemic. That has caused more of those employees to rely on portable technology to complete their work.

ExploreOhio records 130 new coronavirus deaths, 546 hospitalizations

Components made by Slifex are used to create the computer chips used throughout the technology market, enabling smart devices, medical equipment and gaming systems, said Kate Seegraves, a spokesperson for the company.

“As the demand for these types of products grows, the demand for what we make also grows,” she added.

Silfex is currently looking to hire 100 more people as well as build a pipeline of qualified machinist, said Stephanie Parks-Gale, the director of human resources for the manufacturer.

She said it can be difficult for people to break into the skilled trade market as a lot of companies are looking for those that already have a few years of experience.

The program with Clark State is designed to make that transition easier.

It started and wrapped up in December. Those that participated in the training will be transitioned to the manufacturing floor, said Parks-Gale

The demand for similar programs in the future will depend on Silfex’s labor needs at that time, she said.

By the numbers

40: Number of hours for Silfex, Clark State training program

2: Number of facilities Silfex has in Ohio

100: Number of positions Silfex seeks to hire in Ohio

In Other News