Workforce Development

California DREAMS is focused on providing experiential education to learners of all levels and educational backgrounds. With seven nanofabrication laboratories across Southern California, we are uniquely situated to bridge the shortfall in cleanroom technicians and engineers of all levels.

For information about any of the programs, contact Project Manager Lida Dimitropoulou.

Undergraduate Microelectronics (ME) Commons Scholars

In 2024, California DREAMS is launching two cohorts of the first ME Commons Scholars. These students will participate in the two-week Cleanroom Gateway (see section below), then will work in the USC John O’Brien Nanofabrication Laboratory for six weeks. In addition to the Cleanroom Gateway skills listed below, students will have the opportunity to work as research assistants on the radio-frequency (RF) technologies under development in the California DREAMS Hub.

For more information, contact Sandeep Gupta, University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering.

Cleanroom Gateway

We are launching a two-week Cleanroom Gateway for adult learners, undergraduate students, and graduate students. This course combines hands-on training with lunch-and-learn sessions to understand the job opportunities and meet decision makers. Participants will:

  • Get a good feel for cleanroom operations and work environment
  • Earn stackable Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) micro-certifications on various laboratory instruments and equipment
  • Learn about obtaining a security clearance and career opportunities
  • Meet defense industry hiring team members
  • Get help with resumé writing and interview processes

Our pilot cohorts will be held in May and June of 2024.

Thank you to our partners MUME Collective and UC Santa Barbara.

For more information, contact MOSIS 2.0 Co-Director Rehan Kapadia.

Discovery Day

California DREAMS is pioneering new ways to provide access for middle- and high-school students to learn about how chips are made and what they do. On Discovery Day, summer camp students tour the cleanroom, ask questions about chip manufacturing, and learn about careers in technology. We are launching our pilot with students from Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).

For more information, contact Charli Kemp at Change the Tune.


It is widely acknowledged that a key enabler of careers in advanced manufacturing is math proficiency. Moreover, middle-school is well-known as a pivotal point when both math identity and skills are formulated and a solid foundation is laid.

California DREAMS is pioneering a new partnership with expertise in community participation, cognition, and software engineering to develop a new paradigm for math instruction. The envisioned platform, Meridio, is based on the idea that learning is more effective in collaboration. California DREAMS is the only ME Commons Hub in the country to extend the K-12 programming to this critical juncture in preparing tomorrow’s workforce.

For more information, contact Ben Nye, University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies.

Tracking and evaluation (T&E)

California DREAMS is committed to generating measurable outcomes and rapid feedback loops. We are the only Hub in the country to include a robust research effort to inform and learn from programmatic efforts. Our T&E partners include: