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20 PCB007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2022 Feature Article by the I-Connect007 Editorial Team To better understand what's needed for upskilling your labor force in today's job cli- mate, we reached out to Sustone Circuits, a PCB fabricator in the Pacific Northwest. We posed our set of questions to individuals in three departments to hear their perspectives depending on what area they work in. e fol- lowing are the questions and answers from Michael Connella, operations manager; Matt Stevenson, vice president of sales and mar- keting; and Debra Coburn, human resources manager. Q: ere has been a lot of talk about the need for fabricators to "upskill" their employees to be ready for the technologies of tomor- row. What skill sets do you see lacking in the fab community? Training the Future Manufacturing Labor Force Michael Connella: We are seeing a larger part of the workforce with experience and "tribal knowledge" of circuit board manufacturing either retiring or moving on to other career paths. I have seen this throughout our indus- try. Without that in-house knowledge, there are fewer opportunities to glean best practice process control to teach a new generation of line operators and engineers. Matt Stevenson: Most of the skills needed to be successful in manufacturing can be taught on the job. Having the ability to understand logic, ordered process steps, reading and under- standing documentation, cause and effect, and basic math concepts are some of the inherent skills that are needed in manufacturing—and less common in 2022 than 10 years ago.

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