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18 The PCB Magazine • May 2017 say they want more hours, they want to have that kind of structure, and when they get into it, they find it really difficult. "Do I really have to be at work at 7:00 or 8:00 in the morning? I can't take an extra half hour for lunch because I want to do something?" It's a culture shock. It's not just a culture shock for management, it's for the coworkers. Then they're saying, "Well how come they get to?" and "Why can't I?" You get into those kinds of issues. Then you get into the skill issue where you have people coming in that you must teach. In some cases, it's the basics: "Can you read a draw- ing? Can you read a process sheet? Can you fol- low the process sheet? Will you follow the pro- cess sheet consistently?" They take shortcuts, they get creative, and you have to teach them that this is not the place to get creative. It's a place to follow the process and raise your hand when you have a question. So when you put all those together, then yes, it's awfully difficult to get good employees. At IMI, we've gone through the evolution of placing ads; that doesn't work. You have some people who are walk-ins, or word of mouth. That helps some. Then, where do you go next? You go to the vo-tech schools. At the vo-tech schools, everybody seems to want, again, not to be in our type of industry, or they don't have the right skills. They're more machinist skills than say, electronics skills. We're beginning to talk a little bit with the universities to see if we can maybe bring in a summer employee. We don't have a formal co- op program in place, but we'd like to see if we can develop anyone who might be interested in manufacturing. It's a real problem. Goldman: It's an ongoing issue, and probably not getting any better. Bigelow: We also have training issues with ex- isting employees where different types of skill- sets in technology are necessary. We've got a lot of people who know their job really well, but the increased level of verification/valida- tion that our customers expect is forcing them to learn how to manipulate Excel spreadsheets and Word documents. Goldman: Not always things they want to learn, I would guess. Bigelow: Exactly. They have a tough time re- alizing that, and realize they already are using those skills, in many cases, at home. Instead of doing a letter to a friend or relative, they're now doing it to a customer. They need to use our format so it's consistent, and upload a pic- ture into a PowerPoint so you can get it to a cus- tomer so they can see what's going on. You've got those skillsets, and that's the problem when you have a seasoned group. Now you've got new technology where they may or may not be as comfortable going in that direction. All the way around, it's a problem. It's been there; it continues. Where does that bring us? What we are doing is realizing that we must start embracing change in how to train, how to hire, and how to get people on board. We don't need tons, but we need some good people. We need to look at different types of training op- tions. We do IPC-600 training. That type of stuff we were doing internally and that works well. Peter Bigelow "HELP WANTED" WITH IMI'S PETER BIGELOW

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