National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Signed into Law

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Washington, DC – The Made in America Manufacturing Communities Act, which would help create new manufacturing jobs and invest in local economies throughout the country, has passed the Senate. The legislation was included in the Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which passed the Senate yesterday evening.

The bipartisan legislation would help create new jobs and boost local economies across the country by designating regions as “Manufacturing Communities.” This legislation would create a program for new dedicated federal funding and technical assistance to communities that are awarded this designation. Communities would receive federal assistance to grow their manufacturing sectors and help revive their local economy. This program would strengthen the ability for communities across the country to develop and manufacture cutting-edge technology that is foundational to the nation’s defense and manufacturing competitiveness. The manufacturing communities initiative will be housed at the Department of Defense (DoD), which will work with the Department of Commerce in carrying out the program.

This program is based on Sen. Kristen Gillibrand’s (NY) bipartisan Made In America Manufacturing Communities Act, which is co-sponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Angus S. King, Jr. (I-ME), Susan M. Collins (R-ME), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).


Changing Dynamics: Create Centre opens doors for Manufacturers Appreciation Week

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From The Daily Tribune:

Business leaders and local government representatives took a tour of the Shaw CreateCentre Wednesday as part of the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce’s annualManufacturers Appreciation Week program.

The 67,000-square-foot facility on Douthit Ferry Road in West Cartersville opened lastOctober. The three-story, $24 million building hosts designers, marketers and innovationassociates for Shaw Industries’ Shaw Contract and Patcraft brands.

The centre is currently home to 130 employees, about 50 of whom will move into a newcustom design studio at Shaw Plant 94 on Old Mill Road once renovations are completed.

“The building is really based on this open-office model,” said Shannon Cochran,vice president of creative and product development for Patcraft. “We have a lot of focus rooms that allows forindividual work, also a lot of collaborative and impromptu spaces for meetings. It’sreally to promote trust and innovation and we wanted it to be a transparent space whereeveryone has flexible work options that has kind of been the new corner office, so tospeak.”

With John Lennon quotes posted on the facility walls and several work spaces named afterchildhood favorite toys like Rubik’s Cube and Lite-Brite, the centre demonstrates the changingdynamics of contemporary manufacturing. Instead of hard concrete floors and rows and rowsof metallic shelves, the centre features flooring with built in “step-counting” sensors,noise-canceling personal booths ideal for handling phone calls and even rooms for employees to shower.

And no matter where an employee may be in the building, odds are they’re never more thana few steps away from a coffee maker.

Read more.


Small Manufacturers Make a Big Difference

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From the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Manufacturing Innovation Blog:

By Zara Brunner


How do we reach the next generation, change their perceptions about manufacturing, and let them know about available career opportunities? 

Manufacturing Day and other initiatives are critical.  Equally so is the time those of you in industry devote year-round in your communities, which I believe can add up in a big way in reaching students and inspiring them to consider manufacturing careers.

Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in Career Day at Robert Frost Middle School in my hometown of Rockville, Maryland.  I was with a whole classroom filled with eager seventh graders, being taught by my eighth grade son’s favorite former teacher (you know who you are JC!).  Of course, I had the slot right after lunch!  What could I say to them about my career?  How could I inspire them?

I taught them about today’s manufacturing.

In doing so, I used every trick up my sleeve to leverage how children are used to receiving information in our present-day technology-rich environment.  This included infographics, videos, and an HQ-style trivia game (sans the cash prize, but with a few personally supplied “prizes” complete with the telling of the item’s Made in the USA story).

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State-Of-The-Art Programs Help Open Catoosa’s First College Campus

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From Georgia Northwestern’s Bobcat Blog:

Georgia Northwestern Launching Cybersecurity, Logistics, and Mechatronics in Catoosa County

“Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Ginger Mathis, left, and GNTC Interim Catoosa County Campus Manager Leigh Ann Pettigrew stop for a photo in front of the college’s new Catoosa County Campus. Fall semester begins for the Catoosa County Campus, and all of GNTC, on August 15.”

(Ringgold, Georgia) – For the better part of the last decade, Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) has been going through a process to add a sixth campus in Catoosa County, Georgia. On August 15, the process will be complete as GNTC’s Catoosa County Campus will open its doors for class for the very first time.

Three brand new programs will kick-off on this brand new campus as GNTC launches Cybersecurity, Logistics, and Mechatronics. “These are important new offerings with skilled workers in these fields being in demand in our companies in Northwest Georgia right now,” said GNTC’s Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Ginger Mathis. “We have turned this project around in a timely manner to help these students have what they need to become the skilled workforce employers are counting on.”

