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August 2017 • SMT Magazine 47 lice officer. Both would be considered millenni- als and both are not shy about calling out slack- ers, no matter what generation. Another shining example is Davina McDonnell, director of Mar- keting at Saline Lectronics Inc. Davina is author of a great series of articles at I-Connect007 ti- tled, Millennials in Manufacturing, which is spot- lighting the amazing work being done by mil- lennials at her company. So…there is hope! It's up to us to cultivate the next generation of manufacturers. Get involved with your lo- cal school districts and campaign for change. Let them know the jobs that are available in the real world, and the skill set needed from their students to do those jobs. Be vocal about the fact that col - lege is not the only choice, that the trades and skilled general factory work is just as honorable as college. Offer internships for high school grad- uates and work with local technical colleges and universities to do the same. I had a great inter- view with IPC President Dr. John Mitchell a few months ago, and he discussed some exciting new programs they are launching to train people in the skill set needed to work in the EMS industry. As usual, now more than ever, it's up to us to ensure the sustainability of our industry. I will close as I opened, with the statement that manufacturers can no longer afford to wait. SMT Editor's Note: Portions of this column appeared in Steve's column on a related topic in the May issue of The PCB Magazine. Steve Williams is the president of The Right Approach Consulting LLC. To read past columns, or to contact Williams, click here. THE EMS SKILLS GAP EPIDEMIC • Must possess the ability to comprehend moderately complex written and verbal instructions (in English) • Ability to write simple correspondence • Ability to effectively present information in one-on-one and small group situations to customers, clients, and other employees of the organization • Must have the ability to perform basic math functions including addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of whole numbers • Have some understanding of basic metric measurements and tolerances as they apply to dimensional measurements of manufacturing processes and drawings • Ability to apply common sense and good judgment to carry out detailed, moderately complex written or verbal instructions • Competent at maintaining a neat and sanitized plant processing environment by religiously following cleanliness standards • Documented success in effectively cleaning, repairing and maintaining factory machinery and equipment to ensure smooth operations • Focused on ensuring that the quality of the end-product meets quality control standards by ensuring that each process is monitored closely. This is not rocket science and certainly not too much to ask. So, what do we do? Fortunately, not all young people embrace this mindset, but we must change how, and where, we look for this talent (Figure 3, Skills Gap Variables). You can learn an awful lot about a person before you hire them through social media. If you really listen, the folks that may not be the right candidate for you from a work ethic standpoint will usually let you know that through their social media accounts. Shining ex- amples do exist if you look hard enough. Speak- ing as a totally biased proud dad, I do have some personal experience in this arena. My daughter was a 4-year elite athlete and finished college in 4 years with honors, got a great job and bought a house at age 25. My son spent 4 years in the U.S. Coast Guard and is now about to become a po -

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