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PCB-May2017

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16 The PCB Magazine • May 2017 by Patty Goldman I-CONNECT007 In preparation for this month's topic, espe- cially what companies in our industry are cur- rently experiencing when it comes to finding and hiring the right people, I sought out Pe- ter Bigelow, president and CEO of circuit board fabricator IMI Inc. We spoke in February at IPC APEX EXPO. Patty Goldman: Peter, let's talk a little bit about what it's like to find and hire people nowadays. We've devoted this entire issue to the "Help Want- ed" theme. It all plays in: training, education, and finding qualified people. So, what's happening? Peter Bigelow: There are several aspects to it. The first is that I can't believe we're alone in having a reasonably seasoned, shall we say, staff. People we've had for years. They know what they're doing. We've forgotten what we've taught them to be able to get them where they are, because much of it is tribal knowledge hav- ing been in the industry for years, been in our company for years, and migrated from one plat- form of equipment or technology to another. In some cases, taken old technology and reapplied to new. Part of the problem is that you're deal- ing with an unknown. We've got people, but we don't even know what they know. All we know is that they're doing their job. Then you have the second part, where some of those people want to retire or are coming to the age for retirement. You have to say, "OK, I need to bring in new people. Where do I find new people?" We're up in the Boston area. We allegedly have a great work force. We have a very low unemployment rate, but it's difficult to get people who want to be in manufactur- ing. It's difficult to get people who want to be in manufacturing that is not biotech, cleanroom type of stuff. We've got plating lines, and we've got drill rooms. Yes, we've got a cleanroom, but you know everyone doesn't work in that clean- room. So that's a tough work environment to sell when you're interviewing people. Then you have what I call the millennial is- sue, which is that their lifestyle is very differ- ent. We expect people to show up at a certain time and work a certain number of hours. At IMI, we've gone through several people who FEATURE INTERVIEW

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