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80 PCB007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2018 December 2007 marked the start of the Great Recession, which was followed by the loss of more than 8 million jobs, half the value of the Dow Jones 500, and trillions of dollars in re- tirement accounts. One decade later, Ameri- ca's economy experienced 3% growth [1] , build- ing on one of the longest economic expansions in the United States since World War II [2] . In 2018, the U.S. GDP is expected to continue its rise, while unemployment rates are expected to drop further. Experts agree that the global economy is also showing signs of strengthen- ing. The Economist Intelligencer [3] attributes this to lax monetary policy around the world and accelerated growth in China, Japan, and the Euro zone. Naturally, this growth is expected to buoy the manufacturing industry. In fact, our industry is forecast to increase faster than the general economy [4] . A recent survey [5] by IPC revealed a bullish outlook for most segments of the electronics industry, especially for equipment manufacturers and PCB fabricators. Although this progress is promising, a major challenge looms over us: Does our industry have enough skilled talent to meet rising demands and does this talent have the right skills? According to a study by the Manufacturing Institute, over the next decade, nearly 3.5 mil- lion manufacturing jobs are expected to be- come available in the United States. But more than 2 million of those jobs will remain unfilled Skilled Talent: Can We Meet Rising Demand? One World, One Industry by John Mitchell, IPC—ASSOCIATION CONNECTING ELECTRONICS INDUSTRIES

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