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MAY 2023 I SMT007 MAGAZINE 9 same place we've always been, or does it feel more dire now? As you read his interview with Marc Carter, I'll let you be the judge. Nashua has recognized the steep mountain to climb and is doing what it can to address the challenge. is group of educators responded quickly to a local industry need, but saw the potential to expand the program and turn out a better trained workforce. Here is my point: e lack of labor pool for electronics manufacturing is a much larger problem than simply having enough bodies to hire. is is a STEM and vocational pro- gram challenge, a need for skilled labor even if they're working on the manufacturing floor. As our customers' designs become increas- ingly smaller and more complex, our factories, machinery, processes, and staff must evolve to match these needs. It's not just bodies to stand at machines; our workers need to be critical thinkers and technical problem solvers. Our May issue is just the launching pad for what will surely be a more detailed and nuanced discussion in future issues. Here, I include the interview between Marc Carter and Jim Flis. I also share some best practices from Tara Dunn and Ron Lasky. In the future, we'll be looking to a semiconductor substrates facility and an OEM manufacturer of automation equipment as they share their insights into creative solu- tions and best practices for recruiting, hiring, and retaining local talent. (Hint: It's all about skill building in the recruitment process itself. Already trained or skilled? You jump to the front of the line.) Additionally, I include an interview with Bob Duke, who's now running a global sourcing division at American Standard Circuits. While supply chain issues aren't as dire as the past cou- ple of years, it's still a direct financial and com- petitive issue for most EMS companies. Bob addresses some of those concerns, and kicks off a new I-Connect007 monthly column, which will publish in our daily newsletter starting this month. We also welcome new columnist Mike Konrad, vice president of communications at SMTA. In this first column, he addresses several questions on reliability in harsh environments, and in the future, he will be talking with other subject matter experts on a host of topics. Wel- come to both of you! SMT007 References 1. "Lorain County Community College's Success- ful MEMS Program," interview by the I-Connect007 editorial team, SMT007 Magazine, December 2020. Nolan Johnson is managing editor of SMT007 Magazine. Nolan brings 30 years of career experience focused almost entirely on electronics design and manufacturing. To contact Johnson, click here.

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