SMTA International Conference Proceedings


Providing Trained Technical Workforce to the Electronics Manufacturing Industry- New College Approaches

Author: Chris Mather
Company: Lorain County Community College
Date Published: 10/14/2012   Conference: SMTA International


Abstract: Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) is a more than $30 billion industry in the United States and is represented significantly in nearly every major metropolitan area. Additionally, many electronics OEMs continue to produce their own circuit boards and electronic assemblies in U.S. facilities.

The U.S. higher education system, however, offers extremely little education and training specific to electronics manufacturing on any level. Few, if any, community colleges in the country offer specific courses on any EMS focused topics. Neither industrial engineering nor electrical engineering programs in the United States expose students to electronic manufacturing techniques. A few EMS providers have worked with local vocational schools for training at the high school level, but the programs are not proliferate nor continually offered. EMS providers and electronics OEMs have been forced to train internally and hire from each other to meet their staffing needs.

Clearly there are opportunities for the post-secondary educational system (two-year and four year) to provide trained workers to the industry, better serve their students with lucrative employment opportunities, make the United States more productive in the electronics industry, and play a role in stemming the tide of further offshoring of the electronics industry.

This paper will investigate educational gaps and opportunities for two-year (community colleges) and four year (engineering schools) institutions. A detailed online survey and interviews provide primary data for the study and recommendations.



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