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Letting Go Is Hard to Do (But You Still Gotta Do It)

Early in my career, I had the good fortune to attend seminars led by the late Leon Danco, a noted consultant to family businesses. He had particular skill—and took particular delight—in waking up scions to the realities of life in a family company, and in urging them to upgrade their management skills. A master storyteller, he often underscored points with memorable quips that stuck with his charges for decades. One of his favorites was: “Happiness is Control,” a critical point for frustrated sons or daughters (and their parents). The dynamics of every family are complicated, and adding in issues of money, power, and collaboration only makes them more so. Who has control, and when and how to

Dreamers wanted: High-tech manufacturing careers await willing workers

Photo Courtesy of NASA When the Kepler Space Telescope launched into outer space in 2009, a little piece of Meadville went with it. Starn Tool, headquartered in Meadville since 1945, produced parts for the telescope with a mission to study exoplanets. The Kepler Telescope was expected to operate for only four years but, nearly a decade later, on Aug. 2, 2018, “the most prolific planet hunter of all time,” as stated by Space.com, sent its last data haul back to NASA. While the Kepler Telescope is exceeding expectations up in space, Starn Tool is pushing boundaries here on Earth. Today, Starn Tool is 78 employees strong with three different locations in Meadville. We serve a wide range of indu

In Tight Labor Market, Veterans Faster to Hire, Easier to Retain

Hire veterans because of what they bring to the table rather than compliance requirements or because “it’s the right thing to do,” says a new study. A majority of companies (79%) find that veterans offer businesses the qualified, committed and high-performing employees they need, according to Orion Talent’s new Veteran Hiring Survey: Exploring the Bottom-line Value of Hiring Veteran Talent. "With over 200,000 people leaving military service each year and about half of those looking to enter the private sector, veterans represent a viable opportunity for companies to get ahead of the talent crunch,” said Mike Starich, CEO of Orion Talent. “Our survey shows that once companies are introduced

Many Parents Undervalue Manufacturing as a Career for Their Children

There is a disconnect between how we are training our kids and what careers they will choose. While 58% of parents want their child to be knowledgeable about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects and 43% agree STEM-focused careers have a promising future, only 20% of parents associate STEM education with the manufacturing industry, according to a new survey from Kronos Incorporated. The Kronos 2018 Manufacturing Day Survey conducted online by The Harris Poll in September 2018 surveyed 1,004 U.S. parents of children under 18 to explore their perceptions of the manufacturing industry as well as priorities regarding their child’s future career path. The survey revealed a ge

SOLO Laboratories Recognized as A Best Place to Work in PA

SOLO Laboratories in Kutztown, PA has been recognized by the Team Pennsylvania Foundation as one of the best places to work in the state. The recognition was based on scoring that reviewed a company's workforce policies, practices, philosophies, systems, demographics and employee satisfaction surveys. Lindsay Sokol Szejko & Jaimyn Westenhofer Lindsay Sokol Szejko, CEO & Owner, noted, "We are beyond thrilled about being selected as a best place to work in 2018 for all of PA. What an honor. At SOLO our mission is the serve others, love others. Many times this is related to our customers and how we serve them. Over the last year we have been focusing a lot more on directing this internally to

Wolf approves $1 million grant for additive manufacturing training

Governor Tom Wolf approved a $1 million grant support more training programs to United Mine Workers of America Career Centers, Inc., according to a news release. The training center, located in Prosperity, will focus on training workers in coal-impacted communities in southwest Pennsylvania in advanced manufacturing technology. “Workers and their families in southwest Pennsylvania have seen their share of challenges, with many former coal workers seeking new jobs in manufacturing, but lacking the necessary job skills to do so,” said Wolf, in a prepared statement. “UMWACC’s renovated training center is providing opportunities for those workers, and this new grant enables UMWACC to expand that

