One World, One Industry: Advance in a New Era

At IPC APEX EXPO 2023, we look forward to connecting with you as we “Advance in a New Era of Electronics Manufacturing.” This year will be one of our most exciting as we share ideas, insights, and new discoveries on topics ranging from substrates, packaging, and automation to data analytics, cybersecurity, and Factory of the Future.

IPC APEX EXPO is the ideal place for electronics manufacturing industry members to meet and collaborate with peers, leaders, and innovators from around the world, not only during educational sessions, but also on the show floor, in standards development committees, and at a variety of networking events and receptions.

What will you enjoy at IPC APEX EXPO this year?

The show floor will feature the largest gathering of exhibitors in North America from every step in the electronics manufacturing supply chain. Make sure to walk the show floor to meet the industry’s leading equipment manufacturers, suppliers, and innovators to compare solutions, connect with existing suppliers, and find new partners.

We’re excited to present three keynote speakers at IPC APEX EXPO this year, with two speaking during luncheons for the first time. We welcome Emily Callandrelli, mechanical and aerospace engineer and the host and co-producer of “Emily’s Wonder Lab” on Netflix, who will speak about the sustainability, economics, and advocacy of space exploration. Our second luncheon speaker is Shawn DuBravac, IPC’s chief economist, who will provide insight into emerging technology themes and the micro trends defining the future of electronics; and I look forward to sharing more on workforce modernization.

For the first time, IPC E-Textiles, the international conference for the e-textiles industry, will be co-located with IPC APEX EXPO. This global e-textiles industry event allows product designers, technical experts, and company executives from around the world to collaborate on new ideas, view and get hands-on access to the latest innovations, and learn how to build reliable products.

The EMS Leadership Summit on Jan. 23 will bring together current and future industry leaders to solve problems, build business networks, and share insights on doing business better. Focused on high-level topics that drive business growth and financial success, leaders will gather insights from experts and discuss both their current and potential new best practices during panel discussions and roundtables. This meeting of minds inspires action and builds resources for participants, future leaders, and the greater EMS industry.

Our educational offerings at the show have always been unique and 2023 will be no exception. IPC’s Technical Program Committee (TPC) created an expert lineup of speakers and instructors in technical education and professional development. Our carefully curated Technical Conference will include presentations featuring topical studies, new technologies, advanced materials, and the latest processes that help improve the efficiency and quality of your manufacturing. Attendees will have the opportunity to select from five hot topic tracks: Factory of the Future and future technologies; PCB fabrication and materials; quality, reliability, test, and inspection; assembly and materials; and high-density interconnects and microvias. Two special Technical Conference sessions will also cover advanced packaging and e-mobility. Professional development courses will include something for everyone, from advanced classes exploring the details and depth of specific topics, to informative classes catering to engineers just beginning their careers.

If you’re interested in actively participating in the development, review, and update of the electronics industry’s critical standards and guidelines, attend some of our more than 100 standards development committee meetings. Standards committee meetings are the perfect place to meet and collaborate with new peers, industry leaders, and innovators.

For those visiting IPC APEX EXPO for the first time, we welcome you to the largest gathering of electronics professionals in North America. We are happy that you’ve chosen to spend your time with us. Be sure to take advantage of the many networking opportunities offered by signing up for educational sessions that are directly applicable to your work; there, you will meet manufacturing industry professionals from around the world who are facing (and solving) challenges like yours. For returning attendees, we welcome you back with open arms. One of the best things about it is the community we’ve built over the years, and we look forward to reconnecting with you again.

If you’re active on social media, please use the hashtag #IPCAPEXEXPO on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to share your experience, post photos, and continue the conversation with our social community.

As one of our many attendees said, “I come to IPC APEX EXPO because the whole industry is here.” We are all here, and we are looking forward to seeing you in sunny San Diego.

This column originally appeared in the December 2022 issue of SMT007 Magazine.

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2023

One World, One Industry: Advance in a New Era

01-02-2023

At IPC APEX EXPO 2023, we look forward to connecting with you as we “Advance in a New Era of Electronics Manufacturing.” This year’s IPC APEX EXPO will be one of our most exciting as we share ideas, insights, and new discoveries on topics ranging from substrates, packaging, and automation to data analytics, cybersecurity, and Factory of the Future. IPC APEX EXPO is the ideal place for electronics manufacturing industry members to meet and collaborate with peers, leaders, and innovators from around the world, not only during educational sessions, but also on the show floor, in standards development committees, and at a variety of networking events and receptions.

