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22 The PCB Magazine • May 2017 things I love about this industry is that it looks so simple, but it is not. Goldman: It is not. Of course, you've got that mov- ing target as things become more complicated and more complex. Bigelow: Everything tightens up, and so you now have to be making 3-mil line and space, which is kind of a standard in the industry, where it was seven or eight mils 10–15 years ago. That keeps changing, and yet you're using, in many cases, the same equipment. You have to adapt that. If you're replacing with newer equipment, which does things "automagically," it creates an oppor - tunity for, "What else can you do with it?" which is a new process. It's a very dynamic environment. Goldman: On the issue of training, there was a community college, Saddlebrook I think, that had PCB type classes. Bigelow: I'm not familiar with that. But again, 20 years ago, when I was in Connecticut we put together an educational collaborative. That ed- ucational collaborative was with a combina- tion of companies that were assembly compa- nies, OEMs, and we were fabricators. We had a couple of machining companies there as well. We worked with a local community college, we took IPC courses, and we took whatever the machining association courses were. We took things like English as a second language, blue- prints for idiots, and things like that. We would hold classes with instructors, and we would do it at one of the collaborative mem- ber companies. Each company could send one or two people, so you didn't have to clear off your shop floor to get certified in various areas. We did that, and the community college was getting rather excited about this being a pos- sible curriculum base. Unfortunately, at that point in time, it wasn't a large enough need for that community college to continue. There were other needs that they had. As our industry is so geographically spread out, today it would be very difficult to do such a thing. Goldman: So many shops have closed too. Now it gets even more difficult, because there isn't that little community of printed circuit board facilities within a reasonable radius. Bigelow: Unless you can get someone like the University of Phoenix to do something, where it's an online course, and then you might have an option, because it's no longer contingent upon being within a local area of the employer. Goldman: Yes, then you don't have to worry about the geographical area. That's an interesting thought. That's something the IPC could perhaps spearhead. Bigelow: Absolutely. Once you have the learn- ing base, and you have it digitized, that's how you could distribute it. Goldman: Whenever that person wants to take a particular class, there it is. It's not like everybody meets at a certain time, necessarily. Bigelow: None of us want to be like a Foxconn, where if your employees aren't working, they have to be studying. But the other side of hir- ing people is making them realize that, "I don't care what job you take, whether you're a bank- er, whether you're in construction, or whether you are in electronic manufacturing. You need to be on your own, spending some time to bet- ter educate, better train yourself." That's very important. Goldman: You don't move up automatically. Al- ways be bettering yourself. Make yourself as valu- able as possible to the company that you work for. Bigelow: It's a big issue, and it's an issue which we're going to have to deal with and will be hearing a lot more about in the next few years. It's one that is a common challenge for every- one in the industry. All through the supply chain we have that same issue. Goldman: Thanks so much, Peter. I really appreci- ate talking with you on this. Bigelow: Thank you, Patty. PCB "HELP WANTED" WITH IMI'S PETER BIGELOW

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