Safariland sees success after relocating acquisition to Jacksonville

Courtesy of the Jacksonville Business Journal

For Safariland’s Jacksonville manufacturing site, focusing more on making military products was a big change.

After acquiring Mustang Survival in 2013 and manufacturing that line in West Virginia, they found it was a difficult, remote location to get to, especially with added military personnel from different branches frequenting the facility to test and inspect products.

Jacksonville was just the opposite. There was already infrastructure in place from the company’s headquarters, so no brick-and-mortar expansion was necessary. Throughout 10 months, Safariland shifted forensics and firearms productions from their Jacksonville headquarters to their facility on Faye Road where they already manufacture holsters and moved in the Mustang Survival line to the freed up space.

Now, $1.9 million and 108 new jobs later the Mustang Survival line–consisting of personal flotation devices, dry suits and gravity suits–is running at 85 percent efficiency six months after its installation.

But getting everything running has been a process, said Blake Brown, vice president of manufacturing for Safariland. Dealing more with the military has been a lot to get used to: the products are more specialized and they’re designed as a “joint effort” between the military and Safariland.

“Just learning how to manage in a military contract world, it’s not the norm for us,” Brown said. “Not that we don’t do military products, but doing it like this is different. This is heavy gauge military contract business is what this is.”

Safariland Helmets

Staffing the new line in Jacksonville also proved to be a challenge at first. When they moved the Mustang Survival line out of West Virginia, Safariland offered 70 employees relocation, said PJ Wilson, supervisor of Safariland’s human resources. Of those 70, only eight chose to relocate to Jacksonville which meant to staff the new line in Jacksonville, more people would need to be hired and some workers from other parts of the factory would need to be retrained on the Mustang Survival line.

Wilson said each person who needed to be trained would cost the company $10,000 to $12,000 per person. But with help from grants from CareerSource Northeast Florida and the city, they were able to offset some of the costs of training.

“You bring someone off the street, it takes six months to train,” Brown said. “If you bring someone who’s been sewing for 20 years over [to the Mustang Survival line], it’s harder sewing but they’re accustomed to industrial sewing so they got used to it quicker.”

Part of the extra cost in training stems from the difficulty and complexity of manufacturing the dry suits and gravity suits. Brown said the gravity suits are “the most complicated product we have to build.”

Fighter pilots wear gravity suits, which have air pumped into the legs of the suit when the pilot hits G-force speeds to pump the blood that rushes into their legs back into the brain to keep them from passing out.

The dry suit production required “a specialized skill that we did not have,” Brown said. Dry suits are used by mainly the Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard and keep its user dry and warm in the event they go into the water, especially in colder waters.

“It’s not a product you want to fail on you,” Brown said. “In the North Atlantic, you don’t want any leaks, the cold water will cause your blood to do weird things. It’ll shut your system down.”

The dry suits are sealed with hot tape to ensure no leaks occur and the product is tested until they show they don’t have any leaks. Safariland brought in help from their British Columbia plant, where Mustang Survival production is based, to help train and refine the skills of those sealing the suits to maximize their efficiency down the line.

Adapting to new changes in the company, however, is something those at Safariland are accustomed to doing. Brown said the company expands primarily by acquisition of similar, smaller companies and with every acquisition, there’s a “plateau” period where the company needs to “stabilize” and figure out the logistics of their new acquisitions.

But it won’t be too long before more acquisitions come along, Brown said. And when they do, it’s possible Jacksonville may be the place for them.

“We do have another lot next door [to the Jacksonville corporate headquarters], so we do have expandable space, and we do have a little more land over at the operation at Faye Road,” Brown said. “So we have some room in Jacksonville, so we will see what happens.”

http://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/news/2017/06/22/safariland-sees-success-after-relocating.html

 

 

Manufacturing Through the Eyes of Human Resources, Recruitment and New Hire Training

By Brian Kingston, MC Assembly – Courtesy of SMT Magazine

Perhaps more important than the technology and tools a manufacturing company has are its people. People are what make a company truly great and the process of recruiting talented, skilled, dedicated employees and training them properly for success is an important aspect of any manufacturing company.

