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Wanted: Women to Fill Well Paying Jobs in Manufacturing

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Here at CrossWind Machining we know hard difficult it can be to find skilled workers to run our machines.  We are in a niche here, making small diameter parts for the medical device industry.  Not to mention that the machines we use are swiss screw machines, which are even harder to find machining talent for than your standard mill or lathe machine.  CrossWind is situated in the Sierra Foothills of CA.  The scenery is amazing, it is cheaper here than many areas in the state, we have a low crime rate, great schools, etc., but it is still very difficult to find the talent that we need to help our company to grow.  One of the biggest reasons for this is that women are not being drawn to this field.
“Women constitute manufacturing’s largest pool of untapped talent in the United States. They comprise just over one-fourth (27 percent) of manufacturing employees even though women make up nearly half (47 percent) of the total U.S. labor force.”  Overall, there is a shortage in skilled worker…

Is Going Automated Worth the Investment?

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With new technology comes change in the way we do everyday things.  For instance I spend about 5 minutes, before I even get out of bed, checking the weather for the week, reading through my emails and texts, checking my Facebook updates, and maybe even playing a word or 2 on Words With Friends.  Sometimes I’ll text my husband or one of my sons about something that needs to be taken care of or to ask co-workers if they need anything for the shop on my way in and then update my shopping list.  I haven’t even left my bed yet and I’ve already done so many things that I couldn’t have done, from the comfort of my bed, without my smartphone.  Now I did have to spend a few hundred dollars on this phone so that I would be able to do these things, but it saves me a lot of time searching the internet or reading a newspaper (which hardly anyone does anymore anyways) for the exact same information.  Not to mention, when I show up at work I won’t have to turn around and head back to town to get su…
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Do Our High Schools Teach Students the Real Basics of Life?
A couple of months ago my 18 year old son had to mail a letter off to request his high school transcripts.  Before it went into the mailbox I took a look at it and realized that he had the “to” and “from” labels backwards.  It never occurred to me that my son wouldn’t know how to mail off a letter properly.  When I was younger, in elementary school and even higher, we had to send off letters to pen pals, government officials, and even some companies seeking correspondence.  Everything is done digitally now so my son had never had to learn.  At the same time, I’m seeing credit card offers coming for him in the mail.  He’s almost 19, so legally he can get one if he wanted to, but what a huge mistake that would be for him at this point in his life.  He’d have $10,000 racked up in debt in no time.  We’ve sat down together and discussed how credit cards and other loans work so I know he has some basic knowledge, but I would really …
5 Ways to Keep Your Employees Happy Without Breaking the Bank
I’m sure most of us have had a “lousy” employer or two in their life.  You know, the boss that expects everything and gives nothing.  You’ve probably also worked for companies that you really enjoyed.  What made you like where you worked?  Was it financial incentives?  Maybe you had good benefits or was it just the atmosphere of the place?  What keeps employees showing up day to day, being productive, and not looking for employment elsewhere?
About 15 years ago I worked for a company that published a magazine for the higher education market.  They also put on a tradeshow annually.  When I started the job the pay wasn’t great, but I saw potential in what my job could eventually become and I really liked some of the people working there.  I got along very well with almost everyone and the benefits were decent too.  I quit after 6 months.  Why?  My boss was a jerk.  He lied to me repeatedly about introducing me to customers so t…

3D Printing vs. CNC Machining

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Recently I have been looking into 3D printing for Crosswind Machining.  There is so much buzz all over the news and internet about it and I wondered if we could benefit from adding it to our shop floor. I think companies need to always be open to change.  Not only so that we make quality products with the machines that we already have, but also looking for ways to improve our capabilities to serve our customers with new ideas and new technology. As a matter of fact our Quality Policy states ”…to consistently surpass customers’ expectations in both quality and delivery scheduling.  We make every effort to continually maintain and improve our system.” That includes looking at newer technologies like 3d printing.  After doing quite a bit of research I have no doubt in my mind that this technology will play a large part of the manufacturing industry in the next 10 years.  Additive manufacturing is being utilized in multiple fields already such as medical, manufacturing, art, automotive i…

How Does the IoT Work and How Will it Benefit Me?

What exactly is the IoT (Internet of Things)?  How does it work?  Will everything eventually be part of it?  How will it benefit me?  Will it make my life easier for hackers to take advantage of?  These are all questions that I was trying to get answered recently.  I read probably a half of a dozen articles without really getting a clear picture of what it was and how it would affect my life.  Don’t get me wrong, I got a fairly decent idea of what it was, but not fully.  I realized that it meant that physical objects, such as my washing machine, would have sensors on it that could communicate with a repair guy when it broke.  I thought that was nice, however, what if it wasn’t the repair guy I wanted?  Did I have to set that up beforehand?  Would the repair guy just call me out of the blue to schedule a time to come out and fix it before I even knew there was a problem? Or if I’m out of dish soap will Amazon send me some without me ordering it? I didn’t really like that.  I didn’t li…

Why Should You Consider a Job in the Manufacturing Field?

It’s that time of the year again, graduation.  High school students are ending a huge part of their lives and making decisions that will shape their future.  Some teens know from a young age what they want to do with their lives, but most are still figuring it out as they go.  Should they go to college?  Should they go directly into full-time work?  Maybe join the military?  What should they major in if they do go to college?  At 17 or 18 these are life altering questions that many aren’t’ prepared to answer.  Or, if they do have an answer, they don’t know how to go about accomplishing their goals as college can be very expensive.  Most people can get college loans, but do you want to start of your adult life with huge debt already hanging over your head?  This is where a career in manufacturing comes in.         Long gone are the days where a career in manufacturing meant long hours in a dark and dirty shop doing manual work for little money.  Today’s jobs require skill an…