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Senators Coons, Baldwin recognize National Manufacturing Day

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U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) spoke on the Senate floor to recognize National Manufacturing Day. Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) also joined Senators Coons and Baldwin on the floor in support. National Manufacturing Day occurs on the first Friday of October every year and is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers.

Check out a video of the senators speaking here.

Senators Coons and Baldwin are leading the Manufacturing Jobs for America campaign to rally bipartisan support for legislation that would help manufacturers grow and create jobs. The MJA campaign began last Congress, when Senator Coons led a coalition of 27 Senators to introduce 36 manufacturing bills, nearly half of which were strongly bipartisan.  Eight of those 36 bills were enacted into law, a startling success rate given Congress’ gridlock and bitter partisanship.


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October 13, 2015 at 7:00 am

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New Manufacturing Skills Act would boost manufacturing skills training

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U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) have introduced bipartisan legislation to help cities and states build 21st century manufacturing training programs. The Manufacturing Skills Act would create an annual $100 million competitive grant to support initiatives that strengthen the manufacturing workforce and address regional skills challenges.

“Manufacturing plays a critical role in keeping our economy competitive globally and strengthening the middle class,” said Senator Coons. “Manufacturing is rapidly evolving and spreading across sectors, creating more than half a million manufacturing jobs in the last three years. Yet hundreds of jobs remain unfilled because our training programs haven’t evolved to meet the growing demand for high-skilled workers. This bipartisan bill will address that gap by helping cities and states craft effective, relevant workforce training programs that will equip students with the appropriate skills for the 21st century and ensure American manufacturing is primed for growth in the decades to come.”

“As I visit manufacturers throughout New Hampshire, I hear frequently about the challenges they’re facing in finding high-skilled workers to fill good-paying jobs,” said Senator Ayotte. “Job training needs to be customized to a city or state’s local economy – there’s no one-size-fits-all model. Rather than dictate job training standards from the top, our bill allows local officials, educational institutions, and business leaders to partner together and build job training plans that best fit their unique needs – helping ensure New Hampshire has the right workforce.”

According to a study by the Boston Consulting Group, the number of unfilled skilled manufacturing jobs in the U.S. will reach approximately 875,000 by 2020. While many of these jobs require highly trained workers, the most in-demand skills vary considerably by region and industry. The Manufacturing Skills Act will give state and local leaders the resources and flexibility to design workforce-training programs that fit their regions’ specific needs.

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June 23, 2015 at 7:00 am

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CCF Industries plans reopening in spring

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With a bit of luck, CCF Industries could be manufacturing wooden drawers again by the first anniversary of a fire that destroyed the company’s Washington Township facility.

Ken Clifton, CCF’s founder and president, said he’s hoping to be back in business in March.

Last April, an early morning blaze, caused by an electrical spark from a dust blower, leveled CCF’s nearly 20,000-square-foot plant. The company’s 32 employees escaped unharmed, but many have been off work since the fire.

Clifton said insurance is covering much of the cost of rebuilding and employee salaries while the business is mostly idle.

Clifton, his foreman and some office staff are working from temporary quarters on site, next to where contractors began erecting large, steel beams in October for CCF’s new, bigger plant.

“We’re running orders through competitors,” Clifton said. “Our customers have to go somewhere.”

CCF Industries makes dove-tailed drawers that are sold to cabinetmakers and woodworkers nationwide, particularly on the East Coast.

Clifton said his new building will be about 7,000 square feet larger than the previous plant, giving employees more “elbow room” and increasing efficiency.

“We need to hit the ground running,” he said. “As soon as the building’s done, we’re going to be ready to roll.”

Written by cabinettrends

February 16, 2015 at 7:00 am

‘Manufacturing Jobs for America’ bills approved in House

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The House of Representatives approved legislation that includes five innovative skills-training provisions from the Senate’s “Manufacturing Jobs for America” campaign. U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), who leads Manufacturing Jobs for America, applauded passage of the bipartisan, bicameral Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which will reauthorize, streamline and improve the nation’s workforce training programs. The legislation, which passed the House by a vote of 415-6, was approved by the Senate in June 2014 and now heads to President Obama for signature.

WIOA modernizes and strengthens national workforce training programs, creating smaller, more strategic state and local workforce development boards, allowing them to tailor programs to meet local needs. The bill also eliminates 15 ineffective or underutilized programs to ensure resources are focused on the most effective initiatives.

