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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Administration Announces $474M For Skills Training

September 18, 2013 12:47 pm | by U.S. Department of Labor | News | Comments

Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez announced $474.5 million in grants to community colleges and universities around the country for the development and expansion of innovative training programs in partnership with local employers. The grants are part of a multiyear, nearly $2 billion initiative to expand targeted training programs for unemployed workers, especially those impacted by foreign trade.

Energy Department To Sell Fisker Loan

September 18, 2013 10:00 am | by Matthew Daly, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Energy Department says it is selling a $192 million loan made to struggling electric car maker Fisker Automotive Inc. The sale, to be held next month, is the latest setback for a half-billion-dollar loan guarantee offered to the California car maker in 2009 as part of the Obama administration's program to promote green energy.

Obama Takes Economy Message To Corporate Leaders

September 18, 2013 9:58 am | by Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama, facing a budget showdown with Congress, is pushing his economic agenda to some of the nation's top corporate executives while cautioning Republicans not to precipitate a government shutdown or an unprecedented debt default.

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Germany: Economic Giant Reluctant To Lead

September 18, 2013 9:54 am | by Geir Moulson, Associated Press | News | Comments

Germany boasts the world's most powerful woman, Europe's most powerful economy and an industrial machine that's the envy of the planet. With all that muscle, it seems natural to assume the mantle of Europe's undisputed leader. But Germany is a reluctant giant — and this Sunday's national elections are unlikely to change that.

United Tech: Europe Improving, Military Parts Down

September 18, 2013 9:50 am | by Stephen Singer, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Sharp cuts in U.S. military spare parts orders are hurting United Technologies Corp.'s helicopter maker, Sikorsky, the chief financial officer said Tuesday, although he was more optimistic about prospects in Europe. CFO Greg Hayes told investor analysts that automatic U.S. federal budget cuts beginning in March could take a bigger bite out of profit in 2014 than the company initially expected.

The Gray Shift Part 2: Using Ergonomy To Retain Valuable Older Workers

September 18, 2013 8:01 am | by Earl Hagman, PhD, MSEE, MBA, President, Ergotech Incorporated | Articles | Comments

To address coming workforce demographic changes, employers must create a corporate culture that promotes both safety and wellness. Healthy workers and a safe workspace reduce costs and increase productivity, so these efforts will be repaid fully.

Getting From The Vision To The Sales

September 17, 2013 4:29 pm | by Mike Collins, Author, Saving American Manufacturing | Blogs | Comments

How do you get from the vision to actual sales growth? Many articles on the wonders of vision statements imply that if a manufacturer writes a good vision statement that somehow it will be implemented (the rain dance myth). In my experience, visions and goals are never realized unless someone develops a plan that shows every department and manager what they must do to reach the goals.

Built Ford Tough

September 17, 2013 3:45 pm | by Rachel Leisemann Immel, Associate Editor, IMPO | Articles | Comments

Ford Motor Company is a global automotive industry leader, manufacturing or distributing vehicles across six continents. With 175,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company has leveraged the dedication of its employees and UAW partnership to become more efficient, improve its product cadence, and be a more effective automotive industry competitor than ever before.

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Business Leaders: It Makes Sense To Put Jobs In U.S.

September 17, 2013 2:23 pm | by Matt Gouras, Associated Press | News | Comments

Business leaders from Oracle Corp., Ford Motor Co. and The Boeing Co. said Tuesday their companies have found that it makes sense to bring jobs back to the United States — even to smaller cities in places such as Montana. Oracle President Safra Catz said her company has been centering its cloud computing division in the nearby mountain town of Bozeman.

European Auto Sales Hit New Low

September 17, 2013 2:21 pm | by David McHugh, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Car sales in Europe are still sagging despite the return of modest economic growth. For the first eight months of the year, passenger car sales in the European Union were off 5.2 percent to 7.84 million compared with the same period last year, the European Auto Manufacturers' Association said Tuesday. That's the lowest January-August figure since the group started keeping track in 1990.

Survey: Sluggish Global Economic Recovery Ahead

September 17, 2013 2:20 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

A robust recovery for the global economy remains well out of reach. That's the view that emerges from a survey of economists just as the Federal Reserve is expected this week to reduce its stimulus for the U.S. economy. Europe has finally emerged from recession. Japan is growing after two decades of stagnation. And the United States is trudging ahead. 

Employment Gap Between Rich, Poor Widest On Record

September 16, 2013 2:17 pm | by Hope Yen, Associated Press | News | Comments

The gap in employment rates between America's highest- and lowest-income families has stretched to its widest levels since officials began tracking the data a decade ago, according to an analysis of government data conducted for The Associated Press.

U.S. Factory Output Up, Led By Strong Autos

September 16, 2013 10:07 am | by Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. factories increased output in August by the most in eight months, helped by a robust month at auto plants. The gains are a hopeful sign that manufacturing could help boost economic growth in the second half of the year. Manufacturing production rose 0.7 percent last month from July, the Federal Reserve said Monday.

