Inspiring Today's Youth Through Film 

Last November, I wrote a post for our blog about the movie Big Hero 6 (see below).  It was a fantastic movie and at its core was a great message about the importance of STEM for today's youth.  Since then there have been some other movies that inspire our youth to consider careers in STEM or STEAM related fields.

In May, the website http://edu.stemjobs.com/ created a list of 7 films to inspire teachers and students to think about STEM over the summer.  Let us know what you think of these films in the comment section below or if you have others you would add.

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Counting down to Manufacturing Day 2015

On Friday, October 2, 2015 over 400 manufacturing companies from California to Pennsylvania (including Rodon) will celebrate the fourth annual National Manufacturing Day.   

The participating manufacturers represent a wide-range of industries including, food and beverage, medical, metal fabrication, plastics, automotive and communications equipment.

According the MFG Day website:

"MFG DAY addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is — and what it isn’t. By working together during and after MFG DAY, manufacturers will begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry"

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Women in Manufacturing: From Rosie the Riveter to Rose the CEO

My grandmother, Celia Shulman worked in the same factory in Philadelphia for 40 years. She made transistors for radios, TV’s and other electronics. She painted stripes on the transistors and worked in the shipping department at night. She never complained about her job and was proud to be able to go to work every day and support her family as a single mother. It was an honorable career then, and for many women in manufacturing today, still is.  

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Improve Learning with Hands-on Activities

The Rodon Group is a sister company to K’NEX construction toys.  We have been manufacturing these toy components at our facility since they launched in 1992. As a company, we are strongly committed to supporting STEM education through school tours and events. And, we encourage the learning process through the hands-on experience of building innovative creations.  From the K’NEX Thrill Rides to the recently launched Mighty Makers construction sets, these toys help reinforce math and science concepts.

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Millennials in Manufacturing: How Can We Make it Happen?

This article was written by Jennifer Shore, Digital Marketing Manager at ThomasNet

The term “Millennial” tends to get thrown around in online quizzes, job interviews and plenty of other discussions. This identifier usually brings up mental pictures (at least for me, anyway) of hipsters working at cool tech companies or using their Apple Watch to check stock numbers on the subway.

But over the last few years, I’ve noticed an entirely different connotation in working with the manufacturing industry. In fact, you’ve most likely heard or said something along these lines yourself: The next-generation needs to get interested in STEM careers. With news outlets pushing out blogs and op-eds about nervous hiring managers scrounging around for talent, it’s no surprise there’s plenty of chatter on these Millennials and how they can change everything.

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Top 4 Factors About U.S. Manufacturing Jobs Today

This article written by Adam Robinson originally appeared on the Cerasis blog on May 11, 2015

With the release of the May 8, 2015 Jobs Report, many businesses and employees within the manufacturing industry have grown concerned. According to the report, the average number of total US manufacturing jobs in the United States changed very little since April. Furthermore, this report represents the second consecutive month that actual job growth results fell short of administration expectations. At the heart of the jobs issues, rests an unusual factor in a growing, stabilizing economy: US production of goods has increased while total number of US manufacturing jobs has decreased. Several key factors play into this startling fact, and failure to understand why and how current US manufacturing jobs appear to be declining could easily create a sense of impending doom for small to large businesses. To help businesses of many sizes regain control over their areas of expertise, here are the primary reasons today’s US manufacturing jobs have trodden back into the trenches of a once-powerful, assembly-line-laden economy.

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Sally Ride and the Women of NASA

Being the subject of a Google Doodle is noteworthy, but Dr. Sally Ride’s posthumous achievements are the true sign of a great pioneer.  She received her doctorate in Physics from Stanford and went on to become the youngest and first female U.S. Astronaut to go into space.

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Women Engineering Their Way to the Top

Female engineers who have achieved top jobs at major companies

Fortune Magazine is known for keeping track of how executives and business leaders rank against their peers.  In a recent look at the Fortune 1000, they found that 51 of these companies were led by women; still a small percentage, but an improvement over 2009.  And while only 5% of these companies have females in the top job, their companies generate 7% of the Fortune 1000 revenue.

These executive women lead some impressive companies including IBM, General Motors, PepsiCo, Lockheed Martin, DuPont, Archer Daniels Midland and Fidelity Investments to name a few.  And many share one other common trait, they have engineering backgrounds.  In fact, 4 out of the 5 top female CEOs in the U.S. have at least an undergraduate degree in a STEM field.

Let’s take a look at some of these impressive leaders

Ginni Rometty

IBM CEO, President and Chairman, Ginni Rometty, began her education with a double major in computer science and electrical engineering at Northwestern University.   Spending most of her professional career at IBM,  Rometty held positions on increasing responsibility until being named the company’s first female president in 2012.

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The importance of women in STEM

As an American manufacturer and a family-owned business, we are constantly looking for ways to support the future of not only our company, but other American manufacturers. We know the impact of STEM education on today's youth and often provide high school and college tours to students who are interested in careers in STEM related fields.  We bring students in with their educators, and often other administrators to discuss the importance of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  

It's a wonderful thing to see their eyes light up as we tour them through our automated facility and listen as they ask questions about machinery, robotics, plastic, processes and more.  The majority of the students are curious, interested, excited.  The majority of the students are also male. As a mother to a daughter who is interested in a career in engineering, I know how important it is to get girls involved in these opportunities early on.  So what can we do to help nurture these young women and help set them up for a successful career? 

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Help Wanted: Skills for Manufacturing Jobs

A new Accenture manufacturing and skills study, completed in collaboration with The Manufacturing Institute, looks at the skills shortage in the US manufacturing industry and what actions manufacturing companies can take to address how this lack of talent pool of skills for manufacturing jobs impedes growth.

Below this write up you will also find a very cool infographic, so be sure to check that out at the end of the post.

The study includes responses from more than 300 executives from a diverse range of US manufacturing companies. It confirms that the current period is favorable for U.S. manufacturing, which has exhibited steady growth in recent years. The study shows that more than 50 percent of companies surveyed plan to increase U.S.-based production by at least 5 percent in the next five years.

However, the results also reveal a major challenge that could dampen future growth prospects - a shortage in the skills required to perform essential tasks for manufacturing jobs today and innovate for tomorrow. U.S. manufacturers may lose up to 11 percent of earnings annually as a result of increased production costs driven by a shortage of skilled workers.

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