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Looking at the Skills Gap Through the Lens of the Changing Manufacturing Industry

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The skills gap is a phenomenon that has frequently dominated conversations surrounding the manufacturing industry in recent years. As the most recent study from Deloitte suggests, nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs are expected to open up over the next decade, and about 2 million of those jobs are projected to go unfilled. On July 8, Rachel Abbey McCafferty of Crain’s Cleveland Business published an article that looks at the choices manufacturing businesses could make to solve the problem.

The article features the stories of small-to-medium manufacturing firms who are exploring new ways to holistically approach the skills gap and build their workforce. PMA President Roy Hardy is also quoted in the article about his views on the changing manufacturing industry.

McCafferty notes the recently successful and better-known approaches to combating the skills gap, like  partnerships with community colleges and other preexisting training programs, as well as working to get students engaged …

PMA Congratulates Trans-Matic on 50 Years

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Fifty years ago, Pat Thompson started a modest metal stamping business in Holland, Michigan.  The enterprise only had two production machines and was the first deep-draw metal stamping company in Western Michigan.  Today, PMA member company Trans-Matic is a global leader in metal stamping with more than 500 employees and facilities in not only Michigan, but Mesa, Arizona, Monterrey, Mexico, and Suzhou, China. Trans-Matic is headed by Pat’s son, P.J. Thompson. Both Pat and P.J. are past PMA chairmen of the board.

The elder Thompson was recently interviewed by MLive for the company’s milestone anniversary.   When asked about the history of Trans-Matic, he said, “I'm amazed at how the business has grown.  It is far beyond my mission and far beyond my ambition.  We've just followed the opportunities wherever they led us, and we kept making investments in our people and in our machinery and equipment.”

To commemorate 50 years, Trans-Matic hosted a celebration at their headquarters …

Summertime Provides Unique Ways to Bring Manufacturing to Students

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School is out for summer and that means young students have three months ahead of them to spend at camps, day programs and other exciting activities. One community college in Elgin, Illinois, is taking this summer as an opportunity to launch the inaugural season of Manufacturing Camp, a three-day all day summer camp to learn skills like computer-aided design, welding and sheet metal cutting. The Chicago Tribune ran a story on this unique program and how it allows students to explore the manufacturing field during their summer break:

Students will be introduced to the inner workings of manufacturing, [and will have the opportunity to] meet with industry professionals to learn more about the various jobs and career paths, and tour a local manufacturing facility. 

"Manufacturing Camp is designed to introduce students to the world of manufacturing through a hands-on project made in real shop facilities," said Anne Hauca, dean of workforce development and continuing education. &quo…

Washington Post Front Page Features the Impact of Tariffs on PMA Board Member Adler

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Nearly three months after the President’s announcement of Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum, American manufacturers are struggling to compete in a global market. This week, the front page of the Washington Post featured PMA Board Member Bill Adler, president and owner of Stripmatic Products in Cleveland, OH.

In the story titled “This Ohio factory thought it could bring U.S. jobs back from China. Then Trump got involved,” David Lynch writes:

As steel prices in the United States rise, Adler worries they will pinch his employees’ bonuses and profit-sharing checks. The 25 percent increase in Stripmatic’s sales that he anticipated from the sausage stuffer contract, the $1 million in new factory investment and the 10 new jobs it would have created have evaporated.

“If it wasn’t for the increase that came on because of the threat of tariffs, then I honestly believe we’d be supplying these domestically,” Adler said of the machines that pack ground meat into sausage casings. “This direct…

Trust Veterans and Service Members to Help Build Your Business

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By Major General (ret) Garry Dean
I’ve spent thousands of hours as an Air Force fighter pilot on missions supporting our nation and our allies across the globe.  Undeniably, it is exciting and a challenge to be flying at 40,000 feet defending the skies over our friendly forces and citizens on the ground, at times in some of the most heavily defended airspace we could encounter. 

Yet, nearly every minute in the air, I was keenly aware that the difference between life and death, or the success of that day’s mission, was the competence, dedication, and teamwork of the men and women in our military supporting me whose expertise and adaptability during complex missions kept me safe and enabled our success.

We have the most sophisticated military in the world because all the members of our team are highly trained in their primary roles and other supporting skills, just as I was in my role as an Air Dominance fighter pilot.  Everyone performed their jobs with excellence to keep me and my fel…

Small Manufacturers Start to Feel the Impacts of President Trump’s Section 232 Steel Tariffs

On May 1 at 9:00 p.m. EDT, the day that country exemptions for the Administration’s Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs were set to expire, President Donald Trump announced an extension period for the exemptions of 30 days. Despite this action, the American manufacturing industry is still faced with higher steel and aluminum costs, extended lead times, and a sense of uncertainty.

An article published by Reuters elaborates on the various situations manufacturers now find themselves facing because of these tariffs. Author Rajesh Kumar Singh writes:

The steel and aluminum import tariffs imposed in March were designed to protect the American industries and its workers from global overcapacity and unfair trade practices. Trump justified the measure saying protecting the industries was important to the country’s national security. He argued that the tariffs would re-open closed mills, sustain a skilled workforce, and maintain or increase production. But the tariffs, which came into effect…

PMA Recognizes its Volunteer Leaders

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For any organization to not only survive 75 years, but to prosper while doing so is quite an achievement and is truly a testament to the commitment and dedication of its people.  In the case of a trade association, those people are the volunteers who have served in leadership, and PMA has been blessed to have so many step forward over the years to fulfill that need.

Our 75-year anniversary is a perfect time to publicly recognize the efforts of all of our volunteer leaders.

PMA commissioned artist Mark Brabant to create a work of art—“Forming Value”—that not only says thank you, but, also, in a picture tells the story of how volunteer leaders historically have brought value to the organization and will continue to do so into the future.

The piece’s central theme is the “working hands,” representing all PMA members that have in the past and into the future continue to diligently work together to “add value” to the metal coil that ties our industry together.

The hands are multi-colored …