MEP National Network: Cobots Level the Playing Field

Posted by Simone Erskine on May 28, 2019 10:29:47 AM

This is an original article, written by Buckley Brinkman, the Executive Director/CEO of the Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing and Productivity (WCMP).

Reluctance to Employ Cobots Driven by 4 Common Misconceptions

It has been nearly six decades since the first industrial robots rolled on to a General Motors assembly line in Trenton, New Jersey. Today, a new generation of collaborative robots is changing how the manufacturing sector operates. These semi-intelligent machines are driving growth and improving efficiency not only for the GMs of the world, but also for small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) as well.

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Transforming the Workforce in the Era of AI Expansion - A MAPI Foundation Research

Posted by Simone Erskine on May 21, 2019 3:10:00 PM

The following is a description of MAPI Foundation's research on how AI is transforming the workforce, written by MAPI Foundation.

Manufacturing leaders are seeking strategies and solutions to address a burning question:
How will AI transform the workforce – the people, roles, skillsets – in the next 5 years?

THE CHALLENGE

Predictive maintenance, human-robot collaboration, and generative design are a few of the applications of artificial intelligence remaking manufacturing. Expectations continue to rise for AI to unlock elusive productivity gains. Industry leaders are adapting to the technological change — AI and related Industry 4.0 and IIoT technologies — that will continue to reshape their workforce, either through the automation and replacement of some workers or upskilling and new roles of others.

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Using Technology to Resolve Workforce Challenges

Posted by Simone Erskine on Apr 26, 2019 8:47:00 AM

We are all aware that technology is reshaping the economy – and now the workforce. It provides opportunities for companies to see their way through the ever-present workforce challenge - too many businesses cannot find the skilled workers they need, when they need them and where they need them.

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The Little Things that Matter at Work: The Inspiration of Positive Psychology

Posted by Maria Moran on Oct 13, 2017 2:05:16 PM

Written by Maria Moran, IMEC Regional Manager

Given the constant change and challenges we face as leaders, some foundations are so solid that they are truisms. Yet, sometimes we deserve a few reminders.

A Fresh Look

Survival of the fittest instincts run through us all. We are wired to look for the negative in an effort to protect ourselves. What if we created a culture that trained teams to recognize the positive first? Would solutions be created more efficiently? What if you created a vibrant business by changing the lens that your business is viewed through by its employees?

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When Engaged Employees Prosper, Businesses Succeed

Posted by Ashley Beaudoin on Apr 10, 2017 9:22:22 AM

Written by Ashley Beaudoin, IMEC Technical Specialist and HR Specialist

How do you use employee engagement to retain key employees?

As manufacturing advances, companies report sizable skill gaps. The need for a qualified skill set is essential for success.  In order to keep a business growing, qualified candidates need to surface while key employees are retained.

Leaders are familiar with the basic understanding of employee engagement. However, do they know just how engagement affects the workforce?

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Tri-State Manufacturing Conference Focuses on Manufacturing Success

Posted by Amy Fitzgerald on Jan 31, 2017 11:05:44 AM

The first Tri-State Manufacturing Conference for Illinois, Iowa and Missouri will take place March 15 to help companies of all sizes learn more about emerging trends in the new era of manufacturing.

The event will take place at John Wood Community College in Quincy, Illinois, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Key educational, business and economic development partners from three states have joined forces to create the conference to help regional manufacturers develop employees, processes and technology to grow business and expand into new markets.

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How to attract more women into STEM careers

Posted by Marketing Support on Jan 7, 2016 3:15:31 PM


Getting more women into STEM careers will require a partnership among parents, educational institutions, government, industry and organizations.

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Hey Chicago, looking for employees with industrial skills?

Posted by Marketing Support on Nov 17, 2015 4:05:52 PM

JARC - Jane Addams Resource Corporation have recent graduates looking for employment. Hire CNC Machinists, Press Brake Operators and MIG Welders!

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Retirement through Employee Ownership: The Select Machine Story

Posted by Marketing Support on Jun 30, 2015 11:34:34 AM

Contributed by Project Equity, an IMEC partner

Like many business owners nearing retirement age, when it came time for Select Machine owners Doug Beavers and Bill Sagaser to think about stepping away from the company, they investigated a range of options. They ultimately decided that selling their business to their employees was the option that best met their retirement goals of keeping their company healthy and profitable, and keeping their trusted employees in their jobs.

Select Machine, founded in 1994, manufactures and sells custom parts for demolition and construction equipment. When founders Beavers and Sagaser decided that the time had come to retire, they were confronted with a difficult choice. Their children weren’t interested in taking over the company, and prospective buyers planned to dismantle the company and lay off its workers, preserving only the company’s client list. Sagasar said of their employees, “These are our guys, our family, and we wanted them to keep on working.”

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Addressing the Workforce Gap - 1000 Jobs for Chicagoland Manufacturing Campaign

Posted by Amy Fitzgerald on Apr 1, 2015 4:39:21 PM

Despite recent ticks downward in manufacturing growth numbers, the White House announced this month that more than 870,000 manufacturing jobs were added in the country since 2010; the largest growth rate since the 1980s.

It is estimated that anywhere between 30,000 – 50,000 jobs are open in Chicagoland.  The cost of those open jobs to those businesses and the regional economy is significant. According to Career Builder a company loses, on average, $14,000 for every job that remains open for more than three months. Additional losses come in the form of low morale and product delays.

If local manufacturing is going to continue on a growth trajectory; the workforce gap needs to be addressed.

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