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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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Just the facts - Down and dirty

February 11, 2009

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As I began this post, I had no idea what the title would be. I wanted something positive and, if not positive, at least not negative. How do you put the best possible spin on rotten news? Perhaps I should ask government officials or financial CEOs, who have a lot of experience laundering facts...

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The recession's end: Waiting for land

February 9, 2009

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Ignacio Nacho Palomarez is what you"d call an early technology adopter. The president of San Carlos, Calif.-based Spacesonic dove into laser cutting in the 1980s, and today he has laser cutting capability that includes armored plate, thin sheet, and everything in between. These days he"s...

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No friends, no problem

February 6, 2009

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You"ve got enough on your plate to worry about—producing quality parts, shipping those parts out on time, chasing new business, addressing issues with employees, and getting home in time to grab some sleep before the cycle begins all over again. Well, here"s one thing you don"t have to worry...

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Good news for Michigan

February 4, 2009

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If any state could use some good news, it's Michigan, which is on track to reach an unwelcomed milestone: 10 consecutive years—a full decade—of job losses. The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that of the 49 metropolitan areas with a...

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