Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ohio 2020 (Part 1): Missed Opportunities

By Steve Staub and Gary Weldon

This is the first of a three-part series peering into the future of Ohio. Today’s post examines what things just might look like if necessary actions are not taken now to support the manufacturing industry.

(A conversation between Dave and Bill* in the year 2020.)

“Bill, do you remember the good old days?

“You mean back when we both had good manufacturing jobs?” Dave replied. “Yeah, I sure do! Things were good back then. It’s just a shame that our 'fine' elected officials didn't do what they should have. Everyone kept telling the state senators and the Governor, workers are getting older, and if we don’t get young folks in the industry, then we’ll be in trouble.”

“That’s right! I heard just the other day that the average age of manufacturing workers in Ohio is now 62. Can you believe that?”

“What happened to all the programs, like Ohio Robotics?” Bill asked” I thought STEM and skilled trades training was the next big thing.”

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

'Destination Dayton' student UAS program: Your questions answered

By Steve Staub

Since the announcement last month about Destination: Dayton, the groundbreaking High School UAS program, I have received some great feedback and a lot of questions. In today's post I'd like to try to answer some of the most common questions. Here goes:

Can the general public attend this event? 

Yes! Absolutely! We encourage everyone to attend! Whether you are just curious about UAS technology or you'd like show your kids or grand-kids what the future looks like, this event is for you.

Will you have anything that I can do during the event?

Yes, you will be able to fly a UAS on a simulator, watch the exciting competition, see many displays including working 3D printing machines, hear the special presentations and much more!

Who else is involved, are there any speakers?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

#MfgDay14: Opening Doors to Our Industry's Future

Click the image above to see the "What Manufacturing Really Looks Like" infographic

By Gary Weldon

Sometimes the best way to open the door of opportunity is to just grab a hold of the handle and pull.

When things aren't going the way you'd like them to, people will often tell you, "Just wait, another door will open some day." And maybe that's true. But sometimes, the best way to open the door to opportunity is to just grab a hold of the handle and pull. That's what MFG Day is planning to do this October; swing the doors of manufacturing companies across the nation wide open to reveal the reality of modern manufacturing. 

This is the third year for Manufacturing Day, a growing movement started by a coalition of industry organizations. Last year, over 800 companies hosted events and open houses to show job seekers and students what manufacturing really looks like. 

It has become a rallying point in the effort to improve the image of the manufacturing industry and address the large gap in the skilled labor pool. MFG Day information reports that 80% of manufacturers cannot find the skilled workers that they need.   

Opening Doors... and Eyes

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Are there still 600,000 manufacturing jobs available today?

By Steve Staub

In 2011, the National Association of Manufactures (NAM), The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte released a study that found there were as many 600,000 open jobs in manufacturing. It has been quoted by this blog many times and I bring up the number in conversations almost daily.

Some “experts” have made claims that the number is inflated and that the skills gap in manufacturing is just a publicity stunt. Those of us in the industry - and trying to hire people - know that this problem is real!

So NAM, The Manufacturing Institute (MI) and Deloitte are now conducting a study to update that figure and identify the true scale of manufacturing’s workforce challenge between now and 2020. Your help is needed! This is your opportunity to tell how your company is impacted by the shortage of qualified workers, how these shortages project through 2020, and the steps your company is taking to mitigate this challenge.

MADE in DAYTON strongly believes in this cause and we urge you to take part in this nationwide survey. I took the survey recently and it only takes a few minutes. Please click the link to take the survey yourself:

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Glory Days Aren't Over

By Gary Weldon

They say those days are over
They'll never come again
We'll never be that strong
Like we were back then

When factories were a plenty
And workers, they were too
When Makers were respected
When industry was new

It's true that time has changed things
Taken jobs across the sea
The industry's gone global
And that's affected you and me

But we're the kind that won't give up
Resourceful, tough and smart
We won't stay down, we'll rise again
We'll stand to do our part

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Nation's First High School UAS Program Coming to Dayton!

Click this image for specific event details
By Steve Staub

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) are quickly becoming a way of life here in the United States. I’m hearing about them almost daily in the news. 

