July 2018
Find out how Ross Reels makes superior quality fishing poles in Montrose while helping people enjoy nature and make memories in this month's Highlighting Colorado Manufacturers Video
In this issue:

Upcoming Events
skillfulSkillful and Manufacturer's Edge Announce Partnership Aimed at Finding Workforce Solutions for Colorado Manufacturers
Skillful, a nonprofit initiative of the Markle Foundation, has launched an ambitious program designed to achieve a skills-based labor market to help millions of Americans overcome barriers to obtaining better-paying jobs in today's digital economy. Formed 18 months ago, Skillful has already realized a number of remarkable accomplishments in its brief existence, due in large part to the unprecedented support from Governor Hickenlooper and a contingency of 20 other US governors through the Skillful State Network.
As the Manufacturing Extension Partnership for the state of Colorado, our sole mission at Manufacturer's Edge is to assist manufacturers in any and every manner we possibly can. Obviously, workforce is an enormous issue for our manufacturing community and one we are wholeheartedly committed to tackling. To that end, our Director of Organizational Excellence, Shane Barber, has seen great success with his Manufacturing Excellence Program, which is similarly designed to address workforce issues such as recruiting, role design, employee retention, etc.
With such similar missions, it seems only natural that a partnership has emerge between Skillful and Manufacturer's Edge. In the coming months, this collaboration will lead to a number of exciting developments, most notably the addition of a full-time staff member who will act as a hybrid liaison between the two organizations and deliver services on behalf of both.
If you would like more information about Skillful, please visit their website.
For more information on the Manufacturing Excellence Program, please contact Shane Barber. We also invite you to register for and attend our upcoming Manufacturing Excellence events:

Manufacturing Excellence Webinar
Wednesday, Sept 5 @ 12-1pm
Free | Online
A one-hour overview of the Manufacturing Excellence process that helps leaders assess their organization in order to identify the pain points and obstacles that impact productivity, on-time delivery, quality, employee performance and retention, safety and - ultimately - revenue.

Manufacturing Excellence Workshop
Wednesday, Sept 26 @ 8:30am-12:30pm
$250 for the first participant | $150 for ea. additional (max. 3 total)
Learn how to optimize your people and processes to achieve your company's strategies and business goals in this 4-hour interactive workshop geared toward C-Suite level participants: owners, presidents, CEOs and 1 or 2 members of their executive team. Participants will take an online assessment and the results will be used throughout the workshop to help each individual leader analyze their specific pain points in order to target key areas in need of improvement. The cost of the workshop includes all materials, the assessment, and a private follow-up consulting session (up to 1 hour) after the workshop to help determine next steps.
fireFire Within: Manufacturing Traditional Wood-Fired Ovens, Empowering Entrepreneurs, and Building Communities
A Manufacturer's Edge Success Story 
Fire Within University Cooking Class
Fire Within is, technically, a small Colorado-based company that manufactures traditional Neapolitan-style wood-fired ovens mounted onto custom-made trailers to allow for mobility. The core mission of the organization, however, reaches much further. As President and CEO Ajith Dharmawardhana says, "we are telling a story with this oven. This is, literally, people gathering around the fire." Fire Within provides an entire experience for the consumer and seeks to empower people and help them achieve their dreams. In addition to customizing and purchasing an oven, customers are also invited to attend the Fire Within University where they receive instruction not only on cooking, but also how to start a business. Additionally, they connect with other owners from around the country and learn new and unexpected uses for their oven, such as baking bread or cooking fish, desserts, and poultry. By the time the client brings their Fire Within oven home, they have all of the necessary tools to take control of their livelihood, their schedule, and their overall quality of life. Additionally, the new entrepreneur quickly discovers the benefits the oven can bring to their community. By having a presence at the local farmers market, using the oven to raise money for their church, or catering a neighbor's wedding, the owner is able to bring people together to break bread and commune in a joyous and meaningful way. As Ajith says, "it's catering AND it's pure theatre. Gathering around the fire is primordial. It feeds our bodies and our souls." (...)  
Get a full recap of this summer's CSBR road trip around southern Colorado in a series of blog posts from the Manufacturer's Edge team 
Orion Storage, located within the Pueblo Airport complex, surprised everyone, includingtrip leader Joe Rice (Government Relations Director, Lockheed Martin S  pace Systems): "The road to Mars runs through this dusty warehouse in Pueblo." The enormous facility houses Orion project modules that have been disassembled for transport onJuly 19-tests were scheduled to be finished two days after our visit. Rory Ciepiela (Logistics Operations, Lockheed Martin) described the procedure for maintainingchain of custody (per ITAR requirements) of aerospace vehicles and equipment now that the US does not have a shuttle program. Storage facility personnel came up with an innovation that halved the cost of transporting large heat shield equipment: a mobile platform that changed the orientation of the equipment so that it conformed with standard highway transport requirements rather than "wide load"-a savings of about $24,000 for transit between Colorado and Florida. (...)   
cyberCyber Dating: Playing Hard to Forget While Being Hard to Get
Businesses face a persistent dilemma: how to leverage social media and other online marketing (AKA potential client dating) tools without becoming an obvious target for a malicious actor? How do you attract the attention you want but block the kind you don't? From the perspective of playing hard to forget, businesses should maintain a respectable presence online with a high-quality website (no typos or obvious stock photos, informative content, mini-case studies that show how you work and the impact your clients appreciate from that work), a Linked-In presence that is professional and current, and judicious social media use that is purposeful. And from the perspective of being hard to get, consider the following tips to discourage the opportunistic bad actor who is looking for an easy target:
  1. Protect your reputation.
  2. Be wary of using truncated URLs.
  3. Cover your unmentionables.
events Upcoming Events
Visit our website for a complete calendar of
manufacturing events taking place around Colorado
Women in 3D Printing - Denver Chapter Meeting
Aug 16 @ 4-6pm
ICOSA Studio
Women in 3D Printing is an organization dedicated to promoting, supporting and inspiring women who are using Additive Manufacturing technologies.
Find out more
It's About People and Culture
Aug 22 @ 5:30-8:30pm
Wayfinder Co-Op 
This panel series brings together people in the outdoor industry who are open to learning from their peers and community leaders. Not just an educational discussion, this is an opportunity to network and continue to strengthen the bonds in the outdoor community throughout Colorado.
Find out more

Introduction to Machining
Aug 25 - Dec 11
Tues & Thurs 6-9pm
Longmont, CO
Colorado companies have more high-salaried jobs for qualified machinists than they can readily fill. As a skilled machinist, you can work for a company serving the thriving aerospace, automotive, medical device or computer industry.

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