At MC Assembly, we are very involved in the local community and make an emphasis on volunteering and helping with CareerOneStop, American Job Center or what we locally call CareerSource Brevard. This active involvement allows us to network with other professionals and meet a local candidate pool that one will not be able to find on job boards or through a recruiting agency. We also participate in internship programs in hopes the intern will succeed and we will be able to hire them full time.

Some other ways we find candidates include employee referral programs, partnering with the local community, participating in job fairs, and working with and volunteering at the local high school and vocational school. Community outreach initiatives are also very important when finding new candidates.

In today’s market, it’s not only about what the candidate can contribute to the company, but what can the company contribute to the candidate: “Do you allow room for advancement?” “How is your on-the-job training program?” “Do you have tuition reimbursement?” “Do you contribute or volunteer with a cause the candidate is passionate about?” All these methods are very important in finding people.

Right now, one of the biggest challenges facing manufacturing companies is recruiting millennial talent. There is an outdated mentality that with manufacturing, you do not have autonomy, that it’s challenging work and there’s no opportunity for individualism or advancement. At MC Assembly, we counter that by giving employees an opportunity to voice their thoughts and take ownership over their work, by voicing how they think things should or shouldn’t be done. It really gives us an upper hand honing in on our manufacturing process and making it the best we can. It’s critical for our future that we be able to bring in younger talent. We’ve also introduced a lot of incentives like tuition reimbursement and on the job training that can help us attract and retain that talent.

The use of social media sounds cliché, but in manufacturing it is critical to reach millennial talent. Recent statistics show that over 85% of millennials have smartphones and touch them more than 45 times per day. Five out of six millennials connect with companies via social media networks. If your company is not active and does not invest in social media today, you are simply not visible to this generation and missing out on this talent pipeline.

Another challenge facing many manufacturing companies today is finding candidates with the right skill sets to fill specific jobs. There is a real gap of skilled manufacturing talent, largely because many schools have not been teaching manufacturing skills for nearly two decades.

About 20 years ago, many high school just stopped teaching manufacturing-related skills. There was no more wood shop, no more automotive, no more welding or electronics classes. Students were convinced that they needed to go to college for advanced degrees and manufacturing was no longer looked at as a long-term career. This all happened around the time of the dotcom boom. The new trend started to shift towards internet and computer-related jobs and teaching.

Today, we find ourselves with a serious skill gap; in some places, finding skilled soldering and SMT operators can present a real challenge. Overall, manufacturing finds some of the largest gaps in welding, CNC machining and electronics.

According to the Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, over the next 10 years we will need to fill 3.5 million manufacturing jobs – the current skills gap will result in 2 million of those jobs going unfilled.

Recently, we have seen a huge push to start teaching manufacturing at the high school level again with a dedicated focus on STEM. Seeing this need, MC Assembly has participated in a local effort called Advancing in Manufacturing (AIM), created chemical plant operator
by CareerSource Brevard. Funded by a two-year DOL National Emergency Grant, the program is making efforts to expand training and early education opportunities in the Brevard area to address immediate employment skills needs and build a pipeline of talent for the future.

I serve as a volunteer member of the AIM committee. Over the last two years we’ve demonstrated effective results in expanding training, educational and internship opportunities. We believe that our approach is a logical and effective solution to help address the skills gap in our area and serves as a model for a successful sector strategy. Through the AIM internship initiative, MC Assembly will host two high school seniors this summer. This is a great way for students to learn about the great benefits a manufacturing career offers, and it’s also a way for us to give back and become a bigger part of our community.

At the same time, we have developed a robust new hire training program. On the first day, we start new hires with a safety and quality training. This allows employees to learn safety tips, who to call, where to go and how to work in a safe way. It also stresses the most important aspect to our business, that quality as our number one priority. This happens well before an employee walks on to the production floor and works on our customers’ products. On-the-job training follows the safety and quality training. New hires are identified on the production floor with a different colored smock and are assigned a mentor.

