November 15, 2012 Education Program: Competitiveness

Pre-Meeting Clinic (5:30 – 6:00 PM):  Competitiveness Part 1

Presented by Jack Dye

Help your businesses compete in the growing global marketplace. Ensure you have access to international markets, protection, and assistance if you have been adversely affected by imports. Keep abreast of competitiveness tools, techniques and initiatives including numerous Federal and State programs and resources, including grants and matching funds, currently available to help your company succeed. U.S. Department of Commerce – Programs helping all – including small & medium-sized enterprises: The U.S. Department of Commerce is committed to strengthening the international economic position of the United States and developing a public policy environment that advances U.S. competitiveness at home and abroad. Since it’s inception in 1903, the Department’s mission has been “to foster, promote, and develop the foreign and domestic commerce” of the United States by participating with other Government agencies in the creation of national policy, through the President’s Cabinet and its subdivisions; promoting and assisting international trade.  The Department has many bureaus and administrations that work together in securing the prosperity of U.S. companies and ensuring that we remain competitive in today’s global economy. The International Trade Administration: (ITA) is here to help your U.S. businesses participate fully in the growing global marketplace. It provides practical information to help you select your markets and products and ensuring that you have access to international markets as required by our trade agreements and safeguard you from unfair competition from dumped and subsidized imports.  The International Trade Administration: (ITA) is here to help your U.S. businesses participate fully in the growing global marketplace. It provides practical information to help you select your markets and products and ensuring that you have access to international markets as required by our trade agreements and safeguard you from unfair competition from dumped and subsidized imports.  The Trade Adjustment Assistance Program (TAA) for firms is a U.S. Department of Commerce program designed for manufacturers and service firms adversely affected by imports. This program offers up to $75,000 in cost-sharing funds for projects implemented to improve the business.  Applied Strategies International, Ltd (ASI) is a non-profit organization contracted to administer the program. Currently ASI has 141 active manufacturing clients receiving assistance, and ASI has assisted over 850 companies in various industries since it began administering the program.

Jack Dye

Jack Dye is Chief Engineer and Senior Program Manager at Applied Strategies International, Ltd. He has a B.S. Engineering from Michigan State University, Cognate in Business, Marketing, & Supply Chain Management. M.B.A. with distinction from DePaul University, Concentrations in Finance, Strategy, Execution, & Valuation. Previous career experience in automotive engineering & manufacturing, telecommunication engineering, and utility consulting.

Section Meeting  (7:30 – 8:30 PM): Competitiveness Part 2

Presented by Tom Babin and John Schaefer

Keep abreast of competitiveness tools, techniques and initiatives including numerous Federal and State programs and resources currently available to help you from Department of Commerce programs as well as other interagency programs. Made in America: The Next-Generation of Innovations,, manufacturing is a matter of fundamental importance to the economic strength and national security of the United States. More than any other industry, a globally competitive manufacturing sector translates inventions, research discoveries, and new ideas into better or novel products or processes. To be sure, there are many interrelated elements of an innovation ecosystem…but without manufacturing, the economy-building, job-creating power of innovation fades…Why Focus on Advanced Manufacturing: Manufacturing stands on the threshold of a major transformation. From the digitization of equipment, processes, and organizations to three-dimensional printing (or additive manufacturing) to materials with custom-designed properties, a whole host new design, production, and business capabilities are opening the way to new types of manufacturing-referred to, collectively, as advanced manufacturing. Advanced manufacturing entails more than making high-tech products. It also includes using new, often leading-edge machines and processes to make products that are unique, better, or even cheaper. Advanced manufacturing also facilitates rapid integration of process improvements, readily permits changes in design, such as new part features or substitute materials, and accommodates customization and cost-effective low-volume production. In advanced manufacturing, product innovation and process innovation are different sides of the same coin. Scientific discoveries, new ideas, and novel engineering approaches can be converted quickly into the seeds of new products and processes. Technology-intensive and dynamic, advanced manufacturing enterprises require high-skilled workers to perform at high levels and compete globally. Advanced manufacturing provides the path forward to revitalizing U.S. leadership in manufacturing, and will best support economic productivity and ongoing knowledge production and innovation in the Nation. The Nation’s long-term ability to innovate and compete in the global economy greatly benefits from co-location of manufacturing and manufacturing-related R&D activities in the United States. The loss of these activities will undermine our capacity to invent, innovate, and compete in global markets.

