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Marine tension shade options

March 1, 2018

Marine fabricators help boat owners expand shading options with stretched fabric. It could easily be argued that the pleasures of boating are best appreciated on a deck rather than in a cabin. But protection from sun exposure requires more than that provided by a wide-brimmed hat. With that kind of coverage in mind, boat owners …

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Sewing for different markets

January 1, 2018

Crossover skills give upholsterers a variety of opportunities among the furniture, marine and transportation industries—and more skilled workers are needed. The president of the Professional Upholsterers’ Association of Minnesota proudly states that she was the fifth woman to graduate from an upholstery curriculum at Minneapolis Technical College in 1977. “It was considered a man’s field …

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New thinking about pinking

September 1, 2017

Vinyl manufacturers and marine service providers contend with discoloration caused by a bacteria. “Pink” brings to mind a little girl dressed as a princess, cotton candy at the county fair and plastic lawn flamingos. But for those in the marine industry, the word takes on a sinister connotation as a stain caused by streptoverticillium reticulum. …

Can the Maker Movement benefit the marine industry?

August 1, 2017

Roombas, smart phone apps, Alexa, and cars with park assist. It seems that humans don’t have to do much of anything these days in order to vacuum the carpet, track their calories, turn on the lights or squeeze their Ford Focus between curbside SUVs. And yet, like the balance of nature, the world needs a …

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Train, recruit and keep employees

July 1, 2017

Competition, especially from overseas manufacturing; increasing costs for equipment, materials and labor; the need to keep up with fast-paced technology; and the general state of the economy, which directly affects the consumer pool, rank as challenging issues for most businesses. Yet the owner of a marine fabrication shop in Portland, Ore., has a more pressing …

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Why millennials don’t want manufacturing jobs

In 2014, Deloitte, in conjunction with The Manufacturing Institute, surveyed more than 450 manufacturing executives for a report titled “The skills gap in U.S. manufacturing 2015 and beyond.” “And beyond” strikes at the heart of the matter, in large part because of the “retirement exodus” of baby boomers leaving 2.7 million jobs by the year …

Strategic retention

March 28, 2017

It’s one thing to find qualified workers; it’s another to keep them happy in their jobs. Inman Mills has a 116-year history as a textiles manufacturer, now staffing three plants with 700 employees. The Inman, S.C.-headquartered company enjoys a low turnover rate and, in fact, has employees who have been with the company for 40 …

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Creating a dream shop

May 1, 2013

Steve Jobs started Apple in his parents’ garage. Amazon, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Mattel and Microsoft also began in garages. Dell and Facebook began in dorm rooms. And Virgin Group’s humble beginnings trace back to an old church crypt. Like Jobs, Larry Schneider founded a company in his parents’ house—though in the basement. The owner of Homestyle …