“The PMI™ registered 57 percent, the second highest reading for the year, just 0.3 percentage point below November’s reading of 57.3 percent. The New Orders Index increased in December by 0.6 percentage point to 64.2 percent, which is its highest reading since April 2010 when it registered 65.1 percent. “– Bradley Holcomb, Institute for Supply Management.

Confirms PMPA Business Trends Experience to Date
Confirms PMPA Business Trends Experience to Date

Transportation Equipment; Primary Metals; Fabricated Metal Products; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing were among the markets reporting strengthening that are important to Precision Machining. Machinery; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components markets reported contraction in December.
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in December for the seventh consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 55th consecutive month according to ISM.

PMPA’s November 2013 Business Trends Report was similarly positive, despite seasonality at the highest value ever for a November  at 116.

November is typically a slow sales month due to seasonal factors. The index is maintaining an average for calendar year 2013 of 122, and for trailing 12 months of 119. November 2013 shipments are 113% of October 2012.

The Employment Index registered 56.9 percent, an increase of 0.4 percentage point compared to November’s reading of 56.5 percent. December’s employment reading is the highest since June 2011 when the Employment Index registered 59 percent.
Why wouldn’t you be considering a career in Manufacturing?

PMPA member and Erie, Pa employer American Turned Products looking to increase its skilled workforce by 30%!
Click here for Video
Erie TV Channel 12 :
“Manufacturing jobs are plentiful in Erie County and throughout North America.
That’s the word from Darlene Miller, President of the Precision Machined Products Association. Miller was in Fairview today touring the shop at American Turned Products.  She says there are job openings at every shop she has visited.  She says the challenge facing manufacturing shops is finding interested and qualified people to fill job openings.  She blames parents who are not encouraging young people to consider a career in manufacturing.
“We’re the guilty ones because we’re not showing them what manufacturing’s all about. Plus, our schools have stopped having any kind of manufacturing-type classes, whether it’s tool shop, automotive, or whatever. So they’re not exposed to manufacturing and they have no clue how high-tech it really is,” Miller said.
American Turned Products currently has 130 employees.  It plans to increase its work force by 30% by the end of next year.”

I met Sam Passenger at Detroit Gun Works open house earlier this month. I was impressed as he walked me through the computer model of the part they were making. As he then showed me on the monitor the toll path step by step. As he described to me how he integrated the robotic arm into the machining operations.
When I asked him where he learned all this –  what college did he graduate from?- he just smiled.
Sam has no college, no college debt, and a great career- from learning as he was earning. on the job. At DGW.
Sam is the lead on integrating robots into DGW’s machining operations and has his hands in just about everything going on in the shops CNC equipment.
Listen to what Sam has to say about his job in the following video:

  • “I really enjoy my creative freedom.”
  • “I really enjoy getting to do what I do.”
  • “I come to work- It’s NOT work.”
  • “It’s not work- this is what I do for fun…”

Manufacturing Career$, No College Debt Required
Sam has a key role at his manufacturing company- and he enjoys it. It’s not work. It’s what he does for fun.
How about you? Is what you do “fun?” Do you enjoy your creative freedom? At the end of the day, are you satisfied by seeing the results of your work?
Sam Is typical of the stories of younger workers in precision machining and advanced manufacturing today. No college debt from 4 or more years of loans and classes. Skills learned as he earned.Skills valued by his employer and job he enjoys.
How about you?
For more information about a career in precision machining, checkout our career section here.

We have been working on the skills gap issue for a couple of years.

This infographic from MSN careers shows that the issue of finding skilled workers is a global, not just U.S. and Canada problem.


Precision Machining openings are begging across the country- and were even at the peak of the 2009 Recession. Demographics are going to make finding skilled machinists an even more urgent management imperative.

Skills Gap Graphic

Is now the right time for you to start your career in U.S. Manufacturing?

The phrase "get in on the ground floor" comes to mind...

I found this chart on Global Macro Monitor Blog on WordPress.  They look at it for their purposes. Lets look at it for ours.

I started my manufacturing career in September 1973, near the bottom of the “Nixon Decline.” It wasn’t easy- I had plenty of layoffs- but there was plenty of upside and I went from laborer in a sintering plant through a series of jobs to become, senior plant metallurgist, quality director, plant manager, division director for quality and technology.

Being in the right place at the right time (manufacturing) from 1973 to 1977  allowed me to take advantage of the upside in manufacturing that  gave me the momentum to grow my career.

Looking at the chart above, 2012 looks like the exact same opportunity, only better.

Global Macro Monitor lists some of the factors which influenced the chart above:

  1. Strengthening of the dollar during the 1980′s;
  2. Globalization;
  3. Entry of China and India into the global labor force;
  4. The internet;
  5. Improved productivity; 
  6. Technological innovation; 
  7. Demographics and worker preferences;
  8. All of the above.

I speak and meet with precision machining company managers and owners daily.

All are looking for people with skills and talent.

All are investing in training for their proven performers.

Our National Technical Conference last week  had over 102 first time attendees.

Twice as many companies offerred internships as there were  students in our first Right Skills Now class.

A comment I received yesterday on Linked In: “I teach Precision Machining and our students are all getting jobs now and the starting pay is getting better… ”

These are some very strong indicators that now is a great time to start a career in manufacturing.

 If you can do the math and solve problems based on your experiences, we’d love to have you in our precision machining industry.

P.S. And even though I characterized it as the “Nixon Decline,” I am not at all holding any president responsible for these.

There are far more important factors at play in this chart than whether or not there is a Donkey or an Elephant in the oval office.


Why should you consider a career in manufacturing?

Wall Street Journal: Industry Puts Heat On Schools
What the Shortage of Workers Means for Business
The Christian Science Monitor: Manufacturing Needs Workers Poll Data From the Alliance for American Manufacturing
Human Resource Executive: Filling Manufacturing Skill Gaps

My colleague Ryan Pohl at Change the Perception put this together.

Thanks Ryan. You should write more.