The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) is a catalyst for strengthening American manufacturing – accelerating its ongoing transformation into a more efficient and powerful engine of innovation driving economic growth and job creation. “MEP Centers make it possible for even the smallest firms to tap top-level manufacturing and business specialists. If you are in manufacturing, don’t miss this great resource.” 100 Best Resources for Small Business. Be aware of all the breadth of programs available, get access to SBA, export assistance, banks, trade organizations, and so many other kinds of resources that can help you grow your business. MEP centers are a key component in the U.S. manufacturing infrastructure. MEP’s mission is to provide small and medium-sized manufacturers with the help they need to succeed. MEP centers in every state work directly with local manufacturers to provide expertise and solutions tailored to each company’s critical needs. These are the people guiding and instructing U.S. companies on how to excel at manufacturing. Improve your operational excellence and competitive strategy:  Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center (IMEC). IMEC was established in 1996 to improve the productivity and competitiveness of Illinois’ small and mid-sized manufacturing firms. A non-profit economic development organization, IMEC is funded in part by the National Institute of Standards and Technology – Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and by fees for services paid by Illinois manufacturers. View IMEC Authored Content: From strategy white papers to capabilities profiles and success story newsletters, IMEC is a rich source of information for manufacturers looking to gain an edge on the competition. Content Partnerships with leading manufacturing publications provide Illinois manufacturers with access to best practices, tips and industry trends. Experienced staff based at eleven office locations throughout Illinois provide hands-on technical assistance and consulting services to help manufacturers innovate, contain manufacturing costs, streamline processes, and increase profits. They roll up their sleeves and get to know all facets of the business, providing solutions in areas ranging from process optimization to product innovation, quality improvement to technology integration. IMEC draws on the resources and capabilities of a network of manufacturing service providers. Alliances with state and national economic development programs, higher education institutions, specialty service providers, and the private sector ensure that IMEC is able to address critical manufacturing needs without duplication of effort. And, as part of a national system, IMEC is able to leverage the expertise of a field network of 2,000 manufacturing advisors from over 400 MEP centers. Our speakers, Manufacturing Specialist Dr. Babin and Business Development Specialist John Schaefer, will inform us about some of the Federal and State initiatives and resources available.

Dr. Thomas Babin

Tom Babin, IMEC team Manufacturing Specialist, is a Six Sigma Master Black Belt with a successful background of designing and implementing product and process improvements in highly competitive environments — domestic and international. Especially skillful at driving continuous improvements in efficiency, productivity, quality and reliability. Proven ability to identify, analyze and solve complex problems — designing workable strategies and leading successful solutions from concept to completion. Successful background of innovative leadership, project management, implementing leading-edge technology, and delivering excellent products on time and under budget — exceeding requirements and expectations. Tom is based in the Chicagoland region and works as part of high performance service delivery teams, drawing upon IMEC’s extensive state and national resources to help companies implement actions to improve their productivity and competitiveness. Tom has over 20 years of experience in manufacturing, product development, and service offering development in the telecommunications industry. He has held positions of increasing responsibility from staff engineer to director/fellow of the technical staff. He was Past Director, Motorola Solutions and earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Industrial Engineering and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

John Schaefer

As a member of the IMEC team responsible for expanding business in the Chicago region, John develops relationships with area manufacturers, assesses their challenges as well as opportunities, and offers IMEC’s strategy, technology, and efficiency solutions to help them become more profitable and competitive. John has over 18 years of manufacturing management experience with responsibilities that included productivity and quality improvement programs, new product and new process design, supply chain development, inventory controls, facilities and facility planning, engineering, and OSHA / Health Life Safety. Immediately prior to joining IMEC, John was an independent consultant providing AEC and Energy Conservation services to commercial organizations. John earned a B.A. from Governors State University after undergraduate studies at Loyola University. His post-graduate education and training include Industrial Engineering, Computer Aided Drafting & Design, Architecture and Project Management. John is a Past Adjunct Instructor and is based out of the University of Illinois Chicago, Center for Advanced Design Research and Exploration (CADRE).

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