Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Here’s one more look into the proverbial 2013 Crystal Ball on what to expect from the economy, business-wise.

In a 1st quarter survey of small and mid-sized manufacturers, predictions and plans were all good, if not solid in their predictions of steady growth for the balance of the year. Prime Advantage buying consortium releases their Group Outlook Survey twice a year, and their newest findings include:

68% expect revenue increases,

87% expect capital expenditures to grow or stay constant,

43% plan to hire more workers

The cost of raw materials is a big concern, named the top cost pressure among 90% of respondents.

Read a complete summary of the Group Outlook Survey here


This 2-minute video will give you a student’s eye view of the future of manufacturing. Of course, early perceptions don’t always hang on as those same students sample more and more of what the working world has to offer (including the incredible opportunities in manufacturing). But it’s definitely worth a look. They offer some interesting insight.

As reported by Jeff Engle in the Milwaukee Business Journal,many manufacturers agree that manufacturing has an image issue, and needs to reach out to young people to get them interested in the industry. As reported by Jeff Engle in the Business Journal, Waukesha County Business Alliance has set its sights on high school students with its Schools2Skills program, which shows them it isn’t your grandpa’s “dumb, dirty and dangerous” business. Click the video above. Plus, you can read the complete article here


While there are more things facing manufacturing than the ‘skills gap,’ it has been the hot topic this winter, and it was also front and center at the Manufacturing Matters Conference, put on by the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

In his follow up story, WMEP’s Rich Rovito reports on coverage given to the topic by Dan Ariens of Ariens Co, and Jeff Clark of Waukesha Metal Products and others. During a lively, no-holds-barred session, they discussed specific strategies each company is using to address the problem.

The full article, “Manufacturing Leaders Emphasize the Reality of the Skills Gap” is a great read. Check it out here