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38 PCB007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2019 turing, Calumet understands that its workers are its greatest asset. Calumet is growing its workforce, and its training programs to pro- vide long-term career paths for workers and early-career engineers. While we recognize these laudable achieve- ments, there is plenty more to do for U.S. workers. In today's advanced manufacturing facilities, workers have less interaction with manual tools and greater reliance on comput- er-managed machinery. More and more, low- skilled jobs will be replaced by automation as companies try to keep pace with overseas com- petitors on costs and efficiencies. It is critical that employers and organizations help upskill and train workers to work alongside machines. To solve today's and tomorrow's workforce challenges, we need to accelerate the growth of industry-credentialing programs that are most closely aligned the workplace needs. Within electronics manufacturing, we have seen that industry credentials are as valuable—and in some cases, more valuable than high school or college diplomas—because industry-creden- tialing programs reflect the needs of employ- ers. Workers who obtain credentials are more likely to secure work and be successful in their new positions. To ensure credential- ing programs match in- dustry needs, IPC has implemented a jobs task analysis (JTA), which identifies the core compe- tencies and skillsets need- ed to perform every role in the industry. Our skills audit reveals that too of- ten, today's manufactur- ing workers lack essential knowledge and skills, in- cluding a foundation in math, basic technology, and problem-solving. By knowing the traits needed for workers' success, we can make changes to our credentialing program, which now serve over 100,000 individuals a year and receives input from leading electronics companies and IPC members, like L3 Technologies, General Elec- tric, Raytheon, and TTM Technologies. IPC is also reaching out to the emerging workforce with the IPC Education Founda- tion, which makes connections between our industry and students in high schools, techni- cal schools, and universities by participating in STEM events, sponsoring curriculum in high school electronics programs, and providing programs that teach students the how-tos of electronics assembly. By following the model of Calumet Electron- ics, and by reaching out to the future of our workforce by sponsoring a myriad of educa- tional opportunities for students, we can so- lidify the strength of the electronics industry for decades to come. PCB007 Dr. John Mitchell is president and CEO of IPC–Association Connecting Electronics Industries. To read past columns or contact Mitchell, click here.

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