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GlobalFoundries' newest investment: Paying off student debt

U.S.-based employees of GlobalFoundries will soon be able to receive tax-free financial assistance from the company to pay down student-loan debt, the chipmaker announced last week.

The new benefit program is part of what the company described as a multimillion-dollar investment to strengthen the semiconductor workforce by mitigating the cost of higher education and training.

“In the semiconductor industry, poised to double again over the next decade, the blueprint for tomorrow's innovations is directly linked to the talent we cultivate today,” Tom Caulfield, GlobalFoundries’ president and CEO, said in a statement. “By enhancing our employee benefit programs, especially through our student loan assistance, GF is not only strengthening and building its own talent pipeline but also striving to set an industry benchmark. It's this very talent that is critical to delivering the essential semiconductors the world relies on to live, work and connect.”

Set to begin in early 2024, the program will allow employees to receive a lifetime total of $28,500 toward their student debt, the company said. It is open to U.S. employees with “qualified” student loans for any degree type and credit-based certificate programs offered by American universities and colleges.

A company spokesperson said she could not share further details on the program’s eligibility guidelines at this time.

GlobalFoundries, headquartered in Malta, already offers employee benefits that includes tuition reimbursement, paid parental leave, a fitness stipend and a child care subsidy, the company said.

“GlobalFoundries’ new student loan repayment program will not only drive the local Capital Region economy forward by attracting talented workers, but it will also retain the talented students and professionals who already call the Empire State home and are vital as we grow New York into a major global hub for semiconductor manufacturing and innovation,” U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer said in a statement. “By enabling employees to pay off their loans faster, GlobalFoundries’ new program will attract the powerhouse workforce we need to further transform the Capital Region and Upstate NY into a leader for semiconductor manufacturing.”

GlobalFoundries employs 2,500 full-time staff locally, which means it is one of the largest private-sector employers in the region, according to the List.

The company has secured local approvals and has purchased land adjacent to its existent Malta complex for another potential chip factory.

In September the company announced it had applied for federal funding through the CHIPS and Science Act to expand its U.S. facilities. The act has made available more than $50 billion for domestic semiconductor research, development, manufacturing and workforce development.

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