As part of its Workforce Development Initiative, the RTMA and several of its members are providing $5,000 to sponsor the efforts of FIRST. What is FIRST? It is the acronym For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. The mission of FIRST is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators.
It achieves this by engaging them in hands-on, mentor-based programs that teach applicable science, engineering, and technology skills. An example of this is the FIRST Robotics Competition.
The FIRST Robotics Competition is an international high school robotics event. Each year, teams of high school students, coaches, and mentors work during a six-week period to build game-playing robots that weigh up to 125 pounds.
FIRST is a well-established program, originally begun to foster STEM learning and make it fun, was started in 1989. Competitions are now held in over 20 countries around the world. In New York State over 200 high schools participate, 30 of them from the local area. The Finger Lakes Regional, held at RIT on March 14 – 16, has 48 teams registered to compete.
Our purpose in ‘getting on first’ is to provide not only financial support but also promotion for a program that cultivates 21st Century work-life skills that create a talent pipeline for high-tech jobs in Rochester.
For you members who have an interest in also supporting the program, the following link is provided:
I strongly encourage you to favorably consider not only supporting FIRST but also attending the event.
The event will take place March 14-16, 2019 at RIT’s Gordon Field House from 8:30am-5:00pm each day.
The RTMA will have a table at the event promoting advanced manufacturing careers and opportunities.
RTMA KeyNote Address:
Rtma member topic interest survey
In the month of December, in collaboration with the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at R.I.T, we surveyed the RTMA Membership. Our purpose was to determine the level of interest on a variety of critical manufacturing topics. Our intention is to provide informational meetings on those topics which received the highest ratings of interest. The outcome of the survey is as follows: Number of Employees in the Company
Answer Choices Responses
Top 3 topics/problems not captured in previous questions but respondents wanted to learn more about.
1. Electroforming in Additive Manufacturing
2. Specific advancements in cutting tools & holders for production machines & CNC Lathes
3. Access to skills/services of other RTMA members for easier networking
4. How companies will handle if/when Marijuana becomes legal
Should you have a need to know now, about any of these topics, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I shall link you with the appropriate resource at the Golisano Institute of Sustainability.
manufacturing workforce development as a strategy
By JOHN LITTLE JANUARY 28, 2019
Local Workforce Board and NACOG Team Up
Sector strategies are basic sector partnerships comprised of companies from the same industry that focus on a set of key workforce development issues or any issue related to an industry’s competitiveness, growth, retention and job creation.
Yavapai County’s foray into Sector Strategies began in 2014 as part of a state-wide effort. Spearheaded by the Northern Arizona Council of Governments (NACOG) and under the guidance of the Yavapai County Local Workforce Development Board (LWDB), has identified its emerging sectors as Healthcare, Manufacturing, Tourism, and Construction, with the initial strategic thrust placed on Manufacturing.
Manufacturing continues to rank among the top (5) industries in the county as well as the number and quality of jobs created. However, the challenge remains to attract and retain skilled workers and provide specialized training when needed.
Two surveys (2015 and 2018) were conducted of Yavapai County manufacturers to determine the areas of most concern, and without a doubt, workforce and workforce development problems such as the inability to attract and retain skilled workers ranked among the highest. In these surveys, skilled worker availability and stability was rated as either Very Poor or Poor by over 50% of the respondents. The other problem facing employers is the quality of their current workforce and pool of potential employees available. “Employers often complain about issues such as employee’s lack of professionalism, poor job performance and attendance, lack of basic math, reading and problem solving skills as examples of the daily challenges they face managing their workforce,” said Teri Drew, Regional Director of NACOG, “Sector Strategies is one very effective way NACOG along with the Workforce Development Board can engage with manufacturers to provide assistance.
Yavapai County Local Workforce Development Board and NACOG work as a team to support the Manufacturing Sector Strategy efforts as part of a larger cross-program integration strategy with academia, various public and private sectors and economic development entities. NACOG’s Business Assistance Centers (BAC) located in Prescott and Cottonwood are invaluable in supporting manufacturers by providing services such as hosting job fairs, interviewing assistance for companies, job seekers’ workshops, initial employee screening, business space and general assistance to any job seeker and eliminating barriers to employment. “Yavapai County Workforce Development Board is proud of the work we do at our One-Stops” “Our goal is to help individuals in our community improve the quality of their lives by finding stable employment and also serving our manufacturers by helping to solve some of their workforce problems,” said Chairman Anita Payne, “It is important that both individuals and companies seeking assistance know that we are here to help!”
u.s.-china trade war: a stable deal with a strategic adversary is an elusive quest
By DR. MICAHEL IVANOVITCH JANUARY 27, 2019
America’s flexible and growing $20.7 trillion economy would take in stride the loss of $130 billion of its goods exports to China, with supply chain disruptions filled in by substitutes.
