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58 SMT Magazine • May 2017 by Susan Mucha POWELL-MUCHA CONSULTING INC. After nearly two decades of the dominance of the service economy, manufacturers in all industries have a challenge: recruiting and training the next generation of manufactur- ing employees. TeligentEMS, an EMS provid- er in Havana, Florida, has been addressing that challenge through collaborative efforts with ed- ucational institutions, other businesses and re- gional support networks. "There are few skilled workers to hire so we've had to develop options for recruiting, training and retaining workers who are com- pletely new to manufacturing," said Dale Starke, TeligentEMS' director of manufacturing. Fortunately, Tallahassee has support resourc- es in this area. "About eight years ago, the president of Tallahassee Community College (TCC) called me and asked me to tell him my problems and how they could help. I was very forthcoming and TCC has been expanding its program to meet our needs ever since. TCC has changed presidents since then, but the interest in sup - porting the manufacturing sector continues," said Chris Eldred, TeligentEMS' president and CEO. As a community college, TCC provides mul- tiple educational paths. Students can work to- ward an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree, a credential or simply retrain to acquire new skills. "Our goal at TCC is to provide programs, credentials and degrees that help students get a job with family-sustaining wages. We are a de- mand-driven institution and we try to nimbly adjust our programs to support the needs of our region. We have a very strong commitment to workforce training and we listen to the needs expressed by our manufacturing community," said Jim Murdaugh, TCC's president. The result of that initial dialog and collabo- ration with other electronics manufacturers in the area was the development of a Production Technician Certification program at Tallahas- see Community College that includes IPC J-Std Enhancing Recruitment Efforts with Public-Private Partnerships FEATURE

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