Wednesday, November 14, 2012

WANTED: Women in Manufacturing

Manufacturing leaders from across the country met in Milwaukee last month with a single focus and purpose: attracting more women into manufacturing.

Their reasoning is strong: while women represent close to 50 percent of the U.S. workforce, only 30 percent of the 14 million Americans employed in manufacturing are women. What’s keeping them away? A recent survey offers several reasons, including a lack of quality science and math education programs, and the presence of persistent stereotypes that say careers in technology, engineering and manufacturing are simply not for women.

Enter the Precision Metalforming Association of Cleveland, OH, who launched Women in Manufacturing two years ago to help promote opportunities for women, and dispel some of the old stereotypes of manufacturing being “dirty, dumb and dangerous,”

Read more about the conference here

…and here:

And find out more about the group here:

What it Takes to Stay "Made in America"

In the ever-changing global manufacturing arena, here’s a terrific article on some US small manufacturers (including KI of Green Bay) who kept their production onshore, and stayed profitable.

Although for some, off-shoring was a necessity, these companies, from textiles to high tech, chose instead to focus on the primary drivers of business…. efficiency, customer-focus and adherence to company values… to stay competitive while keeping home-town jobs at home. Some of their strategies are basic fundamentals, but others required more creativity…and guts. But you’ll like what you see.

Check out the full story here from Inc Magazine.

Growing Your Force!

Conventional wisdom says you hire people whose experience and training matches the skill you need. But, when those needs shift, productivity (and morale) tend to fall off.

It seems that every few weeks, we find another story about the challenges of finding qualified people for technical positions. Well here’s one with solutions that are low-cost and yielding high returns: Internal workforce development.

You may have a success story of your own, but you can also take the example of Diemasters Manufacturing in Elk Grove Village. They created an internal training program that gets their people “working on the system, not just in the system.” It may sound like a Lean initiative, but is far more focused on people than on procedures. The result is a better trained (and engaged) workforce. And it helps getting those specialty positions filled.

You might have success stories of your own. Read more about the new issue of MetalForming Magazine.