Blog posts by Liz Fox

Last chance to sign up for Northeast Ohio's best manufacturing event!

September 22, 2017 by Liz Fox

Do you like manufacturing, food, and football? Sign up for the 6th Annual Northeast Ohio Manufacturing Symposium! Presented by MAGNET and Cleveland Engineering Society, this for-manufacturers-by-manufacturers event takes place on Friday, September 29th and features a valuable keynote from Ben Marker (General Manager, Riddell). Also available are several best-practice sessions on essential topics for today’s companies, including cybersecurity, talent development, market diversification, product development, and operations excellence. Attendees will also have the opportunity to… • Meet former Cleveland Browns defensive back Felix Wright • Win an official Cleveland Browns football helmet • Talk to peers from companies like Bettcher Industries, Sauder, M-7 Technologies, LEFCO Worthington, and more • Tour the new, state-of-the-art Riddell facility in North Ridgeville • And more! Kick off Manufacturing Month by joining us for the best manufacturing event the region has to offer! REGISTER TODAY! For more details, contact Linda Barita at 216.391.7766 or email linda.barita@magnetwork.org.

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[M]SPIRE 2017 Winners Announced

July 26, 2017 by Liz Fox

MAGNET has revealed the names of six entrepreneurs, startups, and small manufacturers who will receive an array of services and connections through the second-annual [M]SPIRE pitch competition. Announced in late July, the winners span many different areas, backgrounds, and industries. Over 40 applications were received from individuals and companies across Northeast Ohio, including submissions from Cleveland, Youngstown, Akron, Elyria, Lorain, and Canton. “Entrepreneurship is an essential and irreplaceable component of Northeast Ohio manufacturing, and MAGNET is thrilled to help these individuals and small companies achieve their potential by connecting them to the funding and resources necessary for success in the long-term,” said MAGNET President and CEO Ethan Karp. Sponsored by Bank of America, AT&T, and Jumpstart, the submission period was held through the month of May. 11 finalists were selected to meet with an expert panel of judges comprising area entrepreneurs, engineers, consultants, and more. The six winners will receive varying types of assistances from MAGNET and MAGNET partners, including grant funding, product development, market research, and specialized consulting services. These winners include: Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce – a local manufacturer of 100%, all-natural applesauce Karis Doll Collection – a line of dolls that aims to help young girls adapt to

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MAGNET featured in guest spot on Canton radio program

July 25, 2017 by Liz Fox

MAGNET Manufacturing Liaison Steven Katz recently made an appearance on WHBC's The Gary Rivers Show to discuss the state of manufacturing in Stark County. Recorded Friday, July 21, the program features insights from individuals about what's made in the Canton area as well as why small manufacturers are so important to the U.S economy. Also included in the discussion is Eric Smer, Director of Community and Workforce Development at the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce. Listen here (MAGNET segment begins at 47-minute mark):

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MAGNET collaborates with national consortium to support regional manufacturers, implement internships

June 14, 2017 by Liz Fox

As innovations in lightweight technology continue to shape manufacturing competitiveness and growth, MAGNET and LIFT (Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow) have partnered with three local companies to build awareness of how internships and work-based learning can pave the way for a new skilled workforce. These manufacturers, which include Nordson, Swagelok, and Exact Tool, are sharing how they have integrated high school and college level interns into their daily business operations, which has assisted with their long-term strategy in growing their talent pool and providing students with an opportunity to apply their learnings in a real-world setting. Spanning five states, LIFT is a federally funded manufacturing initiative targeting the use of newer, lighter technologies, which have been shown to boost performance of components used in the automotive, aerospace, biomedical, and defense industries. Through this partnership, MAGNET also provides students with work-based learning opportunities (including paid internships) in companies that utilize lightweighting throughout their supply chains. Those enrolled in programs focused on machining, welding, and pre-engineering are now available for summer internships, where they are paid an hourly wage and, depending on performance, can be retained for part-time employment. Participating companies also receive a partial wage reimbursement through the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership

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MAGNET Client Receives Award for Business Leadership and Quality Excellence

June 06, 2017 by Liz Fox

Local manufacturer LEFCO Worthington was recently presented with the Quality Service Leadership award at the 21st annual Business Leadership Awards Program. Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Cleveland, the Monte Ahuja College of Business at Cleveland State University, The Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE), the International Business Network (IBN), the Sustainable Business Center (SBC), and MAGNET, the 2017 ceremony took place late last month at Windows on the River in Cleveland. Since 1997, MAGNET has presented this award to manufacturing companies who exemplify operational excellence and an ongoing commitment to continuous improvement. Other factors, such as overall business performance and customer satisfaction, are also taken into consideration. Previous winners include La Bamba Tortilleria, Great Lakes Brewing, Avtron, and MobilityWorks. LEFCO Worthington is a Cleveland manufacturer of protective packaging that specializes in custom wood crates, heavy-duty bases, foam packaging, and lumber cutting and distribution services. The company to small and mid-sized companies in various industries, such as defense, transportation, aerospace, medical, and custom equipment manufacturing. After working with MAGNET in 2015 to restructure, reduce turnover, and improve operations, the company was able to retain 8 jobs, lessen lead times, generate additional revenue, and foster a stronger relationship between higher management and

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Companies optimistic about Northeast Ohio's manufacturing future, survey finds

