Foundations of the Future: Creating Industry Awareness and Access Points for Students

charlene-gunter-du-plessis.jpgThe mission of the IPC Education Foundation (IPCEF) is to create awareness of the careers the electronics manufacturing industry has to offer students in high school and college by providing them with opportunities to access people, courses, and knowledge.

Awareness and access are the key focus areas for 2021 and the programs, activities, and efforts driven by IPCEF will put students and teachers at the forefront. We have identified the following pillars under each focus area:

  • Awareness will include virtual learning opportunities around industry-relevant topics for high school students, available this fall. These activities will be supported by downloadable learning activities with detailed descriptions for classroom implementation, a bill of materials list for hands-on exercises, and free industry-relevant videos. Pre-recorded career panel discussions on career exploration and information about the industry will also be provided.
  • Access to the industry focuses on two main pillars: The IPC Student Chapter Program and IPC Mini Libraries, the new addition to the Foundation. 

IPC Student Chapters
The IPC Education Foundation’s Student Chapter Program focuses on providing scholarships, offering relevant industry content, and assisting with career readiness for its student members. IPCEF has 40 student chapters across 19 states in the United States, engaging more than 500 student members. Twenty-six chapters exist at four-year universities while 15 chapters exist at two-year community/technical colleges.

The main goal of the IPC Student Chapter program is to connect students with the industry through a variety of engagement initiatives that include facility tours, speaking opportunities, and information sessions. To learn more about how to get involved from an employer perspective, please complete this three-question survey.

To be eligible for membership, student members must be pursuing degrees in the following disciplines: electrical, electronics, mechanical, computer, technology, chemical, aerospace, and/or broad engineering. IPCEF has student members pursuing certificate programs, two-year degrees, four-year degrees, master’s, and doctorates. To learn more, click here or contact Aaron Birney, aaronbirney@ipc.org.

The Foundation will continue to expand the reach of the program by growing the number of chapters in the United States with plans to expand internationally in 2021.

Scholarships and Awards
IPCEF awarded $25,000 in scholarships to IPC Student Members in 2020 and $23,000 in 2019. Last year, the scholarship recipients were members at the following IPC Student Chapters: Auburn University, Binghamton University, Colorado School of Mines, Gwinnett Technical College, Michigan Technological University, Oregon Institute of Technology, Purdue University, Triton College, University of California Irvine, University of California Los Angeles, University of Maryland, University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, University of New Orleans, University of Utah, and Valparaiso University. Each IPC Student Member receives $1,000 designed not only to reduce the financial burden, but also to encourage students to enhance their knowledge and skills of real-world industry-related experiences. To learn more about the scholarship winners, click here.

The Foundation aims to provide scholarships to 50 deserving student members in 2021, while expanding the scholarship program to include:

  • Travel grants to attend IPC APEX EXPO in San Diego in 2022
  • A leadership scholarship open to IPC Student Members currently serving in a leadership capacity at the IPC Student Chapter level

IPC Mini Libraries
This new program is designed to provide students with valuable industry-related knowledge through specific online IPC resources and content. The educational content will allow students to increase their current knowledge while better preparing to enter the workforce. Students will have access to a variety of videos on topics that include electronic assembly, soldering, ESD, and wire assembly, as well as introductory courses; all are accessible online. Students will receive a badge upon completion. 

IPC’s “full” library contains 78 industry-developed training videos for the electronics manufacturing and assembly industry. This is a complete library of operator-level training videos that provide the foundational knowledge required for ESD (electrostatic discharge) control, hand soldering, IPC-A-610 acceptance criteria, rework and repair, components, cable and wire assembly, and more. The cost of the full library is $2,500.

We responded to the request by high schools/technical community colleges for a focused set of videos by creating seven separate “mini” libraries for this purpose. Each mini library contains six to 10 pre-selected videos on the designated topic, priced at $1,200. Topics include electronics assembly inspection, ESD fundamentals, hand soldering and rework—PTH and SMT, intro to electronics assembly (pre-employment training, intro to wire assembly), and others.

By equipping students with valuable industry-related knowledge through specific online IPC resources and content, IPCEF hopes to address some of the industry’s needs:

  • Lack of awareness of the careers and skills needed to participate in those careers
  • Shortage of qualified technical candidates because not enough skilled younger workers are entering the electronics industry
  • An aging workforce
  • Lack of job preparedness, as many schools are not teaching the students the right curriculum related to industry and career readiness 

This summer, we will be reaching out to high schools (preferably vocational high schools), technical community colleges, and universities to participate in various IPCEF programs. Our goal is to share relevant industry content with students that will not only create awareness but allow them to better understand the skills needed to pursue and access viable career opportunities. Contact Charlene Gunter du Plessis, senior director, IPCEF, at charlenegunter@ipc.org.

This column originally appeared in the May 2021 issue of SMT007 Magazine.

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2021

Foundations of the Future: Creating Industry Awareness and Access Points for Students

05-11-2021

The mission of the IPC Education Foundation (IPCEF) is to create awareness of the careers the electronics manufacturing industry has to offer students in high school and college by providing them with opportunities to access people, courses, and knowledge.

