Employee performs soldering on consumer electronics

Consumer division receives soldering grant

SYRACUSE, NY — United Radio has received a New York state grant from the Alliance for Economic Inclusion administered by New York State, the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council, and Onondaga County.

The purpose is to provide a formal training and certification program that will teach and certify participants in three different Institute of Printed Circuit (IPC) solder certifications. “Our ability to successfully recruit technical employees in our area and within our targeted pay range will be reliant on our ability to create a successful pathway for growth,” said Jim Fitzgerald, Consumer Division General Manager. “Our vision is to create a process model that can support the technical needs of United Radio in the future by taking an unskilled, highly motivated individual and begin them in an entry level triage or a Quality Control position of learning how products interface and perform.”

United Radio will use the three-year, $551,500 grant to establish a training program. This program will look to transform the economic landscape for the local unskilled workforce and break down the barriers to skills attainment and wage increases. As a community-minded project, United Radio looks to greatly enhance the local labor market and catalyze an, oftentimes, hard-to-reach population of workers.

The training program will consist of conducting technical theory training and IPC solder training. These IPC solder certifications are, IPC A 610 certification (visual acceptance standard), J Std 001 (entry level techniques) and IPC 7711/7721 (repair of electronic assemblies/repair or modification of PCB).

These solder certifications will qualify United Radio employees to a traceable international standard as well as improving consistency of standards. This will be a key point to allow United Radio to move into the next phase of it service operations vision. 

“An IPC certified workforce is highly marketable and allows United Radio to grow our business and promotes component level repair, which reduces overall service costs to our customers,” said Phil Rubenstein, United Radio President. “We believe this truly encompasses the ‘hire attitude and teach skill’ belief that we encompass here at United Radio.” Rubenstein added, “Engagement and retention of employees go hand-in-hand. Our ability to continually engage our employees with growth and a feeling of belonging is critical to creating an optimum workforce. Helping employees understand how they
influence their own growth is also imperative to our growth.”

By offering the opportunity for unskilled individuals to shape a gainful career, this on-the-job training certification requirements gives employees transferable skills which are in demand not only by United Radio, but many other large area employers. The result has been a  well-versed light manufacturing workforce in Central New York with upward mobility.