Sally Ride and the Women of NASA

Being the subject of a Google Doodle is noteworthy, but Dr. Sally Ride’s posthumous achievements are the true sign of a great pioneer.  She received her doctorate in Physics from Stanford and went on to become the youngest and first female U.S. Astronaut to go into space.

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Women Engineering Their Way to the Top

Female engineers who have achieved top jobs at major companies

Fortune Magazine is known for keeping track of how executives and business leaders rank against their peers.  In a recent look at the Fortune 1000, they found that 51 of these companies were led by women; still a small percentage, but an improvement over 2009.  And while only 5% of these companies have females in the top job, their companies generate 7% of the Fortune 1000 revenue.

These executive women lead some impressive companies including IBM, General Motors, PepsiCo, Lockheed Martin, DuPont, Archer Daniels Midland and Fidelity Investments to name a few.  And many share one other common trait, they have engineering backgrounds.  In fact, 4 out of the 5 top female CEOs in the U.S. have at least an undergraduate degree in a STEM field.

Let’s take a look at some of these impressive leaders

Ginni Rometty

IBM CEO, President and Chairman, Ginni Rometty, began her education with a double major in computer science and electrical engineering at Northwestern University.   Spending most of her professional career at IBM,  Rometty held positions on increasing responsibility until being named the company’s first female president in 2012.

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The importance of women in STEM

As an American manufacturer and a family-owned business, we are constantly looking for ways to support the future of not only our company, but other American manufacturers. We know the impact of STEM education on today's youth and often provide high school and college tours to students who are interested in careers in STEM related fields.  We bring students in with their educators, and often other administrators to discuss the importance of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  

It's a wonderful thing to see their eyes light up as we tour them through our automated facility and listen as they ask questions about machinery, robotics, plastic, processes and more.  The majority of the students are curious, interested, excited.  The majority of the students are also male. As a mother to a daughter who is interested in a career in engineering, I know how important it is to get girls involved in these opportunities early on.  So what can we do to help nurture these young women and help set them up for a successful career? 

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Help Wanted: Skills for Manufacturing Jobs

A new Accenture manufacturing and skills study, completed in collaboration with The Manufacturing Institute, looks at the skills shortage in the US manufacturing industry and what actions manufacturing companies can take to address how this lack of talent pool of skills for manufacturing jobs impedes growth.

Below this write up you will also find a very cool infographic, so be sure to check that out at the end of the post.

The study includes responses from more than 300 executives from a diverse range of US manufacturing companies. It confirms that the current period is favorable for U.S. manufacturing, which has exhibited steady growth in recent years. The study shows that more than 50 percent of companies surveyed plan to increase U.S.-based production by at least 5 percent in the next five years.

However, the results also reveal a major challenge that could dampen future growth prospects - a shortage in the skills required to perform essential tasks for manufacturing jobs today and innovate for tomorrow. U.S. manufacturers may lose up to 11 percent of earnings annually as a result of increased production costs driven by a shortage of skilled workers.

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Why Manufacturers Need Millennials for Future Growth

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Manufacturing Trends from New ThomasNet Survey

Every year ThomasNet conducts their Industry Market Barometer® which defines the business trends impacting manufacturing companies. This year's survey subtitle was "Will progress be sustainable without an infusion of younger workers?"  The summary of the report indicates that manufacturing companies are projecting upward trends and continuing to grow, hire and add new products.  "More than half (58%) of the companies surveyed grew in 2013 and 63% expect to grow by the end of 2014."  However, growth may be impeded by a lack of skilled workers.  Here is a sampling of their findings.

Not only have manufacturers experienced steady grow, but they expect the trend to continue.

 

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A Big Win - Hiring Veterans for Manufacturing Careers

Hiring veterans is the focus of the Get Skills to Work coalition, a collaboration sponsored by General Electric that combines manufacturers, educational institutions, and veterans advocates to prepare our soldiers for manufacturing careers.

According to the website "The Get Skills to Work coalition wouldn't be possible without the support and partnership from Alcoa, the Atlantic Council, Boeing, Futures Inc, the Gary Sinise Foundation, GE, Institute for Veterans and Military Families, LinkedIn, Lockheed Martin, the Manufacturing Institute, TechShop, and others. The Get Skills to Work Advisory Council has also played a major role in advising the coalition from the veterans' perspective. By helping veterans qualify and get hired for new careers, we can close the skills gap and enhance America's advanced manufacturing sector."


In this video, Gary Sinise describes the mission of the program.

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Superheroes and STEM: 21st century cool

This past weekend I took my son to see the movie Big Hero 6.  We were at Disney World recently, and the movie was promoted all over the parks.  Needless to say, my son loves anything superhero or robot related, so this was a must see on our list.  The movie is about a young boy named Hiro who lives in a futuristic city. Hiro is a 14-year-old robotics genius who spends his time participating in back alley robot fights. His older brother, Tadashi, worried that Hiro is wasting his potential. He takes Hiro to the robotics lab at his university, where Hiro meets Tadashi's friends, and Baymax, a personal healthcare robot Tadashi created.  When a devastating event befalls the city of San Fransokyo, Hiro turns to Baymax and transforms his friends into a band of high-tech heroes called "Big Hero 6." The movie centers on the special bond that develops between Baymax and Hiro.  

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We’re so excited…Manufacturing Day 2014 is Friday, October 3rd

We are not the only ones who are proud to participate in Manufacturing Day.  Since its inception in 2012, the number of participating manufacturers has grown from 200 to nearly 1,500.   American manufacturers throughout the country are going to open their doors this year for tours, presentations, training and more.  In fact, there are 68 tours in Pennsylvania alone. 

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