Training the Next Generation of Manufacturing Experts
Sophea Hang, Apprentice | Vee Sar, Apprenticeship Program Manager
Compass Electronics Solutions continues to pave the way for apprenticeship programs in the electronics manufacturing industry. We invest in our employees’ futures and value the importance of extensive training and on the job mentoring. New talent with a specific skill set can be difficult to find in an industry that requires a high degree of skill, specialization, and extreme attention to both detail and quality measures. Compass Electronics Solutions has overcome that obstacle by fulfilling the growing need for skilled electronic manufacturing workers through our apprenticeship program.
Compass Electronics Solutions, partners with programs like the Minnesota Apprenticeship Initiative (MAI) to provide apprentices knowledge and skills needed in a complex manufacturing environment. Compass Electronics Solutions began this partnership in 2018 and has continued to invest in the program by seeking new opportunities that will allow our workforce to continually develop. The skills and knowledge participants acquire during the program facilitates long-term career development and higher lifetime earnings.
During the 18-month program, apprentices “earn while they learn” soldering and machine operation skills. The first 60-90 days are devoted to comprehensive safety and basic training. Phase two introduces technical training, diligent preparation for the final phase, on the job training (OTJ). Throughout the three-step process, participants learn to perform increasingly complex tasks while receiving pay increases.
What makes the program so unique is the core curriculum of learning. Compass Electronics Solutions uses several instructional resources and channels including personal mentoring, classroom training, and OTJ training. Apprentices are guided and mentored throughout the entire 18-month process and continue advancing their skill set in many different areas of manufacturing. These hands-on methods are designed to give participants an opportunity to gain real work experience while earning highly recognized qualifications.
Sophea Hang has been an apprentice in our program for over 6 months, along with 6 of her fellow apprentices. Before starting the program, Sophea was working at Compass Electronics Solutions as an SMT operator. After learning about the apprenticeship program’s extensive training and OTJ mentoring, she signed up to advance her skill set and career prospects. Since starting the program, Sophea has been able to learn in many different areas of the manufacturing floor including box build, PCB reprogramming, and other important areas to fill out her set of skills. Along the way she has completed industry certifications from globally recognized organizations such as SMTA, IPC, and OSHA compliant safety programs.
Sophea has learned to operate a variety of equipment, troubleshoot issues as they arise and be proactive to ensure product quality. By learning a wide array of skills, Sophea has been able to differentiate herself as an asset in all areas of electronics manufacturing. Sophea states, “I encourage my fellow employees and anyone else that seems they would be a good fit for the program to join. It is free learning that makes you more confident in your skills and ability to do your job while enhancing your career along the way.”
When apprentices learn skills in several different specialty areas of electronics manufacturing, it sets them apart from other potential job candidates. Compass Electronics Solutions prepares apprentices with the additional training and skills needed to easily achieve career success upon graduating from the program. Once apprentices like Sophea complete the program, they are fully equipped to compete for advanced manufacturing positions around the world.