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8 PCB007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2020 Nolan's Notes by Nolan Johnson, I-CONNECT007 Hiring and Training As if keeping skilled employees on your staff hadn't already been a challenge, the events of 2020 certainly made it harder. And yet that makes for good opportunities if you're an ex- perienced candidate looking for new challeng- es (or a chance to move somewhere new). A casual review of mainstream U.S. media uncovers example after example of job sectors that collapsed under the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you read my column for this month's SMT007 Magazine, then you're famil- iar with just one such story. I'm sure you know someone whose job was affected negatively. The restaurant industry—the whole hospital- ity industry, for that matter—has been deci- mated while we wait out the pandemic. As I write this, the news out of Orlando, Florida, is that Disney is laying off 32,000 employees. Out west at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, the return to lockdown across the state has result- ed in another wave of layoffs. In Las Vegas, the MGM Resorts conglomerate laid off 18,000 in October, according to news reports. The repercussions rattled up and down the hospitality "supply chain." Airlines, for ex- ample, reduced flying staff in response to the drop in passenger travel. In August, American Airlines laid off 19,000 workers, and Delta Air- lines furloughed 2,000 pilots. (Delta and Unit- ed both lost over $10 billion in each of the last two quarters.) Moving ever closer to our indus- try, Boeing laid off 7,000 in October, after hav- ing laid off 19,000 over the summer. Yes, in some industries, it's as if a bomb went off, taking out everything in its path. The bomb went off in our industry too, but the shrapnel was in the form of invoices and or- ders. Our role as an essential industry means that not only do we stay open, but the need for our products makes us busier than ever. As my I-Connect007 colleague Andy Shaughnessy, commented, "When I'm talking to people out- side the industry, especially those who've lost their jobs, I try not to mention that our indus- try is crazy busy." There are a lot of jobs for a good process engineer; lateral and upward moves are quite possible. If you have applicable industry ex- perience, you're extremely employable. Take a tour through I-Connect007's help wanted sec- tion in the back of this (and every) issue, and you'll see what I mean. If you need more data, we've taken the liberty of posting an exam- ple list of the positions open at TTM, a glob- al manufacturer of printed circuit boards. In this issue, we consider the perspective of the employer, the seasoned technical professional, and the new-hire engineer. How do these three groups best combine to fill the skills gap that our industry faces?

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