Manufacturing jobs opening in US, are workers qualified?

Manufacturing jobs opening in US, are workers qualified?

Aug 16, 2017

By The Associated Press Fox Business As Wisconsin state legislators prepare to vote on Gov. Scott Walker’s (R-Wis.) $13 billion incentives package for Taiwanese manufacturing giant Foxconn’s first U.S. manufacturing plant this week, the state immediately needs to address a dilemma troubling workers and employers across the country: the skills gap. The Foxconn plant is expected to bring as many as 13,000 direct jobs to Wisconsin, according to Walker, with starting salaries of $53,000 plus benefits. The Foxconn plant could also potentially create 22,000 indirect positions within Wisconsin. It would be a substantial gain for a state that currently has 472,000 manufacturing jobs and is still recovering from factory layoffs. Walker said he has already begun discussions with colleges about training opportunities to prepare graduates for work at the plant. But the need for high-skilled employees at the new manufacturing plant highlights the paradox of manufacturing jobs in 2017. Donald Trump won the presidency in great measure because he pledged to stop American jobs and manufacturing from going overseas, winning Rust Belt votes from blue-collar voters. It’s true that many jobs have gone overseas, to lower-wage workers. But at the same time, American manufacturers have actually added nearly a million jobs in the past seven years. Labor statistics show nearly 390,000 such jobs open. The problem? Many of these are not the same jobs that for decades sustained the working class. More and more factory jobs now demand education, technical know-how or specialized skills. And many of the workers set adrift from low-tech factories lack such qualifications. Factories will need to fill 2 million jobs over the next decade, according to a forecast by Deloitte Consulting and the American Manufacturing Institute. Workers are needed to run, operate and troubleshoot computer-directed machinery, including robots, and to maintain complex websites Last year, software developer was the second-most-common job advertised by manufacturing companies, behind only sales, according to data provided by Burning Glass Technologies, a company that analyzes labor market data. Yet the United States for now remains a follower, not a leader, of the trend. Workers in many European and Asian countries are more likely to be working with robots than U.S. workers, studies show. In such...

Last American Baseball Glove Maker Refuses to Die

Last American Baseball Glove Maker Refuses to Die

Aug 14, 2017

By Andrew Mayeda, Bloomberg News New Equipment Digest How is a niche manufacturer of baseball gloves in northern Texas still hanging on? Good ol’ American grit. This little brick factory isn’t supposed to be here. It should be in the Philippines, or Vietnam, maybe China. Not here, in the heart of Texas. Baseball gloves, like many other things, aren’t really made in America anymore. In the 1960s, production shifted to Asia and never came back. It might be America’s favorite pastime, and few things are more personal to baseball-lovers than their first glove — the smell, the feel, the memory of childhood summers. But most gloves are stitched together thousands of miles away by people who couldn’t afford a ticket at Fenway Park. One company didn’t get the memo. Since the Great Depression, Nokona has been making gloves in a small town outside Dallas with a long history of producing boots and whips for cowboys. There’s a livestock-feed store next door to the factory, which offers $5 tours for visitors who want to see how the “last American ball glove” is made. You can watch employees weave the webbing by hand, feed the laces through the holes with needles, and pound the pocket into shape with a rounded hammer. The American flag gets stitched into the hide — and that, they say at Nokona, is more than just a business matter. “Made in America means you believe in our country,” said Carla Yeargin, a glove inspector and tour guide at Nokona, where she worked her way up from janitor. “We have the love for the ballglove, because we made it here.” And the final product could cost you 25 times more than a foreign-made version at the local discount store. Yes, that’s partly a reflection of the premium nature of the Nokona line but still it represents a huge challenge for the company, as well as for Donald Trump. “Making it here” is a big deal for the president. Last month Trump staged a week of events to celebrate U.S. manufacturing, showcasing products from Campbell’s soup to Caterpillar construction gear. July 17 was declared “Made in America Day.” “Restoring American manufacturing will not only restore our wealth, it will...

Keys To Strengthening U.S. Manufacturing

Keys To Strengthening U.S. Manufacturing

Aug 11, 2017

By Jay Moon, Executive Director of the Mississippi Manufacturer’s Association Delta Business Journal Manufacturing in the United States is poised for a renaissance not seen at any other time in recent history. The past decade has seen new investments in automation and efficiencies that have significantly increased industrial productivity. Added to these rapid technological advancements, new proposals by the Trump administration promise to make U.S. based manufacturing more globally competitive. These proposals, if enacted, will once again position American’s industrial sector as the driving force of our economy. The three broad categories of reform—regulatory relief, tax adjustment and infrastructure investment—individually and collectively, will position America’s manufacturing base to remain globally competitive. After years of increasingly onerous, and expensive, regulations being forced on business and industry by unelected bureaucrats in Washington, Congress and the Trump administration have begun to rescind or drastically scale back these mandates. According to a recent study by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), “Since 2009, 637 major new regulations—defined as having an annual effect on the economy of at least $100 million—have been issued through October 2016.” Considering that manufacturers were the frequent target of these regulations, each new rule translated into increased compliance costs that put our companies at a major disadvantage with their global competitors. By removing these barriers to success, our nation’s manufacturers can begin to operate under a regulatory process that is both fair and scientifically based. Similarly, our current tax system puts American manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage. We have the highest corporate tax rate among developed countries. When this rate is combined with state taxes, manufacturers face an aggregate tax burden that can reach 40 percent or higher. In addition to a high tax rate on profitability, manufacturers have to contend with dozens of additional taxes at the federal, state and local levels that impact their bottom line. Fortunately, leadership in Congress is focused on advancing pro-growth, pro-competitive tax reform policies that will strengthen our economy, create jobs and promote investment in America. This comprehensive approach to tax reform, which has not happened since the mid-1980s, will be the catalyst to allow U.S. companies to compete effectively in the 21st century world economy. Equally as...

