The Thomas Blog

Industrial marketing and manufacturing sales tips to help you grow your business.

Christina O'Handley

Christina is a Digital Content Marketing Associate at THOMASNET.com. You can find her writing about manufacturing, supply chain and technology on Tom's Blog or trying to score tickets to Hamilton.

Author's Recent Posts

Bringing Manufacturing Back To The U.S.: A Discussion With Thomas CEO Tony Uphoff

Manufacturing is essential to the American economy. Every 100 jobs in a manufacturing facility creates 250 jobs in other sectors. Unfortunately, however, many of these manufacturing jobs – as many as two million according to estimates – will go unfilled over the next ten years.

To combat the problem and close the skills gap, the federal government is investing in apprenticeship programs. 

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Three Ways You Can Help Close The Skills Gap

Manufacturing is one of the main contributors to economic growth in the U.S. and Americans know its value. In fact, 83% of Americans believe manufacturing is important to America’s prosperity. Unfortunately, young professionals are currently less interested in the manufacturing industry. 

According to Deloitte, two million manufacturing jobs will go unfilled in the next 10 years. This shortage will in turn create a void for many manufacturers as they struggle to find people with the right skills to keep their businesses alive.

So what can shop owners do to close the skills gap? Below are three ways to help:

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MIT's Drones Pave The Way For Flying Cars

For years, movies about the future have featured flying cars, and today we're closer to seeing them become reality. However, while the concept of flying cars is tremendously exciting, it could become a nightmare.

That's because, without the safety mechanisms we take for granted on the road today – traffic lights, stop signs, speed limits, etc. – the risk of crashes and collisions is very high. 

Fortunately, researchers from MIT are already working on ways to solve this futuristic safety problem.

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Video: The Best Metro Areas For Manufacturing Jobs

Think it's tough to get a job in the manufacturing industry? While that may be the common perception, the truth is that the manufacturing job market offers more opportunities than you think. 

In fact, Forbes recently looked at the state of the hiring within the industry and found that all but 18 of the country’s 70 largest metropolitan regions have seen an uptick in industrial employment since 2011. They also ranked all 357 metropolitan areas to determine the locations with the best, most thriving manufacturing employment situations.

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5 Ways To Strengthen Your Communication Skills For Career Success

“Supply Chain is the linking of people, products and ideas around the globe. You need to be a connector.” Amanda Decook, Sourcing Associate, A.T. Kearney. Most supply chain professionals would agree. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Thomasnet.com showed that more than 90% of purchasing professionals believe communication is essential to their career and more so, 39.39% believe it is the most important skill for success.

However, mastering communication is not easy. For some, it’s not a natural skill, And even if it is, a third of respondents believe it is the one skill they consistently need to work on. “Communication is king. It’s the key to success, and it will make or break things on so many levels depending on if it’s there or not.” Sara Robichaux, Strategic Sourcing Category Lead – Services, Apache Corporation.

So how can supply chain professionals practice effective communication with colleagues, stakeholders and suppliers? These 5 tips could be a career game changer.

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This Robot Uses AI To Write And Play Its Own Music

The next star hitting the Billboard charts might not be who or what you expect. It might just be an AI-powered robot.

According to WIRED, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology created a marimba-playing robot with four arms and eight sticks with the ability to write and play its own composition through artificial intelligence.

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Video: Autonomous Airbus Helicopter Flies For The First Time

The latest aircraft from Airbus is hitting the skies, but in an unexpected way. The company recently announced at the 2017 Paris Air Show that it will begin flight trials on a helicopter that makes pilots optional. 

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Meet The Man Who's Changing Train Travel – From His Backyard

89-year-old Max Schlienger has been obsessed with trains ever since he was a child. Now, as a retired engineer, Max is using his time and his knowledge to create a new and improved method of train travel, right in his Mendocino, California vineyard. 

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A Robocop Hits The Streets Of Dubai

If you hear the word "robocop," a 1980s cyborg may come to mind. That's all about to change with the help of the Dubai Police Department. To modernize their police force, Dubai has added an autonomous robotic officer to their ranks.

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