American Made Advocacy

Column from: Travis Kelly

Travis Kelly is the CEO of Isola and current chairman of The Printed Circuit Board Association of America or PCBAA.


Connect:
June 18, 2024

American Made Advocacy: Changing Leadership and Three Years of Advocacy in D.C.

This month, my term as chair of PCBAA ended, and I turned over those responsibilities to Shane Whiteside, CEO of Summit Interconnect. It has been my honor to serve as chair. From the beginning, when we had only five founding members, to more than 60 today, we have representation from companies and individuals in manufacturing, assembly, and materials. I look forward to working with Shane in his new role and know that PCBAA will benefit from his many years of leadership experience.
May 28, 2024

American Made Advocacy: Batting .333: Great in Baseball, Not in Microelectronics

Some in Washington, D.C. have the misperception that the CHIPS Act is all we need to address serious supply chain challenges. Using a baseball analogy, investing only in semiconductors would be batting .333, a pretty good average. But this isn’t baseball. We need to bat 1.000 through legislation and policies to invest 100% of the technology stack, including printed circuit boards (PCBs) and IC substrates.
May 14, 2024

American Made Advocacy: What About the Rest of the Technology Stack?

Those of us who have been in the industry for any length of time know America manufactures very little of the world’s supply of microelectronics. This happened over decades and was invisible or ignored by policymakers as companies shipped both their ideas and their production to Asia—and made a good profit in the process.
March 26, 2024

American Made Advocacy: Going Beyond the CHIPS Act to Power American Manufacturing

Where have all the factories gone? A tour of America’s former bustling manufacturing communities is a stark reminder that, for the past three decades, we let the microelectronics manufacturing ecosystem disappear overseas, primarily to Asia. For decades, foreign competitors seeking to control critical markets played a long game. Government investment and subsidies were effective in undercutting U.S. and European companies. As other countries created this unfair competitive advantage in manufacturing, the know-how also migrated in their direction. This resulted in the serious workforce challenges the semiconductor and printed circuit board industries face today.
February 20, 2024

American Made Advocacy: Congress Must Handle Supply Chain Challenges in 2024

It’s easy to get distracted in an election year. A constant stream of polls, primaries, and political prognostications will surely dominate the media cycle. Elections are important, but they should not distract the 118th Congress from the important work of securing our fragile supply chains and rebuilding microelectronics manufacturing capacity on our own shores.
January 25, 2024

American Made Advocacy: Five Things American Manufacturers Must Do in 2024

A new year always means new opportunities in Washington, D.C., but this election year presents special challenges. If you make, buy, or depend on printed circuit boards and substrates, here are five things our industry can do to make 2024 a winning year for our growing team.
December 26, 2023

American Made Advocacy: Moving the Needle for Microelectronics in 2023

What a difference a year makes. In 2023, we saw remarkable progress toward securing critical supply chains and laying the groundwork to rebuild our defense industrial base and critical infrastructure. The passage of the CHIPS Act has spurred a deeper conversation about America’s dependence on foreign sourcing and motivated our leaders to act after 30 years of complacency.
December 05, 2023

American Made Advocacy: Member Profile on Hari Pillai

For this month's PCBAA Member Profile, the focus is on Hari Pillai, president, Technology Components, Sanmina. Hari says, "I think I’ve had a good dose of luck throughout my career. But beyond luck, I had a vision to become a general manager as far back as my undergraduate years. I made all my career decisions based on that. My evaluation criteria was always, “How does this opportunity get me closer to my goal?” Sometimes opportunities come from unexpected places."
October 31, 2023

American Made Advocacy: What We Learned at PCB West

For the first time since we launched in 2021, the Printed Circuit Board Association of America participated in the PCB West trade show in Santa Clara, California. We were proud to join thousands of our colleagues to discuss the innovations driving our business and the very real challenges facing the American microelectronics industry. After three days in the valley, speaking with our existing members, and building important new relationships, several things became clear.
September 05, 2023

American Made Advocacy: Member Profile—Melanie Bera Anderson

PCBAA regularly profiles its members to highlight the work of the association and how its members play a role in their efforts to educate on the needs of the printed circuit board industry. This month, PCBAA interviews Melanie Bera Anderson, president of Pro-Tech Interconnect Solutions.
August 08, 2023

American Made Advocacy: Taking the Fight to Capitol Hill

PCBAA hosted its second annual meeting, June 13–14, in Washington, D.C. It was great to see our founding members as well as many new corporate and individual members. On the first day, we heard from senior officials at the Departments of Commerce and Defense, as well as several members of the House and Senate. We spent the second day on Capitol Hill lobbying for the Protecting Circuit Boards and Substrates Act (PCBS). I am pleased to report that several members of the House of Representatives pledged to become cosponsors, and more are sure to follow.
July 06, 2023

