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How one woman benefited from Chrysler's problems

January 14, 2010

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You don't have to be a former autoworker to have been affected by the automotive industry's problems. All U.S. taxpayers have been affected, as have many community and state economies. I personally was affected — in a relatively minor way — when Chrysler sent letters of termination to 789...

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The need to adapt, no matter what happens

January 12, 2010

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When I saw the words manufacturing and boom in one headline, I had to do a double take. An AllianceBernstein economist was especially optimistic, predicting that manufacturing may be gearing up for the biggest turnaround seen in 25 years. "The evidence points to a 20 percent jump in output in the...

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Manufacturing in the movies

January 8, 2010

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I spent the first part of my holiday break unwinding by watching movies. I intended to go out skating, visit downtown Chicago, and generally get out of the house during the second part of the break, but the temperature dropped down to single digits; I ended up watching more movies.One of the more...

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Temps dropping, prices rising

January 6, 2010

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If you're like me, you don't get too excited about day-to-day changes in atmospheric conditions, also known as the weather. Most of us have daily activities-going to work, attending classes, and so on-that are indoors anyway, so the weather usually doesn't have much effect on many people. Usually...

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Clueless in Washington

January 6, 2010

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In December, "Fabricating Update" readers responded to the annual survey about business concerns. A recap of the survey findings will be published on thefabricator.com next week. In summary, the majority who responded said that business is picking up or they expect improvements soon. Fifteen...

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A welcome farewell to the aughts

January 4, 2010

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A year ago Troy Berg wasn't in a good place."I knew in January that 2009 was gone. Never in the history of my business have I had to kiss off a year in January & Now that we're through 2009, the hard cuts have been made, we've made a little bit of money, and those of us who are still...

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Where is St. Jude when we need him?

December 23, 2009

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On Dec. 12, I received a press release with an earth-shaking announcement: Dr. Orly Taitz Esq. was scheduled to fly to New York the following week to film a documentary for NBC news, highlighting "her legal efforts to bring to light the vital records of mr Barack Hussein Obama and the issue of his...

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Joe Biden and a press brake

December 21, 2009

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Rickey Moulder probably won't forget the workday he had Thursday. Moulder is press brake department supervisor for Impulse Manufacturing in Dawsonvile, Ga., and on Dec. 17 he got to explain a bit about sheet metal fabrication to Vice President Joe Biden. An Associated Press photographer even...

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Returning to the slightly-worse-than-yesterday but still good ol' days

December 18, 2009

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I read an interview with some highfalutin investment guy in the Dec. 21 issue of Fortune, and I'm starting to feel good about the future. It's not that he's bullish about the economy in the months to come, but that may not necessarily be all bad.Mohamed El-Erian, who is CEO of an...

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The 12 months of oh-nine

December 16, 2009

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Here's a quick look back at a few highlights and lowlights from 2009—where we were when we began the year, where we are now, and what happened as the year unfolded, particularly when it comes to jobs. I wish you peace and a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2010. The first month of...

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The Catch 22 of collateral

December 15, 2009

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Earlier this year, I landed at the Detroit airport en route to a conference. I got into my rental car, headed to the I-94 on-ramp, and then I saw it. There, next to the highway, was a big billboard advertising, of all things, a metal fabricator: "W Industries: Aerospace, Defense, Energy,...

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The end of TARP as we know it

December 10, 2009

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Two years ago the U.S. economy had many symptoms of a bubble ready to burst-runaway stock prices, rapidly inflating real estate prices, and interest rates that encouraged many homeowners to refinance (that's a synonym for "take unnecessary risks with") their most valuable assets. One symptom,...

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All I want for Christmas is ...

December 9, 2009

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Jobs—especially good paying jobs that can't be exported. Well, that's almost all. I also want world peace and an end to hunger and homelessness. Then there's the climate. Oh, all right, I guess I want more than jobs, but it's beginning to look as though jobs—which...

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Of GM, chainsaws, rattlesnakes, and risk

December 8, 2009

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There's something eerie about a prediction that comes to pass. When Fritz Henderson was announced as Rick Waggoner's replacement as GM's CEO on March 30, a business blog headline read Fritz Henderson May Not Last Long at GM. The blog, by John Gapper, associate editor and chief...

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Looking for leadership

December 4, 2009

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If you didn't notice Emerson Electric Co. David Farr's comments made before the Thanksgiving break, take note now. The CEO voiced what's on the minds of plenty of manufacturing company leaders and managers."Washington is doing everything in their manpower, capability, to destroy U.S....

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