Tuesday, November 27, 2012

U.S. Manufacturing: Skills & Wages

The New York Times recently published an article about the future of manufacturing in the U.S. and the much lamented skills gap.  The author looked at the issue from several angles: from low wages, to the educational system, to the advanced skills required for today's manufacturing environment.  Click here for more.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Re-shoring: Advantage?

According to IndustryWeek, Scott Rickert of Nanofilm Ltd. believes that bringing manufacturing back to the U.S. makes sense in order to protect intellectual property.  Keeping a close eye on your high value ideas protects them - and along with savings in transportation, labor and energy, re-shoring looks like a win.  Click here for entire article.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Camfil Farr APC: The Remembering Tree

The Jonesboro community proudly joined Camfil Farr APC on October 24, 2012, to celebrate the dedication of The Remembering Tree.  The sculpture is an extraordinary product of leadership, artistic vision and craft, and is located on the front lawn of Camfil Farr at 3505 Airport Road in Jonesboro, Arkansas.  Click here to watch the story of Camfil Farr APC's Remembering Tree.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hytrol's 50th Anniversary in Jonesboro

(Jonesboro, AR) October 16th, 2012 – Hytrol Conveyor Co., Inc. hosts event to celebrate 65 year anniversary of being in business as well as its 50th anniversary in the Jonesboro community.  Read more........

Friday, October 12, 2012

Manufacturing & Workforce Development

Manufacturing.net published a two-part interview that discusses findings recently set forth in a white paper about challenges ahead for our workforce and the manufacturing industry.  The study included a panel discussion of approximately a dozen consumer packaged goods manufacturing executives, who talked about training, finding and retaining talent, etc.  The interview further enhances the information provided in the white paper.  Click here for entire article.

Friday, October 5, 2012

YaleGlobal Online Magazine published 7 Reasons to Expect US Manufacturing Resurgence, which discusses factors currently coming together that lead some experts to forecast a revival of U.S. manufacturing.  Click here for entire article.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Celebration for Post Foods in Jonesboro

Post Foods celebrated their 20th anniversary in Jonesboro by recognizing their workforce and in particular those employees still with them who were from the original 54 hired when the facility opened in 1992.  Employees were treated to a ride in a big, red hot air balloon located on the facility grounds.  Click here for full information sheet.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Blog from NAM

Shopfloor is a manufacturing blog that may be of interest to those connected to industry and those who follow U.S. manufacturing news.  Connect to blog.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Women & Workplace Stress

Workplace stress for women is a higher contributing factor for diabetes than low physical activity, smoking or drinking.  Specifically, "low job control" in the workplace is found to be such a stressor.  Click here for article.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Rethinking Supply Chain Strategy

A supply chain strategic plan that includes building collaborative relationships and managing risk can make a difference in the overall success of a manufacturer.  Click here to learn more.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Steering Clear of OSHA Missteps

Michael T. Taylor writes in the EHSToday newsletter that the "three most common OSHA compliance mistakes are failure to develop and enforce written EHS plans and rules, failure to track and implement corrective actions and failure to review case law, compliance directives and relevant letters of interpretation."  Click here to learn more.

Monday, July 23, 2012

German Apprenticeship Model - A Solution for the U.S.?

Germany has created an apprenticeship model that some experts think could be a step toward lower unemployment of younger workers in the U.S. as well as a method of matching employer demand to the supply of skilled labor.  Click here for entire article.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Strategies for U.S. Manufacturing

An Industry Week article examines several recent strategies to revitalize and support manufacturing in the U.S.  The author states that experts have clearly indicated that a long term strategy is necessary, and questions whether those in Washington are listening.  Click here for entire article.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Jonesboro Leads With Solutions

While the U.S. laments the shortage of skilled workers, Jonesboro works hard to ensure that local industry demands for skilled employees are met.  Jonesboro has solutions in place for training current employees and continues to develop a full pipeline of skilled workers for future employment.  The Workforce Training Consortium (WTC) offers training ranging from welding to blueprint reading to mechatronics (advanced manufacturing) to OSHA certification classes to supply chain management instruction - all provided to WTC member employees at very cost effective prices.  In addition, the Northeast Arkansas Career & Technical Center (NEACTC) develops skills of high school aged students and prepares them to enter the workforce upon high school graduation or to pursue post secondary education.  Internships and apprenticeships create mutually beneficial opportunities.  The WTC and NEACTC are just part of the overall workforce development strategy in Jonesboro.  For more information feel free to contact Shelle Randall at 870.933.5757 or at srandall@jonesborochamber.com

Friday, June 22, 2012

Kudos to Northeast Arkansas Career & Technical Center!

