Lorain County Community College
Building Relationships is Key to Sourcing Talent Says Pansonic

Building Relationships is Key to Sourcing Talent, Says Panasonic

Dec. 8, 2021
Partnering with community colleges creates a path to bring students into the company for internships.
Choosing the right person to join their company is something that Panasonic System Solutions Company of North America takes very seriously. In fact, the company takes pride in the fact that when a candidate does come on board it’s a result of many months of working together and forming a relationship.

How does the company form this relationship? One way is through a program at the Lorain County Community College (LCCC) located in Cleveland, Ohio. “This program is one of the strongest I have seen in the country,” explains Gustavo Sepulveda, who is head of the robotics and automation business at Panasonic System Solutions Company of North America.

 “The two-year program is unique in that it offers a lot of hands-on learning. After having experience operating and maintaining Panasonic equipment, students are expressing interest in continuing their education with local manufacturers. We work with students from many higher education institutions through internships or apprenticeship programs, so they know our company and we know their abilities. In this way, we have formulated relationships that will bode well for the future.”        

The degree that students earn, an associate of Applied Science in Mechatronics program at LCCC, was created in 2013, as a result of eight Ohio companies joining together to create a program to train the future microelectronics workforce.

In searching for technology, the college chose Panasonic’s SPG screen printer and NPM-W2 placement platform to utilize in their lab. In 2019, the equipment was installed, enabling students to learn how to run a full, evolving manufacturing line, from soldering, to use of surface mount technology, to guidance on operations and programming.

Partner for Success

The partnership of the college and Panasonic occurred at exactly the right time. “The commitment that LCCC has made to their students and the entire manufacturing industry in Ohio is truly phenomenal,” said M. Faisal Pandit, president of Panasonic System Solutions Company of North America, in a statement. “At a time when the demand for skilled electronic manufacturing talent is at an all-time high, this is the perfect program to connect talented students with employers who need skilled labor trained on the latest industry technologies.”

While the program has been successful, with retention rates at Panasonic higher than the industry average, Sepulveda knows that it must keep evolving. “As manufacturing continues with IoT and digitalization, software to run the line changes very quickly, almost yearly,  we have to make sure that the educational institutions have updated training. Sometimes we don’t want to invest the time and money in these programs, but companies will see a benefit.”

With a student population of 13,000, LCCC plans to keep up with demand. In fact, in 2018, it became the first community college in Ohio to offer a bachelor’s degree of Applied Science in Microelectronic Manufacturing, an expansion of the associate degree focused on high-volume printed circuit board manufacturing. The college’s bachelor’s program offers students hands-on training around printed circuit board design, assembly, and prototyping. The bachelor’s degree program also helps students develop their knowledge in electronics, soldering, PCB drafting, GD&T, six sigma quality, lean manufacturing, and chemical processes in PCB fabrication.

This industry-educational partnership is working. “It has been such a pleasure working with collaborators like Panasonic to support our amazing students who are looking to grow their skills, enter a competitive field and help the manufacturing industry’s workforce grow,” said Johnny Vanderford, assistant professor and director of Manufacturing Electronics and Rework Institute for Training (MERIT) at LCCC, in a statement. “The Panasonic team have shown tremendous support through our entire program and the training we’ve received has been phenomenal. It’s incredible to work with such a large, international corporation that pays such close attention to detail to our individual needs at the college.” 

Sponsored Recommendations

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!