NEENAH, WI, February 26, 2015 - Plexus Corp. (NASDAQ: PLXS), today celebrated the recent completion of a solder training program that taught 70 individuals advanced soldering skills and techniques that are utilized in the manufacturing processes for electronic products. Graduates, family, program partners and elected officials attended the event.
In 2014, Plexus had an urgent need for qualified personnel who could solder to the rigorous IPC J-STD-001 Standard. To meet this need Plexus, with the support of a Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Fast Forward grant provided to the Fox Valley Workforce Development Board (FVWDB), collaborated with Kelly Services and Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) to establish a new solder training program. With the grant and equipment donated by Plexus, a brand new solder training lab was created at FVTC’s Sustainable Technology Center on its Appleton campus. This was the first time that IPC-standard soldering training was offered in the Fox Valley.
Joseph Adams, Vice President of Plexus Manufacturing Solutions - AMER commented, “We are grateful to be a part of the collaborative effort to establish the solder training program. Not only does the program offer our temporary employees an opportunity for personal development, it will also support future training programs for Fox Valley Technical College. We appreciate the support from the Fox Valley Workforce Development Board, Kelly Services and Fox Valley Technical College and are excited by the positive impact this program has had by strengthening our workforce in Wisconsin.”
Paul Stelter, CEO of the FVWDB, commented, “We are excited to see the tremendous results that have been achieved through this partnership. In a little more than a half a year, through the cooperation and collaboration of grant partners, we have trained these individuals to a high-tech industry standard that was previously not available in our area. We believe this represents the true intent of the Fast Forward program and we are happy to have been a part of this endeavor.”
“Soldering was a clearly identified workplace skill for this organization,” says Dr. Susan May, president of FVTC. “The college was honored to collaborate on this project with several community partners to assist Plexus with this workforce challenge.” May added that the success of the soldering initiative exemplifies how the region’s partners can quickly respond to addressing unique workplace needs.
Over the course of seven months, the 70 individuals who have successfully completed the four-week program have had the opportunity to become full-time employees at Plexus’ new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Neenah. The program has had tremendously positive results with a 98 percent completion rate for trainees. In addition, the vast majority of individuals who have completed the training have successfully converted to full-time employment at Plexus. The lab will be retained by Fox Valley Technical College for future training opportunities, including its use during the college’s youth summer camps.