May 09, 2017 by Liz Fox

Most manufacturers in Northeast Ohio are optimistic about what the future holds for them in the next year, studies show. MAGNET recently partnered with Kent State University, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America to conduct a regional survey that addresses the priorities and concerns of local manufacturers of all sizes. Nearly 300 companies responded, spanning various industries and geographic locations. Of those manufacturers, 74 percent comprised C-level executives and general managers, with 89 percent of all respondents representing small and mid-size companies (businesses up to 250 employees). These responses indicated the following: Manufacturers remain confident about their sector. 57 percent indicated they anticipate some economic expansion, and over 50 percent expect their companies to grow over the next 12 months. Small and mid-size manufacturers with 26 to 250 employees were most optimistic, roughly expecting 80 percent growth. Conversely, 41 percent said they expect a flat economy, while another 3 percent are bracing themselves for a recession. Small manufacturers expect revenue growth, while larger companies predict additional capital expenditures. 42 percent of small manufacturers surveyed expect more than 10 percent revenue growth (compared to just 14 percent of larger companies); however, 57 percent of mid-size and 48 percent of large manufacturers

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Northeast Ohio students reap rewards from Arconic Foundation Grant

May 04, 2017 by Liz Fox

MAGNET has recently completed work on a grant award by the Arconic (formerly Alcoa) Foundation. The grant, designed around activities for middle and high school students, centered on increasing awareness of viable career paths in advanced manufacturing through plant tours, presentations, and other work-based learning activities. Over 350 children from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Olmstead Falls City Schools, Polaris Career Center, and Strongsville City Schools participated, with educators and students being introduced to professionals from local companies currently serving in technical or engineering-oriented positions. Initial feedback indicates that tours and presentations made a positive impact on views of manufacturing as well as career decisions. Of the students surveyed, over 83 percent would consider a career in manufacturing, 91 percent would recommend the activity to other students, and 80 percent said the activity furthered their understanding of how science, technology, engineering, and math (collectively known as STEM fields) are used in a manufacturing environment. Comments from students including the following: • “I enjoyed the information about careers and the future that manufacturing provides.” • “I learned that manufacturing opportunities are available whether you go to college or a career-tech school.” • “I liked learning about technology works from different people.”

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Who's Who in NEO Manufacturing: Dave Pierson, Additive Expert

January 10, 2017 by Liz Fox

Senior Design Engineer Dave Pierson has been with MAGNET for nearly three decades and serves as one of our best subject-matter experts. He holds over 20 years of varied and practical additive manufacturing training experience, as well as 40 years of experience in mechanical and electrical engineering. As one of the country’s foremost authorities on additive manufacturing, he has helped companies grow through innovation. Not only has he helped bring new products to market and improve existing ones, but his introduction of 3D printing and other techniques has saved money and time for hundreds of businesses in the region. Some of these include: • Little Tikes • Cleveland Whiskey • Heat Seal • Mantua Manufacturing • Alfe Heat Treating He has also worked on many projects for the U.S. military and recently helped install a large wind turbine at Progressive Field, making them a leader in stadium sustainability. In addition, Pierson regularly develops and delivers curriculum at local colleges and trains operators, students, and engineers on the latest and greatest in additive technology. His presentations have also been well-received at national events and workshops, and he regularly presents at the annual R3D Conference at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland. In

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Tap into... think[box]

January 09, 2017 by Liz Fox

MAGNET’s new “Tap into…” series highlights local resources useful for manufacturers in Northeast Ohio. From innovation to product development, from admin to supply chain, these companies, workspaces, and organizations offer the tools you need to achieve short- and long-term success with your latest projects. Located in the heart of the campus of Case Western Reserve University, the Larry Sears and Sally Zlotnick Sears think[box] is a new center dedicated to helping entrepreneurs, engineers, educators, and students invent and experiment by taking advantage of state-of-the-art tools and hands-on learning. Housed in a 7-story, 50,000 square-foot facility, the hub acts as an one-stop innovation center that has everything you need to test a new invention or experiment with different product ideas, including: • 3D printers • Laser cutters • Miter saws • CNC machines • Vinyl cutters • CAD/drawing software • And more! The best part? think[box] is open to everyone! Those who want to utilize the center’s many capabilities are not required to be affiliated with CWRU or pay extra dues. However, safety orientations are required for participants needing to access the metal or wood shops. Staff members are available at all times to provide guidance and answer questions. For equipment

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MAGNET and partners create jobs, grow NEO manufacturing with national grant

January 06, 2017 by Liz Fox

MAGNET, Medina County Workforce Development, Team NEO, and WIRE-Net have announced the completion of a noteworthy grant-funded project that has helped regional companies improve their competitiveness, create and retain jobs, and bolster their presence in Northeast Ohio. The $1.8M, three-year grant, known as Make It in America (MIIA), was awarded to the four organizations by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the U.S. Department of Labor, and Delta Regional Authority. Aimed at encouraging businesses to expand domestic operations, the grant closely aligns with the mission of helping mid-size companies, particularly in biomedical, automotive, and advanced energy sectors that use innovative materials in their manufacturing processes. The project, which closed at the tail end of September, yielded very positive results for the region, including: $25M in new investments 68 new jobs created (exceeding initial goal of 50) Up-skilling of over 200 incumbent employees and 40 dislocated workers Additional training in CNC machining and welding that resulted in 24 workers finding full-time employment The team worked with a number of other partners to execute this program, including BioEnterprise, NASA Glenn Research Center, and the higher education institutions of University of Akron, Case Western Reserve University,

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