FMA Communications Inc.

Vicki Bell

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

Covering all the bases to keep the registers ringing

July 25, 2013


A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post that centered on a Costco Connection poll asking if U.S. manufacturing jobs are still important to the economy. The magazine presented arguments supporting both the “yes” and “no” positions. I took issue with the latter, largely because I believe that... Continue Reading

Manufacturing, who needs it?

July 11, 2013


Flipping through The Costco Connection July 2013 magazine last night, I ran across an interesting tidbit on page 8—an image of a welder with the caption: “Debate goes on—in response to the June Debate, ‘Are U.S. manufacturing jobs still important to the economy?’” Clearly, I had missed... Continue Reading

Oh, Canada

June 13, 2013


After reading yesterday’s “Fabricating Update” e-newsletter, a reader from Brampton, Ontario, Canada, wrote to tell me how disappointed he was that Canada was not included in the news item about how difficult it is to find skilled workers globally. Mexico’s  stats, which are nearly the... Continue Reading

Beware poor service

June 6, 2013


In this age of many choices that are similar and competitively priced, what really makes the difference in your buying decisions? Where a product is made? Those of us who support U.S. manufacturing routinely note this and buy U.S.-made when we can. However, a recent experience—one many of you... Continue Reading

Just a phone call away

May 29, 2013


Sometimes good news is simply a phone call away. Case in point—I just had a call from an author of some very thought-provoking articles on Some months ago, “Stan” voluntarily left his job of many years for various reasons, not the least of which is that he’s a highly... Continue Reading

Welder and assistant, a good team

May 23, 2013


If you pay attention, you can learn something new on any given day. And sometimes, what you learn makes you smack your forehead, either literally or mentally, and think I should have known that. Such was the case a couple of weeks ago when I was sharing an exchange on Facebook with a dear friend... Continue Reading

I can do WHAT and get a raise?

May 1, 2013


You want a raise; I want a raise; we all want raises. Even corporate heads who take pay cuts to show how much they empathize with their workers probably want and think they deserve raises, but that’s a topic for another day. What would you do for a raise, besides doing the best job you can... Continue Reading

Go for it, Christophers!

April 24, 2013


Last week’s “Welding Wire” e-newsletter featured the blog post “Backbone of America deserves a round of beer,” which focused on comments from Christopher W., a young welding student, about welding formerly being on a worst jobs list. He couldn’t understand how that could happen. We... Continue Reading

Backbone of America deserves a round of beer

April 10, 2013


As content manager for, one of my job duties is to moderate comments left for articles on the site. This is an interesting task. Some comments are blatant promotions, complete with links, for companies that want to use this opportunity to hawk their products. While you have to... Continue Reading

A race to the bottom

April 4, 2013


“Wal Mart is the death knell for small business everywhere they open shop. Wal-Mart is good for small business in the same way amputation is a successful weight-loss program. Wal-Mart is killing America, and if you shopped there this week, here’s hoping the American job you just shipped... Continue Reading

A decade later, cautious optimism still applies

March 21, 2013


ManpowerGroup has released its latest Employment Outlook Survey findings, which suggest that employers worldwide are seeking signs of a robust global economy before labor markets are likely to achieve sustainable traction. Despite the recent stock market gains, thought by some to be a barometer... Continue Reading

Sequestration and job training

March 14, 2013


You think the skilled worker shortage is bad now? It could get worse. We’re almost two weeks into sequestration, and queued on the chopping block is federal funding for training programs. Last month, the National Skills Coalition released a report: “Disinvesting in the Skills of America’s... Continue Reading

Not OK to take the metal

March 7, 2013


I confess. The first thing I read in the free local newspaper that’s tossed in my driveway each Wednesday is the Public Safety section that lists the DUIs, drug arrests, and crime in my community. Fortunately, the latter usually consists of shoplifting and an occasional burglary. Imagine my... Continue Reading

Americans weigh in on job market and economy

February 27, 2013


How do you feel about the job market and the economy these days? Positive, negative, mixed? According to a Harris Poll conducted in February, Americans have mixed feelings about the job market and economy, and the majority of us are concerned about covering our expenses this year—all... Continue Reading

Avant-garde retirees

February 20, 2013


Last month I wrote a blog post about retirement, a term that some believe is becoming an anachronism. As early as 2008, financial consultants were writing about this possibility: “The word ‘retirement’ conjures up visions of leisurely days spent traveling, dining at fine restaurants, golfing,... Continue Reading