About Us


Who We Are
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Who We Are

Our Team
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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

Charlene Gunter du Plessis
Senior Director of IPC Education Foundation

Charlene joined IPC in November 2018 as Director Strategic Partnerships and Programs and transitioned into the leadership role of the Foundation in December 2019. She is responsible for the strategic direction of the IPC Education Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable organization that will connect and engage individuals with IPC industry members to opportunities in the electronics manufacturing industry.  In this capacity, Charlene works with industry member partners, academic institutions and Career Technical Education instructors and teachers to develop and execute programmatic initiatives for the IPC Education Foundation.

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.

In her spare time, she explores the world and travels with her husband and their family members. She has been to 25 U.S. States and has visited 28 countries. She enjoys cooking, photography, and interior design.



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.

Contact Us Form

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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