There has been a shortage of skilled workers in manufacturing for several years now, particularly in positions that require more than a high school diploma, but less than a four-year college degree. One way to address this issue and introduce students to the opportunities available in manufacturing is through an internship program. These programs provide knowledge and hands-on experience which students can apply in real world environments.
On April 11, 2018, McWane Ductile Ohio (MDO) celebrated Intern/Co-op Appreciation Day. These interns are a valuable member of the MDO team and we appreciate the work they have done on several very dynamic projects.
At the recent valve & hydrant annual sales meeting (Clow, Kennedy, Kennedy PIV and M&H), they held an inspiring teambuilding event. They partnered with Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) to build wheelchairs. Because the group was so large, they were able to build nine wheelchairs that will be donated for use by veterans in the Phoenix, Arizona community.
As a part of the event, each group created a poster expressing their gratitude to the veterans for their service to our country. It was an amazing experience since the team has quite a few veterans of their own. It was the first time they’ve done something like this and they plan to make it a tradition.
On Tuesday, March 27, our Clow Valve facility located in Oskaloosa, Iowa hosted a tour of the metal casting operation for local high school seniors enrolled in industrial technology courses. Maintenance mechanic B.J. Bowie conducted the tour. The students were particularly interested in learning more about careers, types of jobs and skills needed to work in advanced manufacturing as well as opportunities available in skilled trades.
Clow Valve welcomes any opportunities to show the future workforce our state-of-the-art facilities and educate them about the potential career opportunities that are available in manufacturing and skilled trades.
On Monday, February 26th, Dave Beach, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University along with Anna Olson and Russell Field (graduate students) visited AB&I to learn more about the foundry. They run a small sand casting foundry Stanford Product Realization Lab and want to get to know ABI with an eye towards bringing small groups of students in conjunction with two courses that will be taught this spring and fall to AB&I.
They were surprised to discover that Professor Beach’s daughter had toured AB&I about 30 years ago while she was studying at Stanford. Professor Beach had the following comments about the tour:
“On behalf of Anna, Russell, and myself, thank you very much for the wonderful tour of AB&I you led Monday morning. As a professor at Stanford University I am frequently amazed at how much our students learn when visiting manufacturing sites in the Bay Area. It makes our efforts in 110-minute lectures and 4-hour laboratories pale. Your tour was very generous and worth a tremendous amount in tuition value to our students.
AB&I’s energy and innovation regarding environmental quality are awesome, your attention to sand and metal quality, your ability to automate high volume processes, and your enthusiasm to share these initiatives with us are wonderful.
Relative to the automation of AB&I’s highest volume products, I will always remember you saying, if you have to pick it up you just lost money. The idea of gates that snap off without the need for secondary processing is new to me and impressive. I will carry a mental picture of the mountains of scrap iron which are your sole metal input. Visually striking and environmentally wonderful!
I believe that manufacturing is essential to strong communities. AB&I is heroic in that regard!”
AB&I partnered with Emiliano Sanchez and the Oakland Unified School District to host several middle school students and approximately 65 students from two Oakland high schools on November 2. The goal is to continue educating students about the career opportunities available in manufacturing and the important role it plays in our lives. Many students think of manufacturing as an old industry with no advanced technology. Advanced Manufacturing and Career Technical Education Day gives us the opportunity to showcase the role technology plays in our foundry today and hopefully inspire the next generation of manufacturers.
AB&I manufacturing ambassadors talked to the students about how they started their careers at AB&I, what they are doing now and why they like manufacturing. Environmental team member Mike Olvera talked about how he found his passion in the environment through an internship in high school. He discussed all the regulations he has to follow and stay up-to-date on and how he has to apply them by working collaboratively with engineering, maintenance, production and other departments to implement changes. Rich Watson, Jose Martinez, Jaime Miramontes, Alfredo Costa, Roberto Ramirez led tours for two groups of students, teachers and chaperones. Prior to the tours, Jennifer Grundell coordinated the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE), including head phones. AB&I also presented each student with a t-shirt that Jenny designed and a 4” cast iron skillet.
At the conclusion of the tour, the students went to Laney College for lunch and an introduction to the various manufacturing programs available at the college.
“I appreciate the partnership with AB&I and the willingness of the manufacturing Ambassadors and the team to share their experience and knowledge with the students,” said Emiliano Sanchez.
Allowing manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is clears up many common misconceptions. By working together during and after the event, manufacturers can hopefully begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the industry.
M&H Valve hosted a plant tour on October 25 for Augusta Utilities, Beam’s Contracting and representatives from Core & Main. We are always proud to have the opportunity to showcase our manufacturing facility and our team members.
Every year McWane conducts a Pollution Prevention Challenge (P2C) where employees from around the world submit projects that decrease the company’s environmental footprint. This year 32 entries were received corporate wide. Finalists presented their projects on October 12, 2017 before a panel of judges and McWane Ductile Ohio was awarded first place. Their project eliminated almost 90 tons of greenhouse gases per year, 30 tons of landfill waste, and over 850 hours of labor per year not to mention increased worker safety and morale.
Amerex came in second place with a project on compressed air monitoring and McWane Ductile Utah came in third with a building station paint mat project. The winners of the Why Didn’t’ I Think of That award this year for their innovative, simple and low cost solutions that produced relatively small but important environmental benefits were Manchester Tank Elkhart for a lubricant reduction project and McWane Ductile Utah for a project that reduced wood dunnage.
Congratulations to this year’s winners!
McWane, Inc. makes $28 million investment in the future of water in the Middle East; Opening new valve, fittings and plumbing manufacturing plant in Abu Dhabi
McWane, Inc. makes $28 million investment in the future of water in the Middle East
Opening new valve, fittings and plumbing manufacturing plant in Abu Dhabi
Birmingham, Alabama-based McWane, Inc. is opening its newest valve, fitting and plumbing manufacturing plant in Abu Dhabi on October 26, 2015. The opening of the $28 million Abu Dhabi facility, McWane’s fifth valve manufacturing plant and 27th manufacturing facility worldwide, establishes McWane’s local position in the Middle East. McWane, Inc. is one of the largest privately owned companies in the USA, with more than 6,000 employees world-wide.
McWane’s global footprint is making a positive impact around the world, and its growing global operations are expanding its effort to bring water to the world. “We recognize a significant opportunity to manufacture and supply water, sewer and plumbing products for the Middle East and North African regions,” said Ruffner Page, CEO of McWane, Inc. “It is our next step toward bringing quality McWane products to even more of the world with our new facility in Abu Dhabi, and it’s just another milestone along McWane’s long-term commitment to water distribution infrastructure development across the region.”
McWane established its new Gulf division to serve the growing demand for McWane brands like Kennedy Valve, Tyler Pipe, and Wade Drains in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. McWane Gulf will produce water, plumbing and sewer products to international specifications, including ductile iron fittings, valves and hydrants, drainage products, and soil pipe fittings and couplings. The McWane Gulf operation will employ around 70 skilled workers once the plant is in full production.
“The McWane team is working on innovative ways to deliver our most valuable resource-water. For almost a century McWane has built durable, sustainable and efficient water infrastructure products that meet these needs,” says Page. “McWane Gulf will use the technology and experience acquired by McWane over the years to produce these products. That includes safeguarding the health and safety of every team member and protecting the environment in the communities where we operate. Everyone at McWane understands and supports the three principles of our Environmental, Health and Safety policy; compliance, protection and improvement.”