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Trends & Forecasts

How to Engage the Gen Z Workforce

The manufacturing industry has struggled to attract younger workers over the last two decades and now, with nearly 25% of the manufacturing workforce being comprised of baby boomers who are about to retire, the situation is becoming critical.

Many have bemoaned the fact that millennials are not generally interested in manufacturing as a career, and if they are, how difficult they are to work with, how they expect constant reinforcement and how they are not well-suited to the rigors of a structured day with expectations of productivity. This group has been taking the brunt of the frustrations experienced by older generations, especially boomers, who expect nose-to-the-grindstone work ethics, loyalty, and for employees to put jobs first.


Valves in the Construction Industry: 2019 Outlook

Alex Carrick, chief economist at ConstructConnect, shared many valuable insights concerning the construction market during VMA’s 2019 Market Outlook event and during an interview with VALVE Magazine.

While Carrick said there was much to love about the economy at this time, he also has concerns about several matters applicable not just to the construction industry, but also to valve manufacturers and the industries they serve.

Market Outlook 2019: Cautious Triumph

There are most certainly influences causing concern for some of the presenters at VMA’s 2018 Market Outlook Workshop, but there was also much to celebrate and an optimistic outlook for 2019 and 2020.

The Domestic Economy

According to William Strauss, senior economist and economic advisor for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the economy is doing very well. The U.S. is now in the ninth year of an economic expansion, the second longest in U.S. history.

Augmented Reality: Is the ROI Worth the Effort?

Augmented RealityIf you could improve safety and efficiency in your plants, lower travel costs and more efficiently train employees with one technology, would you consider adopting it? If it could increase your competitive advantage as a manufacturer or make your process plant remain online with fewer unplanned shutdowns, would you adopt it?

For many early adopters of augmented reality (AR) technology, the decision to incorporate AR into their business, whether it was for service-related tasks, manufacturing or knowledge transfer, has proven to be a game-changer. According to a whitepaper published by PTC, the growth in the industrial internet of things (IIoT) and digital content, along with maturing AR hardware, is fueling the emergence of more and more powerful AR experiences.

The VMA Knowledge Forum, Part Two: The Human Factor

Louis LessigFinding and retaining the right talent is a continual challenge to manufacturers who say the skills shortage has negatively impacted their ability to expand. You’ll find this subject on the agenda at nearly every manufacturing and industry gathering, including those held by the Valve Manufacturers Association during the past few years.

During VMA’s first multi-track Valve Industry Knowledge Forum, held April 11-13 in Savannah, GA, human resources professionals and company executives learned about employment law, workforce development and ways to use training as a retention tool.

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