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66 SMT007 MAGAZINE I APRIL 2023 Professor Patty Coleman is widely known as a pleasant and supportive mentor, but when you have just transferred to Ivy University from a two-year community college, you might be intimidated to receive an email from one of Ivy U's most famous profs. "Well, she says she has an exciting assignment for us if we're interested," Sue said. "Whew," Andy said. "So, what's the next step?" "She wants to see us," Sue answered. A few days later, Sue and Andy were on the hallowed campus of Ivy University, walking up the steps of Newton Hall, named after the famous scientist. Still a little nervous, they knocked on the door of Professor Coleman, who opened her office door, and welcomed them in. "Come in, you two. I've heard great things about your work in Mexico," she said. After a few moments chatting about their work at Castellanos Electronics, Patty quickly brought up the reason she had asked the pair to stop by. "One of my friends from my undergraduate days at Tech has just purchased an electronics a s s embly company, s imi lar to Bens on Electronics. His business is a little slow and he found a long-term project wiring some separate modules together. It is a little bit like wiring a stereo system together, but more complicated. The workers also must wire and assemble the components in a larger housing. Because it is so dissimilar to assembling electronic circuit boards, my friend wants to charge for each hour that is spent on the work," Patty explained. "That seems reasonable," Sue commented, as both nodded in unison. "So, how do we fit in?" "My friend doesn't know how much he should charge per hour," Patty responded. "You are going to tell him." "We don't know anything about this topic," Andy said. "That's terrific," Patty said, chuckling. "So, you have a lot to learn then. And don't worry; I'm going to coach you. To help you develop the right skills for this assignment, I would like you to visit an auto repair shop." "What does auto repair have to do with wiring electronic modules together?" Andy asked. "Nothing," Patty said, chuckling again. The wheels in Sue's head were turning as she began to make the connection. "I think I'm getting it," she said. "It's a successful business that charges for the time that the auto technicians work. The charges per hour should be developed in a similar manner for wiring modules." "Precisely," Patty answered. Andy and Sue were young enough that they didn't have much experience in getting their cars repaired, so they didn't know much about repair costs. "What do you think an auto repair technician is paid per hour?" Patty asked. "We are paid about $22 an hour at Ivy Benson," Andy replied, then queried, "An auto tech is likely higher skilled than us, so maybe $30 an hour?" Sue pulled out her phone and did a quick internet search. "That's just about right," she exclaimed. "So, how much do auto repair shops charge?" Patty asked again, and Andy suggested it might be about $45 an hour.

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