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5 manufacturing-supporting bills approved by Senate
Manufacturing.net
From July 1: The Manufacturing Jobs for America campaign, helmed by Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., has announced that the U.S. Senate has approved bipartisan legislation that will strengthen the nation’s manufacturing workforce training programs and help fill the skills gap that many manufacturers are coming up against. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act eliminates 15 unnecessary programs and includes five skills-training provisions from Coons’ Manufacturing Jobs for America campaign to help prepare the current workforce for the high-technology manufacturing jobs of today.
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Industry demand for welders sparks hiring
Houston Chronicle
From Sept. 23: According to the Texas Workforce Commission, welding has been one of the most in-demand careers in the Gulf Coast area since 2010, and the TWC's projected estimated employment figure for welders from 2010 to 2020 in the region is 20,650, which represents an industry growth of nearly 27 percent. For 2013, the TWC estimated average annual wage for entry-level welders was $28,031; the estimated average salary for experienced welders was $45,533. But, with the recent growing demand for welders, wages are rising dramatically with reports of entry-level welders with a one-year certificate earning as much as $28 per hour.
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Can this Louisville, Kentucky, executive solve the manufacturing industry's workforce problem?
Louisville Business First
From May 27: For decades, the manufacturing industry has been plagued by a lack of trained, skilled workers. That's a product of an educational system that hasn't kept up with the needs of modern manufacturers, according to Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the Washington D.C.-based National Association of Manufacturers. There are not enough people to fill jobs that require highly technical training — welders, machine programmers, operators, etc. That said, Timmons believes that a Louisville executive, GE Appliances CEO Chip Blankenship, can make an impact in addressing the skilled workers drought.
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Manufacturers love US, Mexico
Forbes
From Aug. 26: We've been hearing this for the past three years: multinationals are moving to the U.S. to manufacture goods of all kinds. China’s days as the globe's low-cost producer are over. Hurrah for labor. Not so fast. One reason why manufacturing is returning to the U.S. is stagnant wages. Other reasons are because of logistics, location to other markets the manufacturer is targeting, and high productivity due to automation. Still, the good news is that manufacturing is returning to the U.S. In fact, the new global hot spots for widget making assembly lines are right here in North America, led by us and our Mexican neighbors.
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New technology for welding aluminum
Assembly Magazine
From Feb. 4: To meet federally mandated fuel economy standards, automakers must dramatically reduce vehicle weight. As a result, engineers are using more and more aluminum for body panels, engine components and structural parts. Aluminum use in vehicles is expected to double by 2025, as automakers roll out a wide variety of lighter weight models. The material offers many advantages over steel. For instance, one kilogram of aluminum can replace two kilograms of steel.
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Ford F-150 to make 'radical' shift from steel to aluminum
CNNMoney via WTVR-TV
From Jan. 7: Ford Motor Company is putting the F-150 pickup's 37-year winning streak on the line in 2014, with an expected radical shift to aluminum. The new F-150 is expected to use 600 pounds of aluminum, replacing about 1,000 pounds of steel, according to industry consultant Ducker Worldwide. The move accounts for a big chunk of the 750 pounds that Ford has vowed to cut to improve fuel economy.
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How manufacturing can solve its own talent shortage crisis
IndustryWeek
From Sept. 2: An experienced manufacturing executive offers creative steps manufacturers can take to plug the skills gap and gain the highly skilled, loyal workforce that can propel their company forward.
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Bay Bridge's troubled China connection
The Sacramento Bee
From June 10: The Chinese company hired to build key parts of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in California had never built a bridge. Shanghai Zhenhua Port Machinery Co. Ltd., after all, was a manufacturer of giant cranes for container ports. The California Department of Transportation agreed to contract the company known as ZPMC in 2006 because it had established a reputation as fast and cost-effective, offering savings of about $250 million compared to the competing bidder.
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GM plant cited in 2009 for welding safety issue
WRTV-TV
From July 8: A General Motors metal-stamping plant involved in a deadly explosion July 1 was cited by the Indiana Department of Labor and the International Occupational Health and Safety Association in 2009 for a serious safety violation. According to the safety order just released to WRTV-TV investigator Kara Kenney, inspectors cited the Marion facility for not effectively guarding a wheelhouse 211 welder effectively when the operator placed parts into the weld fixture.
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Growing global demand causes Boeing to boost production of 737 aircraft
Agence France-Presse via IndustryWeek
From Oct. 7: Boeing recently said it would step up production of its best-selling 737 commercial jetliners to meet robust demand from customers worldwide. Boeing said it would increase production of the 737 family to 52 airplanes per month in 2018, building more than 620 airplanes per year, a record-high rate.
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Millions of new jobs, if you have the training and know where to look
USA Today
From Oct. 7: Joseph Poole will make more than $100,000 in wages and overtime by the end of the year. The 21-year-old works in what looks like NASA's mission control, monitoring the manufacturing process at Chevron Phillips petrochemical plant in Houston. Poole didn't get the job with the engineering degree he originally considered. Instead, Poole landed it with a two-year course at a local community college. By 2017, an estimated 2.5 million new, middle-skill jobs like Poole's are expected to be added to the workforce, accounting for nearly 40 percent of all job growth, according to a USA Today analysis of local data from Economic Modeling Specialists International and CareerBuilder.
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Jobs are waiting for young welder
Corpus Christi Caller-Times
From Nov. 18: Avery Cunningham is eagerly awaiting his 18th birthday — common for a high school senior. But several oil companies, which have dangled lucrative job offers, also have circled Feb. 28 on the calendar — which is quite uncommon for a high school senior.
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American manufacturing and welding to women: We want you!
CNBC
From Feb. 11: Six years after the start of a deep recession and a growing call for more middle-class manufacturing jobs, one American industry is tackling workforce development in a unique way. Welding is courting fresh recruits — women in particular. Mention women welders and "Flashdance" might come to mind. The 1983 movie starred Jennifer Beals as a welder by day and dancer by night. But the industry has advanced beyond the bulky machinery depicted in the film. 
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