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Foundations of the Future: Emerging Engineers Benefit from Mentorship

04-21-2021

The IPC Emerging Engineer Program just graduated its first members in 2020, finishing up the first batch of the 3-year program. While the Emerging Engineer Program was traditionally created for early-career professionals, IPC and the IPC Education Foundation decided to reserve slots for five qualified student candidates to earn a spot in the professional development and mentorship program.

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Foundations of the Future: Introducing Students to a Career in Electronics

03-24-2021

In place of the annual STEM Event that the IPC Education Foundation hosts as part of the IPC APEX EXPO, the foundation held the Build Your Future Career Panel. In the last few years, the IPC Education Foundation has enjoyed hosting Career & Technical Education (CTE) students onsite at the IPC APEX EXPO for an entire day of exposure to the industry and hands-on learning. While we weren’t able to host students in person this year, we hosted a virtual event that introduced hundreds of students and has the potential to reach thousands more thanks to the digital recording.

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Foundations of the Future: IPC Education Foundation Update and Looking Ahead

02-09-2021

The IPC Education Foundation (IPCEF) takes pride in their accomplishments in their second year. The Foundation focused on a variety of digital/virtual exposure and engagement activities to share information about the electronics manufacturing industry.

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Foundations of the Future: Scholarships, Awards and Student Opportunities

01-06-2021

There was no better way to end 2020 than by making a positive impact in deserving students and educators’ lives. We can help students to invest in their future and reward the accomplishments of those who are hardworking and dedicated. Scholarships are hugely important, especially when helping students avoid and alleviate college debt as well as professional growth opportunities.

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2020

Foundations of the Future: IPC Student Chapters Gear Up for Competitions

12-02-2020

As colleges and universities continue to adapt to remote and virtual learning, the IPC Education Foundation has also adapted to support its IPC student members and 38 IPC student chapters across the U.S. With the increase in distance learning, Aaron Birney describes how the IPCEF has had to adapt its initiatives for student chapters.

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Foundations of the Future: Inspirational Career Paths—Meet Tayler and Olivia

11-04-2020

It is refreshing to connect with young professionals who are passionate about the industry and true ambassadors to IPC. Charlene Gunter du Plessis connected with Tayler Swanson, an engineering team member at Digital Instruments Inc., and Olivia Lim, a manufacturing engineer at Kimball Electronics, to discuss their studies, professional career journeys, and exciting opportunities in the electronics manufacturing industry.

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Foundations of the Future: The Semi-Virtual Landscape of College for IPC Student Chapter Members

10-14-2020

Universities faced tough decisions moving into fall semesters and quarters, and now most students are back on campus for a semi-virtual collegiate experience that significantly affects their courses and extracurriculars. Aaron Birney shares thoughts and experiences in classrooms and campuses across the U.S. from IPC student members and an IPC student chapter advisor and professor.

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Foundations of the Future: Making the Most of IPCEF’s Webinar Series

09-02-2020

Webinars are great communication tools, and the possibilities are endless. Charlene Gunter du Plessis and Corey Lynn share updates on the IPC Education Foundation's webinar series, as well as upcoming topics.

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Foundations of the Future: Interview With Michael Carano on Mentorship

08-12-2020

In every industry, mentorship enriches and enhances career development. Charlene Gunter du Plessis connects with Michael Carano to hear about his views on mentorship, as well as his experience as a mentor with the IPC Emerging Engineer Program.

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Foundations of the Future: Student Representative on the IPC Board of Directors

07-01-2020

Charlene Gunter du Plessis describes how IPC’s Board of Directors recently added a full voting board seat to an IPC Student Member, including introducing the student liaison and sharing an interview with Dr. John Mitchell and Shane Whiteside.

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Foundations of the Future: Scholarships, Leadership Roles, and Career Aspirations

06-03-2020

Scholarships are hugely important, especially when helping students avoid and alleviate college debt. Charlene Gunter du Plessis highlights some of the 2019 IPCEF scholarship winners, as well as a book on the topic written by Dr. John Mitchell, IPC president and CEO.

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Foundations of the Future: Online Resources Offer Opportunities for Professional Growth

04-29-2020

At a time where 42 states have stay-at-home orders, and thousands of school districts are transitioning to a remote learning environment, online resources are essential. Charlene Gunter du Plessis recaps some of the ways to learn about the electronics manufacturing industry online.

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Foundations of the Future: The Substantial Growth of IPC Student Chapters

04-01-2020

The IPC Education Foundation launched the IPC Student Chapter Program in February 2019, with the formal announcement at IPC APEX EXPO. The program aims to connect students in relevant two-year, four-year, and graduate programs to the electronics industry and IPC member companies. Aaron Birney provides an update on the substantial growth of IPC Student Chapters over the past year.

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Foundations of the Future: STEM Student Outreach Program at IPC APEX EXPO 2020

03-04-2020

When we hold an event, there is nothing more rewarding than words like these from Diego, Mount Miguel High School: “I learned many valuable pieces of information related to engineering careers. My favorite topic to learn about was PCBs. I enjoyed participating in the hands-on activities, such as breadboarding and soldering. Overall, I had a wonderful time at the event!” Charlene Gunter du Plessis shares the success of the IPC STEM Student Outreach Program, as well as other updates from IPC APEX EXPO 2020.

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