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Of GM, chainsaws, rattlesnakes, and risk

December 8, 2009 | By Kate Bachman

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 | By Dan Davis

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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More good signs for manufacturing

December 3, 2009 | By Eric Lundin

The mood in manufacturing seemed to shift sometime during the summer. Granted, it couldn't have gotten much worse from the spring, but at least the dark mood didn't last any longer than it did. The PMI, an index compiled by the Institute for Supply Management, broke through 50 percent in August....

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'Coming back slowly'

December 2, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

With all the buzz about Tiger Woods, you may not have seen the flurry of reports post FABTECH, such as this one that appeared in today's Rockford Register Star newspaper, that offer glimpses of where metal fabricating companies stand in the recessionary cycle.According to the article, Farley...

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Giving thanks & for cash flow

December 1, 2009 | By Tim Heston

As my toddler sculpted her mash potatoes into something resembling, well, a lump of mash potatoes, I looked around at the Thanksgiving table. Smiles all around, not only because my daughter's so darn cute (no bias on my part, of course), but also because they knew they didn't have to...

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Renewed hope for U.S. manufacturing

November 20, 2009 | By Eric Lundin

In 1939 manufacturing provided about 30 percent of the jobs in the U.S. By November of 1943, it provided 38.8 percent of U.S. jobs. Shortly after World War II ended, the manufacturing portion was back to its prewar level. Except for a few expansions along the way, probably associated with producing...

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FABTECH 'exceeded our expectations'

November 19, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

Economically speaking, it's been a grim year. Few industries have escaped the repercussions of the downturn, and ours—metal manufacturing—is among the hardest hit. It was under a heavy cloud of concern that a stressed, worried industry came together at the 2009 FABTECH®...

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Lean manufacturing meets health care

November 14, 2009 | By Tim Heston

The coverage on health care reform has been driving me crazy lately. As the saying goes, there are two things that are good to have, but you don't want to know how they're made: laws and sausages. For weeks, article after newspaper article has described the art of sausage-making.But one...

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Taking a working break from free trade

November 13, 2009 | By Dan Davis

My two fellow bloggers have written about jobs, and I can't disagree with their points. Job creation is important both to the electorate and those they elect.Unfortunately, the past decade hasn't been a stellar one for job creation. If you take a look at the private jobs in the U.S. in...

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No layoffs (except for Congress)

November 11, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

Yes, Tim, it truly is about jobs. Congress can debate health care reform, bail out banks, extend unemployment benefits, work to develop a climate bill, increase the legislative budget, and do whatever else it does until the cows come home, but we need jobs—lots of good jobs—for the...

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It's about jobs

November 10, 2009 | By Tim Heston

It's now one in 10, probably more. Take a walk and glance around. You'll probably see someone in need of a job. Within two blocks of my house, I know four who are unemployed—and those are just the neighbors I know. The Labor Department's release, which pegged...

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Lean adventures continue

November 6, 2009 | By Dan Davis

I think I recently experienced one of those "Ah-ha!" moments that metal fabricators undertaking lean initiatives have pretty frequently. I was attending a meeting where the subject was improving communication between our ad sales team and our magazine production team. Incomplete and incorrect...

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How can a home-buyer's tax credit hurt you?

November 5, 2009 | By Eric Lundin

If you agree that the government should get involved more or less directly in running the economy, you probably agree that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is a pretty good idea. All told, it provides more than $500 billion in spending on infrastructure, health care, education,...

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A most-fitting memorial to 9/11

November 4, 2009 | By Vicki Bell

It's been eight years since the 9/11 attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center and killed almost 3,000 innocent prople— enough time for two presidential elections; U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq; the fall of a dictatorship; the battle of New Orleans versus Katrina;...

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