Dream It Do It and Jobs

Jobs, jobs, jobs. That is what is on people’s minds. Today, I attended a press conference at the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology in East Hartford, Connecticut. CCAT is a two-minute drive from our main plant, so it was very convenient. Of course, given the topic, skilled manufacturing labor, I would have driven farther to learn more about the program that was kicked off by US Congressman John Larson.

Dream It Do It isn’t a new program. Launched in 2005, it has penetrated 17 states and according to the literature, in Connecticut it “will be aimed at addressing the growing shortage of highly skilled workers through a campaign to promote a clear understanding of today’s advanced manufacturing workplace.” That is music to my ears because Horst Engineering is that kind of workplace.

Emily STover DeRocco, President of The Manufacturing Institute, an organization, that for some reason, I had never heard of; spoke about the need to introduce skills to a new generation of manufacturing workers. She was followed by a friend of mine, Doug Rose, of Aero Gear. Doug runs an excellent business. He spoke about the need to solve one of our biggest challenges, the lack of skilled labor. He mentioned the “graying of the workforce” and said that there were at least eight manufacturers in the room who would hire two to three new employees if the supply was available.

Doug said that even in the deepest part of the recession, manufacturers in Connecticut were hurting for good help. A 40 year decline in support for manufacturing has left the industry in tough shape. The large companies outsourced, offshored, and laid off people, but during those years, small manufacturers rose up. Many of us have grown into substantial operations, though we remain small. Aero Gear has 140 employees. Horst Engineering has 75 in Connecticut and 30 at our maquiladora in Sonora, Mexico.

Our companies are hiring, but we need good people who are a match for our cultures. My hopes are that Dream It Do It isn’t just another program. We need results. We need someone to coordinate the good organizations that are already working on the problem. They have some recent success that we need to build on. More support from fellow manufacturers, more support from educators, more support from the government, and more support from communities is needed.

Of course, the biggest thing we need is for the perception that manufacturing is a dead-end career, to change. Manufacturing is high-tech and it is a good sector to be in. We need to train our youth to realize that and take advantage of the opportunities that manufacturers offer.

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So that little injury caused by my @renocxnats crash on Saturday afternoon wasn’t so little after all. It’s a broken leg (fibula). Prognosis is good, but it hurts like heck. My blog post report with blow by blow details is linked in my profile. #cxnats #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #crossisboss - - -

This #lifedeathcyclocross stuff is true!!!! I crashed out of the Singlespeed Championship @renocxnats (on the dreaded off-camber) but not before having more fun. @artroti43 raced on the frosty course ❄️ at day break. 🚴🏽 We met a lot more @horsteng #crossspikes customers. I hung with little bunny hopper 🐰 Miles, the Junior 11-12 year old Silver Medalist.🥈I cheered for Nic, who represented @the_ccap in the Junior 15-16 age group. @sportstert and Iva came down from Tahoe to cheer LOUDLY for me. 🎺 I got my badly sprained ankle taped and iced. I had a beer. 🍺 I’m even looking forward to my red eye flight home ✈️ . Best of all, I’ll see @trailrunningmom and the kids on Sunday. I can’t explain the sensation, but despite the pain, I’m ready for next #Cyclocross season to begin... after some rest. #teamhorstsports #cxnats #horstengineering @parkavebikeshop #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross #crossiscoming You could say that at least for this week, I’m married to my #bicycle - - -

@renocxnats #cxnats @seven_cycles #sevencycles #teamhorstsports #horstengineering #crossspikes @horsteng #chapelofthebells #Cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross Good day representing @horsteng at @renocxnats in the 45-49 age group. It’s a great course. The wind was blowing hard, but the sun finally came out. I’m happy with 37th place but should have made a move to get to 29th, which was 30 seconds ahead. That’s a long way when you are going flat out and cramping. 4,500 foot elevation was a factor. I’m disappointed that they cut one lap of my race when I wasn’t close to getting lapped by the leaders. You train this hard and come all this way; and you want to get the most racing for the $ and time invested. They only let 25 riders do the full six laps. The only positive to come out of that was that I watched fellow New Englander @adammyerson execute a perfect final sprint to win the Stars and Stripes again. Teammate @artroti43 had a good ride too. 
@seven_cycles #sevencycles #horstengineering #teamhorstsports @bicycleseastct #crossspikes #cxnats #renocxnats #Cyclocross #crossisboss @therichardsachs didn’t have the race he hoped for but it was still great to see him @renocxnats and “pit” for him. He said he officially started his second off season, but first of 2018. @artroti43 and I played soigneur/mechanic for 90 minutes, but minus the massage! atmo #renocxnats #richardsachs #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #hauteframebuilding #Cyclocross #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross I previously hadn’t published this image, but it recently received an Honorable Mention in the 2017 @appalachianmountainclub Photo Contest for the People Outdoors category. Check out my blog (link in profile) for the interesting story of his photo (shot with this iPhone 6s), a trip report from this amazing Maine adventure, and past contest history. I love this image of two of my favorite women. I’m barred from submitting images to the 2018 contest, but I’ll be back in 2019. #appalachianmountainclub #baxterstatepark #katahdin Congratulations to Master Park, the Park Family, and the entire team at Park’s U.S. #Taekwondo at the Grand Opening of the new facility in the former VFW building. Our kids love it! So much better than being next door to the pawn shop and liquor store.😊#tkd 🇺🇸🇰🇷 This morning, the @trinitycollege Main Quad was bathed in beautiful sunshine ☀️but it was frigid and the wind was blowing! ❄️ The chapel was packed with an overflow crowd to celebrate the (shortened) life of a lovely friend. She will be missed. #circleoflife 🌏 #Repost @horsteng
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We just launched the #cxnats edition of #crossspikes News and it is chock full of great information. Click our profile for a link to the newsletter and info regarding @renocxnats pre-orders and on-site sales. See you at the Race Expo! #crossisboss 🚴🏽🏆

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