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110 PCB007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2021 Feature Interview by Barry Matties I-CONNECT007 In this interview we hear from Charlene Gunter du Plessis, senior director of the IPC Education Foundation, on the state of the STEM program started by IPC a few years ago. e program has been well received and con- tinues to grow. IPC APEX EXPO 2022 will fea- ture the live event with some exciting changes to reach even more students. Barry Matties: e STEM program is an excit- ing and important component to IPC APEX EXPO. Of course, the 2021 event was virtual with nearly 1,000 participants, and some les- sons were learned. Charlene Gunter du Plessis: Yes, it made us realize we can do something else to provide the nec- STEM Program on the Grow essary awareness of the industry and expand it virtually by hosting a career paths discussion in the form of a panel. We hosted another career panel on November 11 and reached more than 3,000 students. For IPC APEX EXPO 2022, in addition to the live program, we will be streaming and broadcasting live parts of the STEM event. We will use Instagram Live, You- Tube, and the career panels that take place on Zoom. is will allow us to have more students learn about the industry because that's our goal; we want to continue with our efforts to create awareness and access of careers in the industry. Matties: So, you will have students at the event and stream it as well? Gunter du Plessis: Exactly. It will be a hybrid event. We will have about 200 students at the

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