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June 24, 2014
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Featured Columnists

rick_carter_thumbForward Observations: ‘Strategy Act’ Not the Solution, But a Good Start

By Rick Carter, Executive Editor

The government’s reputation for solving big problems takes a lot of hits, but hope is renewed each time a new solution comes up for discussion. Encouragingly, one of these solutions involves the skills shortage in manufacturing. It’s called the Skills Gap Strategy Act of 2013/2014—a dual, bipartisan bill introduced in the House last month (as H.R. 4541) and in the Senate last fall (as S. 1619). It’s brought to you by Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Dean Heller (R-NV), and Representatives Matt Cartwright (D) and Mike Fitzpatrick (R), both from congressional districts in eastern Pennsylvania. Click here for more.

bob_williamson_thumb_thumb_thumbUptime: Wanted — Maintenance and Reliability Leaders

By Bob Williamson, Contributing Editor

As I travel across the U.S. and Canada, I continue to hear about maintenance-related skills shortages in plants and facilities. It’s indicative of a crisis that will only get worse before it gets better—something I’ve written about many times in this publication. What I have not explored with our readers in great detail is the more frightening shortage of “maintenance and reliability leaders.” These are the individuals who spearhead maintenance and reliability actions, missions and projects. They have the authority and the responsibility to guide, direct and influence their teams and work groups. Quite often, they “lead” the way on the basis of their education and/or prior experience. Click here for more.

ken_bannisterFrom Our Perspective: How is Your ‘Date’ Life?

By Ken Bannister, Contributing Editor

Watching the local news recently, I became intrigued by what I consider an especially compelling human-interest story. The report focused on the growing numbers of people—many fully employed and living in nice neighborhoods—who have embraced “dumpster diving“ in supermarket waste dumpsters as part of their weekly grocery shopping activity. Fueled by the high cost of groceries and regulatory requirements for stores to dispose of products that have surpassed the “Best By” dates stamped on their packaging, today’s “dumpster divers” seem to have figured out a legal way to obtain perfectly edible free food! Click here for more.

newjaneresize2_thumb_thumbMy Take: So Close to My Heart — Workforce Development

By Jane Alexander, Deputy Editor

Like other writers in Maintenance Technology, I frequently use my space to discuss an issue close to my heart: capturing the minds and passions of tomorrow’s workforce sooner than later. To that end, I typically invite readers to send in good-news stories about innovative educational models they know of (from a personal and/or work-related standpoint or from other news sources). This month, I share two of these stories. Click here for more.

garymintchellManufacturing Connection: Focus on the Big Picture

By Gary Mintchell, Executive Director

Why do we have trouble focusing on problems that we know will happen, but will only occur in the future? Maybe that future is next year. Maybe five years. Still, we would rather devote our time on pressing problems of the moment. The urgency needed to solve tomorrow’s problems can be hard to find. Click here for more.