AMFA Shoptalk 2008 May by suiqizheng


          Arrowhead Manufacturers & Fabricators Association Magazine
                                                            May 2008

AMFA Educational Trust           GOLF SOCIAL
                   Celebrating 10 Years in
                   Support of Workforce
                   Development in the Region!

     AMFA is a proud member of
      Midwest Manufacturers’
President’s Column...                                                                   AMFA
Dan Larson, Hydrosolutions of Duluth, Inc.                         
                                                                               Toll Free: 877-330-2632
Is Spring finally hear?                                              
          This past month we have all been cooped up wait-
ing for any sign of spring. I spent all four weekends in April
obtaining my Captains’ License: MASTER OF VESSELS
ALL ROUTES. (The title “Captain” will not be needed at                AMFA Mission:
any AMFA sanctioned events!) I did enjoy the challenge                To strengthen the manufacturing,
of learning, and what I really learned was I am not nearly            fabricating and related industries
at the top of my game when it comes to committing items
to memory. Fortunately our class was blessed with an in-              of Northeastern Minnesota and
structor that understood his students’ pace of learning and           Northwestern Wisconsin. AMFA is
did a great job of bringing us up to the level demanded by            dedicated to the growth and success
the United States Coast Guard.                                        of its member companies, their
          The sailing experiences my wife and I enjoy are             employees, and their communities
a very important release of all things that seem to matter
during the week. As I leave port on any given Friday, I can           by promoting trust and cooperation
feel a weight leaving my body. Sailing requires just the              between members.
right amount of whit and concentration to empty the mind
of all else. There is truly something special that happens
out on the water.                                                GLMC
          I hope that one day business will allow us to pur-     Negotiations are underway with the Great Lakes Manufac-
sue adventures farther away than Lake Superior’s trea-           turing Council. By the time of the AMFA general meeting
sures. For the immediate future, we can enjoy the beauty         on May 14, we will have direction from the AMFA Board of
of living here in the Northland.                                 Directors on this issue. It is clear the GLMC views AMFA
                                                                 as a key member in their organization’s future. I believe
Mark this date                                                   the AMFA membership feels much the same. The next
AMFA-ET Golf Social, Wednesday June 18th at the                  step is to determine AMFA representation on the correct
Nemadji Golf Club. It takes a lot work for the Educational       GLMC committees and boards so as to participate in a
Trust’s Golf Committee to put together what has become           manner that will bring value to the GLMC membership, the
a very good social event for all those affiliated with AMFA.     AMFA membership, and the entire region.
We are able to fund many deserving educational programs
with the proceeds of this single event, so the importance of     Mesabi East High School
your participation is critical each and every year.              Please make an extra effort to attend the AMFA general
         With this year marking the10th anniversary of the       meeting on Wednesday, May 14. The meeting will be
annual event, we are looking to provide a very memorable         held in Aurora at the Mesabi East School. They recently
and meaningful day of socializing, golfing, and spending         opened their new school; it is beautiful facility. More
time with new and old friends. I promise everyone a good         importantly to us in manufacturing is how the school has
time! Golfing is mandatory, even if only as an excuse to         responded to the needs of industry and found a way to
share in the fun at this event. Come and have fun! We            provide educational opportunities in engineering, CAD
laugh at ourselves (and sometimes at others). You will           drafting, and metals technologies as well as other pro-
leave the day with a smile: I guarantee it!                      grams. Besides the physical tour of the new school, we
         If you can assist in any way with supporting the        will hear from the instructors, administration and the sup-
Golf Social, such as helping the committee secure addi-          porting programs that made this possible. Mark Adams of
tional sponsors or auction donations, please let us know.        Applied Learning Initiative will be at the meeting to inform
If you absolutely don’t golf, come anyway! You will enjoy        us on ALI’s important role in this exciting program. Your
the break from your regular work day and enjoy sun and           attendance will demonstrate how important we regard
fun on the deck at the club house, as well as the evening        vocational training programs like the one at Mesabi East
meal and auction.                                                for our region’s future.

May 2008                                          Shoptalk                                                           Page 2
                                                                                   May 2008

4    Upcoming AMFA Meetings                  9       Instability - The Usual Condition
     May: Mesabi East High School
                                             11      Workforce Development: Maximize
5    Featured Member:                                the Potential of Your Employees
                                             12      Corporate Business/Tax Changes
6    AMFA-ET Golf Social
                                             14      AMFA Membership Directory
7    A Word from AMFA -ET

     AMFA                                                  AMFA Shoptalk
                                                          Advertising Rates
                                                   Shoptalk: Member Ad Rates
      Target your advertising dollars
     to the manufacturing industry in                        one         six        twelve
       northeastern Minnesota and                            month       months     months
       northwestern Wisconsin...              1/8 page       $30         $125       $200
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                                              1/2 page       $85         $400       $675
    Advertise in this 1/2 page
                                              Full page      $150        $700       $1200
      space for as little as
         $50 a month!                       A bonus is offered for members who purchase advertising
                                            space at the time of their membership renewal: Save ten
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             Interested?                    Fees for nonmembers to advertise in Shoptalk will be de-
            Dial AMFA at                    termined by the AMFA Marketing/Public Relations Commit-
                                            tee on a case-by-case basis.

