BUSINESS NEWS | COMING EVENTS | PEOPLE NEWS | MERGERS GOODYEAR WORKING TO EXCITE STUDENTS ABOUT ENGINEERING AKRON, OH—More than 900 students, parents and teachers from across northeastern Ohio will visit Firestone High School on April 28, for the 12th annual Goodyear Engineering Career Day. Sponsored by The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Engineering Career Day will feature unique opportunities for students to learn about many elements of engineering through informational panels, hands-on activities and live demonstrations.Up to $20,000 in scholarship money and $17,500 in grant money will also be awarded to deserving students and high schools at this event. The University of Akron; Cleveland State University; Lockheed Martin; PPG, and A. Schulman are some of the 21 corporations and universities that have joined Goodyear to spread excitement about engineering within the greater Akron community through Engineering Career Day. Six universities, including Northwestern University and The University of Akron, along with 16 Akron-area corporations will have representatives present for an informational fair, panel discussions and hands-on demonstrations to help students learn about careers in engineering. Students will rotate through a series of panel presentations and demonstrations from local organizations, which include hands-on activities requiring use of engineering acumen, all culminating in an end-of-day “engineering challenge,” as the top four student teams compete for points. The day will end with the announcement of scholarship winners made by Jean-Claude Kihn, Goodyear’s Chief Technical Officer, and Dr. George Haritos, Dean of the University of Akron’s College of Engineering. Winners of the handson activity, engineering challenge and grant money will be announced NPE 2012 SHOWED IMPROVED ATTENDANCE AND RECORD INTERNATIONAL TURNOUT WASHINGTON, DC—The NPE2012 plastics exposition, which took place April 1-5 in Orlando, FL, exceeded NPE2009 in size, and it attracted more participants from outside the United States than any other NPE in history, says the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI), which produces the triennial event. Taking place in a venue that marked a dramatic shift after four decades in Chicago, NPE2012 attracted 1,933 exhibitors, more than in each of the three previous NPEs. The total exhibit space occupied at NPE2012 was 939,972 square feet, or 23% greater than in 2009, which was adversely affected by the Great Recession. There was a 26% increase in attendance, as 55,359 plastics professionals participated in NPE2012. These visitors represented 19,283 unique companies, as against 18,600 at NPE2009. Of total attendance in 2012, 26% came from outside the United States, a substantial increase compared with any previous NPE. Fully one-third of these international visitors came from Latin America, fulfilling SPI’s prediction that the new venue would attract more visitors from that region than ever before.Also setting a new record for international participation was the number of exhibiting companies from outside the United States—approximately 750, or 40% of the total. China sent the most international exhibitors to NPE2012 by far—a little over 300, or 16% of all Exhibitors. Another 8% came from the rest of Asia and the Mideast, and 10% came from Europe. Canada sent 72 exhibitors—the second-largest country total after China. The 28 exhibitors from Mexico and South America represented the largest contingent ever from Latin America. “There was far more plastics processing equipment operating on the exhibit floor than in 2009, much greater attendance at the co-located conferences, and a larger and more exciting program of special events,” says William R. Carteaux, president and CEO of SPI. “In addition, both exhibitors and visitors gave SPI overwhelmingly positive feedback on the new venue in Orlando, supporting our decision to schedule both the 2012 and 2015 NPEs there.” APRIL 2012 METALFORMING REPORT SHOWS ANTICIPATED DIP IN BUSINESS CONDITIONS CLEVELAND, OH—According to the April 2012 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions report, metalforming companies anticipate a dip business conditions during the next three months. Conducted monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 129 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada. The April report shows that 37% of participants expect economic activity to improve during the next three months (down from 46% in March), 51% predict that activity will remain unchanged (compared to 49% last month) and 12% report that activity will decline (up from 5% in March). Metalforming companies also anticipate a downward trend in incoming orders during the next three months, with 43% forecasting an increase in orders (compared to 47% in March), 41% expecting no change (down from 47% in March) and 16% predicting a decrease in orders (up from only 6% last month). Average daily shipping levels declined in April. Only 46% of participants report that shipping levels are above levels of three months ago (down from 53% in March), 41% report that shipping levels are the same as three months ago (compared to 37% last month), and 13% report a decrease in shipping levels (up from 10% in March). The percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff increased to 9% in April, from 7% in March. However, this number is lower than April 2011, when metalformers reported 11% of their workforce on short time or layoff. “The strength of PMA member expectations for the general economy and specifically for shipping levels and incoming orders for the next three months softened somewhat in the April PMA Business Conditions Report,” said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “However, expectations thus far in 2012 are significantly higher than expectations in all but the first quarter of 2011. Uncertainty over the strength of the economic recovery, the unsettled political situation brought on by election-year politics, and the increasing difficulty being experienced by many companies in hiring skilled workers, all are conspiring to soften what continues to be a very strong recovery in the metalforming sector. This recovery is consistent with the overall rebound in manufacturing that has been widely reported in the automotive, agriculture, off-highway, medical equipment and other sectors.” CATERPILLAR FOUNDATION INVESTS IN TRAINING WORLD’S FUTURE WORKERS CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA—Caterpillar Inc. announces a $4.5 million Caterpillar Foundation investment in job training directed at disadvantaged youth in Latin America and the Caribbean.The pledge toward the New Employment Opportunities or Nuevos Empleos y Oportunidades (NEO) is part of the Foundation’s three-year, $10.5 million investment that was initiated last year to support the International Youth Foundation (IYF) job training program. “What we’re announcing today is a commitment to directly train youth in Brazil, Mexico, Panama and Peru,” says Bill Lane, Caterpillar’s Washington director who represented the company at the IYF announcement in Colombia.“It’s simple really. More skilled workers are needed in these regions. These countries have unacceptably high levels of unemployed youth. We are confident that by providing life and technical skills as well as mechanical training to the youth in these regions that it will open doors that may have otherwise been locked. Whether they become a diesel mechanic who works on a Cat machine or a laboratory technician in a hospital, the goal for these young men and women is sustainable employment that will set the stage for better things to come.” The 10-year goals for the NEO include training one million disadvantaged youth using models that incorporate best practices of job training programs, achieving job placement rates of at least 50 percent for its graduates, ensuring that half or more of the youth trained are girls and young women, and mobilizing 1,000 companies to offer internships and employment opportunities for youth. PEOPLE NEWS DR. PRAVEEN GUPTA, Quality Magazine executive committee member and management consultant, has authored a new book, “The Innovation Solution: Making Innovation Pervasive, Predictable and Profitable.” This book offers a holistic understanding of the innovation process, taught for many years at several colleges and universities. In the book, Gupta provides an innovation framework for anyone interested in learning about innovation and striving for success at the personal or organizational level. Pilgrim Software Inc. (Tampa, FL), a provider of Enterprise Risk, Compliance and Quality Management (ERCQM) software solutions, has appointed HEATHER VALENTINE to the role of executive vice president of sales, marketing and product management. Previously, Valentine was vice president of global sales for Thermo Fisher Scientific for its Informatics division. Yxlon Intl (Hamburg, Germany) has appointed RAGNAR VAGA as the regional sales manager for Nordic countries (Scandinavia, Finland and Baltics) and Russia. In addition, YXLON appoints Nordic SMT AS and Sincotron Finland OY as its partners for the well known FeinFocus product line in the Nordic electronics market. Ragnar Vaga will have an active part in the sales process together with Yxlon’s partners and manage all activities in the territory. He has worked for distributors of electronics capital equipment for seven years, of which five years he has spent selling FeinFocus products, among others.
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