Once the supervisor and mentor believe the OTJ is complete and the employee is ready to be on their own our quality manager will assess their skill and what they learned and confirm the employees is ready to perform the job on their own. This process is very involved and usually takes 1-2 weeks, this helps new hire get up to speed quickly and have the confidence they are able to complete their assigned tasks.

The skills we look for in candidates are the “soft skills,” which are essential. Every resume you look at will tell you whether a candidate qualifies for the job based on their work skills, work experience and education. The one variable that cannot be determined from reading a resume are the soft skills. Communication, problem solving, adaptability, teamwork, self-motivation and emotional intelligence are just as important, if not more, than the technical skills to do the job. The six soft skills are hard to identify in an interview setting, behavior based interview questions are asked during our interview process to help identify these skills in each candidate. I believe you should always hire character and train skill.

This article was originally published in the May 2017 issue of SMT Magazine.

​Massive Navy expansion may be easier said than done for U.S. shipbuilders

Courtesy of Jacksonville Business Journal

The shipyards of General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE: GD) and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. (NYSE: HII) are going to be busy if President Donald Trump follows through on his repeated pledges to massively increase the size of the Navy— but that won’t come without its challenges.

Increasing the fleet from 274 ships to 350, as Trump plans to do, might provide a revenue boost to the likes of General Dynamics. But it also entails some “operational risk,” according to a Thursday report from credit analyst firm Moody’s Investors Service Inc. The reason? “A build-up (let alone of such magnitude) has not occurred for many decades.”

I spoke with Bruce Herskovics, a senior analyst at Moody’s, about the big challenges the nation’s two shipbuilders will face in meeting Trump’s quota, and he said it largely comes down to the labor force.

Naval shipbuilding has slowed down so much in recent years that it even prompted Huntington Ingalls to close its shipyard in Avondale, Louisiana, in October 2014. That lends fewer resources to a larger job.

“It’s a big industrial manpower effort when you’re going to build a large number of ships coming off of a low base level,” Herskovics said. “You need to have a whole supply chain of labor that extends from high schools all the way to trained tradespeople willing to step up the volume.”

Navy ships are massive undertakings involving a lot of skilled labor. In the time it takes to build a single project, big chunks of the workforce can move on, and shipbuilders didn’t need to replace them given they were working on increasingly fewer ships. Now shipbuilders must ask themselves, “How do we get the supply chain of our labor force back to a level it needs to be at so we can meet this uptick in work?” Herskovics said.

Couple that with Trump’s plans to aggressively cut costs on the actual ships — and higher labor costs at a lower product price could be a tough calculus for shipbuilders.

Navel Ship

“We’ve gotta get a good deal,” Trump told workers at Huntington Ingalls’ Newport News shipyards during a visit Thursday. “If we don’t make a good deal we’re not doing our job. The same boat for less money. The same ship for less money. The same airplanes for less money. … It means we’re going to get more of them and we can use them.”

Herskovics agreed any increase in shipbuilding is likely going to involve multiyear, fixed-price contracts that lock in contractors.

“An administration that’s new that’s seeking to ramp up the build rate is likely looking to buy the ships at a price that is reasonable, so the Navy is going to be smart about what it pays for,” he said. “For the contractor, they have to be careful when they’re ramping up the workforce that they can make sure that they meet the cost that they baked into the bids that they put forward.”

Shipbuilders are already preparing for potentially lower margins. Huntington Ingalls, for example, plans to invest $1.5 billion in the next five years to help contain costs.

“We are focused on reducing costs in all of our shipbuilding programs,” Huntington Ingalls spokeswoman Beci Brenton wrote to me in an email. “We see the most progress in reducing costs in those programs that are mature and where we are have stable requirements, can leverage the economic advantages of block buys, and are in serial production.”

The good news? Navy officials have indicated that the major shipyards have the capacity to up their production.

