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PCB-May2017

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32 The PCB Magazine • May 2017 Recruiting and retaining talent is becom- ing a monumental task in our industry. Look around at trade shows; there is a palpable de- crease in the number of young people who are interested in engineering and/or manufactur- ing. With the advent of the IT age, the prospec- tive workforce has moved on to the next nat- ural step in the technological progression. As of the 2011 Census report, only 32% of STEM workers had engineering occupations. One can only assume, with outsourcing and cheaper costs overseas, that figure has dropped precipi - tously over the last six years. A lot of this has to do with the defocus- ing on vocational and trade courses in school. Students' interests in engineering aren't being cultivated sufficiently enough to survive past graduation. It's not as though the interest isn't there initially. According to a 2014 Ca - reerBuilder survey [1] , the most popular career choice for high school students is engi- neering. However, other studies suggest that as much as 60% of students who begin high school interested in STEM subjects end up changing their minds by the time they gradu- ate. This, combined with the statistic from the 2011 Census report, leads to one conclusion: there is a glaring shortage of young American engineers. American high schools aren't teaching stu - dents about circuits or manufacturing process- es. It's probably safe to say that a majority of these youngsters don't realize how important these things are to their precious cellphones and tablets. In fact, in the same way that much of our work comes from Asia, so too does the workforce. A salary that would be scoffed at by an American graduate might be worth a small fortune to his international counter - part and their fami- ly. Interest among by Sam Sangani PNC INC. Recruiting and Retaining Young Talent FEATURE COLUMN: THE SUM OF ALL PARTS

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