About Us


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Who We Are

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Mission Statement

The IPC Education Foundation creates connections between electronics manufacturers and supply chain companies, academia and the emerging workforce. It works to prepare students for rewarding careers by supplying learning opportunities focused on electronics manufacturing and improving the perception of manufacturing as a stable and well-paid sector.

The IPC Education Foundation partners with forward thinking original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), electronics manufacturing services (EMS) providers, PCB Fabricators and the entire electronics supply chain to provide learning and career opportunities for students all over the world.

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Our Team

Colette Buscemi 
Sr. Director IPC Education Foundation

Colette’s professional work has been dedicated to strengthening and revitalizing business ecosystems, industry sectors and communities through trade development, workforce and educational programs. She has significant experience in working with membership-based industry trade and manufacturing associations and government sponsored programs that are focused on improving U.S. manufacturing through technology advancements and workforce initiatives.

Colette joined IPC in January 2018 as Senior Director of Education Programs, where she is responsible for establishing the IPC Education Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable organization that will serve as the vital and active interface between IPC industry members and future workers by drawing students into critical career pathways within the electronics industry. In this capacity, Colette works with industry member partners, academic institutions and Career Technical Education instructors and teachers to develop and execute initiatives for the IPC Education Foundation’s newly established STEM and educational programs.

Previously Colette served as the Senior Director for Strategic Partnerships and Programs for the Digital Manufacturing Design & Innovation Institute (DMDII), a Chicago-based innovation consortium designed to transform entire industries through collaboration by bringing together universities and industry with start-ups and government to accelerate the deployment of emerging digital manufacturing technologies.  While at DMDII, Colette held several senior-level positions spanning operations, program management, strategy and partnership engagement and workforce development.

Prior to joining DMDII, Colette served as Head of Trade & Investment, Midwest Region for UK Trade & Investment, the British government's international trade development agency where she was responsible for leading a team of international business development specialists that provided advisory services to US and UK companies in the areas of global expansion, strategic partnerships, market development strategies, and foreign direct investment.

Colette also served as the Vice President of Operations for the Alliance for Illinois Manufacturing, where she was responsible for managing the overall operational activities of the Chicago based non-profit economic development agency, ensuring the delivery of high quality technical assistance and consultative services to small to mid-sized manufacturers in Northeast Illinois.

Colette’s diverse background includes managing a start-up business and designing and developing a consumer goods product that was awarded a patent in 2005 (US 6913176 B1). She has also worked within the media and communications department in for profit and non-profit organisations.  Colette received a Bachelor of Arts in English with a Minor in Journalism from Montclair State University.


Charlene Gunter
Director of Strategic Partnerships and Programs

Prior to joining IPC Charlene has worked within non-profit for more than 12 years with a focus on cultivating and stewarding existing and new corporate partnerships, building relationships with key donors through corporate fundraising efforts, managing foundation and scholarship funding, and business development of membership driven organizations. She has experience in fundraising and partnership development within the corporate, government, non-profit and higher education spheres on a national and international level. She has an MPhil in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management (2012), two Bachelor degrees in Professional and Technical Writing (2006) and Journalism (2005) from the University of Pretoria., and a post graduate certificate in Advanced Business Communications (2007) from the University of South Africa.

As the Director of Strategic Partnerships and Programs she’ll build relationships with industry members, manage and grow the IPCEF Scholarship program, and develop additional programs focused on workforce development and career advancement initiatives.


Aaron Birney
IPC Education Program Manager

December 10, 2018 — IPC -- Association Connecting Electronics Industries® announces the addition of Aaron Birney as education program manager to its staff at IPC headquarters in Bannockburn (Chicago), Ill.

As IPC’s education program manager, Birney will be responsible for the launch, management, and growth of IPC Student Chapters, IPC’s STEM activities, and other education programs. Birney has three years of experience launching and developing student organizations at the collegiate level for Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity. His roles consisted of prospecting, recruitment, on-boarding, and chapter maintenance. Before working in student development, Birney worked in marketing for two startup companies in Toledo, OH. Birney led the marketing and website development for the first year of Peacock Social’s existence, previously housed in the LaunchPad Incubator at the University of Toledo. After this, he worked as Marketing Manager for Arista Home Care, a home healthcare company in Northwest Ohio. Birney resides in the River North neighborhood of Chicago, Ill. He enjoys playing tennis, golf, and hockey, and is an avid Minnesota sports fan.

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"Cabinet member visits Calumet Electronics" article about U.S. Cabinet member, Chris Pilkerton, who toured Calumet Electronics manufacturing floor. Click here to learn more. 

Better to Light a Candle: Chapter Four—Next Steps for Developing the Future Workforce. This column is part of a series on a new university course in PCB manufacturing at Michigan Technological University. Click here to learn more.

"High School Students Get Real-World Career Training at San Diego Convention Center" article about students in the San Diego area who participated in IPC APEX EXPO. Click here to learn more.

Judy Warner interviewed John Mitchell, CEO of IPC, on her podcast OnTrack with Judy Warner. Click here to learn more about how John Mitchell pledged 1 million new job opportunities for the electronics industry.

Hot off the presses – i-Connect’s IPC APEX EXPO pre-show issue! Click here to learn more about the IPC APEX EXPO 2019.

Better to Light a Candle: Chapter One—Prepping the Next Generation. This is the first in a series of columns on a new university course in PCB manufacturing at Michigan Technological University. Click here to learn more.

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Have a question? Need help finding information on our website? Fill out the form below and we will get back to you! You can also email educationfoundation@ipc.org

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