“These yards have the ability, even in their existing facility and footprint, to dial up the production rate,” General Dynamics CFO Jason Aiken told investors last month at Barclays Industrial Select Conference in Miami.

James Bach covers federal contracting.

Brazilian company opening first U.S. manufacturing facility in Jacksonville

plastic-bottles

Courtesy of Jacksonville Business Journal

Reporter Derek Gilliam

A Brazilian plastic bottle recycler has signed a lease for 100,000 square feet in Jacksonville to open its first U.S. facility, according to JaxUSA Partnership.

Mike Breen, a senior director with a focus on international projects for JaxUSA Partnership, said Clodam do Brasil signed the 100,000-square-foot lease at a warehouse at  5220 New Kings Road in Northwest Jacksonville.

The company will invest $7 million in the facility and hire 30 people to operate it.

The company will operate under the facility as Florida Plastic Recycling LLC.

“They have brought in two gigantic machines they purchased in Germany,” he said. “Those are the ones that do the cleaning, sorting, chopping up and production of plastic flakes.”

Breen said the company did not seek public incentives and was attracted to Jacksonville because of the transportation infrastructure in place. Specifically, Breen cited access to Jacksonville’s port and the interstate system.

“One of the key factors was the logistical location where they could easily reach their customers,” he said. “It wasn’t just Jacksonville as a region. The port, the interstates and the rail was very important. … They can bring plastic in by rail, road and ship.”

Clodam do Brasil plans to ship in plastic bottles to the Northwest Jacksonville site, where the company will then produce plastic chips to be used by other companies.

JaxUSA Partnership worked with Clodam do Brasil for about a year. He said the company was looking across Northeast Florida and South Georgia for an appropriate facility.

Jacksonville was also picked, he said, because of workforce availability in technology fields. He said the fact that Jacksonville is a city that recycles also helped attract the company.

The main questions that company officials had for JaxUSA Partnership centered around navigating the city’s bureaucracy, Breen said. He said the company officials did not encounter difficulties once they were directed to the right resources.

“They were very pleasantly surprised about how easily it was to work through that process,” he said.

Manufacturing Sector Contributes 33% Higher Wages

manufacturing-machine

Courtesy of FloridaMakes

State’s Three Rural Areas of Opportunity

(ORLANDO, FL) Sept. 30, 2016 – A new study conducted in rural areas of Florida reveals that wages earned by those working in the manufacturing sector were among the highest locally compared to other industries and were almost 33 percent higher than average earnings in 2015.  The finding was part of a study conducted by FloridaMakes, the state’s national manufacturing extension partnership program, under a grant from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), to assess opportunities for retention and/or expansion of existing manufacturing firms in rural communities.

“This study provides new insight on the impact that manufacturing has in Florida’s three Rural Areas of Opportunities, as well as an analysis of the industry clusters that currently exist in those areas,” said Kevin Carr, FloridaMakes CEO.  “The results of this study will enable FloridaMakes and DEO to identify strategies and services to support manufacturing and further economic growth opportunities for these regions.”

The State of Florida has designated three Rural Areas of Opportunity as priority regions for the Rural Economic Development Initiative.  The Rural Areas of Opportunity are defined as areas that have “been hurt by an extraordinary economic event, severe or chronic distress, or a natural disaster or that present a unique economic development opportunity of regional impact.”  Florida Rural Areas of Opportunity, all of which were included in the study, are:

  • Northwest Rural Area of Opportunity (Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Wakulla, and Washington counties; and the City of Freeport in Walton County);
  • North Central Rural Area of Opportunity (Baker, Bradford, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lafayette, Levy, Madison, Putnam, Suwannee, Taylor, and Union counties); and
  • South Central Rural Area of Opportunity (DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, and Okeechobee counties; cities of Pahokee, Belle Glade, and South Bay-Palm Beach County, and Immokalee in Collier County.