For China, a loss of $550 billion goods exports to the U.S. would be a big deal.
Such extreme outcomes in an escalating trade confrontation are in no one’s interest. Washington and Beijing are on an old and permanent collision course.
America's soaring and systematic goods trade deficits with China — with 2018's estimated to reach $430 billion, for an increase of more than 20 percent from the previous year — are one of the fundamental political and security issues dividing the world's two largest economies.
No one should, therefore, be surprised by the statement made last week by the U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross that Washington and Beijing were "miles and miles" from any trade agreement. China, after all, is also considered by the U.S. to be a strategic "competitor" (adversary) and a "revisionist power," seeking to upend the American world order.
In a strange case of myopia, economic and financial analysts don't see that strategic assessment as a key driver of Washington's dealings with Beijing. Their market outlook is caught up in a bizarre view of an allegedly disintegrating Chinese economy and "news" leakages from ongoing trade negotiations.
All that is frivolous chatter and cheap trading fodder. The Chinese economy is not falling apart. Beijing has, and is actively using, a number of demand management instruments to stabilize the economic growth in the 6 percent to 6.5 percent range it apparently sees as a chief policy objective.
Stop the nonsense about China's economy
But it seems that the pessimism about the Chinese economy is not enough. There is also the nonsense of pretending that China's economic statistics are all "fake numbers."
People should come to their senses. They are dealing with an economy that has become one of the main pillars of the international monetary system. China's economic structure, policies and performance are regularly examined by the International Monetary Fund, various other United Nations agencies and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
When someone says China's economic and financial numbers are "fake," they are saying that all of those organizations — where the U.S. is a ranking member and a principal player — are enablers of Beijing's official misrepresentations.
Think of it. How would that be possible?
Now, with respect to the U.S.-China trade deal itself, here is what's at stake.
According to U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis figures, American goods exports to China amounted to a total of $102.5 billion while China's goods exports to the U.S. came in at $447 billion in the first 10 months of last year. That gave China a huge advantage of a $344.5 billion trade surplus, a number that accounts for nearly one-half of America's total trade gap.
Big deal? Yes and no.
Such a totally and systematically unbalanced bilateral trade relationship must be corrected. Both countries recognize that. The only problem is that Washington and Beijing don't seem to agree on a mutually acceptable procedure to reach the necessary trade adjustment.
The logic and the urgency of the matter would call for an immediate, sustained and large increase of U.S. sales to China, and a similar decline of Chinese exports to America. To support that process, China should broaden market access to American firms and respond to American complaints about allegedly market-distorting trade practices, such as export subsidies, illegal acquisitions of intellectual property, forced technology transfers and more.
Trade is part of the US core strategy
That sounds like a two-step procedure — immediate redirection of trade flows and structural trade policy changes — but it isn't: A sustained and successful trade adjustment requires synchronous moves on both policy tracks.
Simple, isn't it? Yes, but nothing works. Two years into the Trump administration's term of office, China will have accumulated a $1 trillion surplus on its U.S. goods trade once all the 2018 numbers are in.
I am not privy to trade negotiations, but from media reports in the public domain it appears that China finds the American position unacceptable when U.S. officials demand Beijing stop what really amounts to technology thefts, trade-distorting export subsidies and suspicious exchange rate management.
Underlying all that is Washington's view that there would be no sustainable progress on reducing the U.S.-China trade imbalances without transparent and verifiable structural trade and economic reforms in China.
Hence the impasse. China apparently cannot accept reform demands to discontinue illegal technology acquisitions and export subsidies — because Beijing strenuously denies those American allegations. And China reportedly would not even think of allowing American authorities to conduct enforcement reviews of its own trade and economic reforms.
What's the way out of that deadlock? It's called the World Trade Organization. Yes, a possible solution here would be for the U.S. and China to accept the screening and arbitration procedures of the WTO. But that is something that, most probably, Washington would just laugh out of court.
So, there it is: The U.S.-China trade talk has hit a blind alley. China, it seems, suspects Washington of pursuing an allegedly hostile political and security agenda under the guise of trade talks. U.S. "pivots to Asia" and official statements about opposing China's global expansion appear to have convinced Beijing that Washington was out to disrupt the Chinese economy and to stop China's rapid ascent as a credible challenger to America's interests.
How on earth can you have a bona fide trade negotiation – or any negotiation at all – under those circumstances?
Take seriously the statement by Ross that the U.S. and China are "miles and miles" away from a trade agreement.
I would also add a rider: As things now stand, such an agreement is nowhere in sight.
How important is that? Not very much, in purely economic terms. For America's growing $20.7 trillion economy, a potential loss of $130 billion of its exports to China is a drop in the bucket. Even assuming Washington takes a brutally radical approach (which I deem unlikely) to China trade, America's flexible economy would take in stride temporary disruptions of its supply chains, and their replacement by widely available gross substitutes.
