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Winnovation Robotics Team Wins Major Competition!

Congratulations to Winnovation Tean #1625 for winning the big Indiana Robotics Invitational (IRI) tournament this past weekend.  They won the Championship trophy with 2056 OP Robotics from Canada, 469 Las Guerrillas from Michigan, and 4039 Makeshift from Canada! The Indiana Robotics Invitational (IRI) began in Kokomo, Indiana, in May of 2000 with 21 teams. During the 2000 and 2001 years, this event was nicknamed “Hoosier Havoc” and was hosted solely by the TechnoKats Robotics Team (FRC team 45). The event was held at Kokomo’s Memorial...

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The Ultimate American Craft Movement

So you think the big thing is American Craft Beers? That’s what I hear more than anything and there’s nothing wrong with that. Specialty in product, locally made, self-owned all add up to a growing industry. Well, there are other products that fit the craft category. For the past decade or so, there’s been an explosion of domestic craft industries, everything from fly-fishing equipment (Montana’s Bozeman Reels) to commuter bikes (Detroit’s Shinola) to custom-built skis (Colorado’s Wagner) to beer and spirits (too many to name)....

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Chicago Federal Reserve Economist to Share Insight on Turning Manufacturing-Based Cities Around

Transform Rockford and the Rockford Chamber of Commerce are co-hosting a special session to learn from a top economist with the Chicago Federal Reserve on their Industrial Cities Initiative (ICI). The event will be hosted at the University Of Illinois College Of Medicine on Thursday, June 26th at 6:00 PM. The event is open to the public at no charge. The loss of manufacturing jobs has shaped the Midwest urban landscape for more than a half-century. However, just as most cities have lost manufacturing jobs to a greater or lesser degree, most...

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US Innovation is Driving Change in Manufacturing

The latest Perspective from McGladrey states: By any standard, 2013 was a big rebound year for manufacturing, and the momentum continues into 2014. While there are some challenges on the horizon, Karen L. Kurek, partner and national industrial products practice leader for McGladrey, thinks there is room for growth in 2014. Following are excerpts from her interview with Control Engineering What is causing the rebound? See their report here....

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Where’s Ours?

U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker today named the first 12 communities that will receive federal aid to attract global companies under the Obama administration’s Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) initiative. In looking at the list of the first 12 communities, I wondered…where’s ours? See the news release here. Here is the  response from Dana Hoefle, Executive Director, Rockford Region EDD: Unfortunately we were not selected. It appears that they were focusing on very large collaborations and in...

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Flash Report Signals Manufacturing Expansion

Markit, a leading global diversified provider of financial information services, signals in their latest Flash Report that manufacturing is in an expansion mode. Production, Output, New Orders, New Export Orders, Employment, Backlogs and Supplier Delivery Times are all in an Expansion mode. Their Flash Estimate is typically based on 85% – 90% of total Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) survey responses each month and is designed to provide an accurate advance indication of the final PMI data released on the first business day of each...

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Congress Announces Bill to Improve Workforce Training Programs

Received this from One Voice (see website here) a metal working advocate group: In what is the biggest move towards reform in more than a decade, leaders on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) and House Education and the Workforce Committees today announced the release of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). The comprehensive bill overhauls the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 which Congress allowed to expire in 2003. The Senate may begin taking up the bill as early as this week or next. This marks a major...

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