FMA Communications Inc.

Vicki Bell

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

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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Labor shortage - Point/Counterpoint

January 29, 2009

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If you subscribe to the "Welding Wire" e-newsletter, you may have seen the comments in the January issue from a seasoned metalworker who questions whether the much proclaimed skilled-labor shortage really exists. His comments drew responses from those who wholeheartedly agreed with what he had to...

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A nice speech

January 21, 2009

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Whether or not you supported President Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, you have to admit that he gave a nice inaugural speech. I listened to the speech (streaming online video) and turned off inaugural coverage after the entire ceremony ended. I really am not interested in watching...

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A sound investment

January 14, 2009

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Scanning the metal manufacturing news this morning, I ran across a brief item that made me smile. Smiles from industry news don't occur often enough these days. They are almost as rare as receiving a love note from your credit card company that says your interest rate has been lowered because...

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Global Economic Crisis

'It's the economy, stupid'

January 13, 2009

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The annual "Fabricating Update" survey of metal fabricators about their main business concerns revealed that the economy, which edged out steel prices as the industry's leading concern in 2008, now outranks all other concerns by a huge margin. This latest survey also polled readers of "Stamping News Brief" and "Tube Talk" for an even greater sampling of the metal manufacturing industry.

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Bad news/good news in the in-box

January 7, 2009

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In my e-mail in-box this morning was bad news from a friend who said that her company initiated a "major layoff" yesterday. The good news? She survived—at least this round. Two of her friends/co-workers were among those laid off. She's concerned about them and is doing what she can to...

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Ode to 2008

December 17, 2008

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'Twas a mere two weeks before the end of a year Filled with economic unrest and little to cheer Or so it would seem, as the headlines screamed "The sky is falling; this isn't a dream" Unemployment is growing and jobs are notAutomakers are sinking; credit is shot Politicians are...

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And today's word is ...

December 10, 2008

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Ass-backwards: a slang term that means of or in a way that is particularly contrary to the usual way, confusing—sometimes referred to as putting the cart before the horse.No, I didn't just pull this term out of my & hat. It's plastered across news sites today and being broadcast on...

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That all-important bus

December 4, 2008

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If you're reading this, you're on the Internet, and most likely, your time spent online has increased over the years. A study earlier this year by IDC, a provider of market intelligence for the IT community, revealed that Internet users are spending more time online than watching TV: 32.7...

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Nobody's favorite word—Layoffs

November 25, 2008

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Mass layoffs are occurring with greater and greater frequency. With proper planning, some may have been avoidable. Some troubled companies may be able to find alternatives to layoffs, and all can take steps to minimize layoff pain for both the displaced workers and those who remain on the job.

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Scam artists targeting fabricators

November 19, 2008

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By now, most of us are familiar with the Nigerian scam, in which "wealthy" foreigners need help moving millions of dollars from their countries and promise those who assist hefty rewards. Victims have lost thousands of dollars to this and similar scams. Now scam artists are targeting fabricating...

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Turbulent times call for extraordinary leadership

November 12, 2008

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Whether it's nervous energy, a pre-holiday cleaning bug, this week's full moon—whatever the reason—for the past few days, I've been on a mission to clean my office. Three full trash bags now are waiting outside my door, and my paper shredder needs to be emptied. It's...

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After the ball

November 5, 2008

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The mind is amazing. Who really knows why it remembers what it does and forgets the rest? This morning, the day after the U.S. presidential election, a song my parents taught my sisters and me when we were children sprang into my mind—totally out of the blue. (We saw a lot of blue and red...

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Welding your way to a six-figure income?

October 29, 2008

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Last week's Welding Wire e-newsletter lead feature discussed a report by Chief White House correspondent for the CBS Evening News, Jim Axelrod, who recently was surprised to learn about a career that requires no college degree and pays six figures.Axelrod reported that "thanks to a program run...

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Being like Joe

October 22, 2008

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It isn't every day that guys like Joe "the plumber" Wurzelbacher make the news, but it does seem that in any presidential election year, a regular guy or soccer mom is dragged into the national spotlight as the quintessential make-or-break voter. How a candidate's proposed policy affects...

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