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5 Quick Questions: Mike Weller, President, Miller Electric

September 16, 2013 8:01 am | by Jeff Reinke, Editorial Director | Articles | Comments

Miller Electric, a leading manufacturer of welders and welding supplies, recently announced that its president, Mike Weller, has been recognized by the Wisconsin Technical College District Boards Association for his service to the Wisconsin Technical College System. Given the constant pressure that manufacturers face in attracting and replacing skilled workers, we asked Weller for some perspective on the future of the skills trades. 

Can The 308 Hatchback Save Peugeot?

September 13, 2013 2:19 pm | by Sarah DiLorenzo, Associated Press | News | Comments

European carmakers can live and die by their mid-sized hatchbacks. And that category has long been the realm of the Volkswagen Golf. French carmaker Peugeot is hoping to change that with its redesigned 308. Every bit of this car shows the company is gunning for Golf customers: a sleek design, a minimalist interior and the promise of a low-emissions version that would rival VW's.

U.S. Women Regain Lost Jobs, Men Still Short 2.1M

September 13, 2013 10:19 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writers | News | Comments

U.S. women have recovered all the jobs they lost to the Great Recession. The same can't be said for men, who remain 2.1 million jobs short. The biggest factor is that men dominate construction and manufacturing — industries that have not recovered millions of jobs lost during the downturn.

Photo Of The Day: Auto Show's Most Striking, Costly

September 13, 2013 10:14 am | by David McHugh, Sarah DiLorenzo, The Associated Press | News | Comments

Maybe we can't buy — but we can look. The best thing about an auto show is the chance to gawk at and sit in cars most people can't afford. So here's a look at eight of the most striking and expensive new vehicles on display at the Frankfurt Auto Show. The show opens to the public Saturday and runs through Sept. 22; admission is 13 euros during the week, 15 euros on weekends.

Midsize Manufacturers Optimistic, Says Survey

September 12, 2013 3:43 pm | by Prime Advantage | Articles | Comments

Prime Advantage, a leading buying consortium for midsized  manufacturers, announced the findings of its twelfth semi-annual Group Outlook Survey, revealing financial projections and top concerns of its member companies for the rest of 2013. The results show continued optimism about revenues and employment despite concerns about federal regulations and fiscal policy uncertainties.

Big SUVs Rumble Along As GM Shows New Models

September 12, 2013 2:09 pm | by big, SUV, GM, new, models, gas, price, rumble, new | News | Comments

The big SUV rolls on. Five years ago, when gas hit $4 per gallon, auto industry analysts boldly predicted that enormous SUVs would vanish like the automobile tail fin. On Thursday, General Motors is unveiling a completely redesigned lineup of its truck-based SUVs, three-ton behemoths that are still popular with drivers hauling around boats, campers and large families, or who like to sit high or feel safer in a heavy vehicle.

Dell Shareholders Approve $24.8B Buyout Offer

September 12, 2013 2:04 pm | by Bree Fowler, Paul Weber, Associated Press | News | Comments

Dell Inc. will end its quarter-century history as a publicly traded company and try to engineer a turnaround away from the prying eyes of Wall Street following shareholders' approval Thursday of a $24.8 billion buyout offer from the company's founder.

Advanced Manufacturing In The South

September 11, 2013 3:32 pm | by MAPI media | Videos | Comments

A new report finds that the implementation of advanced manufacturing in the American South could help the region realize its economic potential and make a vital contribution to an industry-led strategy for a revival in U.S. economic fortunes. 

Gov't Sells Another $811M In GM Stock

September 11, 2013 2:46 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The government is getting closer to selling all of its General Motors Co. stock. The Treasury Department said in its August report to Congress that it sold $811 million worth of GM common stock last month. The report dated Tuesday says the government has recovered about $35.4 billion of the $49.5 billion bailout it gave the Detroit automaker.

What Has The U.S. Learned After The Financial Collapse?

September 11, 2013 1:25 pm | by NBC News | Videos | Comments

What has the U.S. learned five years after the financial collapse? Banking analyst Meredith Whitney and the Financial Times' Tom Braithwaite join Morning Joe to discuss. Has America steered itself out of the recession?         

U.S. Employers Posted Fewer Jobs, But Hired More

September 11, 2013 10:12 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer | News | Comments

U.S. employers advertised fewer jobs in July but hired more workers, a mixed sign that suggests only modest improvement in the job market. Job openings fell 180,000 in July to 3.7 million, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That's down from 3.9 million the previous month, which was revised lower.

Photo Of The Day: 007 'Submarine Car'

September 10, 2013 2:10 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A car that transformed into a submarine in the James Bond movie "The Spy Who Loved Me" has been sold at a London auction for 550,000 pounds ($865,000). The distinctively-shaped white Lotus Esprit, designed for an underwater scene in the 1977 film starring Roger Moore, was sold at RM Auctions on Monday.

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