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PMA 75th Anniversary Interview with Bill Gaskin
Bill Gaskin, shares his memories and experiences as PMA celebrates our 75th
Q: How long have you been at PMA?
A: I am closing
in on 40 years. Jon Jenson, who was president of American Metal Stamping
Association (AMSA) from December 1975 through August 2000, hired me in February
1977 with an official “start date” of March 1, 1977. (See below for more on this)
Q: What is your current role? Have you
held any other positions at PMA previously?
A: My current
role includes being President of three separate, but related entities:
Metalforming Association, which is a 501 (c) (6) not-for-profit trade
Educational Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit charitable organization
supporting training and education·
Services, Inc., a for-profit company (owned equally by PMA and PMAEF) engaged
primarily in publishing and management of other associations, such as Women in
My first job
title was Staff Representative; then succeeding ones: District & Government
Relations Coordinator, Government Relations Manager, Vice President, Executive
Vice President, and in 2000, President. (The
next one is likely to be President Emeritus.)
Q: What is the best part of working at
A: The people I
and the people I work with. One of the great things about PMA and many
similar trade associations and/or professional societies, is that you can make
a significant and positive impact on an entire industry (or profession) and
help it succeed. In turn, this affects
our larger economy and overall success of our country. The volunteer leadership of PMA is comprised
of motivated, hardworking individuals who are very busy in their own companies,
yet they take time to work on PMA, to help us be successful as
an organization and an overall industry. In turn, my fellow PMA employees invest their time and energy to provide
information, services and benefits that help our member companies succeed. It is this synergy of dedicated members and a
dedicated team of co-workers that has allowed us to help the metalforming
industry be stronger, more innovative and more successful.
Q: What was the first PMA
event/meeting that you worked on?
A: A meeting of
the Government Affairs Committee, in Washington, D.C. My first unofficial day on the job (I was
actually a volunteer that day) was Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1977, two
weeks before my actual start-date as an employee. During my final interview, Jon asked if I
could take two days of vacation from the job I was leaving to participate in an
AMSA Government Relations Committee meeting being held in Washington, D.C. It was a very useful meeting, because I had a
chance to meet about a dozen active members, who believed strongly in the
importance of “telling the industry story” to our elected representatives and
employees of government agencies. I also
started to learn about some serious industry issues caused when the
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), which had been
established just six years earlier, had taken voluntary industry safety
standards, and overnight made them the “law of the land.” The metal stamping industry was really
struggling to comply with these new requirements, and AMSA was indeed the
“voice” of the industry then, as PMA is today.
As a side note,
that trip to Washington, D.C. was the first time I was ever on an airplane.
Q: What PMA event is your
A:Forming Our Future,
which we used to call the “Annual Meeting.” It is a multi-day event in a very nice location, with great speakers,
small group meetings, larger assembly sessions and plenty of opportunities for
participants to meet new people, share-interesting ideas, learn new things, and
take some time to relax and have some fun. While the locations, hotels and
speakers are amazing, the people from our member companies are what really make
the event worth every minute.
Q: What is your favorite PMA
A: Being among a
group of PMA members who spent their personal time and company money to travel
to Washington, D.C. to help end the 201 Steel Tariff, that very negatively
impacted steel consumers with an
overnight 36% duty applied to all imports of flat rolled metals. Jim McGregor from Morgal Machine Tool, at his
company’s expense, loaded an operational metal stamping line (uncoiler, feed,
stamping press complete with tool and a parts bin) on a flatbed truck, then
parked it outside the U.S. Capitol Building. This was part of a press event to
bring attention to the harm caused to steel-consuming
companies while steel-producing companies were being protected from
low-priced Chinese steel imports by a tariff that artificially raised the price
they received for their steel. Our large group of members in D.C., some of them
standing on the truck, held their “stop the tariff” signs, to help make the
point to Congress that while steel producers were benefiting from the tariff,
steel consumers were being impacted negatively.
