We Are Stronger by What Unites Us


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PCEA President Stephen V. Chavez and SMTA Global Executive Director Tanya Martin co-wrote this letter to the editor in response to a recent PCB007 column.

Stephen V. Chavez, President, PCEA:
My name is Stephen V. Chavez, CID+, and I serve as the president of the newly formed Printed Circuit Engineering Association (PCEA). PCEA is a trade association for professionals in the electronics industry. There are several other trade associations, some large or small, some old or new, that currently exist. We seek to affiliate in a cooperative manner with each one. I have observed that we all attempt to serve the greater good in the electronics industry. Each group has evolved, grown, and hopefully we all seek to coexist. I know at the PCEA many individuals are involved and have historically been involved with IPC, SMT, IEEE, and many other associations. We have served and continue to serve in each other’s ranks. In particular, I have the distinguished privilege to serve as an IPC-CID+ Master Instructor. I also serve as a volunteer on some of the IPC standard committees. I am honored for the privilege to serve in their ranks.

A recent column I read takes issue with the efforts of IPC in our industry, and while well intended, I do not recognize the picture it paints. Among other things, the author suggests a lack of contact between IPC and the American educational system. In fact, IPC has a robust college outreach program across the U.S., and dedicated staff to support it. Keep in mind, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have slowed many good efforts to engage with engineers and future engineers worldwide, and this is no exception.

Moreover, in my opinion, the best path to take is to volunteer our time—as we are doing in the PCEA—to educate our colleagues, the newer members of our industry, and the future ones. Note the emphasis on the word “our.” IPC is a reflection of ourselves. Its staff, like that of PCEA’s and many other associations and professional societies, comes from industry. We are all evolving and attempting to serve the industry at large in so many ways. It is a tribute to IPC that it has successfully navigated the changing industry so well over 60 years, and we all owe them a debt of gratitude and allegiance for so many of their great achievements. I once communicated a perspective about the IPC that bears repeating, “IPC is not a Them, rather, it is an Us!”

TanyaMartin_SMTA_19Oct2017.jpgTanya Martin, Global Executive Director, SMTA:
SMTA has been fortunate to be serving the global electronics manufacturing and design industry since 1984. We support professionals by facilitating access to national and international communities of experts, as well as accumulated research and training materials from those dedicated to advancing the industry. Some of our most important work is done within our local chapters (national and international) in connecting professionals for education, training, and fellowship. We have invested great resources into the college and university programs and support many SMTA student chapters around the U.S. to be a bridge between industry and academia.

SMTA and PCEA both agree that IPC—along with other trade organizations such as SMTA, IEEE, EIPC, and others including the newly formed PCEA—all can co-exist and collectively make this industry better. Each of us has the potential to serve the participants. Many of those participants are involved with several trade associations. We have seen IPC successfully reach into the community, academia, professional development, government advocacy, standards development, engineering, manufacturing, OEM business, contract manufacturing and the list can go on. The same thing can be said about the other trade associations. We believe we are all better served by our common welfare and the things that unite us are bigger than the things that divide us. We at the newly formed PCEA are ardent supporters of the IPC and their mission within the industry. We seek to affiliate and be proponents of their mission to serve the electronics industry. We encourage everyone to respect them not for their perfection but for the general overall benefit that our industry receives on so many fronts.

If faced with the question of whether to be givers or takers to the industry, we choose “givers.” Like all the trade associations, IPC is organic and adaptable, addressing the needs of those they serve the best they can. We are grateful and support their mission!

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