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10 PCB007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2022 Feature interview by the I-Connect007 Editorial Team ere's been a lot of talk among PCB manu- facturers about the need to upskill their work- force. But where do you start—do you set up your own program or send staff to third-party training centers? e I-Connect007 Editorial Team recently asked David Hernandez, IPC vice president of education, to weigh in on this topic, and the criteria that goes into creating IPC train- ing programs. In addition to upskilling strat- egies, David also delves into the need for our industry to develop a labor pipeline, as well as the challenges we face in hiring, training, and retaining employees in this industry during a tight labor market. Nolan Johnson: Dave, our conversation today is on upskilling and how the circuit board fabri- cators should be looking at that situation. is is a big issue for the industry as we deal with staffing issues. David Hernandez: We are seeing challenges for companies trying to hire at the operator level, the unskilled or low-skill level, but also see- ing the same challenges at the high-skill levels, like engineering, as well. Now, there are differ- ent challenges in each one, but the consistent theme across the board is that we don't have a pipeline that is feeding talent directly into the industry, and therefore industry is struggling to identify ways to bring in talent. Once they bring in the talent, they're having challenges to onboard and level-set that talent, because they're not pre-trained. ey are also having challenges just keeping talent in the industry. Finally, and it's a big part of what this con- versation is about: Once they have that talent in the industry and they're able to keep them, how are they able to continually upskill them to new technologies, new processes, and best practices? When we talk about these chal- lenges, it's not one thing; it's really a culmina- A Game Plan for Upskilling Your Fab Workforce

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