An economic study
we commissioned determined that 71 steel-consuming
industry jobs would be lost for each steel-producing
job saved. PMA and our allies were successful in ending the steel tariff 20
months early, likely saving tens of thousands of jobs in our industry.
Q: What makes you proud to work at
A: A combination
(1) Our employees and their remarkable
dedication to the association, our members and the metalforming industry, which
motivates them to perform outstanding and challenging work to provide
leadership, important and useful information, personal service, outstanding
products, publications, and events to our members and the entire metalforming
(2) Our members and their willingness to
volunteer their time and company resources to collaborate with others, engaging
through PMA to improve the metalforming industry, including learning from each
other, and working with government officials and other associations to help the
industry and our economy grow stronger.
(3) The resources we sometimes take for
granted, such as our debt-free office facility, built in 1998, in Independence,
OH, and our relationships with other associations, our suppliers and partners
who make us better and help us strive to achieve our mission:To
shape the environment of the metalforming industry, leading innovative member
companies toward superior competitiveness and profitability.
Q: What does PMA mean to you?
A: To me, PMA has
meant having an opportunity to make a difference to our member
companies and their employees, and to PMA’s team. I really believe that organizations such as
PMA make a huge difference within an industry, and in turn contribute to the
success of the overall U.S. economy, thereby enhancing our lifestyle, freedoms
and long-term success. PMA means the
opportunity to help an industry, which is essential to our daily well-being,
succeed and serve their customers, and thereby contribute to the past, present
and future of our families, communities and country.
President Trump yesterday signed a proclamation placing tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports. Mexico and Canada are exempted from the tariffs for now. The tariffs take effect at 12:01 a.m. on March 23. The President’s action is the result of recommendations from two Section 232 (national security) investigations conducted by the U.S. Commerce Department.
According to the proclamation, within 10 days, the Commerce Department will announce the process for filing a request for an exclusion for steel and aluminum products not available in the U.S.
These tariffs will place at risk the jobs of millions of Americans who are employed in the metalforming, metal stamping and other U.S. industries that use steel. Restricted availability and increased costs for raw materials will likely lead to current customers sourcing finished products from overseas competitors, who will produce them with foreign steel or aluminum and import them tariff-free.
President, Precision Metalforming Association
With a pedigree steeped in engineering, manufacturing and our industry’s workpiece metals of choice, Roy Hardy assumed the leadership position at PMA as its new president on May 15, 2017. He succeeds Bill Gaskin, who retired at the end of May after 40 years of service to the metalforming industry.
A self-described third-generation metals man–his grandfather worked in a ductile iron foundry for 35 years and his father’s career was spent as a metallurgist at Huntington Alloys–Hardy has had a lifelong fascination with this type of work.
“As a kid on plant tours where my dad worked, I watched metal being poured, twisted, bended, recycled to be used again…I’ve always wanted to be a metals guy,” he says.
Graduating from the University of Cincinnati with a bachelor’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering, Hardy worked his way through nearly every link of the metal-parts supply chain, then owned a company supplying steel mills, the heat…
Guest Blogger: Bill Frahm
President, 4M Partners, LLC
Sheetmetal forming has many challenges and opportunities to offer students and new employees. New metals, new forming technologies, and evolving information and simulation technologies offer opportunities for engaged employees to shape the future. Adapting to change and leading the industry discussion requires the experience of seasoned employees, along with the energy and new ideas of knowledgeable young employees.
The market for talent is competitive. Your competition includes other manufacturers, Silicon Valley, Wall Street and government. Successful recruiting and retention involves attracting students to the industry and building a rewarding work environment. Unfortunately, manufacturing has to overcome negative perceptions.
The old Johnny Paycheck song, “Take This Job and Shove It,” has been around for 40 years. It’s been a standard of American blue-collar culture. The song’s sentiment counts among the reasons smart, young t…