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DECEMBER 2023 I SMT007 MAGAZINE 9 wait for a day when the winds look more favor- able, Shawn suggests being realistic about what's in front of you and adjusting your sails to create space for growth. A bit of a zig-zag, to use a sailing term. He addresses the needs directly for contract manufacturers who have questions about investing, supply chains, tal- ent management, and more. We also heard about headwinds in our inter- view with Amy Pine and Brian Carey of Inno- vative Capital Resources, which provides cap- ital and operating leases to the EMS provider industry. Amy and Brian stay as close as they can to the technology side of the business so they can better understand what headwinds mean to electronics manufactur ing. Their counsel is well placed. is issue also features Q&A sessions with several EMS providers who share their vision for 2024 and some of the biggest challenges they face. I think you'll find you're in good company. I round out this issue with strong columns from Mike Konrad, Michael Ford, and Ron Lasky—whose story about Professor Patty's travel mishaps are probably ones we all can relate to. While many of you might well be into your fiscal year, I have a strong suspicion that you're constantly adjusting those "sails" to stay afloat. is issue of SMT007 Magazine takes stock of the current economic outlook, the headwinds, and how companies are using current condi- tions to move themselves forward, through technological evolutions, workforce shis, and financial changes. Even with these headwinds, there is forward progress to be made. Wishing you all a joyous end to 2023. I'll see you in the new year. SMT007 Nolan Johnson is managing editor of SMT007 Magazine. Nolan brings 30 years of career experience focused almost entirely on electronics design and manufacturing. To contact Johnson, click here. Washington, DC—The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) approved IPC's National Program Stan- dards of Apprenticeship—the first-ever in the U.S. electronics manufacturing industry—in a move designed to expand the skilled workforce for this strategically vital industry. The recognition was bestowed during a cere- mony as part of National Apprenticeship Week, Nov. 13-19. The DOL's action ensures that IPC's Registered Apprentice programs are recognized nationally and align with the industry's highest standards of proficiency in electronics manu- facturing. IPC is now authorized to register with each state's Eligible Training Provider List. National Program Standards of Apprentice- ship are occupational training standards devel- oped and sponsored by an employer, an indus- try organization, labor organization, educational institution, or consortium. IPC's apprenticeship standards cover two critically important occupa- tions—electronics assemblers and printed circuit board fabricators—and provide valuable, hands- on experience with a defined pathway to secure, well-paying careers in electronics manufacturing. "More than two-thirds of IPC's U.S. members report that an inability to find and retain skilled workers is limiting their growth and global com- petitiveness," said John W. Mitchell, IPC pres- ident and CEO and author of Fire Your Hiring Habits. "The Department of Labor's endorsement of IPC's apprenticeship standards will help fos- ter a larger, more skilled, and more diverse work- force. We are excited about the positive impacts on workers, their communities, and the electron- ics manufacturing industry." IPC Attains U.S. Dept. of Labor Approval of National Apprentice- ship Standards

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