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12 SMT007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2020 Johnson: How far afield from LCCC do these 70 companies range? What's your circle of influ- ence here? Vanderford: LCCC is located in Elyria, Ohio. Around 90% of these companies are within a 40-mile radius around the center of Cleveland. We've had companies in the surrounding area, including as far as Indiana and Pennsylvania, that need a similar skill set. If students were interested in moving toward another place, they would have careers there as well. We tell the students the same thing. It's nice to have opportunities and options available for you. Johnson: What sorts of jobs do students land? Tenhover: Predominantly, students land assem- bler, hand soldering, electromechanical, and SMT operator, technician, and engineering positions as they near more of the end of their bachelor's degree. Those are the most com- mon titles. Some are hired as electrical interns, and other smaller employers just don't have a job description with the title, so they hire them in and use them in a wide range of areas. Johnson: With eight years of history, I'm sure you can look back to some of your first stu- dents. How have their career paths progressed? Vanderford: The first student who graduated from our program did an internship working part-time with a small company in Elyria that is a contractor for packaging. They are a high- mix, low-volume contractor for sensor pack- ages, so they do die attach, wire bonding, and testing facilities involving HAST, X-ray, and SEM imaging. One student had his first intern- ship and then used his associate's degree, as well as his experience, to go down to the Ohio State University in Columbus while also work- ing for the NanoTech West Laboratory on cam- pus. He expanded on his packaging skills. After he had his bachelor's degree, he was hired as an engineer by GM to work on transmission sen- sors with the Corvette with the central engine. Many of our students see a similar type of progression. They can go from a smaller com- little bit of some chemical fabrication of silicon wafers and PCBs. The degree is heavily focused on career placement in electronics manufacturing. It is designed to be a workforce generator to help fill the pipeline. We require every student in our program to have accumulated 600 hours of paid workforce experience, or the student doesn't get their degree, and the commu- nity college won't get state share of instruc- tion (i.e., additional funding for continuing) for helping students get degrees. We all know someone who has a degree in one thing, but they're working in a completely separate field. We have tailored the program using input and feedback from our industry supporters so that we can train students in necessary electronics man- ufacturing skills, such as hand soldering, hot air rework, loading pick-and- place systems, and stencil printers with solder paste. Students can get trained at the college while they're taking classes, and they get employed at companies working part-time from one to three years while they continue toward their bachelor's degree. My role is to give them the technical content, and Courtney's role is to connect the students with the companies on an HR level. When we go to companies, I talk engineering with engineers. Courtney finds out what the job needs are, gets those job requests to our students and alumni, gathers the resumes of those interested stu- dents and alumni, and sends them back to the company's HR line. That way, the engineers tailor the technical content to the program, and the company has a steady flow of work- force that is ready to begin working. Throughout the last eight years since we've started, we have had 100% of all students in the program who have graduated placed in careers at our 70 supporting companies. Every- one who has graduated out of this program has been hired at a company doing electronics manufacturing. Johnny Vanderford

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