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24 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2020 help create a global market in which electron- ics-based products and services work together reliably, making changes easier to navigate. We're vigorously addressing the skilled work- er shortage issue, focusing on how we create a more tech-savvy workforce for the jobs of the future. IPC has decades of experience in facilitating worker credentialing programs; our global network of IPC-approved training cen- ters educated more than 110,000 people in 2019 alone. We are now working to not only refine our existing credentialing programs but create new ones to meet future and current needs. We created the IPC Education Foundation with a mission to expand our offerings for stu- dents in middle schools, high schools, and col- leges so that we can attract the next generation of talent. Altogether, we are aiming to create millions of new skilled workforce opportuni- ties over the next decade globally, and I invite you to join us and become an IPC Workforce Champion. Another issue of concern that comes up in conversation is how to strengthen the global supply chain. Many of you have supply chains that span the globe for materials, technology, and talent. Our industry has a footprint in more than 75 countries and a presence in al- most every nation and every sector of the $90 trillion global economy. But along with a global supply chain comes a patchwork of government policies that af- fect our operations, from taxes to tariffs, envi- ronmental regulations, etc. IPC advocates for a fair, open, rules-based international trading system so that you can optimize your business to meet the needs of your customers through- out the world. We also work for environmental, health, and safety rules that are science-based, cost-effec- tive, and consistent across international bor- ders. You can learn more about IPC advocacy on our website, and I encourage you to take our online survey about government policy is- sues that concern you most. We need to foster partnerships between di- verse players of all kinds, including between government and industry, large companies and small, and actors in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and beyond. About 80% of IPC members are small- and medium-sized businesses. Oth- er members are larger household names. Com- panies at both ends of the size spectrum need each other. Perhaps you've heard the expression, "If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together." At IPC, bringing the industry together is what we're all about. It's been our pride and joy for more than 60 years. To the extent that we come together and work together—despite the winds of change blowing all around us—we will go farther and faster together. IPC will be your partner and supporter through all the changes that lie ahead. Come join us on that journey. PCB007 Dr. John Mitchell is president and CEO of IPC. To read past columns or contact him, click here.

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