State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143) recently visited the 296,604 square-foot manufacturing facility operated by ASML at 77 Danbury Road.

The factory designs and manufactures high-value modules and optical components for ASML, which is a company based in Holland that delivers hardware, software and services used by all the world’s top chipmakers to mass produce patterns on silicon. At the Wilton facility that employs 1,300 people, engineers manufacture and devote significant research and development to extreme ultraviolet lithography, which is ASML’s patterning technology that enables the creation of thinner circuits on microchips, allowing for smaller chips that hold more data. These microchips are used by companies worldwide to make common electronic devices like smartphones, computers, and vehicle controls.

Lavielle toured the facility with Bill Amalfitano, General Manager and Vice President of the Wilton facility, and Vic Crudo, Director of the Wilton factory, Assembly and Test. She learned about how ASML uses lithography – a critical manufacturing step in defining the structures that form the electrical circuits on a chip – to shrink transistors on microchips. She also toured the tightly-controlled cleanroom of the facility, where engineers work on critical sub-systems and components shipped to the Netherlands for integration into ASML’s immersion and EUV lithography systems, and metrology tools.

“While many Connecticut businesses have struggled in the past decade, ASML’s steady and consistent growth in Wilton and continuing ability to create so many jobs is a fascinating success story that intrigued me,”  Lavielle said in a statement. “At the same time, ASML actually has difficulty finding enough qualified engineers, advanced machinists, and other technological professionals to fill its employment needs. It is a perfect example of the type of company that our technical schools, community colleges, and universities should be actively working with to develop curricula and programs that prepare students for available jobs with excellent long-term career prospects.”

ASML maintains relationships with several local colleges including UConn, Fairfield University and Norwalk Community College, engaging in joint university research projects and student intern programs. It also partners with the Connecticut Pre-Engineering Program (CPEP) to promote Science Technology Engineering Math education to middle school students.

“The state Departments of Labor, Education, and Higher Education need to work more closely together to ensure that our educational system is meeting the recruitment needs of businesses in Connecticut and thus helping our students build careers here,” said  Lavielle, who is ranking member of the legislature’s Education Committee. “We have just passed a fully bipartisan bill, HB 5448, in the Education Committee that requires tighter, better documented collaboration on this front, and I hope that it will move these efforts forward faster. Aligning educational programs and workforce needs should be a key element in any plan to attract and retain businesses and restore Connecticut’s economy.

Lavielle represents the 143rd district, which includes parts of Norwalk, Westport, and Wilton. She is the ranking member of the General Assembly’s Education Committee and a member of the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee and the Transportation Committee.