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54 SMT Magazine • May 2017 by Andy Shaughnessy I-CONNECT007 It's harder than ever for managers in the PCB manufacturing industry to find qualified staff, with some reporting that positions are re- maining open for months at a time. On the oth- er hand, there are thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines transitioning out of the service each year and seeking good jobs. Al Dill, president of Blackfox, joined me at IPC APEX EXPO to discuss a program that offers manu- facturing training to veterans, starting while they're still in the service. Andy Shaughnessy: Al, why won't you start off by giving us some background on the company. Allen Dill: First of all, we're celebrating 21 years in business, so we're excited about that. Blackfox is headquartered in Colorado, and we have a fa- Blackfox Program Trains Vets for Manufacturing Jobs cility in Colorado, a facility in Tempe, Arizona, one in Guadalajara, Mexico and one in Penang, Malaysia. Blackfox offers all of the six prima- ry IPC certifications, both for specialists and for instructors. That's been our core business since day one. Blackfox is different in the sense that we are very close to our customer base. We take care of our customers as all companies should, and that has led us to developing another com- plimentary program to service our employers even better by helping them with the need for skilled labor today. In Colorado, unemployment rates are below 3% right now, so it's almost impossible to find skilled labor. We work with a lot of STEM pro- grams, going back into high school, K-12 and informing the students of the opportunities in manufacturing. It's not your grandfather's man- ufacturing today; it's a very clean environment with lots of opportunity, so we're getting the word out there in schools. We have immediate FEATURE INTERVIEW

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