FMA Communications Inc.

Vicki Bell

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

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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Social media icons

What’s the word, hummingbird?

January 21, 2011

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Think social media is just for big companies or individuals with nothing else to do? Think again. Social media has evolved into an important part of a comprehensive marketing strategy, even for job shops.

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Steel prices rising

January 19, 2011

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Being an editor means putting yourself out there for criticism. No matter how objective or neutral you try to be, chances are someone, somewhere will read something you write and say, "That's quite the mouthful ... please just tell me how you can make that statement?"   How do I know? Because...

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Metal stampers on reshoring

January 12, 2011

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The December issue of "Stamping News Brief" featured an item about reshoring, one of several terms used to describe bringing jobs back to the U.S. After citing examples of reshoring by companies such as Ford Motor Co. and Caterpillar, which also were covered in a recent blog post, the newsletter...

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Fabricating Update Survey Concern 1

Are conditions improving for metal fabricators?

January 10, 2011

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The Great Recession officially ended in June 2009, but many metal fabricators were still in the thick of it as that year ended. Did conditions improve for this sector in 2010? How’s business now for fabricators compared to a year ago?

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Welding in top 10

January 6, 2011

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December's "Welding Wire" e-newsletter featured an item about the book "Closing America's Job Gap" that describes new jobs being shaped by innovations in science and technology and how people need to learn "new skills" to attain these jobs. In this book, University of California San Diego...

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Let It Grow!

December 15, 2010

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If you’re a regular reader of The Fabricator Blog, you may know what's coming. It's that time of the year when I parody a holiday tune to reflect the times, or as my mother would say, "murderize" the song. She always remarked on singers taking a standard and covering it poorly as "murderizing"...

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