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84 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2021 working on identifying and driving new talent into the industry. A variety of pipeline pro- grams are in use or in development to increase interest in a career in electronics by provid- ing accurate information to students, parents, teachers, and guidance counselors at the high school level. We are also collaborating with schools to develop and offer basic skill training classroom curricula and online programs covering basic electronics skills. In the near future, we will be offering these students the opportunity to gain IPC badges and credentials that identify their competencies for potential employers. A key goal of this initiative is to spark an interest in electronics careers and increase the electron- ics industry's chances for obtaining new talent. IPCEF is already working with member com- panies that have generously volunteered to offer tours to students and a firsthand look at the high-tech environment in their local facili- ties. We are looking to expand this program to help connect students who go through these programs with potential jobs in the industry. Onboarding Training Programs Finding new talent is just the first step. Onboarding training programs are the founda- tion of a quality training system. IPC is work- ing with industry to develop engaging, effec- tive, and efficient onboarding programs that help bring new workers up to full productiv- ity quickly, while also increasing knowledge retention. But onboarding talent is not the end of the line. To retain talent in the industry we must turn jobs into careers. We can accom- plish this by identifying career pathways and growth opportunities and providing programs to help our workers achieve their full poten- tial. In a tight labor market, it can be difficult to sell a candidate on starting as an operator and remaining as an operator. rough the Work- force Development program, IPC seeks to help employers identify the members of their team with the most potential, and guide them into more advanced roles, helping the industry with the jobs they need today while building a base of talent for the future. e rate of technological innovation is grow- ing at an exponential rate. is requires a new approach to the challenge of continually upskilling our existing talent. Upskilling pro- grams help organizations improve productiv- ity and employee morale, creating an environ- ment where employees continuously learn, grow, and feel valued. Organizations that have implemented the IPC Workforce Development program report that staff members learn more in less time (some identified a 50% decrease in train- ing times) and retain what they learned. We continue to work closely with industry sub- ject matter experts to ensure that we provide engaging educational experiences that focus on the right information taught to the right depth and in the right context. One of the first career pathways tackled by IPC was PCB designers. PCB designers were retiring at an alarming rate and the industry didn't have the proper mechanisms in place to train new talent. IPC created a series of pro- grams that lasted six to eight weeks, with entry level, mid-level, and advanced/specialized pro- grams that cover the spectrum of PCB design knowledge and skill. ese programs blend the convenience of online distance learning with the practicality of a project-based curriculum. Every week, students are tasked with complet- ing a real-world design project that applies the skills they learned. ey then receive feedback We are looking to expand this program to help connect students who go through these programs with potential jobs in the industry.

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