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Archive for September, 2010

Cat and Discovery Channel’s Mike Rowe promote trades jobs

Posted by nahetsblog on September 22, 2010

mike_row.jpg

Cat and Discovery Channel’s Mike Rowe promote trades jobs

It seems a good fit: Caterpillar Inc. wants to renew focus on their customers and Mike Rowe wants to help renew interest in the types of jobs to customers.

Next to the giant construction machine and TV star can renew hope focus on the importance of trades and jobs to help close the skills gap that exists today and seems to be growing, Rowe said on a visit to Caterpillar on Wednesday.

The host of the popular Discovery Channel program "Dirty Jobs" met with the media, toured SS Building in East Peoria, where excavators are built, and met with officials from Caterpillar, including CEO Doug Oberhelman.

Rowe said one thing that always struck while working on the program is that "we have lost sight of the fact that people are willing to do the dirty things hold together for the rest of us."

Rowe and Caterpillar formed a partnership to promote in August of men and women working in shops. Rowe said he contacted Caterpillar because I wanted to work with companies that are related and philosophically in line with its website, mikeroweWorks.com.

That site can now be accessed through the web site of Caterpillar, cat.com.

Dirty Jobs has been on the air more than three years, Rowe said he frequently hears from people that the U.S. is focused primarily on older, technical education today than in thr routes. Therefore, workers in the trades are starting to reach retirement age, with few coming up behind them.

That’s why he created his website two years ago and start adapting to companies like Caterpillar and Ford Motor Co., for whom is the spokesperson on national television.
Rowe believes that is beginning to take hold. He cited a recent connection between Caterpillar and provided a new initiative in Alabama, where the shortage of qualified workers is "looking forward", called Go Build Alabama.

Rowe said that television does a poor job of portraying the working people, which usually trades jobs are seen as drudgery. In fact, he added, "We have a lot of fun and laugh a lot out there."

He hopes that his show portrays. "There are some shows on TV that actually involve real people," he said.

"There is a general desire among people to show what they do. They want their stories, but we are proud of what they do. There are too many forums that allow that," he said.

He said he wanted to be a dealer while growing up because the family members work in stores. He was not skilled enough, he added. "The closest I could get was a show that celebrates," he said.

Rowe said he was excited about partnering with Caterpillar, because "there is a very short list of companies that build the world and the cat is on it. I mean, where the hell would we be if not for Caterpillar?

Construction workers inside the SS were excited to learn Rowe as he walked along the assembly line, shaking hands and signing autographs.

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Two women killed in Belgian crane accident

Posted by nahetsblog on September 16, 2010

Two women were killed and three workers injured on Tuesday 9-14-2010 when a crane collapsed at a construction site in the Belgian city of Liege, local authorities said.

"Two people were killed and three injured, two seriously," the mayor of Liege Willy Demeyer was quoted as saying by Belga news agency.

The two women, the manager of a tiling company and her daughter, were in the raised basket of the crane transporting material to the second floor of the building when it collapsed, news agency Belga reported citing the findings of the initial investigation.

The basket fell onto a lorry that contained the three workers, the report said.

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Faculty Members Prefer Digitized Texts

Posted by nahetsblog on September 10, 2010

Faculty members overwhelmingly prefer using online material to printed material, according to the results of a survey released this week by Ebrary, a company that provides electronic content and technology to libraries, publishers, and other businesses. The survey shows that half of faculty members prefer electronic resources, and 18 percent prefer print. Another 32 percent said they had no preference. Also, 77 percent of those surveyed said electronic journals "provide more effective access for most of my research" or "are easier to use for most of my research." The results were based on responses of 906 faculty members from 300 colleges and 38 countries. Ebrary sought respondents via its Web site. Allen W. McKiel, director of libraries at Northeastern State University, who also serves on an Ebrary advisory committee, says he has concluded from the survey that, among other things, faculty members want portable reading devices and more electronic content.

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Caterpillar opens new Arkansas factory, hiring 600

Posted by nahetsblog on September 2, 2010

By CHUCK BARTELS (AP)

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Caterpillar Inc. dedicated a $140 million road grader factory Wednesday, a facility that will employ 600 people and produce the big machines for markets around the world.

The plant produced its first grader in June, and two of the behemoths flanked the stage as plant manager Jon Harrison described a four-month training program that’s part of the company’s investment.

"We’re going to export a lot of product from this facility," Harrison said, noting that productivity will have to be competitive on a global scale.

Peoria, Ill.-based Caterpillar laid off 24,000 workers worldwide last year, but the North Little Rock plant stayed on course. Gov. Mike Beebe expressed his gratitude for the company sticking with its plan "in the midst of the worst recession in our lifetimes."

The factory in North Little Rock is operating in a converted videotape and DVD facility. Caterpillar received $3 million from the Governor’s Quick Action Closing Fund to help the project along.

"They (Caterpillar) wouldn’t be here without the Quick Action Closing Fund," Beebe said. The $50 million fund was first approved by the Legislature in 2007 and renewed in 2009.

Arkansas has lost more jobs than it has picked up during the downturn, but Beebe said the state has worked to replace the lost jobs with better ones, such as high-level white collar jobs and upper-end manufacturing.

The recession has only grazed Arkansas, which has made modest budget cuts while other states endured mass layoffs and furloughs. But all hasn’t been roses. Whirlpool Corp. laid off thousands from its refrigerator plant in Fort Smith after it opened a plant in Mexico. That rippled through the community as supplier businesses saw their orders cut or canceled.

Beebe acknowledged that many Arkansans need jobs but pointed to training that is available when opportunities arise.

Pulaski Tech community college worked with Caterpillar to train its workers, a model that other communities in the state have used as new employers opened shop.

Caterpillar said the average wage for workers at the plant would be $21 and hour. Harrison said customer feedback has been "off the charts," adding that the workers share Caterpillar’s quality goals.

"They (the workers) have made a family decision" to join the company, Harrison said.

Beebe said that kind of praise for the work force does more than reflect well on Caterpillar.

"You’re giving us ammunition to get somebody else," Beebe said.

Sen. Mark Pryor was on hand with his counterpart, Sen. Blanche Lincoln, both D-Ark.

"I think people in our state have not given up on American manufacturing," Pryor said.

The state has landed a number of major employers, including wind-energy manufacturers in Jonesboro, Little Rock and Fort Smith, though a Mitsubishi turbine plant for that city is on hold due to litigation. Conway attracted a Hewlett-Packard Co. service center with about 1,000 employees and Little Rock will be home to Southwest Pool Inc., which is building a $62 million headquarters where its 640 employees will earn an average of $85,500 per year. The company manages electric distribution for the multistate region.

Beebe said state revenue numbers that are due later in the week came in above the state fiscal office’s forecast, but said the money will serve as a cushion, not a signal that the recession is over.

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