“To keep America competitive, we have to make sure our workers have access to effective and relevant job-training,” Sen. Coons said. “The most in-demand skills vary by region and industry, and training programs need to reflect these diverse and evolving needs. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act takes critical steps to better align workforce training programs with local demand and ensure workers have the skillsets manufacturers are looking for. The bipartisan action taken in both chambers to pass this important bill is proof that Congress can still come together to get things done for the middle class. I hope we can continue working together to pass more of the innovative Manufacturing Jobs for America bills that are ready for consideration…”

Led by Sen. Coons, more than 25 senators have contributed more than 30 bills to the Senate’s Manufacturing Jobs for America initiative. Roughly one-third of these bills are focused on skills training. Provisions from five of these bills were included in the Senate-passed WOIA reauthorization. They include:

Adult Education and Economic Growth Act (S. 1400)

America Works Act (S. 453)

On-the-Job Training Act (S. 1227)

Sectors Act (S. 1226)

Community College to Career Fund (S. 1269)

Written by cabinettrends

July 25, 2014 at 7:00 am

DMT awarded for U.S. exports by commerce secretary

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U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker presented Diamond Machining Technology (DMT) with the President’s “E” Award for Exports at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The “E” Awards recognize U.S. entities for making a contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.

“We are honored to receive the ‘E’ Award in recognition of our global sales and marketing efforts,” said Mark Brandon, president of DMT. “Over the past five years—in addition to strong U.S. sales growth—DMT has expanded its export sales by an average of 18 percent per year and added 13 new ‘shipped-to’ countries. It is a credit to our vibrant, international distribution network as well as the quality of our Made in America products.”

First established under President John F. Kennedy in 1961, companies nominated for the “E” Award must demonstrate four years of successive export growth in addition to an innovative international marketing plan. In 2014, a total of 66 U.S. companies received the President’s “E” Award. The “E” represents a World War II symbol of excellence.

In her congratulatory letter, Secretary Pritzker wrote: “DMT has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion. The ‘E’ awards committee was very impressed with DMT’s exporting to 37 countries. The company’s co-branded marketing program was also particularly impressive. DMT’s achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export expansion efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs.”

Written by cabinettrends

June 16, 2014 at 7:00 am

La-Z-Boy to reduce N.C. manufacturing

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La-Z-Boy Inc. will close two plants which will result in 100 employees losing their jobs.

The company’s decision is based partly on its plan to start importing wood furniture, sell its youth furniture business and discontinue its production of hotel furniture.

The company also anticipates discontinuing its production of case goods in North Carolina during the next fiscal year. All warehouse and repair functions that took place in North Wilkesboro, N.C., will shift to Hudson, N.C. according Biz Journals.

The company will also discontinue casegoods production at the Hudson plant. The two North Wilkesboro plants will be sold along with all of its woodworking equipment.

“We greatly appreciate the contribution of each individual and thank them all for their years of dedicated service,” Kurt L. Darrow, La-Z-Boy’s chairman, president and CEO, said. “We will provide outplacement assistance to these employees during this transition period.”

Written by cabinettrends

May 7, 2014 at 7:00 am

New whitepaper explores manufacturing industry’s risk of cyber-attacks

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Increasing networking of manufacturing equipment is opening up factories to the benefits of flexible production and wireless mobile communications. However, the rising use of connected devices is also exposing production sites to security breaches and cyber-attacks, compelling companies to seek ways to protect their networks, according to a new white paper from IHS Technology.

Wireless network connections in industrial automation components in global factories will rise from 2.1 million in 2012 to 3.4 million by 2017, which magnifies risk factors to manufacturing environments, the white paper notes.

“The rising use of wireless networks and industrial Ethernet is leading to a growing trend in the so-called bring-your-own-device movement in the manufacturing business, with workers utilizing their own smartphones and tablets to monitor and control industrial equipment,” said Mark Watson, associate director, industrial automation group at IHS. “However, such devices may lack adequate security, offering hackers easy access to confidential data-or allowing them to spread malware through factory automation systems.”

Manufacturing networks continue to adopt a wide variety of wireless technologies. For instance, wireless LAN (WLAN) was the most widely adopted protocol in the industrial space. The technology is highly suitable for many applications because of its advances in the enterprise and consumer sectors, allowing knowledge and technology to filter into industrial applications. Bluetooth is another protocol extensively used in the consumer space that is also popular for industrial automation networking. Bluetooth’s advantage lies in its capability to pair devices, providing greater security and reducing the potential for opportunistic hacking attacks.

WirelessHART and ISA 100.11a are the two major “true” industrial wireless technologies. They compete directly and are more prevalent in process industries compared to WLAN and Bluetooth, which are more commonly used in discrete industries.

The current level of adoption of wireless in factory and process environments is low. Nonetheless, the technology’s presence is expanding, bringing both benefits-as well as increased risks from hackers-to the manufacturing market.

Learn more about this topic with the new IHS white paper, entitled: “Industrial Automation Sector Trends in 2014,” available at, or by contacting Jonathan Cassell, senior manager, editorial at

Written by cabinettrends

February 13, 2014 at 7:00 am

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