John Mitchell, CEO of IPC, Visits The White House to Participate in the Pledge to America’s Workers

Judy Warner
|  Created: November 20, 2018  |  Updated: February 5, 2021

John Mitchell, CEO of  IPC, is advocating for the electronics industry workforce in Washington D.C., and participating in the Pledge to America’s Workers. Listen in and learn how IPC has joined in pledging 1 million new job opportunities for the industry, when John shares a "state of the union" about IPC’s current direction. If you’re a current IPC member, you’ll benefit by finding out all that IPC is up to these days and and how you can get involved. If you’re not an IPC member or not sure what IPC is -  you will get a lot of value from this conversation just by learning about this incredible industry force and all that’s available, including educational programming and career development opportunities.

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Show Highlights:

IPC summary:

  • 5000 members locations globally, 50% in America
  • IPC has been in existence for 60+ years
  • John has been leading organization for 6 years
  • Standards side - developed by industry volunteers
  • Education side - certification programs
  • Advocacy - DC, Brussels and Beijing

Industry Organizations/Businesses:

  • OEMs/primes - design aspects
  • EMS/ assembly companies - manufacturing standards and certifications
  • PCB companies and the whole supply base - machines, materials, components

IPC Purpose and Plans:

  • IPC seeks to holistically address the industry and segment needs and tries to understand the pulse of the industry
  • Workforce has been at the top of their list for some time, there is a struggle to find skilled factory workers with the right qualifications, skills and talents
  • IPC EDGE Online Education platform - cutting edge education platform for launching a job task analysis committee - we’ve reached out to industry to find the jobs hardest to fill and the skills needed to apply for those jobs - we’d love every company represented there.
  • The President launched a request asking industry to do more on behalf of the worker. See the Pledge to America’s Workers.
  • IPC has commit to 1 million opportunities over the 5 years which includes: training people already here in industry, or people not in the industry yet (mostly students) and earn and learn opportunities or apprenticeships. News release: In White House Event, IPC Unveils Pledge to Create 1 Million Skilled Workforce Opportunities
  • In industry - IPC workforce champions 5 different ways to get involved - Job task analysis committee, Earn and learn opportunities, STEM programming, Donating to the foundation itself and IPC certified workforce
  • Currently working with certified technical programs to create customized badging programs i.e. mini certification (high school level) can help to get summer jobs
  • Launched market research study in high schools to see what they are looking for. Matching that up with Job task force findings. Expecting topics to be: Safety, ESD and Electronics 101. Waiting for data to define the programming.
  • There is still a stigma about saying “I work in factory”, but these are great jobs! It’s extremely clean, and its different than it used to be. Factories aren’t old and dirty, they are a whole different world and incredibly high tech.
  • What are gaps in the workforce that need more focus? Design - partnering with professors to offer this on EDGE; talking to universities about offering these courses.
  • College side of the education initiatives - university chapters / sponsoring challenges to give students real world experience
  • In the context of interviewing for jobs - it’s the stories that matter and the competitions provide those stories.
  • IPC APEX expo - end of January in San Diego - Premier North America industry event - A three part show: Its an expo so you get to see the latest technology from companies, Standards committee meetings all week and professional development opportunities
  • Also at APEX - a STEM outreach program: last year over 50 students came, this year we’d like to double it. If there is a school in the San Diego area that would like to participate, please reach out.
  • How are you revitalizing the IPC Designers Council? The designer role is one that is often overlooked, but there is a lot of expertise that goes into this role. The certification programs CID and CID+
  • What is the role of IPC globally? 85% of all electronics will touch at least one IPC standard at some point.
  • Most standard organizations only offer standards in English. Yet, IPC provides standards in as many as 20 languages. The content is the role of the industry, and the more people we can get involved the better.
  • Standards are the core of what IPC does. The most popular standards are coming out every 3 years now.
  • Mike Creeden said, “IPC is an ‘us’ not a ‘them’” - if you see something, step up, and get involved. There can be revisions to standards but IPC needs the input from people who come across the issues.
  • Multimodal learning, a lot has moved online. Courses and credentials that are stackable are the goal.
  • What can designers do to engage with IPC? Get involved with a design committee, join IPC Designer Council, and get CID certified.

Links and Resources:

News release: In White House Event, IPC Unveils Pledge to Create 1 Million Skilled Workforce Opportunities

IPC Workforce Pledge Draws White House Praise, Points the Way to Jobs of the Future

Workforce Champions landing page/pledge

John’s “Workforce Conundrum” blog

John Mitchell’s Linkedin

IPC EDGE Online Education and Training for the Electronics Industry

IPC Certification Website

Pledge to America’s Workers

IPC Workforce Pledge Draws White House Praise, Points the Way to Jobs of the Future

In White House Event, IPC Unveils Pledge to Create 1 Million Skilled Workforce Opportunities

CSPAN broadcast announcing IPC workforce commitment

Pledge to America’s Workers Event transcript


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About Author

About Author

Judy Warner has held a unique variety of roles in the electronics industry for over 25 years. She has a background in PCB Manufacturing, RF and Microwave PCBs and Contract Manufacturing, focusing on Mil/Aero applications. 

She has also been a writer, blogger, and journalist for several industry publications such as Microwave Journal, PCB007 Magazine, PCB Design007, PCD&F, and IEEE Microwave Magazine, and an active board member for PCEA (Printed Circuit Engineering Association). In 2017, Warner joined Altium as the Director of Community Engagement. In addition to hosting the OnTrack Podcast and creating the OnTrack Newsletter, she launched Altium's annual user conference, AltiumLive. Warner's passion is to provide resources, support, and advocate for PCB Design Engineers worldwide.

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