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Newsdesk: Untapped Resource: Women

The role women might play in helping to resolve manufacturing’s workforce shortage continues to gain more prominence.

On Feb. 5, Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute released a report, “Untapped Resource,” that outlined how women could play a key role in solving the workforce shortage. The Society of Manufacturing Engineers and the University of Phoenix also sponsored the report, which can be found at

Among the findings:

    --51% of those surveyed cite the main driver of women’s underrepresentation in manufacturing is the
       perception of a male-favored culture
    --80% of respondents believe that manufacturers can improve their efforts to recruit women

As many as 600,000 manufacturing jobs remain unfilled and 70% of manufacturing companies report experiencing a moderate to severe talent shortage. Addressing this crisis head on means taking steps to recruit, retain and promote women—or risk future success. Jeannine Kunz, SME Director of Professional Development, was among those who addressed the attendees at the inaugural STEP Awards in Washington, D.C.

The report said that highlighting the role of women in manufacturing is important in attracting more of them to the industry.

On the same day the report was released, 122 women were honored at the inaugural STEP Awards at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.

The STEP Awards are the recognition component of The Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Ahead Initiative, highlighting women who have demonstrated Science, Technology, Engineering and Production (STEP) excellence in manufacturing. The awards recognize women at all levels of a manufacturing organization from the factory floor to the C-suite. SME is a founding partner of the initiative.

Several SME members were honored at the ceremony, and Jeannine Kunz, SME Director of Professional Development, was among those who addressed the attendees.

“SME’s purpose is to advance manufacturing and attract future generations to this noble industry. Every day, we partner with companies, government and educational institutions in building a talented workforce for today and tomorrow. In order to advance manufacturing, we must attract more women to the industry,” said Kunz.

SME plans to continue its support for women in manufacturing by participating in a Feb. 21 launch party for the Women in Manufacturing Summit. The summit will be held in October. For more information, visit ME

February Marks Third Month
of Manufacturing Growth

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in February for the third straight month, while the overall economy grew for the 45th consecutive month.

That’s according to the latest Manufacturing ISM Report on Business, which surveys the nation’s supply executives.
February Marks Third Month of Manunfacturing Growth

The PMI registered 54.2%, an increase of 1.1 percentage points from January’s reading of 53.1%. Readings below 50 indicate contraction, while those above 50 indicate expansion.

The New Orders Index registered 57.8%, an increase of 4.5% over January’s reading of 53.3%, indicating growth in new orders for the second consecutive month. As was the case in January, all five of the PMI’s component indexes — new orders, production, employment, supplier deliveries and inventories — registered in positive territory in February. In addition, the Backlog of Orders, Exports and Imports Indexes all grew in February relative to January.

Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 15 reported growth in February. The February report can be found at ME



ABB Robotics (Auburn Hills, MI) and Fronius International (Brighton, MI), a leading worldwide welding equipment company, have entered a global agreement to collaboratively develop fully equipped robotic welding packages, and support both new and existing customers with advanced technology. The technologically innovative welding packages will be especially designed to provide modular, cost-effective solutions for companies to more easily initiate or upgrade a robotic welding system. Fronius equipment will be featured at all certified ABB Robotics welding lab locations allowing customers to conduct robotic welding trials on the latest, most innovative robotic welding equipment available.

Abakan Inc. (Miami), an emerging leader in the advanced coatings and metal formulations markets, on Feb. 26 announced that its subsidiary MesoCoat’s Quality Management System has been certified to AS9100C and ISO 9001:2008 standards by QMS Global after an intensive audit. The certifications apply to MesoCoat’s metallurgical laboratory and coating services operations supporting its component manufacturing and repair division. MesoCoat develops and provides wear and corrosion solutions using innovative surface engineering technologies.



The Coordinate Metrology Society (CMS) announced it will host the 29th annual Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference (CMSC) on July 22–26, 2013 at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina. This event caters to users of portable 3D measurement solutions applied by manufacturers and science laboratories. More information at

ProEdgeWire (Toronto), investor intelligence for the resource sector, has announced the 2nd Annual Technology Metals Summit—Renewable Energy: The Next Industrial Revolution on April 21–22, 2013 at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. More information at

Deutsche Messe will stage INTRALOGISTICA ITALIA in Milan.  This intralogistics show will take place in parallel with the world’s premier packaging trade fair, Ipack-Ima, from May 19 to 23, 2015. INTRALOGISTICA ITALIA will present warehouse and factory equipment, packaging and assembly systems, loading equipment, complete logistics systems, and more.


Jenoptik (Jena, Germany and Brighton, MI) on Feb. 28 announced that its Laser Processing Systems business unit received the 2013 Vision Award for the JENOPTIK-VOTAN® BIM. This machine is well suited for cutting complex 3D metal parts. Sponsored by the US technology publication High Tech Views, the award program was founded in 1996 to recognize innovation in the application of information technology.


Kennametal Inc. (Latrobe, PA) on March 1 began celebrating its 75th year as an industrial technology leader. Founded in 1938, Philip McKenna’s invention of tungsten-titanium carbide alloys started a company of 12 employees and $30,000 in revenues in its first year. Since then, it has grown to nearly $3 billion in revenues, serving more than 80,000 customers in 60-plus countries.


An article in the March issue of Shop Solutions listed the incorrect Web site address for CMS North America. The correct address is

NewsDesk is edited by Editor-in-Chief Sarah A. Webster. Please email NewsDesk submissions to


This article was first published in the April 2013 edition of Manufacturing Engineering magazine.  Click here for PDF

Published Date : 4/1/2013

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