Amid the corn, soybean and sugar beet fields blanketing much of Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Region sits one of the state’s least-known high-tech companies: Hemlock Semiconductor Operations (HSC).
HSC is the only maker of ultra-pure polysilicon headquartered in the United States. Building on 50-plus years of experience and technology, it provides the raw material that enables customers to produce high-tech electronics and solar panels, competing globally as the U.S.’s largest producer of ultra-pure polysilicon.
Polysilicon is a crucial component of cell phones and computers as well as the technology of the future, where the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence meet on new creations such as autonomous vehicles. It also is moving the world toward a greener future by supplying the fast-growing solar power industry. Martin Waymire is proud to help this cutting-edge company that, like us, is working to make Michigan a better place.
FIFTY YEARS OF INNOVATION AND EXPERIENCE
The HSC plant was built by the Dow Corning Corporation in 1961 in the farm fields surrounding the unincorporated community of Hemlock in Saginaw County to lessen the chance of vibration, which could disturb the creation of the long rods of ultra-pure polysilicon created at the 250-acre plant. Now owned partly by DowDuPont, HSC is one of the major employers in the Great Lakes Bay Region, providing 700 good-paying engineering and high-tech jobs and 800 contract positions for workers who break the polysilicon rods into sizes used by the electronics and solar industries.
It also is a major contributor to the Great Lakes Bay Region, supporting numerous community programs and projects. HSC empowers its employees to make a difference in the region by actively volunteering for organizations ranging from Habitat for Humanity to the United Way. Recently, two longtime HSC employees, Lynn and Linda Gruber, were named the 2018 Junior Achievement Volunteers of the year for teaching personal finance each semester at Hemlock High School, something they’ve done for the past five years.
JOBS THAT KEEP HIGHLY SKILLED WORKERS IN MICHIGAN
Hemlock recruits graduates and interns from universities within Michigan and from those in neighboring states such as Purdue, helping attract and keep high-tech talent in the state. It also works closely with nearby Delta Community College, Saginaw Valley State University and jobs programs to make sure area residents have the skills they need to work in the high-tech jobs of the future.
Each year, it provides scholarships to Michigan Technological University’s Engineering Summer Youth Program for area students. More than 50 students from 17 different schools in the Great Lakes Bay Region applied to attend this summer’s week-long program, with 33 winning full scholarships. Students attending were able to fully immerse themselves in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and explore careers in engineering and related disciplines. One day, they may be HSC employees!
A STRONG EMPHASIS ON PUBLIC SAFETY
HSC puts safety first, both for its employees and for its neighbors. It has established a service to notify surrounding neighbors of safety issues and created close ties with local authorities to establish strong emergency response plans.
It also is a family-friendly place to work in a region with small-town values and lots of ways to play outdoors. HSC leaders, scientists and engineers are leaders in the high-tech world of ultra-pure polysilicon, and all employees work to have a positive effect on the world by providing the materials that enable clean, efficient energy production and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
HSC doesn’t just sit in the middle of a field – it’s outstanding in its field. Martin Waymire is helping others know about this quiet gem in Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay region.