Given the fact that the electronics industry has been hit particularly hard by a shortage of skilled workers in the United States, it’s not surprising that the IPC – Association Connecting Electronics Industries made clear their support of a U.S. Senate bill that is advancing workforce education and training.
Many companies in the association have indicated that the lack of employees is constraining their growth and, in some cases, their long-term viability.
In a letter to the chairman and ranking minority member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee – Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA), respectively – IPC CEO John Mitchell praised the pair for their bipartisan leadership on the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act.
“As a training and certification leader, one of IPC’s top priorities is to promote workforce development initiatives, educate and train workers to fill manufacturing jobs, and be innovative in finding ways to close the skills gap,” wrote Mitchell.
“Our members, who employ two million individuals throughout the United States, are highly dependent on workers with technical skills with many jobs not requiring an advanced degree in STEM. We appreciate your leadership to address these workforce challenges,” added Mitchell.
The opportunity for technical training is key, according to the group. “This piece of legislation is hugely important to our industry and the next generation of workers as it will ensure that students have access to critical technical programs that will advance their ability to develop in-demand skills that are essential to 21st century manufacturing,” said IPC’s senior director of Education Programs, Colette Buscemi.
To address the workforce shortage, IPC, which represents the $2 trillion global electronics industry, is making investments in its education programs, including:
IPC EDGE Online Platform – IPC is moving toward delivering more of its traditional training and certification programs online and in ways that are more likely to ensure long-term knowledge and skills acquisition.
Jobs Task Analysis - IPC is undertaking an analysis of the critical job roles in the electronics industry to map the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to perform job functions. The outcome of this project will re-shape IPC’s future certification and education programs.
Earn and Learn – IPC is partnering with academic institutions to develop apprenticeship, internship, and related opportunities that offer valuable skills in concert with academic programs.
STEM Programming – IPC is working with schools and nonprofits on a variety of programs to get kids excited about STEM subjects and to give them a familiarity with the electronics industry.
Veterans/Transitioning Military: IPC is supporting activities and programs that seek to recruit veterans into the electronics manufacturing industry.