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2022

One World, One Industry: Rallying Around a Robust Ecosystem

11-29-2022

After a multi-year advocacy effort, the U.S. CHIPS and Science Act has been enacted and the funding is now in place for its implementation. At a time in which it is easy to be cynical about Washington, the CHIPS and Science Act is further proof that U.S. political leaders can come together on a bipartisan basis and do big things. Notably, the U.S. is not alone in seeking to strengthen its domestic semiconductor industry. Governments globally are marshaling resources and policy mechanisms to make their own semiconductor industries more competitive in the global marketplace.

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One World, One Industry: Opportunities in India for Electronics Manufacturing

09-29-2022

As president and CEO of the global electronics industry association, I have many opportunities to visit electronics manufacturing companies worldwide. Recently, while in India, I had the pleasure of attending Integrated Electronics Manufacturing & Interconnections (IEMI), a celebration of 10 years of IPC activities in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and the middle east Africa region. I was encouraged by how much growth has occurred over the past decade. Poised to become a global manufacturing hub, India is emerging as a dynamic market for our industry. The government has opened its doors to foreign investors, laying out the red carpet for manufacturing companies, and the industry is thriving.

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One World, One Industry: Is the U.S. Government Ready to Meet the Test of Technological Leadership?

07-26-2022

Supply chain disruptions related to the COVID pandemic, geopolitical tensions, and other factors are forcing companies to rethink their global manufacturing operations and suppliers with an eye toward hedging against risk. For close to a decade, IPC has been encouraging its members to establish a layered approach to supply chain management, one that recognizes that companies must have multiple supply chains that complement one another. The challenge for companies that pursue this layered approach has always been managing the tension between supply chain risk and optimization. Hedging against risk raises costs, while fully cost-optimized supply chains can expose companies to disastrous risk.

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One World, One Industry: Opening New Opportunities in Mexico

07-08-2022

IPC and WHMA have long supported the electronics assembly and wire harness manufacturing industries in Mexico, but recent regional growth coupled with supply chain disruptions necessitated a closer relationship. Lorena Villanueva, the new director of IPC Mexico, will be based in Mexico City and her presence will help IPC provide better support, training, and engagement with Mexico-based companies and personnel.

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One World, One Industry: Working Together to Address Workforce Challenges

04-21-2022

While the conflict in Ukraine has captured all the headlines for the past several weeks, the challenges facing companies on the workforce front have not abated. When I speak with executives around the world, they are singing the same song in two-part harmony: supply chain and people. Let’s talk a little about the people challenges that are keeping management up many nights. Even though we say there is a workforce problem, there is not just one problem. This obstacle is multifaceted.

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One World, One Industry: Europe—Taking the Technical Lead on Transition to the Digital Factory

01-27-2022

As the president and CEO of a global trade association, John Mitchell pays close attention to how the electronics manufacturing industry is faring throughout the world. He recently spoke to Sanjay Huprikar, president, Europe and South Asia operations, and Matt Kelly, chief technologist, about the European manufacturing industry.

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2021

One World, One Industry: Better by Design—Bringing PCB Design Professionals Together

08-29-2021

To focus on the critical role design plays in the development of electronics, we created IPC Design to bring together printed board design professionals to connect with other designers, enjoy education and training opportunities, mentor and encourage the next generation of designer engineers, and above all, help advance the art and science of printed board design.

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One World, One Industry: Responding to Questions about the Future of Electronics Manufacturing

06-16-2021

The questions I receive most frequently depend upon the individual or group asking the questions. For this column, I will focus on the different questions coming from the manufacturing industry and media.

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One World, One Industry: New Thought Leaders Program Brings Industry Insight

05-20-2021

As the electronics industry undergoes dramatic change, it is essential for IPC to obtain advice and counsel from experts throughout the industry that help us navigate these changes. To this end, IPC created the Thought Leaders Program (TLP), a select group of experts who will generate ideas and insights.

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One World, One Industry: How Familiar Are You with ESG?

04-22-2021

ESG is the new approach to corporate social responsibility, based on the notion that companies integrating ESG goals into their business decisions and operations are stronger by having accounted for concerns that create liabilities or risk. The financial services community is increasingly relying on ESG ratings and rankings to steer investments.

