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Will Millennials Change Manufacturing?

Dark, dirty and dangerous -- mention the 3Ds of old-time manufacturing and HR managers shudder. It's exactly the image they don't want the public -- or millennials considering careers in manufacturing -- to have of the industry. They want to be able to talk about an industry that is attractive and safe, innovative, even cool. So it must gladden the hearts of Lockheed Martin recruiters when Emilee Bianco talks about being "excited" to work at Lockheed Martin Space System's facility in Sunnyvale, Calif. Bianco, 25, has been working on building solar arrays to power satellites. As a manufacturing engineer, Bianco takes design specifications, puts them into work instructions and then works to en

Where Small Town America Is Thriving

Big city America has long demonstrated a distaste for its smaller cousins. This sentiment has, if anything, intensified with the election of President Donald Trump, whose improbable victory was made possible by strong support in small cities and towns across the country. Once exemplars of de Tocquevillian American exceptionalism, now they’re subject to such jibes as a Silicon Valley executive's infamous assertion last year that “no educated person wants to live in a s***hole with stupid people.” And to be sure, “the little town blues” as Brookings has characterized it, are real: many of these smaller communities are in demographic decline as the ambitious young go elsewhere, leaving them eve

Eighty Years Later: The Fair Labor Standards Act

Eighty years ago today, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was signed, creating the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) at the Department of Labor. This landmark legislation established several long-standing pillars of our modern workplace, including the minimum wage, the 40-hour workweek, and overtime. Though much has changed in the American workplace since 1938, the FLSA endures as a vital piece of legislation that ensures Americans receive wages they have earned. Today, WHD’s education and enforcement actions work in concert to educate employers about their responsibilities and drive compliance with this law. The Trump Administration is committed to working with job creators who follow the law.

How A 137-Year Manufacturer Copes With The Growing Skills Gap

One of the biggest challenges facing just about every business today is finding and keeping quality employees. It’s a dramatic narrative shift from the aftermath of the Great Recession where so many people found themselves looking for work. Now, companies simply cannot find enough people to fill their open positions. That’s especially true in sectors where workers need to have specific high-tech skill-sets, like IT or specialized manufacturing, where it can be especially difficult to find someone capable of doing the work. Diamond Brand Gear, an outdoor gear manufacturer based in Fletcher, North Carolina, is one of those companies facing a skills gap challenge. The company has been stitching

Help Wanted | Educators retool programs toward workforce needs

For Pennsylvania’s institutions of higher learning, the mission is clear. Their job is not simply to educate students; it is to prepare them to enter a workforce that increasingly is demanding higher levels of learning to fill the jobs available. The Center for Workforce Information and Analysis of the state Department of Labor Industry has prepared a list of “high priority occupations” for 2018. The center divided the state into 22 regions, and in 17 of them, at least seven of the top 10 occupations require an associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degree. In 16 of those 22 areas, though, the job ranked highest in priority also pays less than $60,000 a year, in a state that was ranked No. 3 in

Is manufacturing the answer to the joblessness that plagues parts of Chicago?

Chicago, like other parts of the nation, is witness to two seemingly contradictory trends: persistently high unemployment in parts of its low-income communities, and thousands of job openings that employers struggle to fill. Could manufacturing be a key to bridging the gap? In a new report, researchers from the Century Foundation and the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Great Cities Institute highlight the opportunity for manufacturers to address their talent needs by tapping into black and Latino communities experiencing high rates of joblessness. Manufacturing had more than 58,000 job postings in the Chicago region over the year ending this March, more than all but three sectors, accord

United Steelworkers leader: Punish China, not Canada

United Steelworkers union president Leo Gerard expressed anger and frustration Tuesday over growing trade tensions between the U.S. and Canada, saying the longtime allies should have a united approach to attacking China and other countries responsible for the troubled state of their steel and aluminum industries. “Instead of fighting with each other, we should be fighting with the real culprits,” Mr. Gerard, the son of a Canadian union miner, said in a telephone interview. The Sudbury, Ontario, native said he and others were shocked by President Donald Trump’s decision not to exclude Canada from the tariffs that he has ordered on steel and aluminum imports. The duties went into effect in Mar

Marketing Your Manufacturing Organization -- Content Drives Success

Manufacturers have historically relied on a combination of reseller channels and traditional marketing efforts (i.e., print/online advertising and events) to market and grow their businesses. Although those efforts may continue to pay some dividends, the Internet is where the true opportunity lies. More and more business decision-makers looking to manufacturing equipment and services are starting their search on the Web. According to a 2007 Forrester study, over 90% of buyers begin a search for any product on the Web. With stats like that, not having a Web presence can crush any new business opportunities, even for tried-and-true brands. Creating Content For The Web More and more successful

Wolf hoping for on-time budget, more money for workforce initiatives

While he doesn't believe he will get a long-desired severance tax on natural-gas drilling in the next state budget, Gov. Tom Wolf said he is hoping for more funding to help companies find skilled workers. In a speech Monday before the Harrisburg Regional Chamber and Capital Region Economic Development Corp., the governor said he is optimistic that lawmakers will pass a 2018-2019 budget by the June 30 deadline. Education, health care and pensions take up a big part of the governor's $33 billion budget proposal. But it also includes $50 million to be invested in a new workforce development initiative the administration calls PAsmart. PAsmart calls for spending $40 million on programs related t

The Next Page: #Them too — women who toiled in steel mills faced their own harassers

Blue-collar women faced abuse long before a series of sexual harassment scandals shined a light on white-collar predators Ask any woman if she’d return to her job as a steelworker during the 1970s and ’80s, and she’d say yes in a nanosecond, even while describing the daily fear of being maimed or killed. Women felt empowered doing men’s work, earned better money than pink-collar wage earners and even loved the steel plants for their hypnotic dangers. “I always felt I was watching a high-wire circus act,” one woman told me. But ask the same women about workplace sexual dynamics during that era, and their answers range from the “mills were all sex, sex, sex” to cautious judgments that men were

Mike Rowe on when to Pursue Trades, Passion and Opportunity

For the host of several shows that add a positive luster to rugged industrial work, America’s $1 trillion in student loans and 6 million open jobs doesn’t add up. He explains how it happened and how to fix it. Once an opera singer, Mike Rowe began his television career by selling tchotchkes on QVC. He parlayed that into a successful career hosting industrial jobs-focused shows including Dirty Jobs and Somebody’s Gotta Do It, as well as stints as a pitchman for Ford and Caterpillar. Many wish the outspoken advocate for hard working Americans would run for president someday, but Rowe’s acumen for honesty, logic and reason preclude a career in politics. Instead, he used his various platforms an

The Last Shift: What Really Happened To Those Carrier Jobs Trump Saved

Carrier made air conditioners and other equipment at a plant in Indianapolis for 60 years. When they announced it was moving to Mexico, the president stepped in. A year later, this is what remains. Factories have no windows. It’s a mind-your-own-business kind of architectural gesture. You could stand on South Girls School Road on the far western edge of Indianapolis, under the slate-cloud ceiling of an Indiana winter, and regard the sizable Carrier air-conditioner plant for days on end, and you’d never see a thing that was going on inside. You’d be out there looking at the end of things. The end of a half-century of work in fan assembly for commercial and residential air-conditioning. The en

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