American Made Advocacy: PCBAA Member Profile With Frank Medina, Technica

In this PCBAA Member Profile, Frank Medina, president and CEO of Technica USA, shares his thoughts on what he's seen over his many years in the industry, what has changed, and how advocacy for the printed circuit board industry is making a difference in Washington, D.C.
June 06, 2023

American Made Advocacy: Taking the Fight to Capitol Hill

If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu. That’s one of the reasons, in his State of the Union address, President Biden's praise for an emerging manufacturing renaissance was so welcome. He said, “If we invent it here, we should also make it in America.” He sounded a lot like a microelectronics CEO.
May 11, 2023

American Made Advocacy: PCBAA's New Representation

David Schild recently became executive director of PCBAA and shares some of this thoughts here about the association and its role in moving legislation forward that will benefit the printed circuit board industry. David acknowledges that the CHIPS Act is a great start toward making our supply chains more resilient, but more work is to be done.
March 28, 2023

American Made Advocacy: Finishing the Job the CHIPS Act Started

I was pleased to see that President Biden mentioned the CHIPS Act during the State of the Union Address this year. That bill succeeded because lawmakers saw semiconductor manufacturing as a pressing national level issue. The CHIPS Act is a great first step in restoring one aspect of high-tech American manufacturing. What is missing from the dialogue in Washington is the rest of the microelectronics ecosystem.
March 08, 2023

American Made Advocacy: A Collective Stake in American Microelectronics

Recently, hundreds of thousands gathered in Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show, where amazing new tech was rolled out—everything from razor-thin TVs to smart robots that clean your home. As an executive in the materials science space, I was struck not just by the pace of innovation, but also by the incredibly complex supply chains that were necessary to bring those products from the drawing board to reality.
January 10, 2023

American Made Advocacy: The Three Essential Ingredients of Reshoring

Woven into almost every economic story these days is “reshoring,” a word most Americans had never heard just 18 months ago. For decades, market pressures and foreign subsidies drove manufacturing of everything from socks to semiconductors overseas. Policymakers and economists called this “offshoring.” This shift was the natural consequence of an increasingly interconnected world, new trade agreements, and a period of unprecedented global peace and security. Consumers reaped the benefits of offshoring in the form of inexpensive goods. But, as the COVID-19 pandemic made clear, we paid a price for sending the production of critical technologies overseas.
December 02, 2022

American Made Advocacy: Congress Must Redefine What’s Critical

Regardless of what emerges from the 2022 mid-term elections, we know that on Jan. 3, 2023, the 118th Congress will be seated and begin their work. The ongoing effort to build secure and resilient supply chains will be front and center on their agenda. On the heels of everything that has been done to invest in semiconductor reshoring, some might ask why further action is needed.
November 07, 2022

American Made Advocacy: The CHIPS Act is Just the Beginning

Now that the much-heralded CHIPS and Science Act has been signed into law, the work to secure the entire microelectronics ecosystem must begin. We have a long way to go in restoring balance and resilience in our critical supply chains. Over the past 20 years we have let the manufacturing and the know-how that goes with it migrate overseas. U.S. dependance on foreign suppliers won’t be reversed overnight, even by building semiconductor fabrication plants here.
May 17, 2022

American Made Advocacy: DoD Unarmed Without the PCB

It’s been more than 800 days since the global COVID-19 pandemic upended the supply chains of almost every industry. Whether it’s a shortage of commercial and consumer electronics or automobiles, businesses and their customers are bearing the brunt of what decades of offshoring and billions in foreign manufacturing subsidies have caused. One sector that sometimes escapes the attention of everyday Americans is aerospace and defense, where high-tech platforms and equipment are essential to mission success.
March 22, 2022

American Made Advocacy: What Happens in Washington Happens to Us All

Like many of you, I’ve spent the last few years grappling with the challenges posed by a global pandemic. Whether it’s staffing a production line or obtaining key materials, PCB manufacturers and their suppliers have had to adapt quickly to a radically changed environment. We’re more than 700 days into this new world, but as an industry, we cannot allow our day-to-day focus on operations to distract us from what is happening in Washington and what it means to the microelectronics ecosystem.
January 24, 2022

American Made Advocacy: A Voice in Washington for American-Made PCBs

I-Connect007 welcomes new columnist Travis Kelly, president of Isola Group and now chairman of the newly formed Printed Circuit Board Association of America (PCBAA). This organization was formed to address to the U.S. Congress the critical supply chain issues facing the printed circuit board and semiconductor industries. It has three major objectives: To support domestic production of PCBs, enhance domestic supply chain security, and advocate for initiatives that create fair market conditions. Kelly is currently leading PCBAA, comprised of several domestic PCB fabricators with a vested interest in lobbying Congress on these important issues.
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