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June 24, 2014
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Featured Columnists

bobmugnewUptime: Boost STEM, Develop Skilled Workers

By Bob Williamson, Contributing Editor

The resurgence of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) courses of study in the national education community is not new. STEM education dates to the 1950s, but gained national attention with the 1983 report from President Reagan’s National Commission on Excellence in Education, “A Nation at Risk.” But I’m convinced that the renewed enthusiasm for STEM is due to the gaps in education, training, and career preparation our schools and local/state governments have allowed for the past two generations. As a result, “Go to college and get a degree!” became the plan for everyone

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rick_carter_mugFor on the Floor: NFPA 70E 2015 — Making Its Way Into Plants

By Rick Carter, Executive Editor

The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace—NFPA 70E—should be required reading for anyone who works on energized equipment. Revised every three years, the Standard’s latest version—the 2015 edition (which supersedes all others)—is available for purchase or free download at nfpa.org.

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1014janemytakeMy Take: On the Maintenance-Excellence Trail

By Jane Alexander, Managing Editor

You can listen to countless discussions and presentations about something, frequently edit articles and columns about it by others, even write about it yourself from time to time. In the end, though, nothing impresses an editor more than seeing “something”—whatever it is—in action. Such was the case with this month’s feature about the successful maintenance-excellence journey that Johnsonville embarked upon in 2009.

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heinz_bloch_mugA Contrarian View: Making Silk Purses

By Heinz P. Bloch, P.E.

As bubonic plague ravaged much of Europe, a wise man apparently shared a common-sense parable that involved man’s inability to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. Shakespeare is said to have picked up on this idea and (possibly) mentioned it in one of his late 16th-century plays. As evidenced by two more recent examples from the real world, it’s clear that industrial operations don’t always understand the moral of this parable.

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