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30 PCB007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2020 Feature Interview by Nolan Johnson I-CONNECT007 I sat down with the Blackfox team to dis- cuss training strategies as a key part of staffing a manufacturing facility. Al Dill, Sharon Mon- tana-Beard, Jahr Turchan, and Jamie Noland provide guidance on why training is increas- ingly important, why management should be proactive about skills training, and how cur- rent pandemic complications only increase the need for training while simultaneously making training more challenging to deliver. Nolan Johnson: Welcome, ev- eryone! Can you each give a quick introduction? Al Dill: I'm the president and CEO of Blackfox Training. I'm the original founder. I've been with Blackfox since 1996, and I am proud to be here. Sharon Montana-Beard: I'm vice president and director of sales and operations, and I've been here since 1998. The company is doing great, so I'm still glad to be here. Jahr Turchan: I'm the director of veteran af- fairs and advanced manufacturing programs. I've been working in an advisory capacity to Blackfox for a couple of years now, but I've been full time with Blackfox since February of this year. Jamie Noland: I handle marketing, I'm the IT manager and a master IPC Trainer for Blackfox. I've been here for about 13 years. I sit on all of the IPC training committees for the different programs that train and certify people. I also serve as the chair and vice-chair of a few com- mittees as well. Johnson: Our topic is training and how it con- tributes to the four pillars of manufacturing at a strategic level. It's well known in the industry that we have widespread shortages of skilled labor, and training will be necessary to fill these job openings, not to mention generally improving the skill sets on the manufacturing floor to implement the company's technology roadmap. How do manufacturers plan for this? Montana-Beard: First, you must identify what skills are going to be needed, whether they're entry-level, advanced, or expert. You also need a good instructional designer that can devel- op these training programs and dissect it into THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF TRAINING

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