FMA Communications Inc.

Vicki Bell

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

Blog Posts

A decade later, cautious optimism still applies

March 21, 2013 | By Vicki Bell

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...

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Blog Posts

Sequestration and job training

March 14, 2013 | By Vicki Bell

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...

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Blog Posts

Not OK to take the metal

March 7, 2013 | By Vicki Bell

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...

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Blog Posts

Americans weigh in on job market and economy

February 27, 2013 | By Vicki Bell

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...

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Blog Posts

Avant-garde retirees

February 20, 2013 | By Vicki Bell

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,...

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Blog Posts

The scoop on U.S. worker confidence

February 6, 2013 | By Vicki Bell

In the early days of 2013, January 3, to be exact, Randstad released the results of its December U.S. Employee Confidence survey that painted a rosy picture heading into the new year. The Confidence Index was 55.4, one of the highest levels of optimism recorded in 2012. The Index, which...

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Blog Posts

Retirement: A quaint idea

January 31, 2013 | By Vicki Bell

Don’t you just love it when you read an article on a major news site that makes you go, “Well, duh!” Such was the case today when I read a feature story on nbcnews.com about how fewer Americans count on retiring by 65 (unfortunately, the link to this article no longer works). As reported by...

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Blog Posts

Debt and equity

January 23, 2013 | By Vicki Bell

A couple of weeks ago, my esteemed fellow blogger and close watcher of all things economic, Eric Lundin, wrote a post entitled “We’ve all fallen off the fiscal cliff.” Commenting on the last-minute deal Congress approved to avoid sending the U.S. economy off the fiscal cliff, Lundin said,...

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Blog Posts

New Year, less money

January 9, 2013 | By Vicki Bell

It’s a New Year, and we escaped falling off the fiscal cliff, thanks to the very last-minute, drama-laden efforts of Congress to pass a bill to avert a much-portended catastrophe. In fact, if you went to bed too early on New Year’s Eve, which I apparently did, you fell asleep thinking we were...

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Blog Posts

Chipmunks on the fiscal cliff

December 18, 2012 | By Vicki Bell

In 2009 and 2010, I offered a little tongue-in-cheek look at current issues in December blog posts—one a parody of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and the other, a really lame take on “Let it Snow.” This year, I was motivated by Alvin and the Chipmunks to revive this holiday exercise to...

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Blog Posts

Thoughts on the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary

December 18, 2012 | By Vicki Bell

It’s difficult to write today. The events of last Friday, Dec. 14, continue to weigh on my mind and the minds of everyone I know. Looking at all the sweet faces of innocent young children and those brave souls who tried to protect them is almost unbearable. You can’t do so without thinking of...

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Blog Posts

Go north, young welder?

December 13, 2012 | By Vicki Bell

Recently, my fellow blogger Tim Heston published a post that cited a New York Times article from November about how entry level pay in manufacturing is waning. The article quoted a Boston Consulting Group report that actually questioned the skilled labor crisis: "Trying to hire high-skilled workers...

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Blog Posts

Another training option

December 5, 2012 | By Vicki Bell

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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Blog Posts

Vocational training a good bet

November 28, 2012 | By Vicki Bell

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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Blog Posts

Letter to the President

November 7, 2012 | By Vicki Bell

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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