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Friday, June 27, 2014

PMA Applauds the Senate's Approval of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

PMA was pleased this week to see the Senate pass the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.  One of the largest challenges facing U.S. manufacturers today is the limited number of skilled workers available.  Congressional actions like this one can help us increase the number of people we can hire, boosting job numbers and pushing American manufacturing forward.  Here's a press release we released with the National Tooling and Machining Association on the bill.


The National Tooling and Machining Association and the Precision Metalforming Association applauded the U.S. Senate for passing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), H.R. 803 this week by a vote of 95-3.

The bipartisan bill updates the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, which covers dozens of job training programs. That bill expired in 2003 and had not been updated in over 15 years, part of the reason for today’s skills gap in manufacturing.  The bill’s provision, among others, directs governors to create State Workforce Development Boards, a majority of whom must represent businesses in the state; prioritizes the use of industry-recognized standards and credentials; eliminates outdated programs; provides accountability and data reporting requirements; and, increases the ability to use on-the-job training (reimbursement rates up to 75%) and incumbent worker training (may use up to 20% of local funds).

The skills gap has caused many manufacturers to have serious shortages of qualified potential employees in their labor force.  According to a recent survey, nearly 75% of members in both NTMA and PMA have job openings in manufacturing plants, and 80% report that they are having challenges recruiting qualified employees.

NTMA and PMA have been leaders in pressing Congress to reform the outdated federal workforce system and strongly supported WIOA.

“As the U.S. manufacturing industry continues to expand, the need to hire more skilled workers will continue to grow, especially with millions of older manufacturing workers expected to retire in the coming years.  This bill is a step in the right direction for closing the skills gap,” said NTMA President Dave Tilstone.

“This legislation is important to our members and the manufacturing industry as a whole,” said PMA President Bill Gaskin. “The strong bipartisan support that the bill received reflects the recognition by both parties of the importance of supporting the manufacturing sector as it continues its comeback and growth.”
The legislation, supported by industry, workforce training institutions, and state officials from both political parties, now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives for a vote.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Press Release: Precision Metalforming Association Announces New Board Members

CLEVELAND, OH—June 26, 2014—The Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) is pleased to announce the election of 10 new members to the association’s Board of Directors. PMA represents the $113-billion metalforming industry of North America and includes 900 member companies located across the United States and Canada.

The new additions to the Board include:

Associate Member Directors

  • Troy Roberts, president and managing director, AIDA-America Corporation, Dayton, OH
  • Troy Turnbull, president, Industrial Innovations, Inc., Grandville, MI
  • Mark Ullstrup, VP of sales and marketing, Superior Die Set Corp., Oak Creek, WI

At-Large Directors

  • Douglas Johnson, vice president of operations, Marion Manufacturing Company, Cheshire, CT

District Directors

  • Jessica Abrahamse, VP of sales, Surface Heat Treat and Coatings, Stoney Creek, Ontario
    (PMA Canada District)
  • William Carper, VP of operations, Columbian Home Products, LLC, Terre Haute, IN (Indiana District)
  • Keith O’Brien, VP of global operations, Pridgeon & Clay, Inc., Grand Rapids, MI (West Michigan District)
  • Tony Pascariello, operations manager, Stewart EFI, LLC, Thomaston, CT
    (Southern New England District)
  • Mark Sutton, director of operations, Clips & Clamps Industries, Plymouth, MI (East Michigan District)

Divisional Directors

  • Ian Quinn, manufacturing engineer, Loren Cook Company, Springfield, MO (Metal Spinning Division)

“I’m pleased to welcome this group of manufacturing leaders to the PMA Board. I look forward to serving with them and to their contributions to shaping the association’s policies and working together on this year’s theme, Investing in the Future to Strengthen the Industry,” said PMA Board Chairman Jody Fledderman.

A complete list of PMA Board members is available at

PMA is the full-service trade association representing the $113-billion metalforming industry of North America—the industry that creates precision metal products using stamping, fabricating, spinning, slide forming and roll forming technologies, and other value-added processes. Its nearly 900 member companies also include suppliers of equipment, materials and services to the industry. PMA leads innovative member companies toward superior competitiveness and profitability through advocacy, networking, statistics, the PMA Educational Foundation, FABTECH and METALFORM Mexico tradeshows, and MetalForming and Fabricating Product News magazines.