May 2008                                Shoptalk                                            Page 3
         AMFA in May...                                              Upcoming AMFA
            Membership Meeting
            Wednesday, May 14
Meeting:    Noon - 1:30 p m.                                 May Meeting
                                                             Date:  Wednesday, May 14
Place:      Aurora - Mesabi East High School                 Time:  Noon
Cost:       $15/person                                       Place: Mesabi East High School, Aurora
                                                             Topic: Vocational Education in an Iron Range

Topic:                                                       AMFA-ET Golf Social
                                                             Date:  Wednesday, June 18
 Vocational Education in an                                  Time:  11:00 a.m.
 Iron Range School                                           Place: Nemadji Golf Club, Superior WI

                                                             July / August - No AMFA meetings scheduled
 Serving a K-12 student population of 1,000 stu-
 dents, Mesabi East School occupies a recently               September Meeting
 constructed/renovated facility in Aurora, MN.               Date:      Wednesday, September 10
 Unlike many schools in Minnesota, vocational                Time:      Noon
 education is alive and well at Mesabi East High             Place: Hibbing Community College
 School.                                                     Presenter: Tom Murphy, RSM McGladrey
                                                                        (rescheduled from March)
 AMFA members are invited to learn about the
 vocational education programs offered at Mesa-              Program/Location to be announced for
 bi High, including the new pre-engineering and              AMFA meetings on:
                                                             October 8
 industrial trades programs that expose students
                                                             November 12
 to metal fabrication, welding, and CAD drafting.            December 10
 Program instructors will be on hand to share
 information about curriculum, program costs,
 student enrollment, community involvement, and                      Mark Your Calendar!

 Following the program at Noon, participants are
 invited to tour the vocational ed department and
 continue on with a tour of the remainder of the
 facility as time allows. Lunch will be served in
 the school cafeteria at 1:00 PM, followed by a
 brief AMFA business meeting.

Reservations Requested by Thursday, May 8.
Contact the AMFA office:    877-330-2632

 Network with your peers in manufacturing.                     1481 Gunn Road • Grand Rapids MN
          Show your support of                                         218.245.2490                       AMFA

          vocational education!                        

May 2008                                   Shoptalk                                                    Page 4
               Employment services provider delivers high-tech, workforce solutions for employers and employees.
The Beginnings                                                   Job Seekers Benefit Too
         When attorneys Elmer Winter and Aaron Schein-                     For those on the flip side of the coin – job seek-
feld founded Manpower Inc. in 1948, they were trying to          ers in this growing labor market – Manpower has relation-
solve a problem that they, and presumably other business         ships with thousands of employers in need of staff. But we
owners, were regularly faced with. They were short-handed        don’t randomly send people off to a job. Part of Manpower’s
and had an important project that needed immediate atten-        mission is placing the right people in the right job. We de-
tion. They called a former employee to fill in for a day, and    veloped a Predictable Performance System to ensure the
with that, Manpower was born. Today, 90 percent of com-          best match between employee and employer. The system
panies work with temporary staffing providers, according to      includes an interview, testing and training that enable us to
the American Staffing Association.                               accurately place people on assignments resulting in satis-
         Many companies think to call Manpower when a            fied customers and employees.
surge in orders leaves them under-staffed or a short-term                  For those looking to expand their skill set, Manpow-
project requires extra help. While Manpower can certain-         er offers sophisticated resources that help people enhance
ly provide solutions in those situations, our offerings have     their skills and merchandise themselves to employers. The
greatly expanded since our beginnings. Today Manpower            Manpower Global Learning Center, the company’s online
is more than a staffing service. It is a world leader in human   university, offers more than 5,000 hours of training in sub-
resource solutions, offering temporary and contract staffing;    jects like technology, marketing, accounting and human
direct hire services; employee assessment; training; career      resources. Employees can complete an unlimited number
transition and organizational consulting services through        of courses at no charge. The Manpower Global Learning
4,300 offices in 72 countries and territories.                   Center is unique because it creates highly skilled employ-
         The firm annually provides employment to more           ees not only for Manpower, but for more than 400,000 com-
than two million people worldwide. In North America, Man-        panies worldwide that use Manpower’s staffing services.
power staffing services include administrative, industrial
and contact center personnel as well as the assignment of        Manpower in the Community
contract professionals in such areas as information tech-                 For more than five decades, Manpower has fulfilled
nology, scientific, finance, engineering and telecommunica-      a vital role in the communities where our employees live
tions under the Manpower Professional brand.                     and work. Because of the prominent role we have in the
                                                                 labor market, we are uniquely positioned to help countless
Manpower Supports Employers                                      individuals develop job skills and earn a place in the work-
          The economy and labor market have fluctuated           force. TechReach is Manpower’s workforce development
greatly in recent years, and as a result, employers are ex-      program that does just that.
pecting human resource professionals to be involved in                    TechReach is focused on developing a new source
more strategic projects related to core business objectives.     of highly skilled, work-ready employees to bridge the gap
At the same time, the human resources department is in-          between the high unemployment rate and the growing de-
undated with resumes for an increasing number of open            mand for skilled labor. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor
positions. Human resource professionals are demanding            Statistics suggests a critical shortage of skilled labor in the
technology-based solutions to ease some of the burden            next 20 years. We believe part of the solution to that prob-
brought on by their ever-expanding responsibilities. To in-      lem is providing opportunities for unemployed and under-
crease efficiencies for hiring managers, Manpower offers         employed people to access training that will improve their
a number of innovative technologies including online pre-        career advancement and earning potential, and best of all,
screening and assessment for job candidates, online train-       meet the skill levels demanded by employers. This pres-
ing for employees, Web order capabilities and Web-based          ents a true win-win situation.
          Small business owners are also finding that staff-     Manpower and You
ing providers can deliver efficiencies and reduced operating     With 1,100 offices across North America, Manpower is a
costs that are critical in current market conditions. Whether    great resource for any company, small or large, with human
a customer wants to discuss the degree to which human            resource needs. We can provide the continuum of HR ser-
resource tasks should be outsourced, or the need for a tem-      vices, including permanent, temporary and contract recruit-
porary employee during a peak time, Manpower wants to            ment; employee assessment; training. For more informa-
serve the small business owner.                                  tion, contact the Duluth Manpower office at 218-727-8891.

