Main menu

Mass-TEC

Blog

MassBioTech Council on BioPharma Manufacturing in MA

Submitted by masstec on Thu, 08/25/2011 - 11:52

To quote a recent informational post by the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council about the biopharma manufacturing subsector wellness in Massachusetts:

"Massachusetts is at the center of the region with the greatest biologics manufacturing capacity in the world – with 300,000 liters of cell culture manufacturing capacity.  Of the top 11 biopharma manufacturing states, Massachusetts was one of just four which added manufacturing jobs in the last decade."

MassMEP: August Next Generation Manufacturing Newsletter Available

Submitted by masstec on Tue, 08/23/2011 - 12:48

Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership releases the Next Generation Manufacturing newsletter each month.  The newsletter features:

  • an editorial ("From the Desk of Jack Healy")
  • a case study focusing on manufacturer growth
  • education and workforce development
  • sustainability
  • general industry news
  • video of the month

The August 2011 newsletter includes the following articles:

  • From the Desk of Jack Healy, Viewpoints on the State of Manufacturing: Continuous Growth Improvement 
  • Growth Manufacturer Case Study:  Creating Capacity for Growth (Amherst Machine)
  • Workforce Development:  Manufacturing is a Large Part of the Economy
  • Workforce Development:  STEMPower Named 2011 Workforce Training Partner of the Year
  • Corporate Sustainability:  Elusive Idea, Customer Mandate

MassMEP: August Next Generation Manufacturing Newsletter Available Submitted by masstec on Tue, 08/23/2011 - 12:48  

Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership releases the Next Generation Manufacturing newsletter each month.  The newsletter features:

  • an editorial ("From the Desk of Jack Healy")
  • a case study focusing on manufacturer growth
  • education and workforce development
  • sustainability
  • general industry news
  • video of the month

The August 2011 newsletter includes the following articles:

  • From the Desk of Jack Healy, Viewpoints on the State of Manufacturing: Continuous Growth Improvement 
  • Growth Manufacturer Case Study:  Creating Capacity for Growth (Amherst Machine)
  • Workforce Development:  Manufacturing is a Large Part of the Economy
  • Workforce Development:  STEMPower Named 2011 Workforce Training Partner of the Year
  • Corporate Sustainability:  Elusive Idea, Customer Mandate

Worcester is ranked third among top quarterly job rankings Submitted by masstec on Fri, 08/19/2011 - 10:10

Here's an article from BizJournals that was highlighted in a recent newsletter from the Central Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board (CMWIB).  Among the interesting points to note, Boston's private industry growth in the past year has been at 2.7%... Worcester's private industry growth was 4.27% in that same time period.  If the author of this BizJournal thought Boston's growth was impressive, then Worcester's is even moreso.  This is moderately good news for Worcester-area employment.

And in Massachusetts Manufacturing news…

Submitted by masstec on Tue, 08/16/2011 - 12:00

Today, on MarketWatch, Congressman John Tierney’s upcoming visit to Implant Sciences, in Wilmington, Massachusetts, is discussed.  Quoting from the article:

“Small businesses, like Implant Sciences, help maintain a solid foundation for our local economy,” Congressman John Tierney said. “Implant Sciences is manufacturing homeland security equipment right here at home and creating jobs for members of our community. I look forward to discussing how Congress’ policies have and can support innovation leading to the creation of more jobs by small businesses,” Congressman Tierney said.

Sliding Scale: "When Less Education Means More Money" Submitted by masstec on Fri, 08/05/2011 - 15:09

The Chronicle of Higher Education has posted a recent article, "When Less Education Means More Money." With this article, they supply an interactive chart that the reader can manipulate. Education levels shown range from "less than high school" through to "professional," and also includes "some college," and "associate's degree."

Although the article does not go into specific careers associated with the level of education, it's still an interesting look that may help you figure out your own position on the scale, or determine where you might be on the scale, after you've completed different degrees.

Georgetown Press Release: New Report on the Economic Value of 171 College Majors Submitted by masstec on Thu, 08/04/2011 - 10:20

What follows is part of the press release from Laura Meyer at Georgetown University.

NEW REPORT ON THE ECONOMIC VALUE OF 171 COLLEGE MAJORS: LINKS COLLEGE MAJORS TO EARNINGS

Students’ choice of Majors is just as important as decision to get Bachelor’s Degree


(Washington, D.C., May, 24, 2011) – On average, bachelor‟s degrees pay off. But a new study confirms that some undergraduate majors pay off a lot more than others. In fact, the difference in earnings potential between one major and another can be more than 300 percent.

Using United States Census data available for the first time, the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce is helping Americans connect the dots between college majors and career earnings. In the new report, What’s it Worth? The Economic Value of College Majors, this first-time research demonstrates just how critical the choice of major is to a student‟s median earnings.

While there is a lot of variation in earnings over a lifetime, the authors find that all undergraduate majors are "worth it," even taking into account the cost of college and lost earnings. However, the lifetime advantage ranges from $1,090,000 for Engineering majors [Mass-TEC note: many manufacturing jobs for engineering majors] to $241,000 for Education majors.

[...]

The analyses contained in this report are based on newly released data from the 2009 American Community Survey (ACS). For the first time in this survey the Census Bureau asked individuals who indicated that their degree was a bachelor‟s degree or higher, to supply their undergraduate major. Their responses were then coded and collapsed by the Census Bureau into 171 different degree majors. Unlike other data sources focused on recent degree recipients, the Census data enables analysis across an individual‟s full life cycle.

What’s it Worth? The Economic Value of College Majors is available online at http://cew.georgetown.edu/whatsitworth. Hard copies can be obtained by contacting the Center at cewgeorgetown [at] georgetown.edu.There are two documents: a national report and a highlights document. The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (cew.georgetown.edu) is an independent, nonprofit research and policy institute that studies the link between individual goals, education and training curricula and career pathways.
-# # #-
Follow the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce on Twitter @CntrEdWrkfrce and on Facebook.

