Taking Responsibility for Your Future: “If you’re not at the table, chances are you’re on it!”

  By Denny McGuirk

At the IPC Summit on American Competitiveness, RBP Chemical Technology President Mark Kannenburg put the importance of government relations in perspective. He said that in a perfect world, government policies, procedures, regulations, legislation and rules would be conducive to U.S. business success, so company leaders could focus all their energies on innovation, developing new and improved products, enhancing manufacturing processes, and delivering products efficiently — in essence, ensuring business success, strengthening economy, and providing a ripe environment for employees to secure thriving livelihoods. Sadly, that is not the case. In fact, U.S. electronics manufacturers are operating despite what is happening in the environment around them.

Engagement with government leaders is a necessary function. As Mikel Williams, president and CEO of DDi Corp. put it, “If you’re not at the table, chances are you’re on it!” Responsible corporate leaders must engage with our government representatives to educate them on the world of electronics manufacturing and how the regulations and legislation they support or oppose impact both our business and the stakeholders they are elected to represent. If we don’t, others are more than willing to put their views forward.

More than 40 attendees participated in Capitol Hill Day (CHD). Most participants had at least three meetings over the course of the day and some had upwards of six. More than 50 congressional offices scheduled time to speak with our participants — their constituents. Rather than cancel scheduled meetings with IPC members, Representatives Walden (OR) and Reed (NY) as well as Senator Ayotte (NH) made special arrangements to briefly step away from meetings in session so they could speak with their constituents David Hollingsworth, vice president of business development at Ascentron, Inc.; IEC Electronics Corp. executives Mark Northrup, director of advanced technologies operations, and Don Doody, executive vice president of operations; and Al Wasserzug, director of corporate development at Vulcan Flex Circuit Corporation, respectively.

As I’m certain other CHD participants will attest to, it is rewarding to have the opportunity to voice our concerns to our representatives to incite action … and it is our responsibility. New regulations will impact our business environment, whether it is directly on the work we do, our employees or our community. As U.S. citizens, our freedom to elect our representatives is one that we should cherish and our responsibility to our stakeholders is equally important.

Please enjoy Denny’s column from the July 1 IPC Review.


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