Manufacturing from the three rural regions contributes nearly $1.8 billion to Florida’s economic output and represents 8 percent of the region’s total Gross Domestic Product.  In addition to supporting more than 16,000 jobs that pay over $800 million in earnings, manufacturers in these regions also pay $70 million a year in production taxes, generating a large impact on the regions in which they reside.

Manufacturing companies also purchase significant inputs from many other sectors including agricultural products and other production inputs, materials and supplies, professional services, and transportation services. And because manufacturing is a large exporter, it attracts outside dollars to the region while providing jobs and economic growth to those communities.

Among the study findings:

  • Each region has a high percentage of very small manufacturers, with fewer than five employees.
  • The North Central region is the most industrialized with more companies and more workers in manufacturing.
  • The wood products industry is significant in both the Northwest and the North Central regions.  Products derived from the yellow pine forests in northern Florida comprise the most important industries, including commodity product sawmills and pulp and paper mills, as well as higher value products such as trusses, millwork, and cabinets.
  • The chemical industry is important to all three regions.  More than 80 percent of the chemical firms have fewer than 50 employees.
  • Transport equipment, mostly boat building and servicing in the north, life rafts and airboats in the south, is also relatively important.
  • Cement and concrete products include blocks, bricks, roof tiles, septic tanks, and other finished products that pose more manufacturing challenges than ready-mix are important in the South Central region.

The full report, Rural Area Manufacturing Study:  An Assessment of Manufacturing in Florida’s Rural Areas and the Opportunities for Growth and Expansion, can be accessed on  www.FloridaMakes.com and click on ManuFacts.

For information about FloridaMakes and its services for manufacturers, visit www.floridamakes.com or call (407) 450-7206.

Caterpillar could move 800 production jobs from Aurora plant

Caterpillar Inc. announced Wednesday it is considering moving as many as 800 production jobs from its Aurora, Illinois-area plant to facilities in Decatur, Illinois and North Little Rock, Arkansas.

If completed, the move would put an end to manufacturing operations at the suburban Chicago plant, which is actually located in Montgomery despite its Aurora name.

Production of large wheel loaders and compactors would shift to downstate Decatur and medium-wheel loaders to North Little Rock.

The Peoria, Illinois-based heavy equipment maker has struggled in recent years, beat up by tough emerging market conditions, drops in commodity prices, and unfavorable foreign exchange rates. All of those headwinds have combined to sap demand for Caterpillar’s products, forcing the company to lay off thousands of workers domestically and overseas.

“Faced with lower demand, we continue to evaluate our global manufacturing capacity,” Denise Johnson, Caterpillar’s resource industries group president, said in a news release. “We must use our existing space in the most efficient way possible while maintaining the ability to meet demand when it returns.”

Local officials expressed concern over the possible loss of jobs and offered to work with Caterpillar on the issue, the Aurora Beacon-News reported.

“We want to engage them as much as we can,” Aurora Mayor Robert O’Connor told the Beacon-News. “We value the jobs, and the presence the company has had in the community all these years.”

Source:  http://www.bizjournals.com/chicago/news/2017/01/05/caterpillar-could-move-800-production-jobs-from.html

Improve Processes and Efficiencies as a Production Manager

CAREER SPOTLIGHT: PRODUCTION MANAGER

A production manager typically works in a manufacturing or industrial setting, directing internal processes and ensuring the successful completion of a project. This professional might bring products to market or assemble tools and machinery for industrial use. Whatever the project’s goal, a production manager takes responsibility for each resource and process.

What Is a Production Manager?