Our local vocational school, the Northeast Arkansas Career & Technical Center (NEACTC), recently received a national award given to only three other schools in the country.  The coveted national Gold Improvement Award from Technology Centers That Work will be presented to the school next month in New Orleans.  The school, located behind Jonesboro High School, serves 13 area schools and provides training that enhances the skills of the future workforce of our region, as well as preparing students for post-secondary education.  Click for The Sun article.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Transformational v. Transactional Leadership

Transformational leadership can literally transform your organization, say some experts.  According to them it's simply common sense and treating people right.  There are five characteristics of a transformational leader, and Rick Fulwiler, president of Technology Leadership Associates, describes them in the attached article.  Click here for entire article.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Manufacturing Employment Shows Slight Increase in May

Manufacturing job gains were at 12,000 for the month of May, which was an increase from April's gain of 9,000 jobs.  However, according to the executive director for the Alliance for American Manufacturing, the growth in factory jobs does not meet the steady upward trend seen since 2010, and there is a noticeable slowing in manufacturing hiring.  Click here for article.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

April Brings Increase in Durable Goods

The upward trend in manufacturing growth is expected to continue to increase.  Manufacturing activity in April grew at its fastest pace in almost a year, according to the Institute for Supply Management.  Click here for entire article.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Partnerships for Skills Training

Industry leaders have recognized that training programs are necessary to meet the shortage in career-ready workers, and that partnering with a community college, manufacturers' training group (like Jonesboro's Workforce Training Consortium), or technical school results in the most positive training outcome.  Click here for the entire article.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

SBA Recognizes Jonesboro Venture

BioStrategies, an agricultural biotech company located in Jonesboro, was recently recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration with a Tibbetts Award.  The startup is touted as an outstanding small business that has participated in the Small Business Innovation Research program.  BioStrategies is a client of Innovate Arkansas and an Arkansas State University venture.  BioStrategies will be honored in a ceremony at the White House at a future date.  Click for Arkansas Business article.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Hiring Slowdown Indication of Weakening?

U.S. hiring overall slowed again in April, the second month in a row, according to a recently released report from the Department of Labor.  Some sectors cut jobs, while others, like manufacturers, added jobs.  Click here for article.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Economic Growth Relies on Skilled Workers

According to a recent report, manufacturing jobs remain unfilled due to the shortage of skilled workers.  Experts say that our economic growth is dependent upon attracting, developing and retaining skilled talent.  Companies are investing in their workforce by creating training programs and partnering with local resources, like Jonesboro's employer-driven Workforce Training Consortium.  Click here for Chicago Tribune article.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Business Intelligence - Cloud Causing Anxiety

Part Two in this series discusses the hesitation that persists with sending data to the cloud and out of the hands of in-house IT departments.  Click here for more.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Retiring Employees......What's Your Plan?

This article discusses reports that indicate most HR professionals believe their talented older workers who will be retiring over the next several years will negatively impact their organizations.  It also looks at  methods to prepare for the loss of that talent.  Click for entire article.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Manufacturers Turn to Cloud-based Systems

One way manufacturers stay competitive is by quickly responding to market trends.  Flexibility and scalability are key, then, to their business intelligence program.  Cloud-based systems allow for greater capabilities to meet global demands.  Click here for more.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Emerging Technologies for Manufacturers

Emerging technologies can keep your company competitive by improving products and increasing efficiencies.  The Society of Manufacturing Engineers has identified eight new technologies that are proving successful, and are keeping a watch on new ideas that have yet to be proven but which appear to have great promise.  Click here for more.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Butterball Earns Safety Award

Our local Butterball plant was recently recognized with an award of merit for worker safety from the American Meat Institute.  The award was presented earlier this month during the AMI's Conference on Worker Safety, Health, Human Resources and the Environment.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Post Foods Gives Back BIG!

Post Foods in Jonesboro recently handed out $30,000 in grant money to seven area organizations.  Rick Esquivel, donation coordinator at Post Foods in Jonesboro, said that he believes it's important to support the community where he and his fellow employees work and live.  Read more - click here, then scroll to the bottom of the Jonesboro Sun online and select B1, then B4.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Get the Word Out: Manufacturing Jobs Can Pay Big Bucks!

Manufacturing jobs are out there, and they can be lucrative.  The trick is to get the word out and update the image of the traditional industrial environment in order to attract the upcoming workforce to manufacturing.  High-tech, automation, "cool" jobs and careers - all could be used to describe today's opportunities in manufacturing.  Click here for article.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Retailers & Manufacturers See Increase in Orders

An increase in orders from retailers for this spring season as compared to last year is a result of higher consumer demand.  Some say this may be an indication that a stronger retail and economic recovery is underway.  Click here for more.

