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20 SMT Magazine • February 2017 with the LED and automotive electronics in- dustries, we see new opportunities to work with our customers in the consumer electronics space and the newer flexible, formable and printed electronics market that is taking off. I'd say 2017 has the potential to see the release of several sol- der material innovations. And, in addition to the work we are doing to develop new materials and assembly solutions, we are also continuing our work on improving the sustainability of ma- terials used in electronics assembly through our metal reclaim programs and our participation in other industry led working groups. Las Marias: Any final comments? Hunsinger: Alpha Assembly Solutions is com- mitted to be the industry's preferred supplier of high performance materials and chemistry by delivering leading technology represented by our innovative products, processes and people. Las Marias: Thank you, Tom. Hunsinger: Thank you. SMT In January, we conducted an industry survey on plans for hiring during the year. Below is a summa- ry of the results of that survey. When we asked whether they are planning to hire additional people this year, more than half of the respondents answered yes while only about a third said no—which we take as an optimistic sign that our industry plans to expand in 2017. It is interesting to note that the bulk of the planned new hires will be in technical and op- erations areas (line operators, process engineers and the like) with few in administration and man- agement. As expected, a good number of sales and customer service personnel will also be add- ed. We believe this points to a general flattening of internal structure and a real expansion in the industry. For our question on the greatest challeng- es when hiring, "finding qualified candidates" is the most overwhelming concern—93% of respon- dents cited this as a challenge. Answers ranged from "no pool of experi- enced operators" to "finding seasoned engineers" to "finding the right people that fit." It certain- ly sounds like there is a real shortage of qualified people to help our industry expand. In our survey, the bulk of respondents were from North America and Europe—two regions where the electronics industry has suffered in past years. Couple that with the fact that most hiring will take place in the first half of the year and it ap- pears there is a very positive outlook for anyone working in PCB fabrication with ample opportuni- ty for experienced people. But expansion of com- panies and hence our industry could be hampered by a real shortage of those same people. Read More About the Results of the Survey Here. Help Wanted! Our 2017 Industry Hiring Survey ALPHA ON NEW TECHNOLOGIES TO TACKLE VOIDING

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