CONTACT: Laura Meyer, 202-687-4922
lcm52 [at] georgetown.edu

Worcester Business Journal Reports: Profits Triple for IPG Photonics

Submitted by masstec on Wed, 08/03/2011 - 11:56

Profits Triple For IPG | Worcester Business Journal. Great news for at least one central Massachusetts manufacturing company, during a time when the nation is suggesting there's been a downturn in the manufacturing sector. IPG Photonics, of Oxford, grew 81% in the last year, reports the Worcester Business Journal. More information can be found at the link above ("Profits Triple for IPG"), as well as these:

  • Oxford Laser-maker's Earnings Right On Target, Worcester Business Journal, 06/06/2011
  • IPG Photonics website home page

Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership Discusses Skilled Worker Shortage Submitted by masstec on Mon, 08/01/2011 - 10:32  

State House correspondent, Christine Lee, reported on the skilled worker shortage in the Massachusetts manufacturing industry.  Barry Kriger, newscaster on 22News weeknight news (WWLP), began the report, referring to manufacturing, by saying, "If you're in the market for a job, there's at least one industry desperate for new applicants."

In some ways, the report and commentary support the message that Mass-TEC has been promoting.  Among the message, these stand out: 

  • There are jobs in manufacturing available in Massachusetts.
  • The manufacturing industry is a healthy and viable industry, here in Massachusetts
  • The industry has changed since the last century; there are many clean shops and clean jobs in today's manufacturing.
  • Some specialized education and training is required to get a job in today's technology-based manufacturing workplaces.

Baseball ... Even "America's favorite pastime" has something to do with manufacturing... Submitted by masstec on Tue, 06/14/2011 - 10:29

Although it might sound like a bit of a stretch to say that manufacturing has something to do with baseball, and vice versa, if you've been following "The Great Broken Bat Epidemic of 2008," then you know there's some truth to the linkage.

Admittedly, I'm not sure anyone has referred to the continuous problem of broken bats in 2008 as "The Great Broken Bat Epidemic of 2008;" reporters, researchers, and scientists have noted it was an epidemic.  Researchers and experts from University of Wisconsin, Harvard University, and University of Massachusetts-Lowell were among those working on solving the problem that seemed to be pervasive in 2008. 

Scientists, researchers, experts, and engineers came together to delve into the problem and find a solution that would prevent (or at least significantly lower the number of) bats from splitting and sending shards into the stands, across the field, into dugouts, etc., causing a safety concern.  Today, new standards have been developed to ensure that bats are manufactured with these safety concerns in mind. 

And so, a problem that faced Major League Baseball -- and brought scientists, researchers, engineers, and others together -- has had an impact on shaping the future of baseball bat manufacturing. 

Nypro plans expansions Submitted by masstec on Tue, 06/14/2011 - 10:12

Nypro -- a plastics company with headquarters in Clinton, Massachusetts -- has announced plans to expand its plant in Mebane, North Carolina.  This is in addition to the company's plan to add a medical device development and design center at the Clinton, MA, headquarters.  The design center, in Clinton, will make use of existing space, and is slated to be online (up and running, that is) in February 2012. 

The struggle continues... Submitted by masstec on Tue, 04/26/2011 - 11:45

The struggle for manufacturers to find skilled employees, that is.  Yes, even in this economy, with an 8% unemployment rate, manufacturers are still looking for skilled employees, and still aren't finding people with the knowledge, skills, and competencies they need.  An article by Matt Pilon, of the Worcester Business Journal, discusses the issue -- "Manufacturers Struggle to Find New Hires" -- with area manufacturers, such as John Stowe of Lutco Inc.

The article notes that some displaced workers have opted to remain on unemployment benefits, instead of opting for 90-day temporary work that has a high likelihood of leading to permanent work.  To a displaced worker, "high likelihood" may not be good enough, and when weighing one's options, perhaps staying on guaranteed unemployment makes more sense.  If people were able to take the opportunity of unemployment to access additional training, education, and certifications, it's possible that the displaced workers could be building up their skills, providing the manufacturing industry with the kinds of skills, qualities, and competencies that they need in today's manufacturing world.  Unfortunately, it seems there's a limit on workforce training funds, even through unemployment. 

There are certainly many places that the displaced worker -- or those just seeking additional training and education -- can go to raise their skills.  For starters, check out your local community colleges -- quite a number of them offer various manufacturing-related for-credit programs.  Additionally, many of the local community colleges offer non-credit programs that may be of shorter duration, and possibly more targeted to specific skills building.  In addition to the community colleges, there are technical schools -- some vocational schools offer opportunities in the evening, etc.; and other training programs.  The Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership, for example, provides a few different retraining opportunities at different levels of intensities with different time commitments through their Machine Operator Skills Training/Mobile Operator Skills Training programs.  Additionally, MassMEP also offers a number of seminars on manufacturing processes (lean, sixsygma, etc.)

And finally, don't forget that the local career centers have a wealth of information available -- but you have to be willing to ask for assistance and do some of the digging, as well! Check out STEMPower, an initiative based out of the Central Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board.  This program, which reaches a number of other WIB areas, is geared towards employing people in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-related fields.  For additional information, check out their website and check-in with a career coach.

For questions, send an email to Mass-TEC!

..."excited about the future of manufacturing in the US..." Submitted by masstec on Tue, 03/29/2011 - 14:37

Ron Cross, a writer for the Worcester Business Journal and owner of Mayfield Plastics in Sutton, states that he's "excited about the future of manufacturing in the United States" in a recent article (3/28/2011), Where Is Manufacturing Headed Today?

Why is he excited?  Some of the information that Mr. Cross captures in his article includes these details:

-->"manufacturing output has more than doubled since 1975"
-->technology changes
-->"manufacturing needs more skilled workers" (I know, you've heard me say that time and again, haven't you?  Obviously, I'm not the only one saying it.)

And I really like the way Mr. Cross states this:

-->"The worst jobs are being exported or transformed into ones that require more brains and skill."

That's really a succinct summary of *why* manufacturing needs more skilled workers, and also a bit of why they are having difficulty finding some of the workers they need.  Today's manufacturing is much more about the brain than brawn; workers in today's manufacturing contribute to the "knowledge economy" that's being bandied about ... knowledge is the next IT item (no, not IT as in "information technology," but as in, That's IT!).  Manufacturing is keeping pace with the way the (global) economy is changing; the way technology is changing (and how they can adapt and adopt it to do what they need it to do); the way in which the global workforce is a distributed workforce, and the ways in which manufacturers here, in the US, can capitalize on that distributed workforce... how can they maximize their profits by utlizing the skills and knowledge of the workers here and the types of skills and knowledge they can find abroad.  Regarding that last statement, I'll point back to what Mr. Cross said, "the worst jobs are being exported..."

There are opportunities in today's manufacturing in the United States and also here in central Massachusetts.  If you are already in the industry, then think about further training or education to increase your skills and potential; and if you're considering a career in the diverse field of manufacturing, there are many training and education opportunities available, from local colleges such as Quinsigamond Community College and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, to training opportunities through the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership and STEMPower. 