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One World, One Industry: Join Us for IPC APEX EXPO—Virtually

02-08-2021

In person or online, our goal is to maintain IPC APEX EXPO’s position as the premier event for the electronics industry by providing far-reaching insights and ideas. The challenge we face to provide a premier networking event is also an opportunity for growth.

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2020

One World, One Industry: Expert Instructors Share Knowledge With the Next Generation

12-18-2020

You may be familiar with the IPC Electronics Workforce Training Initiative—an expanding series of education programs created to help the electronics industry overcome gaps in workforce skills—but do you know anything about the instructors who help develop and provide the training? Dr. John Mitchell details how IPC is fortunate to work with a team of subject-matter experts and instructors who share their significant knowledge and skills with the current and next generation of the electronics manufacturing workforce.

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One World, One Industry: Navigating Around the Future

10-21-2020

Predicting the future is always dangerous. Happily, those predictions are rarely held to much scrutiny—perhaps because we all know that whatever is shared will, at least in some aspect, be wrong. IPC's Dr. John Mitchell dips his toe into the world of prognostication for a little bit, realizing that nothing is certain.

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One World, One Industry: 3 Tools That Should Be in Your Leadership Toolbox

08-24-2020

There can be a lot of weight given to the abilities of the leader of an organization. IPC's Dr. John Mitchell shares three tools that should be in your leadership toolbox and a couple of themes to keep in mind.

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One World, One Industry: A Lasting COVID-19 Lesson—Resilient Regional Manufacturing Networks

07-24-2020

Sophisticated global supply chains are generally efficient in meeting societal demands, but the COVID-19 pandemic illustrates that—in times of crisis—these supply chains can break down. IPC's Dr. John Mitchell emphasizes the need for resilient regional manufacturing networks across North America.

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One World, One Industry: Problem Solving While Innovating

06-15-2020

There is a saying that true character is revealed by the choices we make under pressure, and this is certainly true of this very uncertain time. John Mitchell shares ways those in the electronics manufacturing industry are working together to find solutions.

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One World, One Industry: Separating Hype From Reality—What’s Next for the Future of Electronics?

05-19-2020

Matt Kelly, a familiar face in IPC standards development and widely recognized in the global electronics industry as a thought leader and an innovator, was recently hired as IPC’s chief technologist. Dr. John Mitchell sat down with Matt to ask him about his new role, as well as industry trends.

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One World, One Industry: The Future of the Electronics Industry

03-15-2020

When I speak to experts in the field, what strikes me most about our conversations is the accelerating pace of change and opportunity on so many fronts. This industry knows all about change. We are disruptors, and we are used to being disrupted ourselves. From smart factories to artificial intelligence and additive manufacturing, this industry will see its share of change in the coming years. IPC will be at the forefront of that change.

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One World, One Industry: Three Workforce Lessons From Manufacturing Plants Around the World 

02-15-2020

During Dr. John Mitchell's latest international listening tour of manufacturing plants, he saw how workforce challenges in the U.S. extend globally. The good news is that, through shared experience, we can develop shared insights and solutions. John offers the conclusions he has drawn from meetings with operators and managers across the electronics industry about the current labor environment.

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One World, One Industry: IPC APEX EXPO 2020—A Special Anniversary Year

02-03-2020

This year marks the 20th anniversary of IPC APEX EXPO, and IPC is thrilled to celebrate this event milestone with attendees, exhibitors, and presenters. Their dedication to and involvement in IPC APEX EXPO is directly responsible for its success, and their efforts clearly illustrate how the entire electronics manufacturing industry comes together to “Elevate the Excellence of Electronics”—this year’s theme.

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2019

One World, One Industry: Rising Tariffs Put a Painful Squeeze on Electronics Manufacturers

12-23-2019

IPC recognizes that you are greatly affected by the ongoing tariff dispute between China and the United States. To date, the two countries have imposed tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in imports in a tit for tat that could escalate further if an agreement is not reached soon. Dr. John Mitchell discusses IPC's recent survey of U.S. members and the organization's perspective.

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One World, One Industry: Opportunities Abound for Learning at IPC

11-13-2019

It’s fall, and students are heading back to school. Will you be joining them? IPC offers many opportunities for continuous learning, enabling you to enrich your career and increase your value to your company.

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One World, One Industry: Maintaining a Strong Economy Through Workforce Development

09-25-2019

As members of the electronics industry, we work in a quickly evolving technological field illustrated by continual change and advancement. We must have a workforce that is ready to meet these advancements. We are firmly committed to providing growth and opportunities for American workers as we plan for a future where we don’t know what the jobs will be.

