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The numbers in the United States are staggering, but the results are even worse globally, where Gallup’s 2013 State of the Global Workplace indicated that only 13 percent of the global workforce is considered engaged. 

The Alliance for Innovation and Operational Excellence (AIOE) Workforce Solutions Group set forth to understand how to solve the engagement problem by assembling a wide-ranging group of leaders who have led transformations through the creation of meaningful and lasting workforce engagement. The objective was to understand how these leaders successfully transformed departments, factories and divisions by nurturing engagement. How did they make the magic happen? What were the commonalities in their approaches? The culmination of nearly two years of discussion, evaluation and development resulted in the AIOE’s Engagement Framework. The Engagement Framework comprehensively codifies the fundamental aspects of creating a culture of engagement. 

“AMT is doing its part to support the 3-D printing industry’s effort to place a 3-D printer in every school in the United States,” says Greg Jones, vice president – Smartforce Development, AMT. 

To apply for a 3-D printer, a school had to meet a few requirements. First, it had to provide a statement of need explaining why it was starting a STEM program or describe the program it had in place. A program such as that may include a number of different classes, including CAD, robotics, science, math and art, and may also include partnerships with area community colleges. Second, they had to identify specific projects that would keep the machine in use throughout the school year and fund the materials demand for projects. Finally, they were asked to describe specific outcomes for students across departments. Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School met every requirement.

“By 2050, the world will be using 75 percent more energy than it does now,” says Andre Araujo, Shell Brazil Country Chair. “Meeting that extra demand will require a set of energy sources – and a new generation of scientists and engineers with the passion, ideas and innovation to develop it.

“The pitch proves the potential and power when scientists and entrepreneurs focus their efforts to develop creative and innovative energy solutions,” Araujo adds. “By tapping into the world’s passion and interest in football, we aim to capture the attention of youngsters around the world so they think differently about energy and the opportunity of science studies and careers.”  

A recipient of a Toyota Tribal College Scholarship, Torres-Hernandez studies math at a tribal college in Rocky Boy, Mont. Once the 3.7-GPA student earns her four-year degree from a university, she plans to return to the reservation to teach high school.

“All of my life I’ve loved math and helping people learn new concepts,” she says.

To help Torres-Hernandez and other Native American students earn an education in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. is donating $1 million to the American Indian College Fund. The national Native American education non-profit is commemorating its 25th anniversary.

To deliver quality, industry-aligned training connected to labor-market opportunities, NIMS will work with lead colleges Central Arizona College in Collidge, Ariz.; South Central College in North Mankato, Minn.; Richland College in Dallas; Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio; and Texas State Technical College in Abilene, Texas. The partnership’s goal is to increase the number of students with industry-recognized credentials and improve participant employment and earnings outcomes. 

Composite sandwich structures are a special type of material made by attaching two thin skins to a lightweight core. This type of composite is used extensively within the aerospace industry and in other applications where reducing weight while maintaining structural strength is important. A common use for these sorts of composites is the shrouds for launch vehicles and other key technology components that will enable our journey to Mars.

NASA explains the goal of its Game Changing Development effort is to create and demonstrate scalable and cost-effective manufacturing approaches to produce ultra-lightweight core materials both as flat panels and curved structures. The final products will have half or less the area density of conventional honeycomb cores, with equal or better mechanical properties.

But what if you didn’t just buy a microwave and, instead, bought a geothermal heat pump that needs to run at a specific heat? If that manual said, “the not right temperature should run at 1,000 degrees,” then there might be more of an issue. 

These are the kinds of problems that manufacturers run into when trying to quickly translate materials for a new market. In the push to get products ready for the territory, businesses in this sector can overlook errors in technical documentation that can sometimes prove disastrous. What if a system has to run at 10,000 degrees, not 1,000 as the manual states? Or vice versa?

An uncertain and unstable national and global economic environment impacts almost every facet of business. Not surprisingly, culture change is no exception. Even those businesses that pride themselves on pushing the envelope are treading carefully when it comes to modifying their existing corporate culture during difficult times. That’s because the impact of change on the corporate brand is paramount among business considerations, particularly how the change is perceived by the company’s two most important constituencies: customers and employees. Before they act, leaders want to know if the brand’s perception will be denigrated by change or boosted by it.

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