One World, One Industry: IPC’s Job Task Analysis Committee Needs Your Expertise and Experience to Address the Skills Gap

In direct response to our members asking for help in addressing the most critical issue currently facing our industry—the skills gap—IPC’s education and training initiatives are undergoing significant change.

IPC is investing in the future by supporting our members’ workforce and training needs to meet the demands of a continually changing and advancing industry. With the creation of our Job Task Analysis Committee (JTA), we are collaborating with a group of industry subject matter experts tasked with the responsibility of defining a competency model for the electronics industry.

The major challenges facing our industry center around a lack of skilled workers, particularly in the PCB fabrication and EMS industries. According to Deloitte, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, it is estimated that 2,000,000 jobs will go unfilled this decade and 3,500,000 jobs will be needed in the next decade. With many skilled workers retiring from the workforce, often referred to as the “grey tsunami,” many companies will lose critical skills as individuals leave. We do not currently have strong work-study programs in the United States. Many students today show a lack of awareness of the high-quality jobs that are available in the industry and might have negative perceptions of manufacturing in general.

IPC has taken this issue head-on with a multi-pronged, demand-driven approach that will cover all aspects of skill building from middle school to adulthood. Through the JTA, we will focus on:

  • STEM: Reaching out to students K–12
  • The emerging workforce: Connecting us to four-year universities and technical colleges
  • The current workforce: Putting us in touch with small, mid-size, and large manufacturing companies

We will be guided by IPC members based on market needs, identified skills, and workforce gaps. The goal is to inspire, educate, and inform the workforce of tomorrow.

Broadly, we plan to create competency-based learning models aligned with IPC standards and certifications that build on existing programs and expanding their reach. We will install pilot programs to rapidly test, validate, and scale, and establish metrics to set clear and measurable goals. We plan to connect the industry to federal, state, and local officials and educational institutions to create a partnership to help us build our workforce and ensure future students and workers that there are well-paid, challenging jobs available in manufacturing that can vigorously compete with other options available to job seekers. We believe IPC is uniquely positioned to serve as an intermediary to connect, convene, facilitate, and advocate for the manufacturing industry. 

Our initial focus will be on specific jobs. According to an IPC study of the North American labor pool for electronics manufacturing in February 2015, the following jobs have been significantly impacted by the skills gap: soldering technicians, machine operators, skilled production line workers, SMT machine assembly, test, inspection, and quality control workers.

The JTA specifically needs your help to do the following: define key roles in the electronics industry and perform industry-driven job task analyses for each of these roles.

JTA Committee Goals

  1. Align IPC certification and education programs with the changing needs of industry.
  2. Develop clearly defined career pathways that promote avenues for growth.
  3. Aid the electronics industry in better identifying talent to fill critical job openings that are currently vacant.
  4. Provide the baseline information needed to create career guides for students, parents, and guidance counselors to introduce them to the exciting potential careers in the electronics industry.
  5. Produce a competency model for the electronics industry.

The JTA meets via Skype once or twice per quarter with subcommittee meetings held every month. Meetings last 90 minutes. We are reaching out to our members for their expertise and deep knowledge of the industry. We welcome your participation in this critical task. If you are unable to serve on the committee, we hope you would consider asking your HR representative to participate.

For further information, please contact David Hernandez, senior director of learning and professional development, at DavidHernandez@ipc.org.

John Mitchell is president and CEO of IPC—Association Connecting Electronics Industries. To read past columns or to contact Mitchell, click here.

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2018

One World, One Industry: IPC’s Job Task Analysis Committee Needs Your Expertise and Experience to Address the Skills Gap

06-25-2018

IPC is investing in the future by supporting our members’ workforce and training needs to meet the demands of a continually changing and advancing industry. With the creation of our Job Task Analysis Committee (JTA), we are collaborating with a group of industry subject matter experts tasked with the responsibility of defining a competency model for the electronics industry.

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One World, One Industry: Meet IPC’s Vice President of Global Government Relations, Chris Mitchell

05-29-2018

In this new role, Chris will work closely with IPC’s Government Relations Steering Committee and its government relations team based in Washington, D.C. Chris will represent IPC and the electronics manufacturing industry before key policymakers globally and identify issues and other opportunities where IPC can demonstrate its leadership in government relations and public policy.

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One World, One Industry: Skilled Talent—Can We Meet Rising Demand?

04-02-2018

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One World, One Industry: Electronics Industry Advocacy More Important than Ever

02-23-2018

From the Americas to Europe, Asia and beyond, the future of the electronics manufacturing industry is shaped in many ways by government policies. This will be true like never before in 2018, as legislators and regulators the world over are eyeing policy decisions on issues such as technology research and development, taxes, workforce skills, and the environment.

