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Auto suppliers get relief

March 24, 2009

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A friend of mine in college couldn't wait to get to Detroit. A mechanical engineering major, he loved cars. He worked at summer co-ops trying to get his foot in the door. He'd talk about designs, inside and out. And though I never saw him do it, I bet he was the kind of guy who ran his...

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Looking to the stars for inspiration

March 20, 2009

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If it's one thing that I'm certain of, it's that highly educated people will have the best chance of achieving standards of living that exceed that of their parents, a scenario that many in today's world see slipping from their collective grasp. This belief pertains to skilled...

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'Why didn't I think of that?'

March 18, 2009

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When you think about it, we all have the ability to innovate. Our innovations can be as simple as coming up with a temporary "fix" for a problem until it can be handled properly. Those of us who work with computers are very familiar with this type of innovation; we call it a workaround. Sometimes,...

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Who's paying for the bailout?

March 16, 2009

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As bad bailout news emerges unabated, we continually hear that finger-wagging phrase that, once uttered, we hope makes these unabashed bankers hang their heads in shame: Taxpayers are shouldering the burden. I've heard the phrase so much that I'm beginning to think we're all serfs...

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Turning the corner? I don't know

March 12, 2009

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I love conversations with my dad. Not too much is said, but I tend to learn a lot from these brief encounters. Take this interaction when I was a teenager: He"s the equivalent of spoken text messaging. He"s also the reason that I don"t offer too many thoughts on the current state of this...

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'Alive and well'

March 11, 2009

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An item in yesterday's "Fabricating Update" e-newsletter described the dialogue surrounding reports of General Motors being more open to filing bankruptcy and the company's rebuttal that its stance on bankruptcy hasn't changed. This item concluded by noting that companies on the...

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Too lean to cut

March 9, 2009

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From what shop owners tell me, the metal fabrication sector has had quite a ride during the past few months. It's hard to believe that in October at the FABTECH® International & AWS Welding Show, shop managers told me stories of strong business that, though not as good as in 2007, still...

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Hope in metal fabricating

March 5, 2009

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If metal fabricating is hard work, metal fabricators are working especially hard during these economic times. Matrix Metalcraft is no exception.The 25-person shop in Clinton Township, Mich., is working hard to chase down new business while the automotive industry remains moribund. The 9-year-old...

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Haphazardly throwing money away

March 4, 2009

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Several e-newsletters arrive in my inbox each week; I imagine the same is true for you. I don't always have time to read all of them as thoroughly as I'd like, but I do open them and scan to see if they contain something I need to make the time to read.The latest Occupational Health &...

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Do more with less and perplexity

March 2, 2009

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Recently I heard an apt story for our times, one that delved into the history behind that perennial, and often abhorred, business buzz phrase, "Do more with less." According to the NPR story, the 19th century French economist Frédéric Bastiat opined, Man is so constituted that his...

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Extending a lifeline

February 25, 2009

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Did you watch President Obama's speech before Congress last night? According to CNN.com's Quick Vote, 27 percent of the nearly 140,000 survey respondents didn't watch. I have to confess that I'm one of the 27 percent. As I've said in the past, I prefer to read a speech...

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It's not all gloom and doom

February 23, 2009

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Hey, just curious, but did you hear about the collapse of manufacturing last week? How about the fact that this recession could be the worst the world has ever experienced and that social unrest soon will create serious political instability in some parts of the world; that crime rates will rise,...

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Getting the government to listen

February 19, 2009

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Doug Bergeson is a man of few words, but the words he shares with you are important. After 26 years as part of the Army National Guard and tours of duty in Kosovo and Iraq, the latter lasting an astonishing 18 months, he selects his words carefully and thoughtfully when speaking with civilians.But...

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When do we say enough already?

February 18, 2009

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While my neighbors are circulating e-mails about the newly opened Irish pub that's within walking distance (conserve fuel and drown your sorrows) and notices about how to reduce the tax assessments on our homes—after all, our home values have dropped; one more reason to hit the...

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Attracting the positive

February 16, 2009

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The sky fell over the weekend. Well, not really. (What would the sky falling look like anyway?) But some stuff did fall from the sky. A Russian and American satellite collided, and in another apparently unrelated incident, a giant fireball streamed over Texas.The stories read as apt metaphors for...

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