This new generation is not only interested but actually eager to join our ranks!
Yes the time is right. The kids finally are interested in being part of this old industry of ours. For the first time in years I am seeing some interest and curiosity from people under thirty about our industry. Now I have to admit that these youngsters have a much broader interest than just the circuit board industry but rather are interste3d in anything that has do with building things. They want to know how things work, they want to know how things are built, they are fascinated with the inner working of things and that’s a good thing, no that’s a great thing.
Just look around and you’ll start to get the picture. The Maker’s movement is growing like wildfire with conventions and expos showing up all over the country. People especially young people are waking up to the fact that anything is possible and that if a person puts his or her mind to it they can build about anything…and build it quickly. Wed sites like Kickstarter are simplifying the funding process to the point where is you have a great idea you can get a crowd of people to back you.
The interned has provided us with a global village so small tight and connected that a person if North Dakota can come up with a great idea, post it on Kickstarter and get funding from people all over the world from Tokyo to Shanghai from New York City to York, Maine and build a ready and willing clientele in the process.
Gone are the barriers. A book can be published and distributors without bowing to the New York gods of publishing. Companies can be started without the trek up Sand Hill road to beg VCs for a few million dollars. Products can be develop and brought to market by individuals working out of basements and garages and garden sheds in a matter of days not years.
People have the freedom and the ability to go from an idea to a reality all in the wink of an eye and with the support of those open forum communities that the world provides and this has led us to where we are the today. The young people particularly, are seeing the opportunities viable to them and they want to take advantage of them. They want to do things for themselves; they want to find out how things work. They don’t look at a job in a board shop or any other manufacturing facility as a dead end but rather as a beginning and as a means to an end; an opportunity to learn. The this new generation of makers working on a plating line or a drill room or a solder mask department is a chance to learn more about an industry, to learn more about who to do something. To them this is an opportunity to be actually paid for an education.
More and more young people are coming to me asking about opportunities in our industry. They not only want to know about the products we build but they also want to know about our history. They are curious and ready to learn and I love that.
So let’s start promoting this. Let’ head to the graduate schools and start talking to classes about our industry. I promise that if you go to a grad school in your area and offer to teach grad students about printed circuit boards you will be welcomed. In fact a friend of mine a professor at the British Columbia Institute of Technology is teaching a course on printed circuits this semester. He is focusing not only on how to build PCBs but also how to interact with the industry today. I am pleased to announce that he is also working with our publishing company writing a Graduate School edition of our PCB 101 Handbook which will come out later this year.
Companies like Bay Area Circuits in Fremont California Are already offering courses and training to students from local universities educating their future customers
Good things are happening right now. For the first time in twenty years we are about to have some young people enter our industry. Young people with new ideas, new perspectives, new approaches and new ways of doing things all of which bodes well for our industry both today and into the future. So please join me in welcoming them in; please join be and companies like Bay Area Circuits in doing whatever we can to promote our industry getting even more young people to enter our ranks it’s not only a good thing but it’s also only common sense.