Mike Buetow

What do you do when the very thing for which you’ve been asking, nay, begging for years actually materializes?

That would be US government support for the printed circuit board industry. And it’s coming in the form of real dollars, not just platitudes.

As we report in our digital edition this month, the US Partnership for Assured Electronics (USPAE), a subsidiary IPC formed last year to give it room to lobby on behalf of US members without running afoul of its international cohort, has as of late January garnered more than $42 million in taxpayer dollars to manage joint industry-academia programs to tackle electronics-related challenges.

How we’ve waited for this.

Going back to the 1990s, when I worked at IPC, we spent thousands of hours (and countless more dollars) vainly waving our hands in front of Congress’s collective face. And once a year, we would gather in Washington and run from office to office on Capitol Hill telling anyone and everyone how important the industry is. After, we would retreat to our hotel bars and pat each other on the back for a job well done. After many years of this, Congress even passed a resolution. “The PCB industry is important!” they said. “Hallelujah!” we rejoiced. Our souls were saved. Or so we thought. Then the OEMs packed up and moved their orders to Taiwan and China. Poof.

To continue reading, please log in or register using the link in the upper right corner of the page.

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedInPrint Article