Responsibilities

From vehicles and consumer electronics to garments and energy production, nearly all industries need production managers to direct a plant’s or facility’s projects. The production manager oversees each project from start to completion and makes changes to meet budgetary restrictions and respond to the employer’s needs. As a production manager, you might perform the following duties:

  • Find ways to source materials less expensively.
  • Decide when and how to use equipment and machinery.
  • Allocate human resources to specific tasks based on skill level and project demand.
  • Hire and terminate employees.
  • Train newly hired employees for specific tasks.
  • Ensure each employee knows and respects the company’s safety protocols.
  • Develop budgets for each project, often with feedback from senior management.
  • Communicate and negotiate with vendors.
  • Ensure quality control at every stage of production.
  • Create and execute production schedules.
  • Set and meet production targets.
  • Create cost-control rules to reduce overall spending.
  • Meet regulatory guidelines, such as those created by OSHA.
  • Monitor product quality and make adjustments as needed.
  • Collaborate with marketing, advertising, and purchasing staff to meet production targets.

Work Environment

Production managers might work part of the time in offices, but they also spend much time on the floor in the manufacturing plant or industrial facility. These managers monitor their employees’ output and check production rates based on established targets. In the office, they might focus on other administrative tasks. In addition, production managers also call vendors, clients, suppliers, and other third parties to arrange meetings and negotiate terms for service.

While working on the floor or in a production area, production managers have to follow the same guidelines that their employees follow. For instance, manufacturing plants often create somewhat dangerous conditions, so management staff must wear hard hats, safety glasses, and other gear to protect themselves and set a positive example for their employees.

In most facilities, the production manager maintains an office next to the plant or facility floor. This location can reduce transit time and allows the manager to respond to emergency situations quickly. The work can prove stressful, especially when working under tight deadlines, and production managers must realize that they’re responsible for their employees’ safety.

Depending on the facility, the work environment can prove hot, humid, and dangerous. In chemical plants, for example, production managers must protect themselves from exposure to harmful substances. Staying hydrated and taking breaks can help managers and other staff members deal with hot work environments.

Schedule

Most production managers work full-time, regular business hours. However, during peak production periods or when facing deadlines, they might have to work overtime or take administrative work home to complete. Additionally, manufacturing facilities often stay open long after regular business hours, so management team members occasionally must work swing shifts and weekends to make sure they don’t fall behind.

Additionally, if something goes wrong on the production floor, the manager must respond, especially during overnight hours. Setbacks such as machinery breakdowns and emergencies, including worker injuries, need immediate attention. In some cases, however, companies hire production managers and production assistants, in which case the manager can sometimes delegate after-hours tasks.

What Qualifications Are Required to Become a Production Manager?

Education

The education requirements for production managers vary from one company to another. Smaller manufacturers and industrial companies might hire managers with bachelor’s degrees or significant industry experience, while bigger companies often look for professionals with master’s degrees and more work experience. Most companies don’t specify a specific type of degree, but you might get a job faster if you focus on specific concentrations, such as the following:

  • Business administration
  • Production and operations management
  • Industrial design
  • Industrial engineering
  • Business management

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree can help you secure more high-level jobs. Additionally, some schools now offer degrees in specific types of production management, such as fashion, agriculture, and electronics.

You might receive on-the-job training to learn about your employer’s specific production goals. Training helps you acclimate to the workplace and gain process or product knowledge.

Experience

Few production managers start their careers with a management title. They often work as assistants, buyers, materials clerks, or production area specialists before they get promoted. Advanced education can speed up this process and earn you a management job after graduation, but you might have to start with a smaller company, fewer employees, and less autonomy.

What does a production manager do to get hired quickly? You can broaden your job search to include companies in niche markets and use your online network to find out about opportunities that haven’t been advertised publicly. If you’ve recently graduated from school, consider using your alma mater’s career services office to help you look for job openings.

