April 21, 2021
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Trends & Technology
Roofing materials manufacturer GAF has produced its first asphalt shingles containing 15% recycled material and will spend $100 million to make the process viable on a commercial level. "It's important as an industry that we really solve this issue [of waste]," GAF President Jim Schnepper said.
Full Story: Roofing Contractor (free registration) (4/19) 
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Memphis Contract Packaging is spending $48 million on production lines for liquid beauty products in Somerville, Tenn., and expects to create 261 jobs. The contract manufacturer will add a distribution and warehouse site as part of the investment.
Full Story: WHBQ-TV (Memphis, Tenn.) (4/19) 
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IC makers face a tough task to end chip shortages
(Matthias Rietschel/Getty Images)
The semiconductor shortages plaguing the automotive industry and other markets will take some time to eliminate, this analysis notes. Building and bringing up new wafer fabrication facilities will take several years, even for the less-advanced microchips that are presenting the current issue, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (4/19) 
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Foxconn will create 1,454 jobs in Wisconsin under a revised tax agreement with the state, with the company investing $672 million in the effort.
Full Story: Reuters (4/20) 
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COVID-19 has manufacturers rethinking the buyer's experience. Learn how these organizations are adapting to the demands of a digital-first economy by reading 2021 Digital Trends: Manufacturing in Focus.
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Supply Chain
Digitization can offer organizations cost-effective, efficient, customer-driven and competitive supply chain management techniques. To start digitizing, supply chain leaders should look to innovate with track and trace technology, radio frequency identification and Bluetooth tech, 3D printing, robotics and Industry 4.0 tools such as big data and in-depth analytics, writes C S Ellis' Matthew Bratherton.
Full Story: Manufacturing Global (4/18) 
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Surging US imports and high retail demand for industrial space close to ports have led to a significant decrease in warehouse vacancies and rental rates that are approaching record levels, according to CBRE. "With all of the volatility and consumer changes of the past year, retailers and manufacturers have learned to build up a healthy safety stock of inventory to limit supply chain disruptions," CBRE's John Morris said.
Full Story: CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly online (4/19) 
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The Death of Field Sales
The days of large field-based sales teams are numbered for most organizations. Most customers don't want it and most businesses simply can't afford it! This book shows a better way to grow sales significantly faster than expenses, as we return to business as usual.
Get the first four chapters FREE.
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Workforce of Tomorrow
The social justice movement that gathered momentum in the aftermath of George Floyd's murder forced many industries, including renewables, to take a long, hard look at their diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. This podcast features (Kenneth) Labeja, co-founder and chief financial officer of Triple Oak Power, and Dareem David, director of finance at Primergy Solar -- two Black men who have worked in renewables for years who share their insider perspectives on what the industry gets right, what it gets wrong and how it can get better.
Full Story: Renewable Energy SmartPod (4/21) 
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Students in Iowa are gaining hands-on experience as apprentices at Deere and Company, where they typically are working at the plant by their junior year. Students also are paid for their time, and after they graduate students can be hired by the firm.
Full Story: WQAD-TV (Moline, Ill.) (4/19) 
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NAM News
On March 17, the MI announced a $2.25 million grant from the Caterpillar Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Caterpillar Inc., to support and expand the work of Heroes MAKE America. Caterpillar Foundation's three-year grant will focus on the evolution of Heroes training to include the latest in VR technology and expansion of training pathways to broaden the skillsets supporting the workforce demands in modern manufacturing. View the press release.
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If you are sure you understand everything that is going on, you are hopelessly confused.
Walter Mondale,
politician, lawyer, 42nd vice president of the United States
1928-2021
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