To read the rest of the article, Where is Manufacturing Headed Today?, go to the Worcester Business Journal.

March 2011 Next Generation Manufacturing Newsletter Available online Submitted by masstec on Tue, 03/29/2011 - 14:12

Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP) and the Manufacturing Advancement Center (MAC) have released the March 2011 version of the Next Generation Manufacturing Newsletter online.  This month's newsletter includes articles on:

-->Industry Shifts -- Redefining Manufacturers
-->A New Perspective Helps Precision Sportswear Deliver!
-->Returning Veterans Graduate Special Program - Secure Jobs
-->Good Jobs -- Green Jobs Conference
-->Effective Employees
-->Lean and Green: Save Energy with Continuous Process Improvements

Manufacturing: "Still Making it in Massachusetts" Submitted by masstec on Sat, 03/05/2011 - 14:32

The March 3rd edition of Boston's WCVB-TV Chronicle highlighted manufacturing.  The edition's summary reads:

"It's the fourth largest employer in the Commonwealth, paying wages 25 percent higher than the average and still growing. We're talking about – surprise – the manufacturing sector in Massachusetts. Tonight, we'll find out how companies pioneering in nanotechnology and wind power are creating the jobs of the future, and how firms in legacy trades like textiles and footwear are still upholding a proud tradition of making it in Massachusetts."

Organizations highlighted included central Massachusetts companies Nypro and American Superconductor.

Next Generation Manufacturer: "Sales are up... Skills still lagging" Submitted by masstec on Tue, 02/22/2011 - 18:43

An article on workforce development in February's Next Generation Manufacturer newsletter notes: "Manufacturing is experiencing an uptick in activity. I know that because the Institute for Supply Management’s Purchasing Managers Index continues to climb and my phone has been ringing non-stop. Once again manufacturers are hiring and finding it difficult to find employees with even the basic technical skills necessary in manufacturing."

Mass-TEC: Today's Advanced Manufacturing in Central Massachusetts -- NEW VIDEO AVAILABLE! Submitted by masstec on Mon, 02/14/2011 - 15:03

With help from Metso Automation, Nypro Corp, Phillips Precision, the QCC Advanced Technologies Laboratory, employees, and students, Mass-TEC worked with Palley Advertising and with videographer Ryan Hughes to create this short video that takes the viewer from Worcester in the Industrial age, to where it is now.  I hope you enjoy it! 

January Next Generation Manufacturer Newsletter Available Online! Submitted by masstec on Mon, 01/17/2011 - 16:39

The MassMEP's Next Generation Manufacturer Newsletter is available online; the January issue is sponsored by the Mass-TEC project.

Worcester Business Journal: Preparing the Manufacturing Workforce of Tomorrow Submitted by masstec on Mon, 01/03/2011 - 15:24

In the special economic forecast edition of the Worcester Business Journal, Matt Brown highlights central Massachusetts in his article, "Preparing the Manufacturing Workforce of Tomorrow."  Matt Brown begins, "Over the past couple of years, businesses and individuals have learned to do more with less.  For manufacturers, in many cases, that has been a good thing."  To read more, go to the article online.

Links to Mass-TEC Videos! Submitted by masstec on Tue, 12/21/2010 - 16:26

The short, five-minute segments can be seen online:

  • Segment 1: Introduction to Today’s Manufacturing
  • Segment 2: Manufacturing is here to stay in Central Massachusetts
  • Segment 3: Descriptions of some of today’s manufacturing jobs
  • Segment 4: Basic skills needed among today’s manufacturing employees
  • Segment 5: Ways to learn more about today’s manufacturing

Mass-TEC.org Site under construction Submitted by masstec on Wed, 11/24/2010 - 01:00

Presently the Mass-TEC.org site is under “construction.”  A new, and fully loaded site will be online and available by December 3, 2010.

Until then, however, the mass-tec.org domain will redirect to the blog on WordPress (centralmasstec.wordpress.com).

Next Generation Manufacturing Newsletter — Available Online! Submitted by masstec on Tue, 11/16/2010 - 01:00

The Next Generation Manufacturing Newsletter, developed and produced by the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Manufacturing Advancement Center, is available online.  Recent issues include:

  • September 2010: including “Language No Barrier When It Comes to Helping Manufacturers” and “Unemployment is High.  Why Can’t I Find Skilled Workers?“, as well as many others.
  • October 2010: including articles such as  “Mass-TEC Community Partnerships Change Perception” and  “Metso Making Things Happen“
  • November 2010: including articles such as “Precisely the Right Layout for Phillips Precision“, “Time to Face a New Reality,” and a link to a local TV Show where Massachusetts State Senator Harriette Chandler chats with Jack Healy.

Please note, there is also a session on “Recruiting and Developing New Hires for Today’s Manufacturing Demands” to be delivered by MassMEP and ManPower (a staffing company) on December 2nd.  RSVPs are required by November 19th in order to attend.  Topics will include (from the article):

  • Massachusetts’ employment outlook
  • Closing the gap between available workers’ skills and business needs
  • Pre-employment training to create a better prepared new hire
  • Panel discussion with local manufacturers utilizing this strategy

Massachusetts’ Middle-Skill Jobs Submitted by masstec on Wed, 09/01/2010 - 00:00

A Mass High Tech article, by Loh-Sze Leung, references the recent Massachusetts’ Forgotten Middle-Skill Jobs: Meeting the Demands of a 21st-Century Economy  report, stating:  

Massachusetts’ innovation-driven economy, backed by a history of manufacturing and recent growth in the health care, education and professional services sectors, has positioned us to thrive in the 21st century. However, a gap in work force skills and the commonwealth’s training and education policies threaten to undermine our state’s sustained economic recovery. According to a recent report, middle-skill jobs represent the largest share of jobs in Massachusetts — some 44 percent — and a substantial share of future openings. Middle-skill jobs are those that require more than a high school diploma but not a four-year degree. However, only 32 percent of our work force likely has the skills to fill these jobs.

The Executive Summary of the report defines middle-skill workers:

They are the construction workers who build and repair Massachusetts’ homes, bridges, and roads. The high-tech manufacturing workers keeping the state competitive in an increasingly global industry. The nurses and health care technicians who care for Massachusetts’ residents and their loved ones. Truckers who keep stores and hospitals in the Commonwealth supplied. IT professionals who keep the state’s financial and professional services up and running. EMTs and paramedics who provide care and assistance in times of crises. Computer support specialists that help keep data systems running. Biotech workers that help manufacture critical new drugs.