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One World, One Industry: CFX and Hermes—Plug-and-Play IPC Standards Building Momentum for Industry 4.0

09-13-2019

IPC is removing barriers that hamper executives' ability to align their companies with Industry 4.0 by providing the building blocks for seamless machine-to-machine and machine-to-ERP communications. Released earlier this year. Two standards are released recently: the IPC-2591 (CFX), and the surface-mount equipment communication standard IPC-HERMES-9852, The Global Standard for Machine-to-Machine Communication in SMT Assembly.

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Emerging Engineer Program: A Unique Opportunity Offered by IPC

07-05-2019

One of the most rewarding parts of my job is being able to offer new engineers a leg up early in their career, and I am especially thrilled when I can do it personally. Often, this can be as simple as connecting them with an industry leader. Wonderfully, this was something I was able to do IPC APEX EXPO this past January.

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2018

One World, One Industry: IPC Legislative Victories Reached with Outstanding Member and Industry Support

11-27-2018

After months of working with legislators in the United States to ensure our industry is well represented, I am pleased to say that we have been successful in our efforts—particularly concerning defense electronics and workforce education.

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One World, One Industry: Back to School with IPC EDGE 2.0

11-05-2018

IPC spent the summer gearing up for new education and certification platforms, and has announced that IPC EDGE 2.0 is ready for all certification users. John Mitchell talked with David Hernandez, senior director of learning and professional development, and Kris Roberson, director of certification programs, to talk about what’s new in education and certification.

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One World, One Industry: Meet Nicolas Robin, IPC’s New Senior Director in Europe

11-02-2018

In May, IPC Europe welcomed new Senior Director Nicolas Robin. Based in Brussels, Nicolas will represent IPC and the electronics manufacturing industry in Europe. I recently sat down with Nicolas for a one-to-one conversation to get to know him better and introduce him to fellow electronics industry members.

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One World, One Industry: Automotive Electronics—Past / Present / Future

08-17-2018

As electronics play an increasingly important role in automotive manufacturing, tremendous change and great progress have been made worldwide. We are at the crossroads of incredible technological advancements, and it’s been exhilarating to watch. I am eager to see what happens next.

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IMPACT 2018: We Need Your Voice in Washington, D.C.!

07-23-2018

It’s that time of year again: IPC’s IMPACT Washington, D.C. 2018 is on the horizon. As a global, industry-driven organization, IPC exists to help its member companies innovate, compete, and succeed in the electronics industry.

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IPC Addresses Skills Gap

07-04-2018

A recent IPC global survey found that while the skills gap may vary depending on the job role and geographic location surveyed, many companies in the industry are struggling to find the talent they need, and the problem is expected to continue over the next decade.

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One World, One Industry: IPC’s Job Task Analysis Committee Needs Your Expertise and Experience to Address the Skills Gap

06-25-2018

IPC is investing in the future by supporting our members’ workforce and training needs to meet the demands of a continually changing and advancing industry. With the creation of our Job Task Analysis Committee (JTA), we are collaborating with a group of industry subject matter experts tasked with the responsibility of defining a competency model for the electronics industry.

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One World, One Industry: Meet IPC’s Vice President of Global Government Relations, Chris Mitchell

05-29-2018

In this new role, Chris will work closely with IPC’s Government Relations Steering Committee and its government relations team based in Washington, D.C. Chris will represent IPC and the electronics manufacturing industry before key policymakers globally and identify issues and other opportunities where IPC can demonstrate its leadership in government relations and public policy.

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One World, One Industry: Skilled Talent—Can We Meet Rising Demand?

04-02-2018

In 2018, the U.S. GDP is expected to continue its rise, while unemployment rates are expected to drop further. Experts agree that the global economy is also showing signs of strengthening.

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One World, One Industry: Electronics Industry Advocacy More Important than Ever

02-23-2018

From the Americas to Europe, Asia and beyond, the future of the electronics manufacturing industry is shaped in many ways by government policies. This will be true like never before in 2018, as legislators and regulators the world over are eyeing policy decisions on issues such as technology research and development, taxes, workforce skills, and the environment.

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2017

One World, One Industry: Connecting the Dots Between Manufacturing and Community

11-24-2017

Across the United States, the first Friday in October represents the annual celebration of Manufacturing Day. On this date, manufacturers and supporters come together to celebrate the longevity and success of our industry. Since 2012, Manufacturing Day has served as a chance to learn about the businesses that thrive in our communities and contribute greatly to the economy.

