The Electronic Components Industry Association, which represents distributors and manufacturers of electronic components, announced a new partnership with FIRST—For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, a group that offers extracurricular programs in science, technology, engineering, and math to elementary, middle, and high-school students nationwide.
The ECIA Foundation and FIRST have formed a strategic alliance partnership that will allow ECIA members to get more involved in FIRST as volunteers, coaches, and mentors at the local level. This expands the groups’ existing relationship; ECIA is already a supplier to the FIRST Robotics Competition, an annual program that showcases robots built by high school teams from across the United States. ECIA members donate electronic components that the teams need to build their robots, and they also sponsor local events and provide funding to local teams.
"At FIRST, we work to create a pipeline for the next generation of STEM problem-solvers," said Donald E. Bossi, president, FIRST. "With the addition of this new Strategic Alliance, we will be able to offer FIRST programs to even more kids, allowing us to engage a future workforce that is more diverse and innovative than ever before."
The partnership also helps creates awareness among young people about careers available in the electronics supply chain. Industry volunteers “provide an industry perspective and first-hand knowledge of the global electronic components supply chain. Understanding the career opportunities available will help FIRST students make informed decisions about the future,” according to ECIA.