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54 SMT007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2023 Feature Q&A Shantanu Gupta is president and CEO of Oregon-based Cascade Systems Technology, a contract manufacturer specializing in vol- ume assembly, box build, and testing ser- vices. Shantanu was part of Oregon's Semicon- ductor Task Force and testified on numerous occasions with the Oregon Legislature to help maximize Oregon's benefit from CHIPS Act funding. For 2024, how would you describe your economic outlook for the industry and your company's business outlook? What are you optimistic about? What are you worried about? Shantanu Gupta: In 2023, some of our larg- est customers were impacted by economic downturns or labor strikes that impacted their needs for our services. We saw the end of those issues in late Q4 this year and dis- cussions about new projects are beginning. Additionally, volume opportunities we have worked on with our customers through pro- totyping and validation stages over the past several years will be going into production next year. For these reasons, our business outlook for 2024 is incredibly positive. We are optimistic that the growth of our exist- ing customers will be strong, while winning new, large customers also looks to be a strong possibility. e combination of manufactur- ing onshoring with growing demand for semi- conductor-based products will drive a strong demand for EMS companies like CST. Our biggest worry is the geo-political environ- ment and the impact it may have on the semi- conductor industry next year. What concerns you most in your growth plans: capabilities, capacity, or competition? Why? Our biggest concern for future growth is find- ing new employees who are qualified and want to work in the manufacturing services sector. As we know, all industries are having trouble Cascade Systems Technology: The Confluence of Assembly and Advocacy Shantanu R. Gupta

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