FMA Communications Inc.

Vicki Bell

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

Another training option

December 5, 2012

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Last week I wrote about vocational training—how programs that were being decimated a decade ago are seeing a strong comeback with even stronger participation. Many are adding classes to accommodate waiting lists. While music to manufacturers’ ears, this training alone likely will not be enough...

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Vocational training a good bet

November 28, 2012

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Among my job duties is scouring the Internet for news of interest to the metal fabricating community. Hardly a day goes by when I don’t run across items related to a topic of particular interest to metal fabricators—the shortage of skilled labor. It seems that every notable publication...

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Letter to the President

November 7, 2012

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Dear President Obama: Congratulations on your reelection. Although I did not vote for you, I sincerely wish you the best of luck and fervently hope that you are able to work with our gridlocked Congress to enact measures that will help our economy. Frankly, I am discouraged by the past four years,...

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Putting the storm into perspective

October 31, 2012

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Despite all of the advancements of mankind, we are not—and likely never will be—a match for Mother Nature. Whether it’s an earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, tornado, typhoon, drought, flooding, volcanic eruption, or some other natural disaster of epic proportion, Mother Nature has a way of...

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No votes for education?

October 24, 2012

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The current survey on thefabricator.com’s homepage asks which issue in the upcoming presidential election is most important to site visitors. It’s no surprise that the economy, including taxes, debt and deficit, and jobs, is the No. 1 concern with 55 percent of the votes. Of the 13 remaining...

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Just answer the question, please

October 17, 2012

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Today’s subject is pet peeves—more specifically, those that struck a nerve with me in last night’s presidential debate. Let me begin by listing a few of my pet peeves: Tardiness; the phrase “my bad” uttered by anyone over the age of 4; negativity; rude behavior, such as interrupting and...

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Yes, Virginia, low-skill factory jobs still can be found, but

October 11, 2012

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Tuesday’s “Fabricating Update” e-newsletter featured comments by Ed Youdell, president and CEO of the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International®, about the first annual Manufacturing Day. The event, which was co-sponsored and -produced by FMA, was a big success as more than...

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From one metalworker to another and beyond

October 4, 2012

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Last week I wrote about a welder who called me to discuss some health concerns and wondered if his company should be having its welders take blood tests. A metalworker who read the blog post, “A call from Chet,” related very much to Chet’s concerns and shared his thoughts with me via e-mail....

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A call from 'Chet'

September 27, 2012

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Had an interesting phone call this week. A welder who’s been plying his trade for 18 years called to talk about some job-related health concerns he has. He called me because of an article I wrote eight years ago: “Welding fume health hazards.” Since the article was written, various...

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Evolution and politics

September 19, 2012

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(Warning … this is a personal rant. Feel free to rant back.) I love the U.S.—the principles on which our country was founded, our constitution, freedoms, and diversity. I hate politics. Never have these statements been truer for me than in this political season. On second thought … I recall...

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Thank you, welders

September 12, 2012

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Tuesday was the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. The September "Fabricating Update" e-newsletter that went out that day described the safety elements that went into the design of the new One World Trade Center building. It also made special note of the...

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Where is your career going?

September 5, 2012

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We hear a lot these days about the plight of employers looking for skilled workers and job seekers who can’t find jobs. What we don’t hear about too often—mostly because they are so grateful to be employed and want to remain so—is how the employed among us really feel about their jobs and...

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Low-key Labor Day celebration

August 30, 2012

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The workweek is winding down, and the Labor Day Weekend is upon us. As I thought about what my family might do to “celebrate,” it occurred to me that I don’t really feel all that inclined to celebrate. Yes, I’m grateful to have the day off to relax and maybe catch up on some much-needed...

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Middle class and concerned

August 23, 2012

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Every time I see the words “middle class” in an article title, I read the article. Why? Because I relate. I consider myself middle class, and I want to know if what is happening in my middle-class life also is happening to others in my economic circle. I’m looking for reassurance that the...

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Spreading the word about manufacturing beyond the choir

August 15, 2012

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Have you read the article “A moral argument for manufacturing?” If you haven’t, please do, and if you agree with the author’s premise that the only way to really change the landscape for manufacturing in the U.S. is to bring the moral argument for its existence to the collective...

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