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90 The PCB Magazine • June 2017 When you have concerns about govern- ment regulations and policies that impact your business, what can you do? Among several op- tions, a direct approach is one of the best: Reach out to your elected officials and share your con- cerns. The odds are good that they will be re- sponsive and look into ways of helping out a hometown business. Enter IPC's "Meet the Policymakers" pro- gram, which is designed to put IPC members di- rectly in front of the people who can make a dif- ference. Under this program, IPC's government relations staff help arrange opportunities for those in our industry, including suppliers, PCB fabricators, EMS companies and OEMs to host their elected officials at company locations. Site visits are one of the most effective ways to educate and influence members of Congress on the issues affecting our industry. Many offi- cials have proven to be receptive to opportuni- ties to meet with their constituents at IPC mem- ber companies and hear opinions about the key issues affecting their businesses. It is also a chance for IPC members to build long-term relationships with policymakers that can be useful down the road. One recent site visit brought a representative from the office of Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) to VirTex MTI in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. During a tour of the facility and a group discussion, VirTex MTI personnel were able to ask questions and share their concerns about the local economy and growth opportunities for their facility. The discussion focused in particular on the growing skills gap and how VirTex MTI can engage with local schools and colleges, veterans, and oth- er stakeholders to help boost the local skilled workforce. Having an Impact from the Shop Floor to the Halls of Government ONE WORLD, ONE INDUSTRY by John Mitchell IPC —ASSOCIATION CONNECTING ELECTRONICS INDUSTRIES

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