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12 SMT007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2023 e Microelectronics Boot Camp is a certif- icate program and is a non-credit 400-hour (40 h o u r s a w e e k f o r 1 0 week s) program that teaches die attach/sub- strate attach and wire bonding with a focus on the microwave manu- facturing environment. is program began in 2017, with 27 cohorts (groups) and more than 300 students graduating. I became the instruc- tor in 2018, and have seen 209 students walk across the stage for their certificate. We boast a placement rate of 96% with a retention rate (aer one year) of 92%. Many in our industry are concerned about having enough properly prepared replacements for the future, especially because we're already struggling to fill openings. is is not a new problem. I have seen this addressed for most of my adult life in one form or another. Every time there is an advancement in technology or techniques, we encounter a situation where we lack skilled people. It's a longtime societal issue, but in order to address it, we need our industry to become invested in the solution. Without that support and investment, it simply will not hap- pen. e identified industries need to define specifically what skills and knowledge are required. Further, they need to help the educa- tional facilities with the materials (tools, equip- ment, raw materials, etc.) needed to properly conduct the desired training. In most cases, these industry members perform such train- ing in-house but realize that they cannot train enough people fast enough, so they seek out other places for this training. I think the big- gest problem is that such specialized training is not possible unless they help build a facility for it. That sounds like a major undertaking. I know industry partners have been an integral part of this effort from the beginning. Can you tell us how (and with whom) that works? In the case of our boot camp, someone had to ask, and perhaps research, how many col- lege campuses have direct (in lab) access to wire and ribbon bonders, bond pull machines, and microelectronic raw materials for prac- tice. It's likely they discovered the answer is zero. To that end, the industry asking for this training (BAE Systems, in our case) provided the col- lege with the equipment and raw materials to perform the very training for their imme- diate needs. Could you run us through the history of how NCC became involved? In 2016, BAE representa- tives met with leaders from many colleges and universities within the state of New Hampshire. Jon Mason, the corporate, community, and continuing education coordi- nator at NCC, said Nashua would work with BAE to develop a program. Together they defined and discussed the specific desired skills and needed equipment, and determined how to loan equipment and donate raw material to NCC to support this program. Jon coordinated a space on the NCC campus that would make a suitable lab, located an instructor, and looked into how to secure students who wanted to learn something new and exciting. It started with just four students in the first cohort, but today you see the results of those efforts. While it began, frankly, as a feeder program as BAE grew its New Hampshire manufactur- Jim Flis Every time there is an advancement in technology or tech- niques, we encounter a situation where we lack skilled people.

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