And don't worry about the "global multilateral trading system" – a fiction bandied about to discredit U.S. policies seeking to shake off its excessive trade deficits. That "system" was killed the minute the trade surplus countries took it as a license for free-riding on the rest of the world.
Sadly, though, a looming escalation of the U.S.-China trade confrontation could bring the world's Doomsday Clock one minute closer to midnight.
THE U.S. ECONOMY IS IN THE "TOP 10 IN INNOVATION" RANKINGS, BUT A TAX CHANGE IS THREATENING R&D
By DAVID EISELBERG JANUARY 24, 2019
As we head into 2019, America is a global leader in innovation. That’s according to the just-released 2019 Bloomberg Innovation Index, which included the United States in its annual rankings of the “Top 10” most innovative economies.
In the U.S., manufacturers spend more on R&D than any other industry. R&D is the lifeblood of manufacturing and is what helps to spur innovation, competitiveness and the creation of good, high-paying jobs. It’s what helps manufacturers create the innovative products that Americans consume every day. That is why a tax code that encourages R&D is a key priority to ensuring continued growth in the U.S. manufacturing industry.
However, while manufacturers can immediately deduct R&D spending under the current tax code, beginning in 2022 they will have to deduct R&D costs spending over a period of years, making investments in research and development more costly. As the Congressional Budget Office recently warned, this change “will reduce the incentive to invest in R&D.”
Manufacturers are riding a historic surge in optimism and demonstrating strong job growth. Making it more costly to innovate is the last thing manufacturers (and the U.S. economy) need.
The NAM continues to engage Congress on this issue. A letter sent to a bipartisan group of lawmakers highlights this critical issue. Moreover, as a founding member of the R&D coalition, the NAM is working with other sectors of the economy to ensure that the tax code continues to support R&D. Doing so will not only help to ensure that manufacturers can continue to innovate, grow the economy and create high-paying jobs but also to ensure the U.S. continues to be a global leader in innovation.
THE SILVER LINING IN THE U.S. MANUFACTURING SLOWDOWN
By RICHARD A. D'Aveni JANUARY 25, 2019
The weight of data now suggests that American industry is slowing its pace of production. Observers are already raising the risk of recession in 2019. A big reason is that exports to China are likely to fall, due to China’s own slowdown as well as the trade war. But if we take the long view, a temporary lull could actually have a major upside for American factories. As a (mostly gentle) shock to the system, the slowdown will give companies more space to prepare for an industrial future quite different from today’s. And that future will enable them to better handle future slowdowns.
HOW 3D PRINTING ADDS RESILIENCE
Many companies have already begun adopting 3D printing, or more generally additive manufacturing. They’ve embraced the technology for making prototypes, tools, and one-off products. But thanks to recent advances in speed, cost, and quality, the technology is now economical for mass production in a growing number of industries -- at least if you do the upfront work on equipment and training.
Companies that invest in additive for commercial products will discover many advantages, including greater resilience against future downturns. Additive is a transformation technology – not just a supplement to subtractive (CNC cutting) or formative (injection molding) manufacturing. Most notably it gives factories enormous flexibility. They can adjust their products, or change to new products entirely, in a matter of days, rather than the weeks or months it takes with conventional techniques.
That means far less risk of overproduction when the next slowdown happens. If demand falls, companies can switch over to products in greater demand. Both margins and capacity utilization can stay at a high level. Some big companies may even use this flexibility to acquire widely diversified businesses, a phenomenon I explore in my new book, The Pan-Industrial Revolution.
Additive also promises greater customizability and creativity. Products can be more complex with only minimal added cost. We’re already starting to see radical shapes and other new features as designers are liberated from traditional constraints. Additive also means lower labor costs, as printed additive products typically require less assembly.
Those two features will help protect factories from future slowdowns. If demand falls for a commodity item, a company might spark demand by putting out special shapes, materials, and light-weighting better suited to a niche of customers. Additive expands the options for responding to customer trends. And if a facility still has to shut down some of its capacity, at least it won’t resort to as many layoffs.
USING THE CURRENT DOWNTURN TO PROTECT AGAINST THE NEXT ONE
Those transformational benefits, however, will require extensive learning and development. Additive is fundamentally different from conventional production, with special requirements for robustness, finish, and other parameters. Some industries, from hearing aids to athletic shoes, have already moved down the learning curve and are realizing benefits. But most industries still have a long way to go. They can take advantage of slower growth now to move faster toward the additive future.
The automotive industry, for example, is now investing heavily in additive. Ford, whose profits fell substantially last year, has begun printing parts and is putting $45 million into its additive-oriented Advanced Manufacturing Center. It is also an early investor in Carbon, an additive pioneer in “monolithic” production. Volkswagen is using printers now for gear knobs and other accessories, but expects to print structural parts within three years. BMW just announced it had printed its one-millionth part.