It was just 20 months ago when college administrators, along with state and local leaders, broke ground on the site in a December 2014 ceremony. “We are anticipating a couple of hundred students for our initial term,” said Mathis. “Between the traditional students and the dual-enrolled high school students from the three Catoosa County High Schools, we are looking forward to some great success stories out of this campus.”

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Integrating Schools and Industry for a More Innovative Society

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From Innovation Management:

Author is suggesting that with the advent of the 4th industrial revolution children ought to start contributing to progress at the age of 6 years, through a learning-oriented but paid work for 3 hours per day, indeed with involvement in the hi-tech end of things. The future is now, and there is no more learning and preparing for the future.

1. The passive mode of the current school education

I have dealt with the education domain for many decades, in the academy and business, I have trained hundreds of people and companies, this on the international scope, and this is my experience. I do not exaggerate when I say I believe the current school systems everywhere in the world, public and private, represent a great waste of money and time for humanity. The current school system might have been good up to some 50 years ago, but is definitely obsolete for our time. So much has changed in the last thirty years and we are still practicing an ancient education system.

The current system is mainly about keeping the young people busy outside the home for so many hours per day! Putting young people for some 10 – 12 years in the school system in buildings, keeping them in a passive mode of just receiving for a long period of their lives, just getting prepared for the future, i.e. for the big day when they can join society, is in my opinion a serious human rights violation.

1.1. Little practical value is gained in the present school

The school is here, and real life is there. There is a gigantic gap between school and real life.

Most of the things that are learned in school are of no practical value to the future life. Almost nothing will be used of what we learn at school except possibly in the narrow field of specialization later, if going to college or university. The school is here, and real life is there. There is a gigantic gap between school and real life. You are getting prepared for real life, but it is all in the future and not now.  All that is useful in life is taught outside the school: Swimming, bike riding, photography, martial art, cooking, driving license, dancing, carpentry, haircut, repair things at home, how to sew a shirt, how to repair a motor, how to repair a mobile, how to find a job ..

it is all about “pretend” at school. Nothing tangible is done. School is mainly about theory and pretend we are doing this and solving this problem, but never doing a real thing. When looking back, the school years are like a big empty hole in our memory and existence. Most successful people on the planet, including great scientists, were not that good at school.

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Creating the 21st Century Manufacturing Workforce

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From Advanced Manufacturing Media:

An industry regarded as dirty, loud and dangerous must do more to attract young people with the skills needed for modern manufacturing, while companies should promote their technology in the 21st century as exciting, cutting-edge, clean, safe and fun, according to a panel of experts.

Manufacturing businesses must also address a gender imbalance that sees a dearth of female workers across the country, while also focusing on recruiting tech-savvy kids who can be convinced of a future in the industry, the experts said.

Meanwhile, recent research on public perceptions of the industry suggests that although many Americans believe it to be vital to the economy, and that jobs of the future will be high-tech and involve using innovative renewable energy sources, they still hold negative perceptions of manufacturing generally.

Read more.



5 Findings on Connecting High School Students to Apprenticeship

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From New America:

As policymakers contemplate new ways to prepare students for college and careers, youth apprenticeship stands out as a compelling option. Research from New America’s Center on Education & Skills (CESNA) suggests youth apprenticeship is gaining steam in many states.

In a new report, Youth Apprenticeship in America Today: Connecting High School Students to Apprenticeship, produced with support from the Siemens Foundation, Brent Parton summarizes findings from a year-long research effort that included focus groups, polling, a national landscape scan, and interviews with practitioners and national experts.  The report looks back at the history of youth apprenticeship in the U.S. and analyzes current trends to offer five key findings, which include: public openness to youth apprenticeship, insights from a diverse landscape of existing programs, and profiles of state strategies underway to expand youth apprenticeship opportunities in high-demand industries like advanced manufacturing, business services, information technology, and healthcare.


Immersive Technology Could Help Change How We Work

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From the Atlantic:

What if an office could be anywhere you wanted, at any time? And what would that mean for people, countries, and even robots?


Work and specialized labor are at the heart of many issues related to globalization, immigration, and borders: People emigrate to new countries for work, and companies are increasingly firming up their international presence and looking to make international hires. Technology allows workers to collaborate and share information in real-time, even if they’re not physically together.

Augmented reality (AR), which puts digital representations of objects into your physical space, could be the key to changing how we think about work. AR has quickly evolved from a laboratory experiment to a staple in pop culture, entertainment, and media, and 67 percentof organizations are considering incorporating it into their procedures.

During his keynote address at Facebook’s F8 developers conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke about a virtual reality meeting space the company developed, called Facebook Spaces.

“This virtual reality experience is going to give you a taste of what it’s like to have this real sense of presence with your friends, no matter where they are in the world, and to start interacting with all kinds of digital objects on the road to fully augmented reality,” said Zuckerberg.

Read more.