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UpFront: Warriors of US Manufacturing—Unite!

Sarah A. Webster







By Sarah A. Webster
Editor in Chief

Are you rrrrr-eady? … Let’s get ready to rumble! An event like IMTS 2014 needs that kind of introduction, with all of the new advanced manufacturing technologies slated to be unveiled at the big show. The International Manufacturing Technology Show 2014 will be held Sept. 8-13 in Chicago, and the show should be more exciting than ever, filling 1.2 million square feet of the sprawling McCormick Place.

There’s excitement not just because of all the new technology at the show, but also because of the work that manufacturers keep reporting is coming back to the US and the rest of North America.

As a nation, the US is truly regaining its footing in the fight to make things—thanks to all of the enabling new automation, software, machines, lasers and processes (think 3D printing). These, along with other trends, like lower energy costs, are helping to level the playing field. We’re also getting serious about addressing the skills gap, and we’re bringing some real warriors into the fight.

And by warriors, I literally mean warriors: military veterans.

In this month’s Focus on the Workforce, we have a feature story about Workshops for Warriors, a non-profit organization in San Diego that is teaching veterans, many of whom are disabled, the skills they need to enter the advanced manufacturing field where our nation is doing battle with others for talent and work.

Workshops for Warriors is currently the only accredited school in the US that exclusively teaches veterans, wounded warriors and their dependents. With the help of a lot of generous donations of machines, software and other manufacturing tools, these veterans are learning machinery repair, CAD/CAM, machining and welding fabrication, among other skills. Most importantly, all of the program’s graduates have been hired.

I know that a lot of manufacturing professionals out there—veterans or not—do, indeed, view themselves as warriors in this fight for manufacturing work, and really, the American economy. Some of you are being more clever than ever in this battle, using creative new advanced manufacturing technologies to win critical parts business in the aerospace and defense, motorized vehicle, medical and energy industries.

In this issue, we’re dedicated to helping you prepare for the fight with a successful, well-planned IMTS visit. We have feature stories about the major pavilions at IMTS, along with the new products and technologies that will be shown in those areas of the show. We hope you’ll find it useful, and we’ll see you at the show!


This article was first published in the August 2014 edition of Manufacturing Engineering magazine. Click here for PDF.

Published Date : 8/1/2014

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