Embracing additive means more than setting up the printers and reconfiguring supply chains. To get the full benefit of the technology, companies will want to take a fresh look at the products themselves. Harold Sears, Ford’s expert on rapid manufacturing technologies, has urged developers to “rethink and redesign the part to take advantage of the strengths of additive,” rather than “just trying to produce the same part they were using with injection molding.”
That means investing real time into additive development, in a multi-step process. First, engineers need to install printers and gradually certify them for the existing parts in their company’s products. They need to get experience in taking printers to scale. Then comes the stepping back and rethinking product design and factory layout to optimize according to the strengths of additive.
It’s similar to what happened a century ago as factories shifted from steam to electric power. First they replaced their big central steam engines with large electrical motors, while keeping the factory layout and machinery constant. Then they dropped the inefficient power-trains and gave each machine its own electric motor. They could now lay out the factory according to the efficiencies of workflow, not according to what maximized power from the central shafts. Assembly lines, for example, became much easier to set up.
Those new layouts greatly boosted efficiency and flexibility. Additive factories will benefit the same way as companies optimize around the new capabilities. As with electrification, getting there will take several years. But once companies transform their factories around additive, they’ll be far better at handling downturns.
Additive-Driven Geographical Resilience
That rethinking is likely to go far beyond the design of the product – and will add even more resilience against downturns. As companies and industries fully adopt 3D printing, they’ll start locating their factories in new places. Unlike conventional production, additive doesn’t require massive economies of scale to be profitable. Companies can therefore justify small plants that serve only local or regional markets. Additive is less capital intensive, so it has a lower break-even point -- which adds further resilience. And because labor is likely to be a minor cost, companies can put those plants close to affluent customers, rather than concentrating them in low-wage countries.
Once they set up factories focused on nearby customers, companies can invest in greater knowledge of those customers. They can use that knowledge to become aware of changing demand for existing products. Using the flexibility of additive, they can switch production to items with greater appeal – rather than choosing between shutting down the lines or making goods that can’t be sold for a profit. And they can diversify geographically, which will add further resilience.
This localization of production will gradually reshape the global economy. We’ll see fewer giant factories in China and elsewhere that supply the entire world. Most countries, or at least regions, will make the majority of the manufactured goods they consume.
That change in turn will limit downturns from any future trade wars. In an additive-based economy, Americans will produce most of their goods domestically.
Indeed, the current trade war will only intensify the move to additive. Why deal with tariffs on imports when you can build at home for just about the same price, and be more responsive to your customers? We’ll still have global supply chains for the feeder materials that go into printers. But most of those materials will likely be low-cost commodities. Future trade wars, if they even happen, won’t touch most manufacturers in any substantial way.
Economic slowdowns are always painful, even if they don’t lead to recession. But by treating the (let’s hope) temporary weakness as an opportunity, manufacturers can invest in technology that will greatly strengthen their operations. They’ll not only improve their offerings to customers, but also better handle downturns in the future.
Manufacturing’s Top 1% Marketing & Sales Process
What if marketing and sales was one of your organization’s competitive advantages? What would happen to your bottom line if you were working with more companies & were working on projects with larger requirements?
We work with over 150 manufacturing companies in the Rochester-Buffalo-Syracuse area to help them get results just like this. We help manufacturing companies create a growth-oriented sales strategy, train their sales and marketing staff on what the top 1% of sales people do, and recruit the best sales talent in the industry. On April 18th, at the RTMA April Monthly Meeting, we will share the marketing and sales process used by the best in class.
If you are a business leader within your organization or have responsibility for revenue/market share objectives – come spend your dinner with Joe Morone. You will learn the sales process for:
1) Generating More Leads
2) Closing More Deals
3) Maximizing Revenue/Customer
Hope to see you there!
We help B2B growth-oriented CEOs make sales & marketing a competitive advantage by providing them with sales strategy, sales training, and sales recruiting. We are a sales research and recruiting organization that specializes in helping companies selling complex solutions to organizations with multiple decision makers win more sales.
FEBRUARY MONTHLY MEETING
RTMA Upcoming Events
RTMA MARCH MONTHLY MEETING
TOPIC: POLITICAL ADVOCACY
SPEAKER: KEN POKALSKY, SENIOR DIRECTOR, GOVERNEMENT AFFAIRS, NEW YORK STATE BUSINESS COUNCIL
When:Thursday, March 21, 2019 5:30-7:30pm
Where: Burgundy Basin Pittsford, NY
THE RTMA WOULD LIKE TO WELCOME THE FOLLOWING NEW MEMBERS IN 2019:
BANK OF AMERICA
R.W. EARL AUTOMOTIVE SOLUTIONS
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