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One World, One Industry: Pursuing New Solutions to the Electronics Sectors’ Skills Gap

11-15-2017

In a recent survey of our U.S. member companies[1], most said they have a hard time finding local talent to run their businesses. Respondents cited many essential skills that are in short supply, but the most common ones are soldering for production jobs, and engineers with industry experience, especially in process, test, and quality control. Making matters even more challenging, as new innovations emerge, new skills requirements emerge as well.

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One World, One Industry: The Future of Electronics in the Automotive Industry

09-15-2017

Automotive electronics is not a new topic. While there is a trend for both performance and luxury electronics, many of the recent conversations tend to focus on self-driving/autonomous vehicles. While the technology is exciting, it is just the tip of the iceberg.

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One World, One Industry: India Makes Manufacturing Gains to Participate in a Global Economy

08-18-2017

The manufacturing industry is truly a global one. While the past few decades have seen the rise of manufacturing in China and countries throughout Europe and South America, the last 10 years have been marked by significant progress in India. While the greater Asian area has flourished, India has been hampered by many factors including a struggling infrastructure.

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One World, One Industry: Three Ways to Close the Skills Gap in U.S. Manufacturing

07-12-2017

The skills gap is a chronic problem in the manufacturing sector. Most manufacturing companies have a hard time aligning the talent needed to run their businesses with the talent that is available to work locally. And as new innovations emerge, new skills requirements emerge as well.

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One World, One Industry: Having an Impact from the Shop Floor to the Halls of Government

07-07-2017

When you have concerns about government regulations and policies that impact your business, what can you do? Among several options, a direct approach is one of the best: Reach out to your elected officials and share your concerns. The odds are good that they will be responsive and look into ways of helping out a hometown business.

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China—A Critical Partner for Trade

06-09-2017

Count me among those business leaders who thought the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was on the right track last year and would have brought significant benefits to all nations, including the United States. Before President Trump withdrew the United States from the TPP trade negotiations, I had argued it would have unified the world’s most dynamic economic region—bringing together developed and developing countries that collectively represent 825 million consumers and 40% of the world’s economic output.

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One World, One Industry: 100 Days In—President Trump and a Better Manufacturing Policy

04-19-2017

To truly increase the number of American manufacturing jobs, President Trump should support increased investment in research and development for advanced manufacturing, promote and fund STEM education in primary and secondary schools, and build stronger apprenticeship programs. It is this type of investment—in human capital and technology—that will truly help make American manufacturing great again.

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One World, One Industry: IPC’s Global Policy Framework for 2017—Smart Advocacy for the Industry

04-10-2017

As President Trump was being sworn in several weeks ago, and as the new Congress was getting down to work, IPC released its Global Policy Framework for 2017. As we work to represent more than 3,800 member facilities across the electronics industry’s global supply chain, IPC will adhere to this framework to guide our policy work in the coming months. All of our advocacy efforts are aimed at fostering an environment in which electronics manufacturers and their suppliers can thrive and grow.

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One World, One Industry: Emerging Technology, Training for the Future, and the Next Industrial Revolution

02-13-2017

Technology isn’t just a tangible entity. It moves beyond what we can see, feel, and touch. It is ideas and theories. It includes philosophy and risks. In a way, technology itself is like the stock market. Different industries hedge their bets on emerging trends. These trends develop into useful products that change our world.

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2016

One World, One Industry: Strengthening Your Value Proposition to Boost Organization Success

12-16-2016

John Mitchell's new column's title says it all: One World, One Industry. In the coming columns, the IPC president will be covering issues affecting the entire global electronics industry supply chain with specific expertise on global standards, education, advocacy and solutions.

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One World, One Industry: Six Leadership Lessons from 20 Years in the Electronics Industry

11-07-2016

The orchestra conductor is an apt metaphor for the successful leader. Effective leadership often boils down to the ability to inspire others (the symphony) to their best work, while keeping and driving the overall vision of the organization (the musical score).

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One World, One Industry: Voting — A Civic Duty and Industry Opportunity

10-17-2016

On Tuesday, November 8, more than 240 million people in the United States will have the opportunity to go to the polls and vote, make their voices heard in government, and influence the direction of public policy for years to come. Much of the world is closely watching with interest in this major U.S. election.

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