An Open Letter to the Class of 2018

Fifty years ago, in the movie The Graduate, a recent college grad named Benjamin Braddock is wallowing in uncertainty and unsure what to do with his life, when a family friend comes up and offers him a word of advice. “Plastics,” the middle aged man confides to the young one with a mix of smugness and middle-aged certainty. Mike Nichols, the director, and Buck Henry, the screenwriter, meant the moment as one of irony at both the meaninglessness of many adult pursuits and the wide gap between the priorities of the two generations.

Thank You, Mr. President

There may be no American presidency in my lifetime more polarizing than that of the Oval Office’s current resident, Donald J. Trump. Similarly, no sitting president has ever demanded so much of his people, or challenged or demeaned their most hallowed institutions, to the extent he has. That’s why, like it or not, even for those who remain patently dumbstruck by some of the crude and hateful things our sitting president continues to say and do, we will likely all owe Mr. Trump a huge debt of thanks at some point in the not too distant future.

On Energy, Policy and the Wisdom of the Marketplace

There are any number of things that decades in manufacturing have taught me, not the least of which is the inherent wisdom of the marketplace. In fact, for a guy whose political bent, sense of environmental responsibility, and pro-social conscience can tilt proudly left at times, my belief in the absolute wisdom of the marketplace is as far right as right can be. That is especially true in matters of energy.

Hard Lessons for the Old Boy Network: Nothing Wrong with US MFG More Women Wouldn’t Fix

Understand, my best friend in the world is a woman – and she’s been at my side through nearly five decades. What’s more, together we have a daughter, a beautiful and talented young lady who every day blows me away with the wise, witty and deeply insightful things she continues to say, do and believe. So I clearly come at this issue with a unique and, perhaps, particular bias. But it’s hard for me to read a newspaper or watch the news these days and not feel sickened by the number of disturbing items that have at their core the mistreatment and objectification of women.

Trump-Proofing American Manufacturing

For the past six months it seems, one of my wife’s primary duties each evening was to talk me off the ledge whenever I happened to watch the nightly news and see yet another proud proclamation from Donald Trump about what he’s doing to “bring back manufacturing” to the U.S.

Four Ways President Trump Can Help U.S. Manufacturing

I am not an economist. I don’t even play one on TV. I’m just a small business owner who’s spent his life in the most important sector in this economy.I am, in other words, a manufacturer.Yet when I hear President Trump dusting off the Laffer Curve, trafficking in 80’s-era supply-side rhetoric, and proposing tax reforms that recall the days of trickle-down prosperity and “voodoo” economics, it gives me real pause.

Want a Good Manufacturing Job? Stay in School.

The stories are anything but apocryphal. They’re as real as real can get.

Throughout this country, even as Donald Trump continues to boldly promise to bring manufacturing jobs back from distant shores, tens of thousands of high-paying U.S. manufacturing jobs remain open, begging for qualified men and women to fill them.

SkyART: Mining for Genius in the Inner City

It’s not like Tim Cook is running Apple into the ground. For the time being anyway, the company is more than holding its own. But let’s never forget, Tim Cook remains a classic right brainer. Tim Cook is not a creator, or a visionary, or much of a dreamer. As he’s proven time and time again since the death of his almost mythic predecessor, Tim Cook is one who likes to color within the lines, and Tim Cook is a man who focuses on things he can see, touch and, in particular, tally.

President Trump and the New Manufacturing

Like most Americans, I’ve been watching the first two weeks of the Trump administration with a curious mixture of fascination, hope and concern.

I’m fascinated watching a man who’s never done a day of public service in his life perform after he woke up one morning to discover he’s suddenly the most influential civil servant in the country.

What Manufacturing Needs from Trump

Let’s forget the rancor of the campaign. Let’s forget the hate-speech, the xenophobia, the simplistic war cries, and the negative passions both candidates managed to trigger. Let’s just get past those things. 

Because, whether half the country likes it or not, we’ve all chosen Donald Trump our next president.

So, what does that mean? Well, the ripple impact of a Trump presidency remains to be seen, and will have to play itself out over the course of the next four years.

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