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Diversity In Action

Samsung Austin Semiconductor builds a future in Texas

Hard work, giving back and even some fun add to the unique culture at this Korean-owned company. Recruitment and building the pipeline are top priorities


Samsung Austin Semiconductor (SAS) is a business of the Korean multinational parent company Samsung Electronics. SAS is hiring tech pros.

“SAS has a variety of IT positions available for candidates with computer science or MIS degrees,” says Charmaine Smith Winters, director of human resources. “Our positions include database administrators and programmers responsible for installing, migrating, supporting and maintaining software. We prefer candidates with Oracle, SQL, and/or Unix expertise.”

For engineering roles, candidates should have an engineering degree in an IT-related field, project management experience, and experience with different types of software packages and methodologies like Agile, Winters says. “For technicians, we look for a two-year degree from a technical school or four years of related experience, the ability to troubleshoot problems, and a solid understanding of electronics. It’s helpful if the candidate has worked in a clean-room environment, as they will spend much of their time inside the manufacturing area.”

Strengthening the employee pipeline
The company’s Systems LSI division has seen consistent growth since its launch three years ago, and that growth is expected to continue, Winters says.

“In 2010, we were asked to hire 600 employees in just four months. That sounds like an impossible task, but my team accomplished the goal,” she recalls. “But I noticed that we were draining the market of talent very quickly. We needed to do something to get involved, sooner than college, to get students interested in high-tech jobs. Our future depends on having a surplus of good engineers and technicians available.”

That led SAS to get deeply involved in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) school initiatives, according to Winters. “We work with many local school districts to bring their STEM students to SAS for a day of high-tech learning. During that day the students get a chance to see inside our fabrication plant, learn how to build a part of a semiconductor, and gown up to see what it’s like to work in the clean room. They also get a chance to interview some of our new college graduates and ask questions about their jobs, education and backgrounds,” she says.

SAS has also sponsored High-Tech University through the SEMI Foundation for the past two years. The program is an activity of Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International, the trade association for the semiconductor industry. High-Tech U offers secondary school students intensive three or four-day workshops at the company, showing them potential career paths and education requirements to meet their goals. “It’s fun for us to reach out,” Winters says.

Additionally, SAS engineers go out to schools to meet with students and talk to them about their jobs. “Each person finds these types of activities very rewarding as we look to build our future here in Austin. We also have a few managers who are on the boards of the local STEM school programs. They help build the curriculum for these programs to ensure that the skills employers will need in the future are being considered.”

Employee recruitment
“Experienced hires are important to our organization, since experience from the outside can bring innovative ideas or solutions to SAS,” says Winters. “Much of our experienced recruiting is done by our staffing team. We post our jobs on the Samsung Career page, the Samsung Austin Semiconductor LinkedIn page, and several other job boards. We also use social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter.”

SAS typically hires fifty to seventy-five new college graduates each year through its college orientation program. “We work closely with the college career services centers to post our positions and attend career fairs on campus,” Winters says. “We’re often asked to attend fraternity or sorority events for engineers on campus, and we provide an overview of the company and information on the jobs that we have available.” SAS also offers summer internships, says Winters.

Hard at work and play
Because SAS is a Korean company, it naturally has a unique culture full of diverse backgrounds, ideas and thought processes, Winters says. “We believe in the values created by our employees: integrity, respect, teamwork, quality, learning and family. ‘Family’ includes giving back to our community, not only through donations, but through our time and dedication.”

SAS employees volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. “SAS teams go out here in Austin four or five times a year,” Winters says. Another community outreach activity is the annual Rosedale Ride, a benefit for a local school that helps children with disabilities. “It’s a bicycle ride that we’ve sponsored for the past sixteen years,” Winters explains. “People come in from all over and proceeds go to the school directly.”

The once-a-year Dragon Boat races sponsored by the Austin Asian American Cultural Center are a highlight of the company’s community outreach efforts. The races take place over a single weekend, but to participate, teams have to train for eight weekends. “The Dragon Boat races are just one example of how SAS fosters a diverse environment with so many different cultures merging into one location,” says Winters. “It also shows that we work hard, but we play hard too!”

D/C




Samsung Austin Semiconductor
www.samsung.com

Headquarters: Seoul, South Korea (global); Austin, TX (U.S.)
Employees: Korea, 38,800; other locations worldwide, 10,700; Austin, TX, 2,300
Business: Manufacturer of logic components for digital devices, tablets, smartphones and other mobile platforms

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