Monday, June 23, 2014

PMA Sponsors MFG Day

PMA was in the news last week when it was announced that we joined the roster of Manufacturing Day 2014 as a Silver Sponsor.

As a reminder, Manufacturing Day is an annual event that takes place in communities across the nation with the goal of supporting local manufacturing.
This year, on October 3, manufacturing facilities will open their doors to students, parents, job seekers, and other community members to experience modern manufacturing technology and learn about careers.
Our sponsorship is important.  We'll be helping to reach a maximum number of local manufacturers and assisting in coordinating a grassroots effort to improve the public perception of manufacturing in America.
PMA's sponsorship earned praise from FMA, one of Manufacturing Day's co-producers.  “The co-producers could not be more pleased that these organizations, which are so dedicated to serving their respective sectors of the manufacturing industry, are putting their full support behind Manufacturing Day for the second straight year,” said Ed Youdell, president and CEO of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association. “Their reputation and their reach to professionals in the industry as well as educators and students will help to generate participation in Manufacturing Day events across the nation.”
To learn more about Manufacturing Day, visit

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Batesville Steps up For Manufacturing Education

On June 9, PMA Chairman and CEO of Batesville Tool & Die, Jody Fledderman, was featured on Inside INdiana Business to discuss his company’s involvement in a manufacturing education program in southeast Indiana.

Jody Fledderman
PMA Chairman and CEO of Batesville Tool & Die
Batesville Tool & Die, along with the Batesville School Corporation, IvyTech Community College, and three other local area businesses, have teamed up to give high school students a chance to gain hands-on experience in the modern manufacturing world.

Inside Indiana Business reported that, through the program, freshmen and sophomore students can take elective courses featuring design and manufacturing curriculums. After an application process, juniors can then enter a 2-year program which allows them to gain college credit as well as access to internship and shadowing opportunities. Happily, the piece indicated, the program continues to grow each year.  Next Fall, more than 25 students will be a part of the curriculum. 

Due to Indiana’s strength in manufacturing and demand for skilled labor, Fledderman said the educational program will help to fill the void in labor that has existed the past 10 to 15 years.

Importantly, Fledderman shared that one of the key components of the program’s success is getting the students on-site to physically experience the business and stimulate interest in the industry.

Fledderman explained that manufacturing businesses will continue to need capable employees from the next generation who are excited about entering the business and familiar with the latest technology to help the industry progress. He views this program as a step for being able to accomplish these goals both in Indiana as well as the United States as a whole.

To learn more, watch Fledderman’s interview with Inside Indiana below, or visit the article here.

Monday, June 2, 2014

New Research on California's Skills Gap Unveiled at PMA Member Facility

On May 29, 2014, business leaders, education officials, and community members gathered at PMA member Walker Corporation’s manufacturing facility to announce the release of a new research report by ReadyNation/America’s Edge. The report comes in response to employer concerns about California’s growing skills gap and the need to fill high-skilled positions.

Michael Bermudez, Vice President and General Manager of Walker Corporation spoke to the need for finding candidates with “good problem-solving skills and basic understanding of how to provide leadership on the manufacturing room.” Additionally, Bermudez shared that many companies are finding difficulty in filling high-skilled positions due to a work-force with limited education.

The report, entitled “Fortifying the Inland Empire’s Talent Pipeline: Closing our “Skills Gaps” through Linked Learning,” suggests that, by 2020, over 66 percent of jobs created in California will require formal education beyond high school. Recognizing the importance of educating K-12 students, the leaders spoke out in support of regional education reform efforts with the goal of teaching students the skills needed for higher level manufacturing positions.

According to the day's presentations, one of the most successful reforms seen so far is the Linked Learning program, which provides “career academy” pathways for approximately 200 students who stay together as a cohort throughout the duration of high school. Organizers say the cohort model helps inspire teamwork and develop 21st-century skills including effective communication and critical thinking skills.

Throughout California, presenters noted, Linked Learning career pathways are being tailored to regional hiring, but a large amount of growth is already projected in the manufacturing sector. By 2017, San Bernardino School District hopes to have all 49,000 of its students in career pathways, leading the way to a new generation of educated young people who can help to advance the manufacturing industry.

Click here to explore the report released by Ready Nation/America’s Edge about the future of jobs and education in California.

And here are some photos from the event -

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