Melissa Basa

Recent Posts

Bringing Diversity to Manufacturing

Posted by Melissa Basa on Sep 21, 2017 3:04:16 PM

Written by Melissa Basa, IMEC Regional Manager

With more than 500,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs in the United States in recent years, much has been hypothesized and written about the cause(s). If we consider the words of Warren Buffet, who in 2013 told Fortune Magazine that America has built our prosperity using only 50% of our talent and left an entire gender out of the equation for most of our history, we see that a solution is very much within our reach.  But balancing the gender equation and bringing more women into manufacturing doesn’t require the same approach as increasing the ranks of men.  Let’s look at an example (or three) from my Alma Mater.

In 2016, Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering was the first US national research university to graduate an undergraduate class of engineers that was more than 50% female.  Compare this to the national average that has yet to break 20%.  But gender parity didn’t happen for Thayer overnight and it certainly didn’t happen without intentional cultural changes.  I believe Thayer’s successes could be those of America’s shop floors as well.

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Manufacturing agility... It's for everyone!

Posted by Melissa Basa on Oct 25, 2012 11:00:14 AM

Written by Melissa Basa, IMEC Regional Manager

In a time when e-mail addresses and websites change more frequently than my daughter changes dresses, and customer needs are no more stable than the Silly Bandz fad, manufacturers are seeing a greater need to add agility to their core competencies.  Allegra Marketing Print Signs, one of the seven companies who participated in Evanston’s Manufacturing Day Walking Tour Event, demonstrated their agility to the local community during the event itself.  Students from Evanston-area high schools submitted their designs for a Manufacturing Day banner to Kyle Kurz, co-owner of Allegra, just after the event kick-off at 11:00.  By 1:30, when the tour group reached Allegra’s facility, the pre-press team at Allegra had completed the banner design, incorporating the student’s ideas and verbiage.  By 3:30 when the walking tour had wrapped up its final stop, the banner was printed and in the hands of the students for a photo op. 

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