FMA Communications Inc.

Vicki Bell

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

How healthy is your business?

May 3, 2012


The first quarter of 2012 is behind us. Companies of all sizes are examining their first quarter results to gauge how well they are doing and plan for the months ahead. Investors wait anxiously for corporations to tally, massage, report, and spin their figures, comparing them to economists'... Continue Reading

How long has this been going on?

April 26, 2012


How long have we been talking about a welder shortage? If you type "welder shortage" with the quotation marks in's search box, you will retrieve a list of 367 articles; without the quotation marks, the list grows to 619.  The very first article in both searches, "Feeling the... Continue Reading

Fabricators on rebuilding manufacturing's infrastructure

April 18, 2012


It all started with a blog post by The FABRICATOR®'s Senior Editor Tim Heston: The moral imperative of U.S. manufacturing. The post discussed the manufacturing supply chain and how the U.S. must rebuild its infrastructure to compete in the global marketplace. It led to posts by Editor-in-Chief Dan... Continue Reading

Unemployment benefits or a factory job?

March 28, 2012


If you’re a regular reader of The Fabricator Blog, you may have seen the post about wages that drew comments from both employers and workers—both those who think current wages are fine and those who don't.  These comments also offered opinions about why employers may be having such a... Continue Reading

'Manufacturing is wealth creation'

March 14, 2012


I've said it before, and I'll say it again … the very best part of my job is hearing from readers. It doesn't matter whether the reader shares my views or thinks I’m 'out to lunch.' What matters is that he or she feels strongly about the topic and takes the time to share his or her view. Each... Continue Reading

Adding technical tracks back into high schools

February 29, 2012


Ever read something that makes you see red? Occasionally, I do. In fact, this happened to me Tuesday morning as I read an article on with the headline "Some employers want return of vo-ed training." My first reaction? "No kidding; this is old news." The metalworking industry has been... Continue Reading

Making music in the U.S.

February 23, 2012


If music is the universal language, then metal fabricators who make musical instruments and their components must be the masters of the universe. OK … that might be a stretch, but at the very least they are creators of products that can bring pleasure to many. (Sorry, but following my own... Continue Reading

A U.S. export that might surprise you

February 15, 2012


Almost lost among today's headlines and the Internet chatter about Whitney Houston's death and whether the New Jersey governor is justified in calling for the state's flags to be flown at half-staff in memorial was a link in the "Business" section that captured my attention and made me... Continue Reading

'Skilled labor standing right here, willing to relocate!'

February 7, 2012


The January "Fabricating Update" included statistics and comments from the e-newsletter's recent survey about fabricator concerns. Some of the comments focused on the lack of skilled labor, an oft-cited concern in the fabricating industry and manufacturing as a whole.  This information garnered... Continue Reading

Advice for Ken about his welding career

January 25, 2012


Are you among those who "like" The FABRICATOR page on Facebook? If so, you may have seen the January 11 post from Kenny Johnson, who wrote: "Where does everyone see the future of fabrication in the U.S.? Certified welders, or welders with degrees but no certifications? I ask this because I am... Continue Reading

Metal stampers' take on unions: Part II

January 18, 2012


Last week's post, Metal stampers' take on unions: Part I, revealed findings from a "Stamping News Brief" (SNB) survey about unions. It also featured comments from survey respondents—both those who believe unions are still necessary and those who don’t. Those who believe unions are to blame for... Continue Reading

Metal stampers' take on unions: Part I

January 11, 2012


Labor unions continue to make news. Today, published the article Twinkie-Maker Hostess Files for Bankruptcy Citing Pensions, which said that the baker's latest bankruptcy filing is being blamed on the weak economy and costs tied to pension- and medical-benefit obligations resulting from... Continue Reading

'My story: How I became a welder'

January 4, 2012


If you're like me, you're interested in people's stories. We all have them, and typically they are more interesting than we might think.  FMA Communications' editorial department—the department in which I work—got together last month to brainstorm all things related to our print and... Continue Reading

Act thankful: Buy American

November 23, 2011


My favorite holiday is upon us—Thanksgiving. A day spent sharing a meal and quality time with loved ones; calling family and friends in other parts of the country; watching football (in moderation); and expressing gratitude for all the good things in our lives makes for a great day in my book.... Continue Reading

Reefer madness coming ashore?

November 2, 2011


This past Labor Day weekend, my husband and I spent a quiet early morning hour on River Street in Savannah, Ga. River Street is a hopping place from mid-morning until late night, filled with people, music, and vendors selling hand-crafted items. It's the home of the second largest St. Patrick's Day... Continue Reading