Gov. Whitmer Announces $10 Million Investment to Help Michigan Lead Future of Semiconductor Manufacturing and Talent

Office of the Governor

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Launch of MSTAR Initiative will develop strong talent base and infrastructure necessary for Michigan to find more efficient, effective ways for semiconductors to be used in the automotive industry

WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the state’s $10 million investment in Michigan Semiconductor Talent and Technology for Automotive Research (MSTAR), a public-private initiative that aims to make Michigan the world’s leader in automotive semiconductor technology and talent and develop a talent pipeline to accelerate semiconductor applications in the mobility sector. MSTAR has been building momentum over the past year and is now kicking off a portfolio of innovation projects. 

“Today, we’re announcing a $10 million investment in MSTAR, a public-private initiative to help Michigan lead the future of cars and semiconductor chips,” said Governor Whitmer. “A year ago, we launched MSTAR to show the world that Michigan was serious about advanced manufacturing and talent development. Now, we’re putting $10 million behind it with our industry partners to keep winning advanced mobility and semiconductor projects. Together, we will keep working to bring advanced manufacturing and critical supply chains home, creating economic opportunity in every region of Michigan.” 

“Michigan put the world on wheels, and we need to do the work to ensure we stay at forefront of innovation and technology,” said U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell. “We are competing in a global marketplace, facing many challenges, and are not competing on an even playing field with countries like China. We must work together and do everything we can to create policies that ensure the U.S. remains a global leader in shaping the future of the auto industry.” 

“MSTAR is coming together at a moment of unique opportunity for the semiconductor and automotive industries,” said Rick Wallace, President and CEO, KLA Corporation. “Michigan is uniquely positioned to lead the way for the technologies and workforce required to advance electric and autonomous vehicles at scale. KLA, with more than 600 employees in our Michigan R&D facility, is excited to be partnering in this important work.” 

"Through Governor Whitmer's leadership, the University of Michigan is proud to be a leading partner in MSTAR, advancing basic research, innovation and workforce development in microelectronics and mobility, said Santa J. Ono, President of the University of Michigan. Our developing collaboration will sustain and strengthen the vital connection between the semiconductor and automotive sectors, even as it reinforces the State of Michigan's essential place in leading advancements critical to U.S. national security and drives Michigan's growth and economic prosperity."  

“Having prepared students to fill jobs in the ever-evolving mobility sector programs, for over a decade, Washtenaw Community College (WCC) is well-positioned to quickly educate and train the skilled talent Michigan needs for semiconductor chip manufacturing,” said Dr. Rose B. Bellanca, WCC President. “The state’s significant investment in MSTAR will help accelerate our efforts while driving Michigan’s leadership in mobility and advanced manufacturing.”  

“At imec, we bridge industry and academia to develop new technologies that improve people’s lives,” said Luc Van den hove, President and CEO of imec. “We are thrilled to begin joint research with the University of Michigan, on their Ann Arbor campus, and grateful for the state’s support for the MSTAR initiative and Governor Whitmer’s leadership. By combining the strengths of our research organizations, we can accelerate technological innovations for the automotive industry, making vehicles safer and more sustainable.”     

“Semiconductors are critical to providing customers the technologies they expect in today’s vehicles,” said Dan Nicholson, General Motors Vice President of Strategic Technology Initiatives. “GM supports investments in talent development and a robust domestic supply of semiconductors to drive U.S. leadership in automotive innovation.” 



Last year, under Governor Whitmer's leadership, the State of Michigan signed an MOU to establish the Michigan Semiconductor Talent and Technology for Automotive Research (MSTAR) initiative, a global semiconductor center of excellence. This public-private partnership includes semiconductor company KLA, Belgium-based technology innovation hub imec, the University of Michigan, Washtenaw Community College, and General Motors.  


  • Develop the talent base and infrastructure necessary to accelerate advanced semiconductor applications for electrification and autonomous mobility, moving the automotive industry forward. 
  • Support development of the semiconductor industry, advance autonomous automotive solutions, electric vehicle research, and create good paying jobs.
  • Develop a workforce trained to meet the needs of the semiconductor ecosystem at all levels from certificates and associate degrees earned at community colleges to advanced degrees.

MSTAR will position Michigan as the recognized global leader in the high-tech automotive semiconductor industry. Through collaboration with educational institutions, including K-12 schools, vocational schools, community colleges, four-year colleges, and research universities, MSTAR will create a Midwest-based skilled talent pipeline for the future of chip manufacturing. Additionally, it will offer training and retraining programs to prepare the current workforce for emerging careers. The center will also provide physical collaboration spaces, laboratories, training facilities, and incubator funding for related startups. The organization intends to pursue federal CHIPS Act funding to accelerate impact. 


Michigan, a Global Semiconductor Hub 

Top five state for R&D, top ten semiconductor workforce and top five electric vehicle battery workforce.  

State has secured major investments and expansions from leading semiconductor chip companies: 

  • KLA: global semiconductor equipment leader with established second headquarters in Ann Arbor, with more than 600 employees and long-term growth plans in the area.
  • Hemlock: one of the world’s largest producers of polysilicon breaks ground on $375 million new facility in Thomas Township, creating 170 j
  • SK Siltron CSS: semiconductor wafer manufacturer building $300 million facility in Bay City, creating 150 jobs. Biden-Harris administration announced an additional $544 million loan to expand footprint in Michigan, creating an additional 200
  • indie Semiconductor: leading automotive semiconductor and software platform designer establishing facility in Auburn Hills, creating 180 jobs.
  • Calumet Electronics: component manufacturer for semiconductor chips expands in Calumet Township, creating 80 jobs.
  • Imec: world leader in semiconductor R&D announces MOU with University of Michigan.


Biden-Harris Administration’s Investments in Michigan’s Emerging Industries 

Under Biden-Harris administration, private companies have announced $28 billion of private investment commitments in emerging industries including: 

  • $23.9 billion to build electric vehicles and batteries
  • $756.2 million to build semiconductors and electronics

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

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