Skills Gap Widens in Electronics Manufacturing

A study by IPC finds that most electronics companies are having a hard time finding qualified production workers and skilled engineers.

Editor's Comments: The tech skills gap in manufacturing has been caused by the retirement of the baby boomers combined with an outdated image that manufacturing is dirty, offers few career prospects and is a dying industry. This could not be further from the truth but the result is that young people are not interested in going into manufacturing when there are other more exciting options available.

The dearth of skilled workers for manufacturing is hitting the electronics industry in both production and engineering. In order to identify just what’s lacking in the manufacturing workforce, IPC – the Association Connecting Electronics Industries – conducted a study that examines how the gap affects US electronics manufacturers. The results are included in the study, "Findings on the Skills Gap in US Electronics Manufacturing ." IPC researchers found that that most companies are having a hard time recruiting qualified production workers, and an even harder time finding qualified engineers and other technical professionals.

IPC researchers didn’t expect the regional differences that showed up in the results. “We found there is a difference in terms of recruiting production workers if different areas of the country,” Sharon Starr, IPC market research director, told Design News. “Companies in the eastern and western US seemed to have more difficulty finding production workers than those in the Midwest and the South. With engineers, the Midwest seemed to have less difficulty.” Read the Entire Article

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