FMA Communications Inc.

Vicki Bell

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

Blog Posts

Kyle and the welding instructor

February 9, 2011 | By Vicki Bell

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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Blog Posts

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

February 2, 2011 | By Vicki Bell

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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Blog Posts

A tall, tall order

January 26, 2011 | By Vicki Bell

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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Shop Management | Articles

What’s the word, hummingbird?

January 21, 2011 | By Vicki Bell

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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Blog Posts

Steel prices rising

January 19, 2011 | By Vicki Bell

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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Blog Posts

Metal stampers on reshoring

January 12, 2011 | By Vicki Bell

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

Shop Management | Articles

Are conditions improving for metal fabricators?

January 10, 2011 | By Vicki Bell

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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Blog Posts

Welding in top 10

January 6, 2011 | By Vicki Bell

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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Blog Posts

Let It Grow!

December 15, 2010 | By Vicki Bell

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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Blog Posts

Party hearty or hardly party?

December 9, 2010 | By Vicki Bell

Last week global outplacement and business coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported the results of its 2010 Holiday Party Survey. The findings indicate that as a growing number of companies benefit from a slowly improving economy, there are indications that workplace holiday parties...

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Blog Posts

Are jobs coming or going?

December 1, 2010 | By Vicki Bell

September 23, 2010, Caterpillar broke ground for a new hydraulic excavator manufacturing facility in Victoria, Texas. Production is anticipated to begin in mid-2010, and once fully operational, the plant is expected to employ more than 500 people and triple the company’s U.S.-based excavator...

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Blog Posts

About your job

November 17, 2010 | By Vicki Bell

The November "Tube Talk" e-newsletter featured excerpts from a Money magazine article "Make Money in 2011: Your Job." If this article's hypothesis is correct, those of you who are employed might have cause to worry less about losing your jobs, and your employers might have reason to worry more...

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Blog Posts

FABTECH 2010 impressions

November 10, 2010 | By Vicki Bell

If you missed last week's FABTECH in Atlanta, you missed a lot — many new product introductions; outstanding educational offerings; an opportunity like no other to network with fellow fabricating and forming professionals; having your photo taken for the cover of an industry publication; Sonny's...

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Blog Posts

Second chances: A different approach to finding workers

October 27, 2010 | By Vicki Bell

  Last week’s "Welding Wire" e-newsletter described what Turner Industries did to find workers for a pipe fabrication shop it built two years ago in Pasadena, Texas. As related in an article on chron.com, Personnel Manager Brian Daigle needed to hire 100 workers quickly, because the company had...

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Blog Posts

'A sturdy and successful career at Caterpillar'

October 20, 2010 | By Vicki Bell

Articles about metal manufacturing pop up daily on the news sites I frequent and in my Google alerts. I scan them for information I think is important — both the good news and the not so good — to share with those who visit thefabricator.com.   There's been a preponderance of the latter in...

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