This year, Wiring Harness Manufacturer’s Association (WHMA) held their First Virtual Event on February 17th from 1 pm – 4 pm CST, which was an overwhelming success. This event was held for members and non-members of the WHMA Association. There were 212 individuals in attendance. Below is the schedule of presentations presented during the Virtual Event.

  • Welcome Rick Bromm, WHMA Board Chairman, Altex President
  • Introduction to WHMA: Leadership, Committees, Annual Meeting and Services David Bergman, WHMA Executive director; IPC VP Standards
  • The Economic Outlook in a World Disrupted Shawn DuBravac WHMA/IPC chief economist
  • New Program: Workforce Training for Wiring Harness Operators Dave Hernandez, IPC VP Education and Carlos Plaza, IPC Senior Director, Education Development
  • Validating Continual Improvement Scott Morris, MarVac Regional Support Specialist, and Randy Cherry, WHMA/IPC Director, Validation Services

Shawn Dubravac, Ph.D., CFA, IPC Chief Economist presented “The Economic Outlook Disrupted”. Mr. DuBravac presentation covered an Economic Update that provided a snapshot of data on the economy, industrial production, capacity utilization, and industry employment. Some of the main areas of insights:

  • Economic recovery will largely follow COVID trajectory. We believe we are through the worst of the COVID pandemic, through some risks remain.
  • The economy performed better than expected in 2020, in large part to heavy monetary and fiscal stimulus. Growth slowed in the later part of 2020, as stimulus waned, but we avoided a “double dip”.
  • The economy likely reaches pre-pandemic levels in 2021. The labor market will likely take much longer to recover. We don’t expect the labor market to recover to pre-pandemic levels until 2024.
  • Certain sections (autos, defense) are already at pre-pandemic levels. Other sectors will take longer to recover.
  • Costs are up everywhere. Expect price pressures to remain through the year.

Dave Hernandez, Vice President of Education at IPC and Carlos Plaza, Sr. Director Education at IPC presented “Workforce Training for Wiring Harness Operators”. They presented, for the first time, the new WHO (Wire Harness Assembly for Operators) program that their team has developed to teach the skills for a Wire and Harness Operator position. This online course focuses on being able to identify and use the key tools, materials, and processes that wire harness operators need to reliably assemble quality harnesses. The course includes several evidence-based components and practices that will help you actively engage, retain, and use this valuable information in your own organization. The WHO program is currently in Beta testing with eleven organizations participating and has a tentative release date of March/April 2021.

The current feedback has been very positive. Beta User feedback statements:

  • “I have been working with wire harnesses for 3.5 years and this was extremely informative and taught me things I didn’t know. The info is very useful and answered questions I’ve had but couldn’t get answered.”
  • “Narrator is clear and concise. Explanations and examples used are relative to daily life. Interactives keeping student’s alert.”
  • “I really like the safety module that you have added, This is a great thing for employees that are just getting into the wire harness business, I believe that this is very helpful. I have enjoyed the videos and the ability to check your progress or answers in the first 2 modules.”

If you have any questions on the WHO program, please contact David Hernandez at or Carlos Plaza at

The last presentation of this live Virtual Event was presented by Randy Cherry, WHMA/IPC Director, Validation Services and WHMA/IPC member Scott Morris, MarVac Regional Support Specialist. Mr. Cherry reviewed the IPC Validation Services and the three programs which compose the services.

  • QML/WPL Certifications
    • This 3-year certification highlights the commitment to quality and adherence to IPC standards. It recognizes products and assembly processes that have demonstrated compliance with IPC standards and industry best practices.
  • Standard Gap Analysis (SGA)
    • Identify gaps between current practices and IPC standards. Often a preliminary step to the QML/QPL Certification process.
  • Technology Solutions
    • Support service to solve challenges in the manufacturing processes.
    • Focus on PCB Assembly, PCB Fabrication, Cable & Wire Harness Assembly, and Supplier performance issues.

Mr. Morris provided a live account of the IPC Validation Services & MarVac, firsthand experience with the program. Leading the audience through the noteworthy endeavor of IPC Validation Services and its importance to the MarVac company. We would like to thank Mr. Morris for his insights. If you are interested in learning more about Validation Services for your organization, contact Randy Cherry at

WHMA members have access to these recorded presentations and the slides in the Member’s Only area on the WHMA website. If you are interested in learning more about WHMA membership, please contact Norm Sagon at

The WHMA Annual Conference dates for 2022 have been announced! The conference will be taking place on February 15-17, 2022 at the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson, AZ. Visit for more information.

You can find this article on WCTI Mar/April Publication.