Do what you do best

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There's something to be said for doing what you do best: when you finally sharpen a particular skill set, master it, become the guru. It's then, and only then, that you can truly differentiate yourself in your marketplace.

Take a few moments to think about your core competency, then consider your company's niche. Are you, and those around you, the best at what you do?

Who's in charge of your cleanroom training? Who has ownership of your ESD program? Are your cleaning protocols set in stone, and if not, who is going to set the pace to make sure you are meeting validation standards?

This month we finally give outsourcing cleanroom services the attention it deserves (see page 21). This story was partly inspired by the current economic conditions, since it is in these trying times that we are forced to dig in and reengineer the way we've been doing things over the past few years.

I realize how tough it is to farm out work that you think you can do yourself. But now is the time to learn the subtle art of delegation. Go ahead, let go of that non-core discipline you've been over managing and consider getting results.

Sign of the times: We spent a large part of 2001 banging the drum for cleanroom education and training by filling our news pages with stories of progressive programs from around the world. Through the reporting of this news, we hoped to gently nudge readers into action to either sell management on the benefits of an internal program or loosen the purse strings and increase employee participation in outside educational events.

CleanRooms has always believed that an inspired and educated workforce increases yield.

Arizona State University (ASU), one of the better known and most progressive training programs here in the U.S., was recently put in a tough spot. The University's East campus plans on opening a 15,000-square-foot cleanroom classroom this fall which includes $5 million worth of donated equipment from Intel and Motorola.

However, Arizona's three state universities could face a combined loss of $17 million next year under tax cut proposals being discussed at the state Capitol. According to an Associated Press wire story, ASU East provost Charles Backus stated that if the cuts were that substantial the training facility would have to be “stopped in its tracks.”

We'll keep on top of this story on But in the meantime, you might want to drop Charles Backus a line to see if there's anything you or your company can do—either material goods or practical experience—to help keep this facility remain one of the flagships in cleanroom training. His e-mail is [email protected].

Mike Levans
Chief Editor


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