2017: Gone but Not Forgotten

I wish to thank everyone I’ve worked with to write features that have appeared each month in MMT. Plus, a look at a series of features about one of my favorite topics: Workforce development.


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As I sit here writing this blog, I cannot believe that 2017 is already ending. Looking back, I can say it’s been a very good year, and I wish to thank everyone I’ve worked with to write features that have appeared each month in MMT. I know how valuable everyone’s time is, so thank you all.

One of my favorite feature topics during 2017 was workforce development. In January, I kicked off a series of features that discusses ways in which schools, businesses and trade organizations are working together to shape the next generation of manufacturing professionals. The first article was titled “Getting Real about Manufacturing Education,” and it highlighted programs at three educational institutions: the Rockford Public Schools system in Rockford, Illinois; the Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and the School of Engineering at Penn State Erie, the Behrend College in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Another feature, titled “Strengthening Manufacturing through Advocacy” put trade organizations in the spotlight and showed how they are providing the guidance and resources needed to prepare students and women for careers in advanced manufacturing. Organizations that participated in this feature are the Technology and Manufacturing Association (TMA), local chapters of the American Mold Builders Association (AMBA) and the Canadian Association of Mold Makers (CAMM).

In the next feature, supplier companies showed they are no slouches when it comes to training the next generation for their needs and for the industry’s benefit. “Supplier-Based Training Programs Fuel Mold Industry Needs” was both enlightening and encouraging to me, as I truly had no idea how far-reaching some of these programs are. Companies like Autodesk, Inc., CGTech Edro Engineering and Specialty Steels, Inc., Haas Automation, Inc., HASCO America, Inc., Okuma America Corporation, OSG USA, Inc. and Trumpf Inc. have built unique programs that help ensure a viable future for American manufacturing.

Last, but not least, is the final installment of this series, which featured workforce development programs designed by mold manufacturing companies. I worked with MMT Editorial Director Christina Fuges to assemble details of programs implemented by four companies: Westminster Tool of Plainfield, Connecticut, International Mold Corp. of Clinton Township, Michigan, United Tool & Mold Inc. of Easley, South Carolina, and Extreme Tool and Engineering of Wakefield, Michigan. Four companies, four different approaches to recruiting, training and retaining their future workforces. Hence, we titled this feature “Moldmakers Choose Different Pathways to Workforce Development.”

If you were unable to read these features as they were published, I hope you’ll take the time to review them now. We all can use new ideas and approaches to workforce development and these companies, schools and trade groups provide some great motivation. Thanks again to all who helped make this series possible.