Usually, when you’re trying to take a cold, hard look at your future, it’s best to do it with fresh eyes. That, according to Greg Ervin, is partly why Marion-based Timberline Manufacturing Co. has been working with CIRAS to plan the company’s best path to growth. Timberline, a maker of wire harnesses, control panels, and custom electronics that is now in its fifth year as an employee-owned business, approached CIRAS roughly a year ago seeking help with mapping the next portion of its future.
For Eric Cook, national Manufacturing Day is a chance to show 40 high school vocational students what the future may hold. “Number one, they get exposure – just seeing what’s out there, seeing what the job takes, what it’s really like out on the shop floor,” Cook said. “They’re high schoolers. They haven’t been exposed to a lot of that.”
CIRAS is excited for our final two events in our 2017 Future of Manufacturing series - dealing with two critical components of how manufacturing is changing - leadership and automation.
Connections created through CIRAS networking events and hands-on assistance have helped a Cedar Rapids-based recruitment company grow during the past year. Express Employment Professionals is a full-service staffing agency specializing in the industrial, administrative, IT, and engineering fields. Michele Oswood, owner of the Cedar Rapids franchise, said her company’s client base has doubled since she purchased the business in February 2016.
From time to time, CIRAS likes to tell you a little bit about some of the people who make Iowa business better. Jim Long worked his way up from a regional salesman to become the president and CEO of Cline Tool in Newton. He believes in hiring good people, and he’d like to see more good businesses coming to Iowa.
Many government contracting professionals operate at arm’s length so they can remain unbiased and avoid the appearance of impropriety. But building relationships is critical to securing government business, especially on smaller-dollar purchases that don’t require public bidding. Face-to-face meetings are the perfect way to establish a relationship with an agency.
Ron Petersen thought he had it right, but he wasn’t sure. Petersen, owner of Summertime Potato Company in Des Moines, sought CIRAS’ help last year to make certain that his company was in compliance with the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), a sweeping 2011 law that gave the FDA new powers to prevent foodborne illness.
Sometimes, if the business is too big to handle, you just need to find a partner.
CIRAS’ top two administrators have been honored by the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) for their work trumpeting Iowa manufacturing. CIRAS Director Ron Cox and program director Mike O’Donnell, head of CIRAS’ Manufacturing Extension Partnership, jointly received ABI’s Manufacturing Champion Award at a dinner for Iowa business leaders on Tuesday.
Two Iowa companies over the past year have separately discovered a new way to safeguard vibrating truck fenders and a new, more attractive way to lock patio doors—both as a result of work done by graduating students at Iowa State University. Capstone students in Iowa State’s College of Engineering worked on the truck fender project for Link Manufacturing, a Sioux Center company that manufactures heavy-duty truck suspensions. The company asked students to extend the life of after-market fender brackets that sometimes were breaking because of vibration.