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Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the nation’s largest network, is investing more than $100,000 in Indiana students to drive engagement and interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), with many of its grants serving underserved youth.

The foundation has established programs that enable students to explore in STEM in new ways, increase teachers’ efficiency in integrating technology into the classroom and create more personalized learning environments to help students succeed.

Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and the Agricultural Adaptation Council (AAC) are working together to foster innovation in the Canadian province’s growing agri-based industrial bioproducts sector.

Through the $3 million Agri-Based Industrial Bioproducts (ABIB) R&D Challenge launched in November, OCE and AAC will partner with the National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), academia and the bioproducts industry to fund approximately 10 projects. The program encourages for-profit businesses with innovative industrial bioproduct ideas to collaborate with academic research institutions to foster innovation and drive commercialization.

Manufacturing companies often lament their inability to attract workers. Even in these times, unemployment rates overall are at 5.3 percent as of July 2015. Workers complain there are no jobs, and employers claim there are no workers available. The reality is, they are both right. Multiple factors are coalescing to make it difficult — but not impossible — to find skilled workers.

An Aging Workforce

With 84 million people in the U.S. currently between ages 45 and 64 according to U.S. Census figures, about 4 million workers will reach their traditional retirement age every year for the next 20 years. Many of these people will leave the workforce, taking their hard won expertise and skills with them. In fact, the unemployment rate for workers over 55 is currently 3.7 percent and for workers between 20 and 25, it is 10.1 percent. Workers over 45 make up 51 percent of the workforce, and employers are hanging on to those skilled workers as long as they can.

Boasting the world’s largest HVACR marketplace, the 2016 AHR Expo has a lot to offer those who are looking for the best technology in the industry. Taking place in Orlando, Fla., at the Orange County Convention Center from January 25 to 27, the 2016 AHR Expo is set to display more than 400,000 square feet – approximately nine football fields of space – of exhibits from nearly 2,000 companies. Hosted in part by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), this year’s show is expected to offer more than ever before.

“The AHR Expo is all about helping you find better, faster, smarter, cleaner and more efficient ways to get things done,” ASHRAE says. “At each show, hundreds of products are introduced to the market that have never been seen before, and every company is showcasing the very latest technology available.

Manufacturing companies often lament their inability to attract workers. Even in these times, unemployment rates overall are at 5.3 percent as of July 2015. Workers complain there are no jobs, and employers claim there are no workers available. The reality is, they are both right. Multiple factors are coalescing to make it difficult – but not impossible – for manufacturers to find skilled workers.

An Aging Workforce

With 84 million people in the U.S. currently between ages 45 and 64 according to U.S. Census figures, about 4 million workers will reach their traditional retirement age every year for the next 20 years. Many of these people will leave the workforce, taking their hard won expertise and skills with them. In fact, the unemployment rate for workers over 55 is currently 3.7 percent and for workers between 20 and 25 it is 10.1 percent. Workers over 45 make up 51 percent of the workforce, and employers are hanging on to those skilled workers as long as they can.

In addition to the typical indicators of profits, losses and sales projections, there are important factors to consider when investing in new manufacturing equipment, including how to pay for capital equipment. By financing equipment, manufacturers can help preserve lines of credit, manage risk and optimize cash flow, in addition to realizing substantial tax benefits. 

Tax Savings

For many manufacturers, asset depreciation is an important part of fiscal management. All equipment offers depreciation benefits, but it requires some consideration to determine whether a manufacturer can effectively use all of that depreciation. 

Executives rarely question their ability to notice the value available to their businesses. They might admit they leave a small amount of opportunity on the table, but they cannot imagine overlooking the routine waste of 15 to 20 percent of their earnings. It’s impossible. Someone would notice.

Unless “noticing” is fundamentally flawed. It is. A growing body of Nobel-winning research is charting the deep, predictable flaws in human perception, or “noticing.” Executives in every business instinctively overlook wasteful work methods and then scoff in disbelief at the value of the related improvements. It’s not intentional. It’s just the way our brains are wired. It’s an opportunity but only for executives who are willing to question their ability to notice business value. 

The word ‘factory’ conjures up a set of particular images – typically of a dedicated facility or a group of buildings with a slightly rundown exterior, located on the outskirts of a town or a city, with a shop floor that’s noisy, none too clean or well lit, and full of heavy machinery and endless conveyor belts where workers are engaged in repetitive manual tasks. But that kind of factory with a focus on enabling mass production is one that’s fast fading into obscurity as manufacturers look to make much greater use of current and emerging technologies to help facilitate mass customization. Instead, we’ll see a variety of factories emerge in a range of locations including the home and these facilities may be fully automated or employ a mix of robots and human staff.

Check out our latest Edition!

 

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