Industry Knowledge—Preparing the Next Generation


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While at IPC APEX EXPO 2017, I took the opportunity to chat with IPC’s David Bergman, VP of Standards and Technology, and Kris Roberson, manager of Certification Development and Training. We discussed  IPC’s upcoming training programs for young engineers within a company, as well as some new programs   for high school and college students pursuing an engineering career.

Patty Goldman: I’d like to talk with you today about training and education, IPC’s involvement, and what you’re doing. Of course, I’m mainly interested in the printed circuit board end of things, because our May issue focuses on training, education, hiring, how to get the right people in, and the difficulties everybody’s having. We always talk about the graying workforce here in our industry. So I thought I would open it up to you two to give me your thoughts and tell me what IPC’s up to, and we can go from there as questions arise.

Dave Bergman: Patty, you’ve been a long-timeIPC member, so you know a lot about our educational opportunities: our traditional face-to-face events, which are papers at trade shows or conferences where a speaker gives a 30–45-minute talk on work that their company has done. Another level of that is a workshop, where someone with significant expertise presents for a half a day or a full day. These are face-to-face events that IPC has done for many years. This can be a challenge for many new folks who may not able get to an IPC meeting or don’t know about IPC. I don’t see that issue going away, but I see that a lot more opportunities are needed to provide industry knowledge to next generations.

We are also involved in certification training to our most popular standards. This was demanded by the EMS members of IPC. These companies needed something that allowed them to document their training activities, which was a requirement for ISO 9000 and so they asked IPC, as their association, to create a training and certification program. So IPC created our IPCA-610 certification program in the mid-‘90s and we have added to those over the years. This has become the most widely adopted IPC program of all time. We’ve had hundreds of thousands of people trained and certified to IPC standards.

And these are global programs so that they’re delivered everywhere electronics are manufactured. We work through a network of partners our licensed training centers that are delivering the training, and through this network IPC has been able to spread the word and knowledge of IPC standards globally.

To read the full version of this article which appeared in the May 2017 issue of The PCB Magazine, click here.

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