Business & Industry

Skilled Trades Educators & Employers: We Need to Be Better Partners

At a workforce development meeting last week, manufacturing educators and employers from across the Midwest and elsewhere in the U.S. agreed that much greater collaboration between the private sector and teaching institutions is needed to fix the U.S. industrial labor skills gap. About 35 community college and technical school educators and human resource managers of manufacturing companies,...

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Business & Industry

Self-Driving Vehicles Could Change the Way We Think of Cars

Every major auto manufacturer and top-tier supplier is working on self-driving autos and they may be here sooner than you think. As technology inside and between cars becomes increasingly more sophisticated, the potential for driverless automobiles raises new questions about the road ahead.  "Conservatively, by the year 2025 cars will be able to drive themselves under all conditions,"...

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Business & Industry

Success in Emerging Markets Requires Challenging Your Assumptions

Developing products for emerging markets is not simply a matter of outsourcing production to those areas or finding the cheapest product possible. Success requires a fundamental shift in thinking along several points. A recent McKinsey report stresses the importance of "shaking up your thinking" to realign your company's production approach for emerging markets. Many emerging markets -- the usual...

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Business & Industry

Manufacturers, Educators Explore New Learning, Training at FMA Workforce Conference

Manufacturers and manufacturing educators shared their biggest challenges and everyday difficulties in creating and sustaining the gamut of apprenticeships, internships, curriculum programs, and credentialing initiatives at a workforce development summit last week held by the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International (FMA). They also used the meeting to brainstorm competency-based...

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Business & Industry

Will Obamacare Take a Bite Out of Small Business?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or ACA), commonly known as Obamacare, was signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. The law was formulated to increase the rate of health care coverage among Americans and to reduce the cost of health care. However, small businesses worry that the ACA is going to place extra burdens and costs on them. A Gallup survey of 603...

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Business & Industry

Weekly Industry Crib Sheet: Global Steel Production Falls, but North American Shipments Strong

Plus: U.S. Manufacturing Production Slows in May Housing Market Hits Highest Levels Since 2009 China Manufacturing Contracts Jobless Claims Drop Global raw steel production dropped 2.4 percent in April, based on information gathered from steelmakers in 63 countries by The World Steel Association in Brussels, Belgium. The 132,116 metric tons of raw steel produced in April was 1.2...

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Business & Industry

Scientists Create More Efficient Printable Solar Panels

Winter is approaching in the southern hemisphere, making sunshine a diminishing commodity for the next few months. Undeterred by this impending seasonal abridgment of daylight, Australian scientists have just announced a solar energy innovation: a process to print solar cells using a variation of an ink-jet printer. Well, it's a $200,000 variation, so I don't expect to be printing photovoltaic...

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Business & Industry

Seasonal Job Prospects Rise with the Temperature

New findings from talent development consultancy Lee Hecht Harrison indicate that employers remain cautious in hiring permanent, full-time employees and are bringing on temporary or contract employees as a flexible approach to filling their labor needs. And according to the results of CareerBuilder.com's second-quarter 2013 job forecast, which included input from more than 2,000 hiring...

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Business & Industry

New Energy Secretary Calls for Collaboration with Manufacturers

Last week, Dr. Ernest Moniz was sworn in as the nation's 13th Secretary of Energy. Moniz was confirmed by the Senate in a unanimous vote on May 16. Within hours of being sworn in, Moniz gave his first public address as energy secretary at the Energy Efficiency Global 2013 conference in Washington, D.C. There he remarked that "[Energy] efficiency is going to be a big focus as we go forward." Moniz...

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Business & Industry

Light Friday: Recharge Your Phone While You Walk

Plus: NASA Grant Will Develop 3D Printed Food Humans Could Someday Regrow Limbs Computer Games Can Make You Younger Four students at Rice University in Houston, Texas, have engineered a device that harnesses the energy you use to walk for generating electricity. The prototype fits on the on the heel of your shoe and can be used to recharge your cell phone or other portable electronics. Dubbed...

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