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18 I-CONNECT007 I SHOW & TELL MAGAZINE 2018 by Andy Shaughnessy I-CONNECT007 IPC APEX EXPO is over, and I'm back in Atlanta freezing again. I think I could get used to the weather in San Diego. It was nice to be at an event where everyone was bullish on the industry and the economy in general. I don't think I spoke with one per- son who had a negative outlook during the entire week. After quite a few years of "cau- tious optimism" at IPC APEX EXPO, where managers would actually whisper that they'd had a record quarter, the tide has changed. This year's show just felt good. Now it's OK to say that you're having a good year, and I heard that quite a few times. A lot of compa- nies in our industry are hiring now; with 4% unemployment, some positions have been vacant for months. If you're looking for a job, now is a great time for you. One thing I couldn't help noticing at IPC APEX EXPO 2018: This show usually resem- bles a baby boomer reunion, with most exhibi- tors and attendees clocking in around my age or older, but this year, there were more young people on the show floor than I've ever seen at this show. We all keep saying we'd like to get more young people to take a look at our industry. Well, Nancy Jaster, IPC's design program man- ager, did something about it. She is the driv- ing force behind IPC's new STEM Outreach program for high school students. Kids from two San Diego schools, Canyon Crest Academy and the Preuss School, were all over the show floor, checking out pick-and-place machines and chatting with exhibitors and attendees. These kids were in awe, the way we all were at our first trade show. (Do you even remember what year you attended your first trade show?) Nancy hopes to expand the STEM Outreach IPC APEX EXPO Wrap-Up: The Year of the Young People

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