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Running with the Bulls

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Living on the Fault-Line

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Learning to Survive

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Beating the Bottom Line

Austin Community College Semiconductor Technology Program

Join corresponent Hedrick Smith and meet Jeff Carroll, a 27-year-old former waiter and construction worker, who suddenly woke up to the career potential in the high tech industry blossoming all around him in Austin, Texas. Today, Carroll operates some of the most sophisticated equipment ever invented. He works the night shift in Fab 25, one of America's hottest new computer chip fabrication plants, run by Advanced Micro Devices in Austin, Texas.

The world of high-tech electronics often seems remote and unattainable to millions of ordinary Americans who lack a college degree. And so there are important lessons in how someone like Jeff Carroll finds a niche in this promising world of tomorrow. Jeff and hundreds like him are getting in the high tech door through a special program created at Austin Community College.

In a 13-minute segment on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Correspondent Hedrick Smith, producer David Murdock and Associate Producer Jenny Smith show how industry's crying need for highly skilled workers led Sematech, the computer industry's consortium, to sit down with Austin Community College and come up with a new curriculum that is helping older workers to shift careers and high school graduates to find a pathway into the Information Age economy.

It's part of a nationwide effort, bringing industry and education together to build a highly skilled, modern workforce and to catch up with the demands of the new economy. Today, more than 50 community colleges in 15 state offe the semiconductor technology degree. Nearly 5,000 students are investing their future in the computer chip industry's program, and industry is investing in community colleges as a long-term workforce development strategy.

To learn more, you can read the entire trancript.

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