NIST/MEP's Workforce Tips for Manufacturers

This article written by Mary Ann Pacelli at the Manufacturing Extension Partnership originally appeared on the NIST/MEP blog on November 12, 2015.

As a manufacturer, you don’t want workers – you want company ambassadors. Workers are individuals who show up and get their tasks done. Company ambassadors are a team of employees who are enthusiastic about their careers, and they are inspired and empowered to proactively help your business grow.

Company ambassadors are innovative and are confident in their ability to achieve excellence. They serve as cheerleaders for your company to the outside public. You can guide your workers into becoming company ambassadors through workforce development initiatives.

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The Importance of Quality Certifications in Manufacturing

In the past, many businesses operated on the assumption that their vendors were in compliance with the latest rules and regulations regarding their industry.Technology and materials were limited, so buyers worked with manufacturers who could produce the best product often without clearly defined quality guidelines or parameters.

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[eBook + Infographic] How to Manufacture a Perfect Plastic Part


Manufacturing high-quality plastic injection molded parts takes a lot of attention to detail. There are four key factors that determine if a large-volume project will go smoothly. They include:

Part Design, Tool Design and Build, 
Material Selection and Manufacturing

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Innovative Robotics and End-of-Arm Tooling

Speed and efficiency in plastic injection molding equate to cost savings. So, it is no surprise that robots play an important role in improving the manufacturing process. From simple sprue pickers to complex automated End-of-Arm Tooling (EOAT), the industry is taking advantage of this automation trend. 

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5 Manufacturing Leaders Who Contributed to Today's Advancements

Dr. Martin Luther King's contributions to the advancement of civil rights in this country defines the word "leadership". He was a visionary leader who was deeply committed to achieving social justice through nonviolent means. 

In celebration of Dr.King's birthday this past Monday, we thought we'd highlight past leaders in the manufacturing world who made very different but equally important contributions to today's advanced technologies.  Each of them had their own unique leadership styles with one important trait in common; they were all visionaries. They each saw the potential of creating a better, more efficient system or machine to complete a task. While the official “Industrial Revolution” may be over, our society still benefits from the work of these current day visionaries. 

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Made in the USA: Is It Cheaper Than Previously Thought?

For years, products made in the United States have been considered to be more expensive than products made overseas. Manufacturing was cheaper outside of the US, and it was easier to find the low-paid labor needed to keep factories running. In 2004, each manufacturing dollar in the United States cost only 86.5 cents to produce in China, leaving a much wider margin for profit for goods made overseas. According to The Boston Consulting Group, by 2014, that number had changed substantially: each manufacturing dollar in the United States costs 95.6 cents to manufacture in China. The trend suggests that the gap between those numbers can only close further. As a result, a growing number of American companies are reversing the trend and bringing manufacturing back to the United States. 

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Building a Strong Manufacturing Sector in Pennsylvania

Take a look at recent headlines and you will notice a lot of buzz about manufacturing.  Manufacturing in the United States is experiencing a renaissance along with all things made in America.  Even Wal-Mart has pledged to increase the number of U.S. made products it purchases to $250 billion by 2032. 

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An Alliance Focused on the Future of Manufacturing

During a recent quarterly meeting of the Manufacturing Alliance of Bucks and Montgomery Counties, business leaders gathered to discuss key issues impacting the local manufacturing climate.

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A Win for Everyone - Hiring Veterans for Manufacturing Careers

Today we honor and celebrate all of our men and women Veterans and thank them for their dedication and service to our country.  

Hiring veterans is the focus of the Get Skills to Work coalition, a collaboration sponsored by General Electric that combines manufacturers, educational institutions, and veterans advocates to prepare our soldiers for manufacturing careers. The coalition is part of Fast Track for Heroes, sponsored by the U.S., a program of the U.S. Department of Commerce Foundation. 

According to the website "Get Skills to Work is a coalition of manufacturing companies and community and technical colleges committed to recruiting, training, and retaining veterans in long-term careers in advanced manufacturing and other disciplines. Get Skills to Work reached more than 100,000 veterans with resources to help them prepare for and enter into advanced manufacturing careers. The founding partners included GE, Alcoa, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Manufacturing Institute, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, LinkedIn, TechShop, the Gary Sinise Foundation, the VA Center for Innovation (VACI) at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and more.  "

In this video, Gary Sinise describes the mission of the program: 

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Apprenticeship Week, Restoring the Link between Hard Work and Opportunity

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