Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Watch, Read, Listen, Do: Invention, Innovation and Manufacturing in the 2012 Elections

We kicked off October celebrating the first-ever National Manufacturing Day, and since then, we've been mulling over thoughts of manufacturing, engineering, invention and their place in our increasingly interconnected global economy. BWC carved its own place in manufacturing history for several reasons. As we close in on a new year and we barrel into another presidential election, we reflect on changes and advancements that 2012 brought to us. We also start thinking about how that sets us up for the last quarter and, very soon, a new year. Here's a look at some multimedia resources that keep those thoughts in motion.

[ WATCH ] "There isn't one material thing that you can think of that wasn't invented by a toolmaker," Bud Wisecarver quips at the start of this web series, "Life of an Inventor." We uploaded the interview footage a couple years ago, but it's worth sharing again because of its timeless insights. Every physical thing we make in society starts with an inventive idea, looking at the world from an original perspective and coming up with a novel solution. That's the spirit of invention that drives the fields of engineering and manufacturing. Who is your role model toolmaker?

[ READ ] What economic policies would make for a better outlook for manufacturing in the U.S. and abroad? How can we boost the manufacturing sector? Close the skills gap? General Electric created this online "Ideas Lab" to collect thoughts from inventive minds all over the world. This online forum draws inspiration and input from thought leaders in a variety of industry sectors to discuss today's hot-button issues from a unique perspective. Read columns, reports and other forms of research on this online hub of conversation, which centers around manufacturing, labor and technology. You could also plug your email in to get updates from this place to convene, discuss and spawn new ideas.

[ LISTEN ] True patriotism and real charity aren't confined to feelings of pride of country or sympathy for others. They're acted out by giving. NPR released a podcast about a program both patriotic and charitable. Reportedly, four manufacturers promised to pay for training for military veterans to prepare them for jobs in the manufacturing sector. The money will go toward a group called Get Skills to Work Coalition, which aims to equip 15,000 former soldiers for the manufacturing workforce. We salute that!

[ DO ] The U.S. presidential election lies only weeks away, Nov. 6, and the conversation surrounding manufacturing has been more heated than ever. That's why it's important for stakeholders in the manufacturing community to make their voice heard. So our "DO" in this edition is, well, to go out and vote! The National Association of Manufacturers compiled a helpful online resource in this "Election Center" on their website. Watch the video first, then copy the HTML code to put the "vote" badge on your website.