The challenge to the Commonwealth will be how it responds to the need for middle-skill workers, especially once the economy recovers.  Now is the time to respond to this need and prepare Massachusetts residents for middle-skill jobs and the economic recovery.

It’s a FABulous World! Submitted by masstec on Mon, 08/23/2010 - 00:00

I’ve just recently returned from Amsterdam, where I attended Fab6, an international conference on digital fabrication laboratories (aka Fab Labs). It was incredible, and I need to devote an entire post — or twenty! — to that subject, alone.

Fab Labs are about more than the technology and tools they house.  Across the world, Fab Labs are used in a variety of innovative, creative, and exciting ways, including:

  • community development & community building
  • innovation cultivation
  • science, technology, engineering, and mathematics literacy
  • economic redevelopment & reinvigoration
  • invention
  • entrepreneurship
  • fashion design
  • architecture
  • new uses of sustainable/green/renewable energy
  • solar/sustainable/green housing development
  • art & design
  • modeling & testing new construction designs
  • communicating
  • sharing
  • collaborating

And that barely scratches the surface of how & why they are being used, developed, and implemented around the globe.  Fab Labs create a community that actively stimulates the exchange among multidisciplinary knowledge sharers, both locally and globally (Leonenko, 2010).

There is no doubt that I’m feeling invigorated by what I saw and heard, who I met, and the various conversations I had while at Fab6.  And there is a connection, here, that I’d like to make for the casual reader of this blog:  in addition to all the other things I previously mentioned about Fab Labs, they also promote the creativity, vibrancy, and excitement that can truly exist in the world of manufacturing.  In a Fab Lab, community members can experience the ability to conceptualize, design, engineer, and prototype a product.   

It’s exciting! 

That’s the mindset I had when I read a recent post on The Product Judge about whether or not Apple Co. has gained access to the world’s most advanced manufacturing technology.  The technology discussed in the article, made by LiquidMetal, is fascinating.  And, if Apple has truly made a deal with this company, what they’ve made for themselves is their very own large-sized digital fabricaton laboratory, where they can experiment with designs — not only product design, but material design — and engineer something that may be considered the next best Apple product.  It’s no surprise that with the capital Apple has, they can bring a giant-sized fabrication laboratory (manufacturer!) to them; and with it, all of that creative potential.

It’s still news, today: skilled worker shortage in Mfg. Submitted by masstec on Thu, 08/12/2010 - 00:00

From today’s Society of Manufacturing Engineers Newsletter:

Employers Complain Of Skilled Worker Shortage.

CBS News (8/12, Bowers) reports that with falling job openings in June, the number of unemployed workers for every job opening is growing. This is not necessarily true in the manufacturing industry, where businesses say a shortage of skilled labor is the issue. “The government says there are 227,000 open manufacturing jobs, more than double the number a year ago,” and “one hundred eighty-three thousand have been created since December.” According to factory owner Linda Fillingham, “it’s hard to fill these jobs because they require people who are good at math, good with their hands and willing to work on a factory floor.” CBS notes, “By the year 2012 it’s estimated this country will be three million skilled workers short, and it’s not just in manufacturing sector. A recent survey found 22 percent of American businesses say they are ready to hire if they can find the right people.”

In a similar article, the Times News (NC) (8/12) reports on a recent roundtable discussion at the Women’s Resource Center in Burlington, where officials said “workers lacking in marketable skills, an ongoing continuing lending crunch and mortgage crisis and rising health care costs are conspiring to keep the economy tough and joblessness high.” State Rep. Brad Miller (D-Raleigh) “said Alamance County’s transition from a primarily low-technology, textile-based economy to more high-tech businesses has been profound,” and stressed the need for the workforce to have computer skills. These are “a major challenge for a number of students who worked in low-tech jobs,” an educator with Alamance Community College said.

From a Recent SME Newsletter: Submitted by masstec on Mon, 08/09/2010 - 00:00

From a recent Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) newsletter:

Manufacturers Urged To Work With Local Schools, Promote Technical Education. Plastics News (8/7, Loepp) reported, “Steve Dyer, president and CEO of Dickten Masch Plastics LLC, is encouraging manufacturers to get involved in their local schools and dedicate resources toward education.” In a recent column, “Dyer touted the benefits he’s seen from working with schools like Waukesha County Technical College.” Dyer urged manufacturers to “put significant effort toward the technical education of the next generation,” noting that despite the high level of unemployment in the US that “manufacturing companies are having a tough time finding and retaining qualified people.” Dyer wrote, “If more manufacturers band together…to support and promote technical education, we can change the image of manufacturing careers and, while doing so, continue to emphasize the importance of the science and math skills pertinent to the industry.”

Additional information can be found here: “Working with Schools To Promote Manufacturing,” Plastics News, August 6, 2010.

“Manufacturers Must Work With Schools To Promote Career Benefits,” BizTimes.com, August 5, 2010.

Explore Manufacturing Careers Submitted by masstec on Mon, 12/07/2009 - 01:00

Explore careers in manufacturing online with the Manufacturing Career Guide.  The guide includes job descriptions, skill and education requirements, and also lists some wage and salary information.  The site also includes additional resources, video links, and tutorials.

November Issue of MAC Action Newsline Submitted by masstec on Wed, 11/18/2009 - 01:00

The November issue of the MAC Action Newsline is available online.   

Articles appearing in November’s issue include:

From the Desk of Jack Healy

  • US China Initiative Provides Opportunity to Build Business
  • McKinsey and Company — Preparing for the Next Asia

Video of the Month

  • Lessons Learned from 2008 IW Best Plants Winner Lockheed Martin Corp. MS2 Tactical Systems — Clearwater Operations

Successful Implementations in Lean

  • Savage Sports:  Masters of the Supply Chain

Education & Workforce Development

  • STEM Initiatives on STEMPower.org

Growth Strategies

  • A Culture of Innovation

Industry News

  • Letter to the Editor: Pushing the Reset
  • Job Opening: Production Supervisor, Pepperell, MA
  • Job Opening: MassGREEN Curriculum Coordinator, Springfield, MA
  • Job Fair and CNC Lab Tour, Skilled Machinists Available
  • Update on Lean & Energy Pilot Projects
  • Maine Food Means Business
  • Wall Street Journal on Mass Health Care

Links to Mass-TEC Videos! Submitted by masstec on Mon, 11/09/2009 - 01:00

The short, five-minute segments can be seen online:

  • Segment 1: Introduction to Today’s Manufacturing
  • Segment 2: Manufacturing is here to stay in Central Massachusetts
  • Segment 3: Descriptions of some of today’s manufacturing jobs
  • Segment 4: Basic skills needed among today’s manufacturing employees
  • Segment 5: Ways to learn more about today’s manufacturing

Manufacturing: Rapid Prototype Modeling Submitted by masstec on Sun, 11/01/2009 - 00:00

ATETV Episode 6 focuses on the green workforce.  In the manufacturing segment, the program shows students in a manufacturing technology program using and learning about rapid prototype modeling.