Skills

You’ll need several skills to succeed as a production manager, whether you’re applying to a new employer or seeking a promotion from within your current company. Each employer will look for different skill sets, but employers who hire production managers share expectations in many areas. To increase your chances of getting hired, focus on learning the following skills:

  • Budgeting: You’ll prepare, analyze, and oversee the budget for each project.
  • Communication: Your great ideas won’t matter unless you can help other people understand them. Additionally, you have to give clear orders to your staff.
  • Problem-solving: When a problem occurs on the production floor, you must find a solution quickly to make sure your production stays on time and on budget.
  • Product and process knowledge: Your in-depth understanding of manufacturing quality standards, regulatory requirements, and other information will help you manage production more efficiently.
  • Negotiation: To stay on budget, you’ll negotiate with vendors, clients, and other third parties.
  • Time management: If you can’t meet deadlines and manage staff effectively, you’ll fall behind on deliverables.
  • Information technology: You’ll need a working knowledge of product management software.
  • Flexibility: You must make quick decisions and adapt to changes on the production floor.
  • Motivation: Inspiring your staff to meet production targets and improve their output quality can improve your performance.
  • Presentation: The best production managers deliver clean, inspiring presentations on suggested changes to the production team and production processes.
  • Math: If you can perform complex mathematical equations, you might excel more rapidly in this career.
  • Attention to detail: Whether you’re walking the production floor or reviewing proposals in your office, you must spot potential problems and areas for improvement, even with the smallest details.

Salary Expectations

How much does a production manager make? According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), industrial production managers can expect to earn about $93,940. Certain industries, such as chemical and transportation equipment manufacturing, offer greater salary potential, and the top 10 percent of product managers earn about $162,240. If you’re starting out in this career, your salary might begin at around $56,640.

Since production management is highly results-based, your employer might create a bonus structure to inspire you to meet specific benchmarks. A bonus can increase your take-home pay, although employers often offer a lower base salary when they give bonuses.

Job Outlook for Production Managers

Projected Growth

The BLS expects careers in production management to decline by 4 percent between 2014 and 2024. Manufacturing processes and equipment have become far more advanced and efficient, which decreases the need for management professionals on the production floor. Reshoring, the process of moving manufacturing and industrial initiatives back to the United States from foreign countries, could help curtail this decline, and you might garner more job opportunities if you have significant experience or advanced education.

Career Trajectory

You can apply for a job as a production manager as soon as you graduate from college or a trade school. However, you might have to work up to this position by proving your skills and abilities in a role with less responsibility. For example, if you’re a foreman on the production floor or if you take a job as a production assistant, you can fully learn the requirements of the job and apply for a promotion later.

You’ll gain supervisory experience as a production manager, which can create new advancement opportunities. The most successful professionals in this field can become chief operating officers (COOs), an advancement which leads to greater job security and salary potential.

A career in production management could create financial security and a sense of accomplishment. While you might face declining job opportunities depending on your location and other factors, many manufacturers and other industrial employers will still need production managers to staff their facilities. If you have the necessary skills and education, start searching for your next job in production management today.

Grace Electronics Will Relocate Manufacturing to Jacksonville

(Courtesy of the Jacksonville Business Journal)

New York-based Grace Electronics plans to relocate its main manufacturing operation and corporate headquarters to Jacksonville’s Cecil Commerce Center, according to city legislation filed Wednesday.

The company opened a satellite office at the center two years ago and currently leases 1,500 square feet. The expansion plan could see the aerospace manufacturing company expand its footprint at the city owned center by 10,146 square feet.

The company lists Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems among its clients.

The three-year lease would be for $6 per square foot on the 10,146 square feet they would occupy in Building 905 at Cecil Commerce Center for a total of $63,276 per year.

Grace Electronics plans to apply for a qualified target industry incentive that would grant the company a $5,000 tax rebate per job that it creates from the expansion project. The number of jobs created by the relocation would be 25, according to city legislation.

The city’s would be responsible 20 percent of the QTI incentives or $1,000 per job up to a total of $25,000.

