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FEBRUARY 2020 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 27 and troubleshoot challenges in the workplace in a vari- ety of ways, and how they do so impacts the employee expe- rience. A successful environment cham- pions collaboration to lessen the stress placed on employees closest to the supply chain or any other production issues at hand. In Bangalore, India, I saw how de- liberate and collabor- ative employee interaction could solve product processing challenges. For more arduous job tasks—such as accom- modating factory capacity, maintaining vari- ous product delivery schedules, and facilitating cross-department collaboration—one company systemized its procedure review. When they encounter an issue, operators stop the pro- duction process, brainstorm solutions, bring these potential solutions to a quality assur- ance team and then implement the changes through a management system in place, foster- ing a new type of learning environment with its people and collaborative problem-solving at the core. The success this brings isn't just apparent through workers' happiness and loyalty; their mantra of "zero defects," helps ensure their products demonstrate the high- est quality standards through their production process (Figures 2–3). Conclusion: Lessons can be learned on a global stage to ensure company efficiencies and worker satisfaction for future growth. Seven million jobs unfilled is a staggering number, but U.S. economic growth and in- novation hinges on addressing this workforce need. Companies are stepping up through com- mitments to hire interested—but untrained— workers, employee initiatives geared toward career progression, and a C-suite focus on find- ing ways to retain workers. These initiatives are helping to drive record growth in the elec- tronics industry. But the U.S. industry should take note of the lessons I saw around the world. For too long, countries have been resistant to learn lessons from others. But with our ever-shrink- ing globe and ever-expanding workforce, our neighbors have solutions that should be embraced. PCB007 References 1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Labor Force Statistics From the Current Population Survey," February 3, 2020. 2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Table A: Job Open- ings, Hires, and Total Separations by Industry, Seasonally Adjusted," January 17, 2020. 3. Accenture Manufacturing Skills and Training Study, conducted in collaboration with The Manufacturing Insti- tute, "Out of Inventory—Skills Shortage Threatens Growth for U.S. Manufacturing," 2014. Dr. John Mitchell is president and CEO of IPC—Association Connecting Electronics Industries. To read past columns or contact him, click here. Figures 2 and 3: Molex Taiwan serves the automotive, consumer, datacom, industrial, medical, networking, and telecommunications industries. Molex staff embodies the mantra of "zero defects," ensuring high quality throughout the production process.

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