Equipment Manufacturers Salute Their Workers on Manufacturing Day

Wanting to celebrate the 1.3 million equipment manufacturers who “who work hard every day and are inspiring the next generation to follow in their footsteps,” the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) both participated in a variety of events for the day and released a video saying thanks. The video spotlights the work ethic of these workers while also highlighting some of the industry’s key contributions to the U.S. economy. This includes and contributing $159 billion to the economy every year. Wanting to celebrate the 1.3 million equipment manufacturers who “who work hard every day and are inspiring the next generation to follow in their footsteps,” the Association of Equipment Manu

Additive Manufacturing: The “Cool Factor” in Manufacturing

The challenges of designing innovative products are to balance power, speed, weight, accuracy, strength, and cost. Additive manufacturing (AM) reduces product development lead times and provides geometric freedom, part consolidation, and design individuality. Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is not a new technology. Additive manufacturing first emerged in 1987 with stereolithography (SL), a process that solidifies thin layers of ultraviolet (UV) light‐sensitive liquid polymer using a laser. Since then, various other technologies have been invented such as fused deposition modeling (FDM), Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), PolyJet, Electron Beam Melting (EBM), etc. Selecting the right addi

Financial Strategies in a Business Plan

A large part of the business plan for any small business is the financial section of the plan. The financial section includes the income statement, cash flow statement and balance sheet. For new businesses, these financial statements will be projections, whereas for an existing the business the section will contain several years of history as well as projections. In addition to statements, the plan should include the financial strategies of the business in how finances will be handled. Cash Flow Management The income statement and balance sheet of a business may look great on paper, but if the cash is not properly managed, the small business can quickly go under. Part of the financial strate

Career Fair offers area students a look at their potential future

VERNON TOWNSHIP — Zoey Patterson thinks her eventual career path might be one of two widely divergent choices. Part of her morning was spent checking career opportunities with Channellock Inc. at the fifth annual Crawford County Career Awareness Fair for students at Vernon Central Volunteer Fire Department. She was among about 1,200 students from 13 middle and high schools across Crawford and northern Mercer counties who attended. Students had a chance to speak with representatives from 60 businesses and organizations that offer employment or educational opportunities in Crawford County and surrounding areas. Patterson is interested in Channellock, the Meadville-based maker of world famous h

Pennsylvania Manufacturing Day 2018

This Oct. 5, Pennsylvania is joining the celebration for National Manufacturing Day to help promote the fulfilling career opportunities offered by the PA manufacturing industry. Help us spread the word about modern manufacturing, its positive impact on the economy, and how it benefits existing workers and students who are exploring career options. Since the Industrial Revolution Pennsylvania has been a leader of the manufacturing industry. Our dedicated workforce, abundant industrial and natural resources, and prime location made it easy for companies to produce and distribute their products to market, and those advantages hold true today as the industry has continued to evolve. Now the eigh

What We’ve Learned about Building a High Wage America

On September 13, experts and elected officials gathered in Washington, D.C. to tackle the issues of long-term stagnating wages, income inequality, and the generally low wages facing the American economy. Mark Zuckerman, president of The Century Foundation (TCF), welcomed 150+ guests to “Building a High Wage America: Lessons from the Heartland,” co-hosted by TCF’s Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative and the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), with additional support from Heartland Capital Strategies, the AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council, the Joyce Foundation, and PNC Bank. Here are the key points made by experts representing the Century Foundation’s tour of the heartland, alo

Estimating ‘Cost to Complete’ and ‘Cost on Completion’

How can manufacturers deliver resource forecasting, labor-hour scheduling, and resource allocation insights needed for project management and cost allocation? Manufacturers involved with make-to-order business models or capital equipment are project-oriented – whether engaged in engineer-to-order construction, new product introduction or refits, lifecycle extensions on their own assets or customer assets. They need Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems that connect the shop floor and work order schedules directly into a project. When planning and executing manufacturing projects, difficulties may arise when project managers try to track two important metrics: estimate to complete by hou

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