FMA Communications Inc.

Vicki Bell

Web Content Manager
FMA Communications Inc.
833 Featherstone Road
Rockford, IL 61107

Manufacturing renaissance?

May 11, 2011

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Yesterday's "Fabricating Update" e-newsletter featured an item from businessweek.com that suggested the U.S. is undergoing a "manufacturing renaissance." The article, "Manufacturing booms as Deere exemplifies productivity surge," quoted Wells Capital Management Chief Investment Strategist James...

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Crying on the job

May 4, 2011

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I was in the thick of writing about the federal gas tax and how mayors from metropolitan cities are in favor of increasing the taxes if more funds are spent on improving the infrastructure in these cities and less on highways, when a far more interesting topic caught my eye.  Perhaps you don't...

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Class of 2011

April 27, 2011

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Are you graduating from college this year, or do you know someone who is? This year's graduates may have something to celebrate besides their newly earned degrees. According to a report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), employers plan to hire 19.3 percent more recent...

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Trickle-down effect of rising fuel costs

April 20, 2011

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Yesterday's "Tube Talk" e-newsletter discussed rising gas prices and the effect the increase is having on small businesses. More than 64 percent of small business owners polled on DollarDays.com said revenue is down as a result of increased gas prices, and more than a quarter said they will have...

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Sixty jobs

April 13, 2011

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Articles about two different companies at opposite ends of the fabricating spectrum adding 30 jobs each came to my attention this morning.  One company's plan involves a big investment by the once bankrupt, bailed-out corporation, and the other, collaboration with a state-run program and local...

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'Jobs are back, just not for everybody'

April 6, 2011

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I had an interesting conversation the other day with a septuagenarian who is currently enrolled in an MBA program. This former president and CEO of a textile manufacturing company is making straight As. He also is actively looking for a job, having separated from his former company six years ago....

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Stressed at work? Let the foolery begin

March 30, 2011

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April 1 is celebrated in the Western world as April Fools' Day, a day in which practical jokes and foolishness are generally tolerated — albeit more so by some than others — and most of us tend to view whatever we are told on this day with more than a modicum of skepticism, particularly that...

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Unions-the good, the bad, the ludicrous

March 23, 2011

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Although events from Japan, Libya, and Jerusalem, along with the passing of Elizabeth Taylor, dominate the headlines on this day, unions continue to make the news, including a blog post written by my colleague Dan Davis last month. I just googled news for labor unions and retrieved more than 400...

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Not just Japan's problem

March 16, 2011

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I remember the first nuclear power plant I ever saw—the Byron Nuclear Generating Station located in Ogle County, Ill., two miles east of the Rock River. Construction began in 1975, and Units 1 and 2 became operational in 1985 and 1987 respectively. The project was rife with controversy. The...

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Who's to blame for the lack of skilled workers?

March 10, 2011

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This month's “Fabricating Update” e-newsletter featured comments from readers who had responded to the February issue's lead item about how difficult it is to find the skilled workers modern manufacturing needs. These comments sparked a flurry of responses that not only addressed how difficult...

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Welders, wars, and monuments

March 2, 2011

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On a recent trip to the Washington D.C. area, my husband and I took the American Spirit Monument Tour. With only a little time for sightseeing, we had to choose what we wanted to see most, and the monuments won out. Yes, I have seen them many times in movies — who can forget the Lincoln Memorial...

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Are small businesses optimistic enough to hire?

February 23, 2011

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Do you own or work for a small business? How's your business faring these days? Are you hiring?  February 16, the House Committee on Small Business held a hearing titled "Putting Americans Back to Work: the State of the Small Business Economy." Speaking before the meeting, Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez...

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Kyle and the welding instructor

February 9, 2011

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Note from Vicki Bell: This post, written by welding instructor Marty Rice, honors his students, particularly those who have served in the Armed Forces, and illustrates the special bond between teacher and student. One of the worst things a teacher can hear is the death of a student. I've lost them...

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U.S. No. 1, but for how long?

February 2, 2011

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Yesterday I was happy to read an article that said the U.S. is No. 1 in manufacturing, out-producing China — No. 2 — by more than 40 percent. It's an interesting article that chronicles what's happening in manufacturing: U.S. factories are closing; American manufacturing jobs are reappearing...

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A tall, tall order

January 26, 2011

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Did you listen to President Obama's State of the Union address? I didn't. As I have explained in years past, I prefer to read the transcript of the address first thing the morning after and form my own opinion, without being swayed by delivery; audience reactions (the transcript I read did indicate...

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