Micro Tech Manufacturing in Worcester Business Journal Submitted by masstec on Wed, 10/28/2009 - 00:00

Micro Tech Manufacturing, of Worcester, appears in recent Industrial Strength column in the Worcester Business Journal.  Micro Tech Mfg is in the rechargeable (lithium polymer) battery business.  For more details about the company, visit their website and the article on Worcester Business Journal, which also features a video.

MA — 4th in high-tech exports — worth higher cost of doing business Submitted by masstec on Thu, 10/22/2009 - 00:00

In an October 20th article on Telegram.com, Ann Hurd of Intel Corporation states that “[Massachusetts] has a business environment that, as long as it remains predictable, is worth the higher cost of doing business.”  This is the same article in which Massachusetts is noted as being the 4th top exporter of high-tech products in the US. 

Massachusetts saw a small (0.9%) growth in the high-tech exports category in 2008.  Yes, you read that correctly, Massachusetts’ high-tech exports rose during a year when the nation’s (and state’s) economy crashed.   

According to Ann Johnson, of TechAmerica, high-tech goods account for one-third of the Bay State’s exports.

Not surprisingly, the press release on TechAmerica also notes that high-tech exports — nationally — were down in the first two quarters of 2009.  Specifics on MA exports during the first two quarters was not noted in the release.

ATE Television Submitted by masstec on Mon, 10/19/2009 - 00:00

Advanced Technological Education Television (ATETV) could be a helpful resource for parents, career advisors, educators, students and career changers who want to learn more about careers in advanced technology.  The ATETV website has a video series that “highlights success stories from community colleges and ATE programs nationwide.”  The aim of ATETV is “to connect employers in industry and government with the high-tech workforce of tomorrow.”

Go check it out!

Sterling Surfaces in the Worcester Business Journal Submitted by masstec on Mon, 10/19/2009 - 00:00

A company from Sterling — Sterling Surfaces – appeared in the Industrial Strength column of the Worcester Business Journal. 

Here’s an excerpt:

For many years, DuPont Corian has become a very popular material for countertops and tabletops. I didn’t know until visiting Sterling Surfaces that it was a plastic material that can be heated up and molded into almost any shape imaginable.
You wouldn’t expect that the guys inside the unassuming building on a quiet stretch of road not far from Interstate 190 in Sterling are manufacturing some truly far-out stuff, but they are.

Read the full article online: “Seamless execution in Sterling.”

Nypro news in Telegram Submitted by masstec on Mon, 10/19/2009 - 00:00

Per an article on Telegram.com, Nypro will be investing in Morgan Solar, a solar-energy startup company in Canada.  Nypro will also manufacture and assemble components to be used by Morgan Solar. 

For more information, view the full article: “Nypro invests in solar endeavor.”

Central MA Manufacturer in the News Submitted by masstec on Wed, 10/07/2009 - 00:00

A Central Massachusetts manufacturer is featured in today’s Telegram.  The company — Warren Pumps – will receive $1.5 million in defense department funding to “develop an advanced fuel filtration system for use on naval vessels.” 

Witch Hazel Manufacturer: No Lull During Recession Submitted by masstec on Mon, 10/05/2009 - 00:00

Two articles about a New England manufacturer have recently appeared in two local papers (The Worcester Telegram and The Boston Globe). 

Not only does the company — Dickinson Brands, Inc. —  use a zero-waste distilling method, but they have also experienced double-digit growth, even during this recent recession. 

For more information, or to view the articles about Dickinson Brands, Inc., click on the links above (see highlighted text).

Project Update Submitted by masstec on Wed, 09/23/2009 - 00:00

Fall is upon us, and the Mass-TEC project team is moving into its third year and event planning is underway!

With the help of staff and faculty from QCC, as well as Mass-TEC Partners & Collaborators, Mass-TEC was very busy this past summer.  Some highlights include: 

  • Guest appearances on The Mayor’s Forum with Worcester Mayor, Konnie Lukes.  The program aired on Charter TV3 (local Worcester channel) in late June and early July.
  • Mass-TEC project staff and partners wrote a script and filmed a half-hour show on “Today’s Manufacturing in Central Massachusetts” to be broadcast on Charter TV3.  Filmed at Nypro Corporation and featuring partners from WPI, MassMEP, and Commonwealth Corporation, the show is presently in editing and is scheduled to air in late September or early October.
  • Jim Heffernan (QCC), Carol King, and Kathie Mahoney (MassMEP) were guests of Jack Healy on the August 22nd airing of the WPI Venture Forum radio show on WTAG.
  • Mass-TEC and QCC staff teamed up with writers from the Worcester Business Journal to prepare the business profile that appeared in the Worcester Business Journal’s special edition 2009 Business Profiles, released in August.  The piece included interviews with Ted Bauer, Carol King, Kathy Rentsch, Elsa Rivera (Latino Education Institute), and Navjeet Singh.
  • As part of Mass-TEC’s outreach programs, teachers from Worcester Public Schools participated in summer professional development opportunities at WPI.
  • Fall outreach programs have been developed for WPS teachers and career counselors & teachers of adult basic education.
  • Outreach events for parents are in development.

This fall, Mass-TEC staff and partners will participate on a panel at theMassachusetts STEM Summit VI, and will also have a showcase presentation and guide a roundtable discussion at the Annual Conference for ATE Principal Investigators in Washington, DC.  Mass-TEC Partners & Collaborators will also be running a workshop at theMassachusetts Coalition of Adult Basic Educators Network Conference in Marlborough.

Mass-TEC in the Worcester Business Journal Submitted by masstec on Tue, 09/01/2009 - 00:00

Quinsigamond Community College’s Mass-TEC project appeared in the Worcester Business Journal’s special edition on Business Profiles 2009. 