The Reshoring Challenge: Why and How CEOs are Moving…

The Reshoring Challenge: Why and How CEOs are Moving…

Aug 9, 2017

“The Reshoring Challenge: Why and How CEOs are Moving Jobs Back to America” By William J. Holstein, Chief Executive For his reshoring initiative, Rongione paid to move unique knitting equipment from China to Pennsylvania in part by using a YouTube video of Jackson to appeal to investors on Kickstarter, the crowdsourcing website. Bollman, which says it is America’s oldest hat company, with more than $10 million in annual sales, bought the Kangol brand in 2001 from a British company. That company had previously sent all of its custom-made machines dating back to the 1930s and 1940s to southern China, where it made the beret-like Kangol hats. So Bollman, in effect, inherited a factory in China, containing the special machines that performed at much lower costs than any new machine might. Bollman struggled to manage the factory profitably and ultimately sold it to a Chinese hat maker, but that arrangement fell apart and the idea to simply move the equipment to central Pennsylvania was born. Rongione set aside some of the employee-owned company’s funds, raised some from the state of Pennsylvania and then launched the Kickstarter campaign. Jackson, wearing a t-shirt that reads “Motherfunder,” a slight variation of a word he’s known for uttering on screen, appealed to viewers to support the move. They did, ponying up more than $100,000. The company recently moved 10 of the knitting machines, is preparing to move dozens more, and is hiring workers at a starting hourly wage of $10.30 an hour. But it is finding that its workers, both new and old, have a big learning curve ahead of them in absorbing how to master the knitting process, which is new to the company. “Hiring people with the specific knowledge has been virtually impossible,” Rongione says. “No one has the knowledge on this type of equipment.” So the company has brought in experts from Britain who are familiar with the equipment and worked with a local community college in Reading, Pennsylvania, to train students to become apprentices. The final outcome remains uncertain. “We still have a mountain to climb,” Rongione says. HOMEWARD BOUND More American CEOs are, in fact, deciding to bring home jobs from China and elsewhere....

Manufacturing Adds 16,000 Jobs in July

Manufacturing Adds 16,000 Jobs in July

Aug 7, 2017

By Bill Koenig, Advanced Manufacturing US manufacturing added 16,000 jobs last month, with makers of durable goods doing the heavy lifting. The durable goods sector added 13,000 jobs while makers of non-durable goods boosted employment by 3000, according to a breakdown by industry issued today by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Notable job gainers included fabricated metal products (up 5000 jobs), transportation equipment (3800) and machinery (2100). Within transportation equipment, motorized vehicles and parts added 1600 jobs. That sector had lost 1300 jobs in June. The auto industry is seeing US sales soften following a record 2016 with 17.55 million deliveries of cars and light trucks. US light vehicle sales fell 7% in July and are down 2.9% for the first seven months of 2017, according to Autodata Corp. Automakers are also coping with plunging demand for cars. Those deliveries slid 14% in July and are down 12% for the first seven months. Widespread Gains Most durable goods categories had at least small employment gains. The few job losers included furniture (down 1600 jobs) and miscellaneous manufacturing (down 200). Manufacturing jobs totaled 12.425 million on a seasonally adjusted basis last month. That’s up from an adjusted 12.409 million in June. The July figure also was an improvement from 12.359 million manufacturing jobs in July 2016. Total non-farm employment increased by 209,000 jobs last month, the bureau said in a statement. That was better than the 183,000 gain forecast by economists polled by Reuters. The US unemployment rate edged down to 4.3% from 4.4% in June. Manufacturing jobs peaked in June 1979 (19.6 million on a seasonally adjusted basis, 19.7 million unadjusted). That sank to a low of 11.45 million adjusted and 11.34 million unadjusted in February 2010 following a severe recession caused by the 2008 financial crisis. Since that low, new manufacturing jobs have been created requiring increased skills because of more automation and technology in...

Elon Musk is one of the first customers of Tesla’s Solar Roof

Elon Musk is one of the first customers of Tesla’s Solar Roof

Aug 3, 2017

by Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge Tesla has started installing the first of its Solar Roofs, and Elon Musk is among the initial customers. The Tesla CEO said on a call with investors last night that he and JB Straubel, the company’s CTO, have both installed the solar power roofs on their homes. Musk even claims that two photos released in Tesla’s letter to investors (seen below) are of one of their houses (though the home looks a little small for Musk). “I want to emphasize there’s no Photoshopping on the roof. That is actually how it looks,” Musk said. “It was, ‘take some pics with your phone and send them over.’ That’s what we’re talking about here. Not some special lighting conditions, pro-photographer situation.” There was no update on when customers outside of Tesla will start getting their roofs installed. Preorders were opened on Solar Roofs back in May, and deliveries are supposed to begin later this year. Musk said installations would start slow and then ramp up “exponentially” as the installation process is simplified and production increases. It’s a similar pattern to what Tesla is doing with car deliveries, as the first of its Model 3s went to Tesla employees, too. Musk also seems to suggest that Tesla is using these initial installations to help refine the product. “This is version one,” he said of what was installed on his home. “I think this roof’s going to look really knockout as we just keep iterating.” The Solar Roof product was announced less than a year ago, in October 2016. The product is designed to resemble a normal roof, but contain solar panels hidden among regular tiles. That way, homeowners can get the benefits of switching to solar power, without having the drawback of putting large and often unsightly solar panels on or around their home. The product is also designed to connect to Tesla’s Powerwall, a large battery meant to store enough energy to power a home. Of course, for the benefit of all of that, you’re looking at a pretty expensive up-front cost on a...