ECIA Foundation Overview

The ECIA Foundation promotes the value of the electronics components industry and facilitates our member’s efforts to give back by encouraging careers in the industry and supporting education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Foundation Mission

The ECIA Foundation promotes the value of the electronics components industry through developing, leveraging, and deploying educational and awareness based initiatives.

Board of Directors governs the  ECIA Foundation. The ECIA Foundation Board supports organizations that influence and promote STEM careers and the hiring of U.S. veterans.

Recruitment Resources
ECIA has a number of resources that can help your team recruit, train and retain employees. Visit the Recruitment Resources page to learn more.

E-Learning Initiative

We are pleased to announce a new e-learning curriculum with a total of five courses ready for use by the end of of the year.  For the past several years the ECIA Foundation, led by Foundation President Jim Kaplan, has envisioned the establishment of basic training for new employees to the electronics industry. A committee was formed to create the courses and ECIA Service Partner Lectrix will develop the platform which will be hosted by ECIA. Courses will be available to members as a member benefit and non-members for a fee. The initial five modules will cover: Industry Overview; Terms & Definitions; Components; Taking a Product to Market and The Industry Landscape (covering ancillary companies such as EMS, Design, etc.). Click here to read more about it! 


Eric Max Memorial Fund
Eric Max was a long time ECIA & Foundation board member who passed away in January of 2017. His family asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to a fund in his memory through the ECIA Foundation. ECIA worked with the family to identify two entities to support through the fund:

  • "Eric Max Drone Club"a robotics program led by Tina Finley at Grassland Middle School in their home town of Franklin, TN.  The ECIA Foundation made the first presentation of funds to the school in September of 2018 and the Max family generously matched the funding.  The funds will  support the  club where 6-8th graders learn to code, build and fly micro-drones. The program will continue to receive support for at least five years. Click here for donation form.
  • FIRST® Robotics Competition Scholarship designated for two Tennessee graduating high school seniors that have participated in FIRST® Robotics.
AEA - Association Education Alliance  
AEA is a collective of 40+ wholesale-distributor trade associations. Through ECIA membership, you have access to many training opportunities where your sales teams can learn from professionals - at a discounted member rate. The Alliance recently released their Confronting the Labor Shortage Whitepaper which provides "Strategies and Solutions for Distributors Facing a Growing Skills Gap."

The University of Innovative Distribution (UID) is AEA’s major educational program. It is a four-day intensive educational session held in conjunction with Purdue University. Dates for 2020 are March 8-11.

The ECIA Foundation is honored to assist Dean Kamen – inventor, scientist and founder of FIRST®.  Kamen’s quest is to ignite the imaginative minds of our youth and instill a love of science exploration. The successful FIRST® program – For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology – has provided a venue for science-minded kids to compete on a level that rivals their athlete peers. Started in 1992 with 28 teams in a New Hampshire high-school gym, the competition now involves over 3,500 teams across the globe vying for bragging rights and college scholarships.  ECIA worked with our member companies to coordinate the donation of millions of electronic components needed to make team kits for the 2013 - 2020 competitions.

ECIA member companies provide support in a number of ways: supplying components to the team Kit of Parts; mentoring teams; sponsoring regional competitions and direct funding. Learn more about the tax advantages of supporting STEM education. 

Become a FIRST Supplier and join an esteemed group of supporters. Click here to see a variety of sponsor levels for the FIRST Robotics Competition. 

FIRST® Alliance Designation
The ECIA Foundation was awarded special recognition as a FIRST® Alliance member in 2016.

At the state/local level, Alliances can have a significant impact in the community by creating more teams, engaging more Mentors, and reaching out to more students. FIRST Alliances:

  • advocate and promote career opportunities in STEM in grades K-12;
  • look to build on existing STEM related programs; and
  • seek ways to engage their memberships in FIRST Mentor/Coach opportunities as a means of workforce development, increased community involvement, and encouraging their employees to give back to the communities

Through this affiliation, ECIA members will have access to an FIRST alumni group of enthusiastic young people interested in a variety of STEM related careers.

Veterans Hiring
The ECIA Foundation is also focused promoting industry careers to our military veterans. Through a partnership with Hiring Our Heroes, ECIA members can tap into this vast resource for an experienced and educated workforce. In 2019 HoH held a record 28 Career Summits, 52 hiring events, 12 Sport Expos, 17 military spouse hiring events, six military spouse symposia, 12 AMPLIFY Military Spouse Career Intensives, and two Community Engagement Events in 39 states, three countries, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C.!

Hiring veterans is not just goodwill. It’s good business. Their military experience has provided them with education, training, values, leadership skills and teamwork know-how. They have the skills, training and character to meet employers’ challenges. 

Click here to search for hiring events in your area and here for information on establishing a Corporate Fellowship Program.