WASHINGTON -- The Electronic Industries Alliance's board of directors has approved a plan that would split the assets of the trade goup coalition across five distinct organizations.

Under the plan, EIA will distribute its assets equally among its four current member associations -- The Electronic Components, Assemblies & Materials Association (ECA); the Government Electronics and Information Technology Association (GEIA); the JEDEC Solid State Technology Association (JEDEC); and the Telecommunications Industry Association -- and the Consumer Electronics Association, a former member of EIA.

EIA, whose 1,300 members include many of the top electronics manufacturers, will turn over its standards and technology efforts to the ECA. Jedec will continue to represent makers of active components. The two groups write many of the standards used to define component package styles.

The Internet Security Alliance will provide members of the four associations with complimentary access to its services for a two-year period.

The Telecommunications Industry Association has offered to work with EIA's Environmental Issues Council and transfer all environmental staff and EIA Track, a subscription service tracking environmental news and regulation worldwide, to TIA. TIA intends to keep intact all services.

"Change is the only constant in today's high-tech business," said Mike Kennedy, EIA's chairman of the board and Motorola senior vice president, in a statement released by EIA. "We believe these changes will dramatically enhance the ability of these four groups to meet their objectives, be they improved advocacy in Washington or enhanced services for member companies."

EIA is made up of four trade associations: ECA, GEIA, Jedec and TIA. Prior to 1998, EIA was the Electronic Industries Association and the group dates to 1924.

"The resultant new structure will allow each sector to have a stronger focus on its core interest area, while maintaining cross-industry connections," said Jim Shiring, Microsemi Corp. executive vice president and an EIA and Jedec board member.

For its part, ECA expects to concentrate its expanded resources in areas such as domestic and international standards, technical conferences and symposia, distribution channel support, and market research.  The association will continue its collaboration with its sector counterparts under the EIA banner where necessary in areas such as government access, internet security, environmental issues and compliance, and international services.

“The realignment gives us an opportunity to provide better integration of programs and membership options addressing every aspect of the electronic component supply chain – from product conception to end-of-life,” says Bob Willis, ECA president.

EIA is one of the wealthiest national electronics trade groups, with $33 million in reserves at the end of fiscal 2005, the last year records are available, despite revenues of just under $4 million. By contrast, the American Electronics Association took in $16.7 million and had $7.8 million in reserves at the end of fiscal 2004. IPC took in $15 million in 2005, and had $6.9 million in reserves. SMTA is much smaller, with 2006 revenues of $1.6 million and a balance of $1.2 million.

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