Article on JP Mfg in Worcester Business Journal Submitted by masstec on Mon, 08/24/2009 - 00:00

As part of a Family Academy produced by Worcester Family Engagement Coalition and Latino Education Institute on March 25th, 2009, Jan Kania spoke to parents, students, and other family members at Quinsigamond Community College.  Jan is the Chief Operating Officer of JP Mfg, and there was a recent article on the company in the Worcester Business Journal. 

The WBJ article begins:

JP Mfg. Inc. is just the kind of place I like. It’s stuffed into what used to be a bakery in a 100-year-old building at 13 Lovely St. in Southbridge. And with a staff of just 22, it cranks out mountains of molded plastic lenses for a wide variety of uses.

Worcester Business Journal: Manufacturing “changed drastically” Submitted by masstec on Wed, 07/29/2009 - 00:00

From the “Industrial Strength Column” in the Worcester Business Journal

Manufacturing: Decidedly Not Dead Yet

In this column, I’ve brought you profiles of companies that make all kinds of stuff all over Central Massachusetts. The underlying message is that manufacturing is not dead, but it has changed drastically. What has struck me perhaps more than anything is how manufacturers respond to these changes.

June Mfg Activity Optimistic Submitted by masstec on Mon, 07/06/2009 - 17:24

From an article by the Associated Press on Boston.com, dated July 2, 2009:

Brighter news on manufacturing is offering more hope that the longest recession since World War II is near an end. But with construction and many other segments of the economy still weak and unemployment rising, any rebound is likely to be slow.

A key gauge of manufacturing showed yesterday that industry activity declined less than expected in June. The Institute of Supply Management’s manufacturing index was 44.8 – the best showing since last August, a month before the financial crisis erupted with force.

Video from MAC Action Newsline & MassLive Submitted by masstec on Wed, 06/24/2009 - 00:00

John Ratzenberger, ‘Cliff’ on TV sitcom ‘Cheers,’ comes to Springfield to talk about need for skilled laborers. It’s a little known fact, but the average age of an American skilled technician is 56 years old and we might, as a society, start running out of skilled electricians, carpenters, plumbers and machinists in the next eight to 10 years.

Deloitte, LLP survey indicates: Manufacturing Ranked #1 Industry for Economic Prosperity Submitted by masstec on Thu, 06/11/2009 - 00:00

An article released by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) – Manufacturing Ranked #1 Industry for Economic Prosperity – states:

“Survey reveals wide perception gap between positive views of manufacturing’s contributions to American’s economic success and their negative views about pursuing a career in manufacturing.”

NAM’s website also has surveys and reports available that may be of interest.  Some reports are available for purchase, whereas others are available for download.  Titles include:

  • The Innovation Imperative in Manufacturing — How the United States Can Restore Its Edge
  • The Facts About Modern Manufacturing
  • Innovation in Manufacturing (a best practices guide)

Mass-TEC Meeting: As Told on Twitter Submitted by masstec on Fri, 05/08/2009 - 00:00

This morning, Mass-TEC met with approximately 21 of its Partners & Collaborators at the Worcester Senior Center.   

One of our project partners, Gordon Snyder, is an active user of (and advocate for) various forms of social media.  During this morning’s meeting, Gordon was actively “tweeting” about the discussion. 

Here’s the play-by-play as told by Gordon on his Twitter feed:

  • At Mass Tech Education Collaborative Meeting in Worcester. Good career discussion in areas of mfg, electronics, etc.
  • Public still has lots of old perceptions about manufacturing careers…… Mfg is clean, interesting, scientific and high paying!
  • Teamwork, problem solving, math, science…… Mfg careers in Worcester area for people with 2 year degrees pay around $60K/year.
  • Meeting hosted by Quinsigamond Community College as part of an NSF grant the college has.
  • If you are in Central Mass area and interested in checking out a manufacturing career contact Kathy Rentsch at www.qcc.edu
  • Martha Cyr speaking now on WPI summer programs that combine physics and engineering – excellent!
  • Incredible opportunity in manufacturing for students interested in math, science, engineering, technology at community collages
  • Rob Richardson from Intel Corp speaking now. How do we build awareness of manufacturing careers? Students. Parents. Guidance people. Etc.
  • Dual enrollment (college credit for some high school courses) being discussed now.
  • Community colleges typically connect and respond well to industry/business changes and needs.

  You can learn more about Gordon, his ATE Center, and other interests by going to: 

Phillips Precision, in the news Submitted by masstec on Mon, 04/27/2009 - 00:00

Phillips Precision is showcased in this week’s “Industrial Strength” section of the Worcester Business Journal

The article, by Matthew Brown, outlines the story behind Phillips Precision, and includes details and insight from owners, Steven and Catherine Phillips. 

The Phillips have provided insight and employer testimonials at two of our career counselor information sessions.  Steve and Cathy have been able to tell career counselors what today’s manufacturing is like from their point of view.  They’ve been fabulous about sharing their story with us and with our target audiences.  Please visit the article on Worcester Business Journal for more information about this growing company!

Preparations for Family Academy Event Submitted by masstec on Wed, 03/25/2009 - 00:00

The Mass-TEC staff have been working with Worcester Family Engagement Coalition, Uniting Our Voices, Southeast Asian Coalition of Central Massachusetts, Citywide Parent Planning Advisory Council, and Latino Education Institute to pull together all the pieces for the second, two-evening Family Academy:  Career Choices for Our Children event. 

The first evening — tonight — will include a presentation by Workforce Central Career Center on the Massachusetts Career Information System (MassCIS) to each of the parent groups (i.e., English speakers, Spanish speakers, and Vietnamese speakers).  When a group is not learning about MassCIS, they will be speaking with employees and employee/owners from area advanced manufacturing companies.  We have six employees scheduled to sit on informal panels and discuss their experiences in the field with the parent groups.  Presently, employees and owners hail from Metso Automation, JP Mfg, Phillips Precision, Intel Corporation, and Saint-Gobain.

The second evening — tomorrow — includes a tour of the Intel fab in Hudson.  The tours will be broken up into three separate groups, and will be led by different Intel employees and an interpreter. 

I believe the turnout for this event is nearing 50 people, including some children (grades 7 – 12).

“Area Manufacturer Gets Boost from Washington” Submitted by masstec on Thu, 03/12/2009 - 00:00

Today’s Worcester Telegram & Gazette has a feature on Aspen Aerogels, a manufacturing company based out of Northborough.  The company manufactures energy-efficient insulation, which “absorbs up to eight times as much heat as conventional thermal insulation.”