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2017

One World, One Industry: Connecting the Dots Between Manufacturing and Community

11-24-2017

Across the United States, the first Friday in October represents the annual celebration of Manufacturing Day. On this date, manufacturers and supporters come together to celebrate the longevity and success of our industry. Since 2012, Manufacturing Day has served as a chance to learn about the businesses that thrive in our communities and contribute greatly to the economy.

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One World, One Industry: Pursuing New Solutions to the Electronics Sectors’ Skills Gap

11-15-2017

In a recent survey of our U.S. member companies[1], most said they have a hard time finding local talent to run their businesses. Respondents cited many essential skills that are in short supply, but the most common ones are soldering for production jobs, and engineers with industry experience, especially in process, test, and quality control. Making matters even more challenging, as new innovations emerge, new skills requirements emerge as well.

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One World, One Industry: The Future of Electronics in the Automotive Industry

09-15-2017

Automotive electronics is not a new topic. While there is a trend for both performance and luxury electronics, many of the recent conversations tend to focus on self-driving/autonomous vehicles. While the technology is exciting, it is just the tip of the iceberg.

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One World, One Industry: India Makes Manufacturing Gains to Participate in a Global Economy

08-18-2017

The manufacturing industry is truly a global one. While the past few decades have seen the rise of manufacturing in China and countries throughout Europe and South America, the last 10 years have been marked by significant progress in India. While the greater Asian area has flourished, India has been hampered by many factors including a struggling infrastructure.

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One World, One Industry: Three Ways to Close the Skills Gap in U.S. Manufacturing

07-12-2017

The skills gap is a chronic problem in the manufacturing sector. Most manufacturing companies have a hard time aligning the talent needed to run their businesses with the talent that is available to work locally. And as new innovations emerge, new skills requirements emerge as well.

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One World, One Industry: Having an Impact from the Shop Floor to the Halls of Government

07-07-2017

When you have concerns about government regulations and policies that impact your business, what can you do? Among several options, a direct approach is one of the best: Reach out to your elected officials and share your concerns. The odds are good that they will be responsive and look into ways of helping out a hometown business.

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China—A Critical Partner for Trade

06-09-2017

Count me among those business leaders who thought the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was on the right track last year and would have brought significant benefits to all nations, including the United States. Before President Trump withdrew the United States from the TPP trade negotiations, I had argued it would have unified the world’s most dynamic economic region—bringing together developed and developing countries that collectively represent 825 million consumers and 40% of the world’s economic output.

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One World, One Industry: 100 Days In—President Trump and a Better Manufacturing Policy

04-19-2017

To truly increase the number of American manufacturing jobs, President Trump should support increased investment in research and development for advanced manufacturing, promote and fund STEM education in primary and secondary schools, and build stronger apprenticeship programs. It is this type of investment—in human capital and technology—that will truly help make American manufacturing great again.

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One World, One Industry: IPC’s Global Policy Framework for 2017—Smart Advocacy for the Industry

04-10-2017

As President Trump was being sworn in several weeks ago, and as the new Congress was getting down to work, IPC released its Global Policy Framework for 2017. As we work to represent more than 3,800 member facilities across the electronics industry’s global supply chain, IPC will adhere to this framework to guide our policy work in the coming months. All of our advocacy efforts are aimed at fostering an environment in which electronics manufacturers and their suppliers can thrive and grow.

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One World, One Industry: Emerging Technology, Training for the Future, and the Next Industrial Revolution

02-13-2017

Technology isn’t just a tangible entity. It moves beyond what we can see, feel, and touch. It is ideas and theories. It includes philosophy and risks. In a way, technology itself is like the stock market. Different industries hedge their bets on emerging trends. These trends develop into useful products that change our world.

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2016

One World, One Industry: Strengthening Your Value Proposition to Boost Organization Success

12-16-2016

John Mitchell's new column's title says it all: One World, One Industry. In the coming columns, the IPC president will be covering issues affecting the entire global electronics industry supply chain with specific expertise on global standards, education, advocacy and solutions.

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One World, One Industry: Six Leadership Lessons from 20 Years in the Electronics Industry

11-07-2016

The orchestra conductor is an apt metaphor for the successful leader. Effective leadership often boils down to the ability to inspire others (the symphony) to their best work, while keeping and driving the overall vision of the organization (the musical score).

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One World, One Industry: Voting — A Civic Duty and Industry Opportunity

10-17-2016

On Tuesday, November 8, more than 240 million people in the United States will have the opportunity to go to the polls and vote, make their voices heard in government, and influence the direction of public policy for years to come. Much of the world is closely watching with interest in this major U.S. election.

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