Job Opportunity: Gerdau – Electrical Maintenance Mechanic- GER01984

LocationJacksonville, FL
About Us
Gerdau is the leading company in the production of long steel in the Americas and one of the major suppliers of specialty long steel in the world. With more than 45,000 employees, Gerdau has an installed capacity of more than 25 million metric tons of steel and it is the largest recycler in Latin America, and around the world, it transforms millions of metric tons of scrap into steel every year. Gerdau Long Steel North America is a leader in mini-mill steel production and steel recycling in North America, with an annual manufacturing capacity of approximately 10 million metric tons of mill finished steel products. Through a vertically integrated network of mini-mills, scrap recycling facilities and downstream operations, the company serves customers throughout the U.S. and Canada, offering a diverse and balanced product mix of merchant steel, rebar, structural shapes, fabricated steel, flat rolled steel and wire rod. Gerdau Special Steel North America is an engineered bar producer headquartered in Jackson, Michigan with world-class steel manufacturing mills in Jackson, Michigan, Monroe Michigan, and Fort Smith, Arkansas, and metal processing facilities in Huntington, Indiana, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, Lansing, Michigan, Canton, Ohio, and North Vernon, Indiana. With engineered steel bar producing capabilities in North America, Europe, Brazil, and soon to be India, the Gerdau Special Steel group is the largest supplier of SBQ engineered steel bars to the global automotive and heavy truck industries.
Job Description
Job Summary: Perform maintenance and repair operations necessary to keep plant, equipment, machinery, and tools in good operating condition; working in the many diversified capacities required in maintenance.
Duties & Responsibilities
Primary Duties and Responsibilities: 1. Work involves a wide range of methods and procedures on a variety of moderately complex work and routine duties, requiring considerable care to adequately and properly dismantle, repair, lubricate, reassemble, or otherwise work on general maintenance in varied capacities at basic level of such occupations as machine repairer, electrician, pipefitter, plumber, millwright, welder, and burner, electronic technicaine. 2. Start, observe, operate, or otherwise activate equipment to detect or verify malfunction or correction of same. 3. Inspect, adjust, clean, or lubricate equipment as preventive maintenance. 4. Tear down, replace, install, and assemble simple equipment, parts, components, and accessories. 5. Assist higher skilled employees on more complicated work and work as part of team on heavy work of large projects. 6. Adjust equipment or systems mechanisms. 7. Operate fork-lifts, Bobcat, manlift, and cranes as needed or required. Additional Responsibilities: 1. Maintain inventory stock and records. 2. Submit work orders as needed. Detect and report faulty material, environmental hazards, and/or improper operation of plant equipment or machinery; refer questionable and unusual matters to proper supervision. Maintain work area and equipment in a clear and orderly fashion. Follow all safety regulations and practices. The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required of personnel so classified.
The Individual
Requires technical knowledge and training generally applicable in the particular field of heavy industrial machine repair or closely related specialized occupation. Ability to work with equipment specifications and precision measuring instruments. Over 2 years up to and including 3 years. Electrical experience/knowledge is strongly preferred.
Salary & Benefits
Gerdau offers excellent benefits that start the FIRST DAY OF EMPLOYMENT! Medical and Prescription Dental Vision Health & Dependent Care (Flexible Spending Account) 401K Basic Life/Accidental Life Insurance Health Advocate Services Employee Assistance Program Tuition Reimbursement Program
Application Process
Gerdau believes in equal employment opportunity related to all employees and applicants for employment. It is the policy of Gerdau that there will be no discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, citizenship, marital status, sex, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, veteran status, disability, or other legally protected status. All applicants must be legally eligible to immediately work in the country of hire without current or future sponsorship.
If you are vision-impaired or have some other disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to applying for employment at Gerdau, please contact our Talent Acquisition Team at (866) 788-2798 or email:recruiting@gerdau.com.

Attention LINCS Participants. Supply Chain Management Job Fair

Wednesday, September 21, 2016 • 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

FSCJ Advanced Technology Center, Room T140

401 West State Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202

• Meet employers with open positions in Supply Chain Management

• Bring your resume and dress for success

• Come prepared to participate in brief interviews and to apply online

• Highlight your earned Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP)industry certifications:

Customer Service
Operations Supply Chain
Management Principles
Warehousing Operations
Transportation Operations
Demand Planning
Inventory Management
Supply Management and Procurement
Manufacturing and Service Operations
For questions, please email logistics@fscj.edu or (904) 633-8109