CIRAS DIGEST: Tuesday, June 9, 2015

  • KIOW radio has a story about the continuation of a joint plan between Iowa Business Growth Company and North Iowa Area Community College focused on alleviating Iowa’s shortage of skilled workers. The two entities have been working on various training initiative. A next phase will include outreach to middle and high school students, as well as recruitment efforts in Minnesota.
  • Meanwhile, “Sensing that the next generation of industrial automation and robots is about to reshape manufacturing, a group of Milwaukee-area economic strategists would like to create a Midwest Smart Manufacturing Institute.” This is according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
  • Not to be outdone, according to a Fort Worth business paper, Walmart and the University of Texas at Arlington are sewing “the seeds for a U.S. manufacturing renaissance” with automation research now underway in east Fort Worth. The school, with Walmart money, is working to develop flexible assembly lines.
  • Meanwhile, Forbes has a piece stressing that “robots AND humans are the answer to manufacturing’s job woes.”
  • Huffington Post has a look at the efforts to launch the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation – that series of hubs that’s being developed around the country. It’s written by the editor of something called Advanced Manufacturing Media, and it doesn’t quite live up to the promise of its headline: “Inside the Top Secret Plan to Revive U.S. Manufacturing.”
  • A website called EE Times has a piece written by the president of a contract manufacturing company arguing that contract manufacturers can save start-up businesses from the distractions that would result if the new companies try to make a product themselves.
  • TIME has an interesting manufacturing story framed around an article and video on BMW’s efforts to make 30 percent more cars with the same number of people in South Carolina.
  • Manufacturing day is Oct. 2, and a story has already appeared about it in a trade website
  • The Iowa State Daily has an opinion piece that essentially warns Iowans that politicians try to bend economics to their purposes. (The writer is against that sort of thing.)
  • Florida Today has an opinion piece, authored by the female head of a workforce program in Brevard County, that touts the opportunities for in manufacturing for women.
  • And just fyi: We found a letter to the editor in a Wisconsin newspaper explaining how a pending “free-trade deal could spell (the) demise of U.S. manufacturing.”

Hope you enjoy the diversity of views. Thanks for reading.

Follow us on Twitter @CIRAS_ISU for more information. Email eckhoffj@iastate.edu if you’d like  to request certain content for CIRAS Digest.