Colson Caster Rolls Out Print and Online Product Catalogs

Press release from Jonesboro manufacturer:  "Colson Caster Corporation, the world's leading manufacturer of standard and custom application caster and wheel products, has announced the availability of its newly redesigned and most complete product catalog to-date.  The Colson 2012 Catalog has been updated to not only reflect additions to Colson's growing product offerings but also incorporate suggested changes from customers, such as expanded product specifications and photography."  For more information about this press release visit http://www.colsoncaster.com/ or contact Laura Bean by phone at 870.910.2329 or by e-mail at lbean@colsoncaster.com.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Productivity Lower, May Lead to Increased Hiring

Reports indicate there was a slow down in productivity at the end of 2011, with productivity at about half the pace that it was during the July-September quarter.  Lower productivity may suggest that companies have squeezed as much out of their existing workforce as they can, which then may lead to an increase in hiring in order to meet higher demand.  Click here to learn more.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Survey Indicates Optimism

The findings of a recent survey of two dozen leading private, corporate and academic economists include predictions for a decline in the unemployment rate to 8 percent by year end, and a 2.5 percent growth in the economy for the year (up from 1.7 percent in 2011).  Manufacturers have been hiring more consistently than other employers, and in order to keep up with demand must continue to do so, according to the chief economist at the National Association of Manufacturers.  Click here for entire article.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Skills Training is Key to Filling Jobs

The Chicago Tribune describes the national trend of open jobs in the manufacturing sector without enough skilled workers to fill them.  Click here to read full story.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hytrol Wins Two ADDY® Awards!

Congratulations are in order to one of our own!  Hytrol Conveyor Company in Jonesboro, Arkansas, recently received Gold and Bronze ADDY® awards from the American Advertising Federation - Northeast Arkansas. Click here for more.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Industry Week: IT Investments Make Big Impact

"Information technology is changing the competitive dynamics in the manufacturing industry," according to Manju Bansal, Senior Director at SAP.  Bansal sets forth a framework to guide IT investment decisions.  Click here for article.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

January Good for U.S. Manufacturers

January's numbers indicated positive results for U.S. manufacturing, as reported by Robert Brooks of American Machinist.  "The overall January 2012 year-to-date increase for manufacturing was 4.5%, and the improvement extended to factory capacity utilization rates, which rose 0.5% for the month to a rate of 77%."  Click here for more.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Leadership Development Needed

According to an Industry Week Forum, there is a concern among executives regarding the bench strength of leadership talent.  About 30% of those executives surveyed indicated that developing leaders and succession planning are their top talent priorities.  Click here for more.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Chamber Survey Indicates Positive Trends!

Each January, the Jonesboro Regional Chamber of Commerce requests an update on capital investments and job growth from local industry.  The level of response to this year's survey (for 2011 information) was at 45% (interestingly, there is higher participation when the survey is sent by snail mail than by e-mail).  Survey respondents made $35.9 million in capital investments and added 459 new jobs in 2011.  Although in 2010 reported capital investments were double the dollar amount of 2011, two companies accounted for 79% of those investments; reported capital investments in 2009 were 8% less than in 2011.  The number of new jobs reported in 2011 was approximately 10% higher than 2010, and a whopping 97% higher than 2009.  Clearly we are seeing positive trends in investments and new jobs in Jonesboro.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Jonesboro Sun: Grant boosts education

The Hytrol Workforce Readiness Grant was recently awarded to Michael Barrett, precision manufacturing and machining instructor at Northeast Arkansas Career & Technical Center.  Barrett partners with Doug Imrie at Southern Cast Products, a local facility that allows the use of their materials and equipment to complete some of the students' projects.  Read entire Jonesboro Sun article.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Proposal for Incentivizing & Revitalizing U.S. Manufacturing

"The Manufacturing Reinvestment Account would allow companies to establish a manufacturing reinvestment account of up to $500,000 that is taxed at a low 15% rate and must be used to purchase equipment and facilities or for job training," according to two members of the House Manufacturing Caucus.  Click here for article.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Industry Week: 2012 Manufacturing Outlook

Experts agree that U.S. manufacturing should show modest growth in 2012.  Manufacturing expanded for the 29th consecutive month according to the Institute of Supply Management on January 3, 2012.  Jobs in manufacturing continue to require higher skill levels and provide higher wages, although there are fewer of them.  Click here for article.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Jonesboro Touted in Business Insider

Jonesboro is one of only 26 of 363 metropolitan statistical areas that have completely recovered the jobs they lost during the recession, according to a new report prepared by IHS Global Insight.
Click for article.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Manufacturers Using Mobile Apps

Industry experts claim that mobile apps hold significant potential for processes on the production floor.  Material flow analysis is one area that could be impacted, i.e. connecting scheduling information with parts location.  Click here for more.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

It's the Process, Not the People

Ralph Keller, the president of the AME Institute and former president of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, suggests that blaming people for mistakes instead of looking closer at the processes that may have resulted in unwanted variations works against continuous improvement for manufacturers.  Click to follow link.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Unemployment: Finally, Good News!

Numbers for unemployment at year's end are lower and show an uptick in hiring for the last few weeks of 2011, which leads economists to predict a more favorable economic climate for 2012.   Click here to read entire article.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Six Suggestions for New Year's Resolutions

Organizational change consultant, Lawrence M. Miller, has ideas for managers to make a difference in 2012.  His six simple resolutions are geared toward improving the performance of the entire company.  Click for entire article.