The article, “Area manufacturer gets boost from Washington: Northboro company will get $1.5 million,” by Sarah Gantz, can be found in the Money section of the Telegram & Gazette website, or by clicking the link above.

“The Best of Massachusetts 2008: The Globe 100″ Submitted by masstec on Thu, 03/12/2009 - 00:00

The art for the Boston Globe article, “Best of Massachusetts 2008: The Globe 100,” features Zildjian cymbals, and the descriptive text: “Made in Massachusetts: From Ames shovels to Zildjian cymbals, the Bay State has a long and proud manufacturing history.”

There is also some interesting information in a number of the subsections connected to that article. 

Note that two manufacturers in the region made it to the top ten list, IPG Photonics (Oxford) and EMC Corp (Hopkinton), at #s 9 and 5, respectively.

Jobs are Waiting, Even in a Recession Submitted by masstec on Tue, 03/10/2009 - 17:42

From an Associated Press article published in today’s (March 10, 2009) Worcester Telegram & Gazette:

Corporations such as Pittsburgh-based Westinghouse Electric Company and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy are hiring engineers and adding other workers as they expand manufacturing facilities, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute, a trade group.

Still Made in the USA (reposted w/ permission) Submitted by masstec on Mon, 03/09/2009 - 00:00

Feb 17, 2009

Still made in the USA Manufacturing stays upscale

By Stephen Manning THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON — It may seem like the country that used to make everything is on the brink of making nothing.

In January, 207,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs vanished in the largest one-month drop since October 1982. Factory activity is hovering at a 28-year low. Even before the recession, plants were hemorrhaging work to foreign competitors with cheap labor. And some companies were moving production overseas.

But manufacturing in the United States isn’t dead or even dying. It’s moving upscale, following the biggest profits, and becoming more efficient, just like Henry Ford did when he created the assembly line to make the Model T. 

The U.S. by far remains the world’s leading manufacturer by value of goods produced. It hit a record $1.6 trillion in 2007 — nearly double the $811 billion in 1987. For every $1 of value produced in China’s factories, America generates $2.50.

So what’s made in the USA these days?

The U.S. sold more than $200 billion worth of aircraft, missiles and space-related equipment in 2007. And $80 billion worth of autos and auto parts. Deere & Co., best known for its bright green and yellow tractors, sold $16.5 billion worth of farming equipment last year, much of it to the rest of the world. Then there’s energy products such as gas turbines for power plants made by General Electric, computer chips from Intel and fighter jets from Lockheed Martin. Household names like GE, General Motors, IBM, Boeing, Hewlett-Packard are among the largest manufacturers by revenue.

Several trends have emerged over the decades:

  • America makes things that other countries can’t. Today, “Made in USA” is more likely to be stamped on heavy equipment or the circuits that go inside other products than the TVs, toys, clothes and other items found on store shelves.
  • U.S. companies have shifted toward high-end manufacturing as the production of low-value goods moves overseas. This has resulted in lower prices for shoppers and higher profits for companies.
  • When demand slumps, all types of manufacturing jobs are lost. Some higher-end jobs — but not all — return with good times. Workers who make goods more cheaply produced overseas suffer.

Once this recession runs its course, surviving manufacturers will emerge more efficient and profitable, economists say. More valuable products will be made using fewer people. Products will be made where labor and other costs are cheaper. And manufacturers will focus on the most lucrative products.

Aircraft maker Boeing announced last month it was cutting about 10,000 jobs. At the same time, workers are streamlining the wing assembly for the 737, the company’s best-selling commercial plane, said Richard McCabe, a wing line mechanic for 10 years and former Machinists union shop steward.

He and his co-workers at the factory in suburban Renton, Wash., were asked about 3 1/2 years ago to figure out how to switch from building wings in massive stationary jigs mounted vertically, “the way things have been done here forever,” to “one-piece flow,” assembling them horizontally on a moving line similar to automobiles. The new process is set to begin by the end of the year.

“I won’t go to the wing. The wing will come to me,” McCabe said. “It’s going to save them millions in scrap and rework.”

McCabe said there was a lot of initial resistance on the shop floor, but Boeing’s increased outsourcing — including wing production for the new 787 to Japan — helped change workers’ minds.

“I told the guys, it’s development or die,” McCabe said. “If we can get this done, it assures us the future.”

About 12.7 million Americans, or 8 percent of the labor force, still held manufacturing jobs as of last month. Fifty years ago, 14.6 million people, or 28 percent of all workers, toiled in factories. Thirty years ago, U.S. producers made 80 percent of what the country consumed, according to the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI, an industry trade group. Now it’s around 65 percent.

American factories still provide much of the processed food that Americans buy, everything from frozen fish sticks to cans of beer. And U.S. companies make a considerable share of the personal hygiene products like soap and shampoo, cleaning supplies, and prescription drugs that are sold in pharmacies. But many other consumer goods now come from overseas.

In the 1960s, America made 98 percent of its shoes. It now imports more than 90 percent of its footwear. The iconic red Radio Flyer wagons for kids are now made in China. Even Apple Inc.’s iPod comes in box that says it was made in China but “designed in California.”

“Some people lament the loss of manufacturing jobs we could have had making iPods. So what?” said Dan Ikenson, associate director of the Center for Trade Policy Studies at the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute. “The imports of iPods support U.S. jobs,” including engineers, marketers and advertisers.

Other American manufacturers — and workers — have adapted.

Judy Horkman, 47, of Manitowoc, Wis., was devastated when she was laid off after 13 years of attaching handles to saute pans on the Mirro Cookware plant assembly line. But two years ago, Horkman took a job making industrial light fixtures for office buildings and warehouses at Orion Energy Systems Inc. She makes $12.50 per hour — not quite the $13.80 she earned at Mirro, but Horkman says she is fine with that.

Copyright 2009 Worcester Telegram & Gazette Corp. Reprinted with permission from the T&G and The Associated Press. Fall 2008: First Family Academy Submitted by masstec on Fri, 03/06/2009 - 17:18

The Massachusetts Technician Education Collaborative (Mass-TEC) held its first multilingual, parent outreach and awareness event, titled “Family Academy: Career Choices for Our Children,” on October 23rd and 24th. The program, coordinated by the Worcester Family Engagment Coalition and the Latino Education Institute,  actively engaged English-, Spanish-, and Vietnamese-speaking parents for five hours with discussions, employee testimonials, and information about advanced manufacturing education and careers. The event was well attended, with thirty-nine parents and seventeen students on the first evening, and 30 parents and seventeen students on the second evening.

