expanding the next
generation of talent
to students at multiple levels
The American PCB industry is facing a critical juncture. The engineers and fabricators that drove growth for decades is aging. Offshoring has moved talent and technology development overseas – leaving American based electronics manufacturers at risk. The industry needs vision and investment to protect and grow the future of PCB manufacturing in America.
Calumet Electronics is taking the lead on a national and local level to infuse young people into the industry. From local partnerships with school districts to participating in key strategic initiatives with the Department of Defense to speaking on behalf of the industry at the White House, Calumet Electronics is stepping up and stepping forward. Stay in touch with Calumet on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Supporting First PCB Fabrication Course in U.S. in 20 Years
Michigan Technological University, a leading science and engineering university is located 15 miles from Calumet, Michigan. Calumet Electronics engages advanced learning classroom activities to support, create and promote new educational research ventures and opportunities at Michigan Technological University within Electronic Design and Manufacturing. Calumet Electronics engineers and leadership are regular instructors at classes as well as sponsors of significant industry leaders to visit and engage students on campus.
Michigan Technological University graduates are connected to Calumet Electronics for career opportunities to energize the company’s engineering and innovation foundation.
“In the planning and the execution of the EE4800-Printed Circuit Board Manufacturing course during the spring semester 2019 at Michigan Technological University the industry-university collaboration was unprecedented. Leading experts from industry engaged with the students throughout. Support from Calumet Electronics (CE) was crucial. Raw materials were donated, as well as CE engineers and technicians donated time to develop processes and procedures for the laboratory portion of the class providing real hands on manufacturing experience to engineering students. CE student-interns served as laboratory teaching assistants bringing peer level guidance to the students. The program is developed to support the future competitors, employees and customers of the electronics industry.”
Chris Middlebrook, Associate Professor, Michigan Tech
Supporting High School Robotics Teams at National Competition Levels
STE(A)M programs prepare young minds for the future workplace by building science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics skills.
We’re longtime sponsors of the Calumet CopperBots, a high school robotics team that competes against 4,000 teams of students from 27 countries in the FIRST Robotics Competition each year.
Students learn computer programming, computer aided design (CAD), rapid prototyping/3D modeling, electronics, CNC and traditional machining techniques, along with time management, collaboration and networking skills by designing and building robots that solve a problem.
“Students in the high school robotics program are given a problem that has no single correct solution. They draw on their own experiences and education to begin finding a solution and are forced to research what they don’t know. Calumet Electronics has been a long-time major supporter of the CopperBots and advocate of STEM in the community. Calumet Electronics understands the positive impact this program has on its participants and invests in these bright young minds through generous monetary sponsorship and their involvement with other local technical and vocational businesses promoting this program.”
Todd Waurio, High School Teacher
IPC Education Foundation
Connecting Youth to the Electronics Industries
Calumet Electronics is a strong advocate of various IPC educational initiatives through support of IPC Education Foundation STEM Programs and the sponsorship of the IPC Student Chapter at Michigan Technological University.
“IPC members play a critical role in the electronics manufacturing workforce ecosystem. Calumet Electronics has stepped up to the plate, sharing the mantle of responsibility in creating a stronger talent pipeline. Calumet Electronics is helping to change the perception of manufacturing and preparing students with the necessary skills to succeed in career pathways. They are giving engineering students a chance to gain access to real-world, industry experiences — up close, hands-on and in person. Calumet Electronics’ commitment to our programs is shining a light on critical career pathways and sparking future innovators.”
Colette Buscemi, Senior Director, IPC Education Foundation
Supporting Certified Technical Education Programs
Calumet Electronics also supports the Copper Country Intermediate School District’s (CCISD) Career and Technical Education (CTE) program which provides young people with the skills necessary to directly enter the workforce.
Students gain skills in sectors such as automotive, construction, early childhood education, health, cybersecurity, culinary, welding, manufacturing and more.
“Calumet Electronics played a highly supportive role and was an early member of the assembled task force to help grow our local CTE program. Along with a supporting millage to help it grow, the CTE program has grown to 320 students for the 2019-20 school year, tripling enrolment in the first year. This is a great example of schools and companies working together.”
George Stockero, Superintendent, CCISD
“Our robust internship programis a vector for developing talent acquisition strategies that promote inclusivity and innovation through disciplined problem solving and real-world applications. Calumet invests and promotes the internship program throughout each calendar year to develop a pipeline of highly skilled and intelligent youth ready to make an impact for the betterment of tomorrow in the electronics domestic supply base.”
Dr. Meredith LaBeau, Director of Process Engineering, Calumet Electronics
For Manufacturing Advanced Technology at Volume
Calumet Electronics has an uncommonly young workforce. We are tapping into the energy and vitality of youth and successfully attracting early-career engineers into industrial, manufacturing and process engineering. Our operation is inclusive, requiring all types of people in all types of professions, from machine operators to cyber-security specialists, inventory management to process engineering, wastewater management to computer programming.
“If you want to have a strong workforce, provide your employees with more than jobs, provide them with careers. Calumet Electronics is one of the highest outputting domestic PCB manufacturing plants in the United States, shipping 3.2 million circuit boards a year and growing. For the United States to gain back its lead in electronics manufacturing, PCB fabricators must be able to provide high-capacity, high-capability and quick lead-times. Advancing technology and leap-frogging the capabilities of Asia, requires a next-generation work force. Abundant opportunities for education, training and developing a talent pipeline are absolutely critical, along with adapting continuously to talent needs in a technologically rich United States .”
Todd Brassard, VP/COO, Calumet Electronics
Attracting and Putting Brilliant Young Minds to Work
Young engineers like Audra Thurston are vital to the United States regaining a leadership position in the electronics industry. With progressive platform companies like Google and Facebook offering benefits like sleeppods and ping pong tables, attracting young engineers into gritty electronics manufacturing can be challenging, but far from impossible. Calumet brings young engineers opportunities for “hands on” – “get dirty” activities that are highly attractive to people raised in STEM, CTE, or internship ecosystems. Calumet believes that by making it possible for brilliant young engineers to work on challenging, difficult-to-solve problems, they will stay interested and engaged in the industry and fuel the momentum for the United States to return as the global leader in technology and manufacturing.
“Where much of the electronics industry is struggling to attract and retain young and vital workers, Calumet Electronics is getting people excited about the resurgence of manufacturing in the United States, especially with early-career engineers. We routinely hire one or two new engineers each year. Collectively, they are helping the company make huge strides forward to further develop our engineering and manufacturing capabilities, to better serve and advance the domestic electronics industry. Our young minds are ready for the opportunities coming with the 4th Industrial Revolution.”
Todd Brassard, VP/COO, Calumet Electronics