I'm also seeing that regions all over the country, including the Dayton region, are trying to position themselves as leaders in this new field. I personally believe that the Dayton Region has done a great job with this. For example, this year at the end of August, the Dayton Region will again host the Ohio UAS Conference at the Convention Center.

Which leads me to something very exciting that I want to share with you. On Saturday, August 16th, just 10 days before the start of the Ohio UAS conference, Ohio Robotics Inc. (ORI) will be launching the nation's first High School UAS competition. We're calling it... 

Destination: Dayton

Sinclair Community College has been a leader in supporting this new STEM-focused event and will be the host of this ground breaking competition. As you may be aware, Sinclair has developed it's own UAS education curriculum and has committed to supporting the emerging UAS industry.

ORI describes the new Destination: Dayton program like this:

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Key to a U.S. Manufacturing Comeback: Action

By Gary Weldon

I have to chuckle as I observe the back and forth debate over the fate of U.S. Manufacturing. It seems that for every cheerleader with a positive spin there is a skeptic who sees only gloom. For some we are returning to the Glory Days and for others the situation is bad and only getting worse.

Recently, I read a good article by James Hagerty in the Wall Street Journal. The article, Why U.S. Manufacturing Is Poised for a Comeback (Maybe), seems to capture the essence of this ongoing debate. Taking a different approach than those who are skewed to one side or the other, Mr. Hagerty tries to examine this issue objectively, playing the role of both the optimist and the skeptic.

I won't get into all the details of what he covers but I will quickly outline what he calls, "The four reasons to bet on U.S. factories - and four reasons to be cautious."

Thursday, June 12, 2014

How important is Reshoring?

By Tony Holloway

We might be accused of being overzealous if we were to jump up in the air, click our heels together and declare that manufacturing has finally returned to the United States. But, as any eternal optimist will tell you, lately there have been somewhat hopeful statistics finding their way into various trade publications and reports.

For example, beginning in 2016, ethane production - the cornerstone of manufacturing - is expected to surge, due in part to its decreasing cost and the rising importance of ‘downstream products’ such as industrial resin, chemicals and compounds. In addition, McKinsey & Company, a global management-consulting firm, in their quarterly study showed the following 6 industries dominating the industrial rebound since 2010:

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Industry group says new EPA rule will hurt manufacturers, calls for 'balance'

By Gary Weldon

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) released a very strong statement this week concerning the EPA's new proposed standard for existing power plants claiming that it will...

"threaten (U.S.) manufacturers' competitive advantage."

In a video statement (here and linked below), NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons challenges the Obama administration to consider the negative impact that this proposed new rule will have on domestic manufacturing and move to a "more balanced" approach. Here's how the official NAM written statement reads (shared here with permission, emphasis mine):
“As users of one-third of the energy produced in the United States, manufacturers rely on secure and affordable energy to compete in a tough global economy, and recent gains are largely due to the abundance of energy we now enjoy. Today’s proposal from the EPA could singlehandedly eliminate this competitive advantage by removing reliable and abundant sources of energy from our nation’s energy mix. It is a clear indication that the Obama Administration is fundamentally against an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy, and unfortunately, manufacturers are likely to pay the price for this shortsighted policy.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Southwest Ohio region receives prized "Manufacturing Community" designation!

By Gary Weldon

If you haven't already heard, there was big news yesterday. Very big news! Out of 70 applicants, the Dayton Region, as part of a larger Southwest Ohio collaborative, received designation as one of the 12 Manufacturing Communities to participate in the federal Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP). 

This designation not only means positive recognition for our area's strong manufacturing industry but it opens up access to a portion of the program's 1.3 billion dollars (Yes, that is billion with a B!).

Each of the 12 selected Manufacturing Communities has a different manufacturing focus. Our region will focus on Aerospace Manufacturing and will be known as SOAR, the Southwest Ohio Aerospace Region. SOAR is a strategic collaboration between the greater Dayton and greater Cincinnati communities.

City of Dayton Mayor, Nan Whaley said, "The assets of the Cincinnati-Dayton region are significant and this designation recognizes the hard work of both communities. Our partnership with the City of Cincinnati, the Dayton Development Coalition, and REDI will be a great advantage to Southwest Ohio.”