This first parent academy provided the opportunity to address the beliefs and misconceptions parents shared with researchers during Year One’s focus groups. Specifically:

  • jobs in manufacturing were labor intensive and in less-than-ideal working conditions that posed long-term health threats
  • jobs in manufacturing are low-paying jobs and most often temporary jobs
  • jobs in manufacturing do not require a college education, nor do they support people who are seeking a college education
  • higher paying manufacturing career ladder positions are not offered to ethnic minorities, people who have English as a Second Language, and/or people who do not hold a college degree.

The strategic presentations, employee interviews (including employees from Intel Corporation, Metso Automation, and Nypro Corp), MassMEP’s Mobile Training Unit (MTU) tour, information about education and career pathways, and multiple opportunities for parents to query presenters allowed the Mass-TEC team to successfully address parents’ concerns and misconceptions about whether or not advanced manufacturing could be a viable career choice for their children.

QCC and Mass-TEC Respond to the Challenge Submitted by masstec on Fri, 03/06/2009 - 17:11 Addressing Misconceptions and Recruiting a Skilled Workforce

In July of 2007, Quinsigamond Community College was awarded a three-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for the Massachusetts Technician Education Collaborative (Mass-TEC) project, which brings together partners and existing resources from K-12 and undergraduate education, workforce development, industry leaders, and community-based outreach groups in an effort to respond to the region’s shortage of adequately skilled technicians in advanced manufacturing operations.

During the first year of the grant, Mass-TEC conducted three focus groups with teachers, parents, and career advisors in the Worcester area. One purpose of the focus groups was to identify impediments that limit or prevent these career influencers from guiding adults and students toward advanced manufacturing careers.

Among the most relevant findings of the focus groups included the following:

  • All three target audiences (i.e., parents, teachers, and career advisors) acknowledged that manufacturing jobs are stereotyped as labor-intensive, sweaty, and dirty.
  • Parents are concerned about the instability of jobs in manufacturing, and cite low pay and hard labor among the factors that hinder advocating for their children’s pursuit of such careers.
  • There is a general concern that students and adult career changers lack the math and science skills for advanced manufacturing jobs.
  • Career advisors acknowledged a limited understanding of advanced manufacturing and are open to collaborations and strategies that would increase their knowledge of available jobs and professional development opportunities for their clients.

To address these misconceptions and concerns, Mass-TEC project partners will begin an awareness campaign and hold outreach events with the target audiences. The outreach events and awareness campaign will include discussions with manufacturing employees, site tours, employer roundtable discussions, podcasts, e-newsletters, videos, presentations, and information regarding educational and career pathways.

In order for this initiative to be successful, Mass-TEC needs the support from Worcester-area advanced manufacturers. Mass-TEC is looking for employers who would be willing to support the project by doing any of the following:

  • Participating in roundtable discussions with teachers and career advisors
  • Suggesting employees who could fairly represent technician positions and could provide testimonials to Mass-TEC’s parent and teacher audiences; the parent audience is looking for testimonials from English-Spanish- and Vietnamese-speaking employees
  • Allowing Mass-TEC to interview AM technicians
  • Supplying video footage of advanced manufacturing facilities
  • Allowing Mass-TEC to photograph and create video site tours of manufacturing facilities
  • Working with Mass-TEC to produce videos and podcasts
  • Providing site tours for parents, teachers, and career advisors

Among the expected outcomes of this initiative, Mass-TEC expects to see an increased enrollment in manufacturing-related technical education and training programs, as well as an increase in the pool of skilled technicians available to Worcester-area manufacturing companies.

To help QCC and Mass-TEC respond to the human capital challenge facing today’s manufacturers, become involved and learn more by commenting on this post!

Mass-TEC Holds Information Session for Career Counselors Submitted by masstec on Fri, 03/06/2009 - 17:09 Recruiting a Skilled Workforce:
Mass-TEC Holds Information Session on Advanced Manufacturing

As part of its three-year, grant-funded initiative, Quinsigamond Community College’s Mass-TEC project held its first outreach event, “Advanced Manufacturing: It’s Not Your Father’s Manufacturing! An Information Session for Career Counselors,” for Worcester-area career counselors on February 27th in the downtown offices of the Central Massachusetts Regional Employment Board.

The purpose of this first event for career counselors was to provide attendees with an understanding of the term “advanced manufacturing;” give them an overview of the present state of manufacturing in Central Massachusetts; explain the skills, education, and knowledge required to become a successful employee in the field; and show the potential for career growth.

After a brief event overview and introduction by the Mass-TEC project director, Jonathan Latner, of Commonwealth Corporation, explained that advanced manufacturing was any type of manufacturing where technology (e.g., computer-aided design, computer-aided engineering, computer numerically controlled machines, automation, and robotics, etc.) is used to design, manufacture, or handle a product. He then provided a data-driven overview of the current economy, Massachusetts employment trends, and state wage information for manufacturing and other employment sectors. Included in his presentation, Jonathan also gave a number of reasons why a person might choose a career in manufacturing (e.g., wage/salary, opportunities for growth, diversity of fields and jobs, etc.).

Presentations on entry-level skills, by Ted Bauer of Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership, education pathways, by Kathy Rentsch of Quinsigamond Community College, and career ladders, by Cathy and Steve Phillips of Phillips Precision Co., all reiterated that the nature of work is changing and that opportunities for career growth in manufacturing is possible. Today’s employees, however, need to have problem-solving, communication, and technical skills, understanding of basic math, the ability to work in teams, and the motivation to continually upgrade their skills, training, and education in order to be successful in the 21st century workplace.

Participants were also given a tour of the Mobile Training Unit (MTU), where Matt Healy and Kathie Mahoney, of the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership, described the purpose and function of the Mobile Operator Skills Training (MOST) program.

The majority of attendees felt that their understanding of manufacturing career choices improved after attending the event; some expressed that they had “no idea of growth and opportunities in this field” and were interested to know that “career prospects do exist.” Highlights for participants included the personal of Cathy and Steve Phillips, Ted Bauer’s insights into the industry, Kathy Rentsch’s information on education paths, Jonathan Latner’s report on the current status of manufacturing, and the tour of the MTU.

Future events with career counselors will include roundtable discussions with manufacturing employees, human resources representatives, and company owners. In order to continue expanding the awareness of area career counselors, and other members of Mass-TEC’s target audience (i.e., parents, teachers, and guidance counselors), the project needs support from area industry representatives.