Midwest Manufacturers — Make Do, Can Do, Will Do

Posted by IMEC on Nov 19, 2020 11:09:18 AM

An original article from the NIST Manufacturing Innovation Blog.

As a proud son of the Midwest (yes, my family does exchange holiday cheese, and yes, it’s delicious, we have no regrets), I was particularly interested in the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Partnership Extension (NIST MEP) virtual round table for Midwest manufacturers. All our nation’s manufacturers are important to me and, of course, we at NIST MEP love them all equally, but there’s always a certain extra curiosity about how the home team’s doing, isn’t there? On Aug. 26, 2020, we brought together manufacturers virtually as part of a series of conversations about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic impact. Our goal in hosting these listening sessions, which we call the “National Conversation with Manufacturers,” was to discern how best to support manufacturers through the current uncertainty and beyond.

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Childcare Options in the Age of COVID-19

Posted by IMEC on Nov 4, 2020 10:02:15 AM

Written by Chicago Commons.

As workplaces continue to evolve during this unprecedented public health crisis, IMEC continues to help with strategies and creative systems to solve the challenges businesses face.

To that end, one of the unique challenges that many employers and employees face in this moment is childcare options. With so many parents trying to balance working remotely with facilitating their children’s virtual schooling and other developmental needs, it can feel like an endless struggle to find the right path forward.

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How Automation and AI May Help Level the Playing Field for Women in Manufacturing

Posted by IMEC on Aug 25, 2020 12:27:37 PM

Written by Nicole Ausherman, Digital Information Specialist - NIST MEP.

Women make up about 29 percent of the manufacturing workforce despite filling 47 percent of the positions in the overall workforce, according to the Manufacturing Institute. While there have been periods of growth and decline, the dynamic is mostly unchanged since 1970, when women held 27 percent of the manufacturing jobs.

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Maximizing Workforce Productivity with Online Training Opportunities

Posted by Ashley Beaudoin on Aug 7, 2020 2:14:10 PM

Did you ever imagine that in your lifetime, you would live through a crisis that would change how you work overnight? For manufacturers, many were deemed essential and production employees had to remain working onsite through the days and months in which others had to transition to work remotely.

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Out of Sight, Out of Mind? Managing Remote Workers - Part 1

Posted by Lisa Kenney on Aug 3, 2020 1:17:19 PM

Note: Recently, IMEC began conducting a series of Buzz Sessions, essentially virtual round table discussions with a small group (6-8) manufacturers from diverse industries and geographic locations. Through these conversations, paticipants share their urgent challenges and ideas with one another. Repeatedly, the participants have expressed the need for solutions in dealing with a virtual workforce. The current pandemic has forced small to mid-sized manufacturers to work in unfamiliar ways. This 2-part blog provides a few basic suggestions.

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How to Host a Virtual Manufacturing Day Event

Posted by IMEC on Jul 28, 2020 11:17:02 AM

Originally written by Anthony Diaz, Strategic Partnerships Manager in the MEP.

Given the limitations with public gatherings and social distancing practices prompted by the current pandemic, it’s uncertain whether manufacturers will be hosting traditional on-site tours of their facilities on Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) this October. But as we have learned with so many other aspects of our lives, a virtual option awaits.

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Infographic: The Defense Manufacturing Supply Chain

Posted by IMEC on Jul 14, 2020 12:26:40 PM

The defense manufacturing supply chain is critical to both the U.S. economy and national security. Support is needed for emerging technologies such as directed-energy weapons, hypersonics and cybersecurity, all of which are vital to national defense. While challenges exist, there have been remarkable successes due to the MEP National Network’sTM dedication to assist small and medium-sized manufacturers across the U.S. and in Puerto Rico. Manufacturers assisted have included those that supply a material, component or subsytem used in a defense or national security system. The Network continues to provide support in building a robust defense supply chain.

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Common Themes from Employee Engagement Pulse Surveys to Guide Leaders as Employees Return to Work

Posted by Ashley Beaudoin on Jun 9, 2020 10:58:43 AM

This article is co-authored by Ashley Beaudoin and Lisa Kenney.

COVID-19 continues to disrupt organizations worldwide and uncertainty remains at an all-time high as leaders and members of the workforce begin to rebuild the new normal.

As companies transition back to normalcy, it is important for leaders to gain insight from employees to make sure the workplace and company culture return to a place of stability as quickly as possible.

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Balancing Home and Work Life While Working From Home

Posted by Mary Hallock on Apr 17, 2020 8:53:44 AM

In this new normal, many of us are working from home. Some of us may be old pros and have it all figured out. However, for so many this is brand new. Add to this new home office the fact that you may be sharing it with other people who also have to work from home – roommates, kids, spouses, etc. – and you probably feel pretty unbalanced.

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