Seeking to help companies find workers to fill jobs within the US supply chain, the US Department of Labor is proividing $9.5 million over the next four years to the National Institute for Innovation and Technology (NIIT).

The NIIT says the fund will be used to expand its GAINS program – Growing Apprenticeships In Nanotechnology and Semiconductors – which focuses on apprenticeships.

It’s the “only program of its type in the nation targeting the semiconductor and nanotechnology sectors,” according to NIIT.

The contract was announced Thursday.

“The NIIT’s mission is to ensure strategic industry sectors in the U.S. have what they need to prosper, innovate and develop the talent pipeline is a top priority,” said Mike Russo, the CEO of NIIT. “Our National Talent Hub and its state-of-the-art competency-based system leverages advanced data analytics to connect jobseekers, employers and training providers and more efficiently target training. Applying our infrastructure to expand the use of Registered Apprenticeships to support strategic industry sectors where they are currently underutilized provides a great opportunity to broaden the talent pipeline and improve access to currently underserved populations.”

[Registered Apprenticeship is a program of the United States Department of Labor that connects job seekers looking to learn new skills with employers looking for qualified workers, according to Wikipedia.]

NIIT offers a National Talent Pipeline Development Initiative, and GAINS is part of that and is developing a nationally integrated infrastructure to attract, train and connect individuals with careers in industries tied to national security and global competitiveness.

GAINS was piloted in 2021 in New York along with the Manufactures Association of Central New York. Partners working with the NIIT on the GAINS program include Maher & Maher, an affiliate of the American Institutes for Research (AIR), the MACNY, and Credential Engine.

The Indium Corporation, a refiner, producer, and supplier of indium and indium compounds which is based in New York, has worked with NIIT.

Said Ross Bernston, president and chief operating officer of Indium: “Through registered apprenticeships, Indium Corporation gains a credentialed program that leverages the strengths of our supervisors and subject matter experts, our local colleges, and organizations such as the NIIT and the MACNY. By working with the NIIT and the MACNY led partnership, we were able to design a program so that apprentices more effectively advance in their current positions and meet the rapidly emerging needs of the advanced manufacturing industry, especially semiconductors.”

NIIT is based in Maryland.