May 2008                                                 Shoptalk                                                     Page 5
                           AMFA-ET Golf Social
       AMFA Educational Trust                                           • Sponsor A Hole
              10th Annual Fund Raiser
                                                                        • Donate to the Auction
                                                                        • Join us on June 18!
                     Golf Social                                        One a year, AMFA Educational Trust hosts a Golf Social
                          All proceeds benefit the                      to raise money to support its year-long efforts. All AMFA
                                                                        members, suppliers, and support companies are asked to
                                 AMFA-ET.                               help AMFA-ET support technical education today and in
                                                                        the future! Please consider making a donation to support
     Wednesday, June 18                                                 ET, and plan to attend the social. The event is a great
                                                                        networking opportunity: last year more than 100 people
              Nemadji Golf Club                                         participated!
                        (Superior, WI)                                  AMFA-ET is a 501(c)3 tax exempt, non-profit organization
                     4-Ball Scramble                                    affiliated with AMFA. The trust was established to:
       Open to AMFA members & employees,                                • Disseminate information about employment opportuni-
 their spouses, guests and prospective members.                               ties in manufacturing
                                                                        • Provide grants to regional educational institutions
                                                                        • Support life long learning in technical education
             11:00 AM              Shotgun Start
             4:00 PM               Social
             5:00 PM               Awards & Auction
             6:00 PM               Dinner                                    Sponsorship Opportunities
                                                                                    $ 500 ..... Three Holes
         Early Bird Rates Available
                Register Prior to June 6th!                                         $ 250...... One Hole
    Early Registration (prior to 6/6/08).......... $ 115
    Late Registration (after 6/6/08) ............... $ 125                  Suggested Donations for the Auction:
    Meal Only ............................................... $ 25          Gift Certificate                Theater Tickets
                                                                            Cash                            Sporting Tickets
 Directions & Lodging                                                       Hotel Jacuzzi Suite             Other Items
 Nemadji Golf Club is located in Superior, WI. For
 information and directions, please visit www.nem- or call 715-394-0388. A block of rooms
 at a discounted rate have been reserved at Barker’s
                                             Island Inn.                REGISTRATION
                                             Please                     AMFA members - check your mail and email for detailed
                                             visit www.                 sponsorship and golf registration information. Sponsor-
                                             barkersis-                 ships, donation pledges, and event registrations should be
                                             landinn.                   sent to Mary Brandt.
                                             com or call                          Mary Brandt
                                                                                  Hibbing Community College
                                                                                  1515 E 25th Street, Hibbing MN 55746
                                             for further
                                             deatails.                            Phone:        218-262-6785

May 2008                                                     Shoptalk                                                       Page 6
              A Word from AMFA Educational Trust
                       Contributed by Diane Morin,
                       AMFA-ET Outreach Coordinator                      Low cost financing to help
                                                                           Your company grow in
                       Lake Superior College
                       Machine Technology                                 Northeastern Minnesota.
                       Students Win Gold &
                       Silver Medals at Skills
                       USA Competition
          Seven students enrolled in Lake Superior Col-
lege’s Machine Technology program were honored for
their performance at the Minnesota SkillsUSA competi-
          Matt Hjelden (International Falls), Joe Sebesta
(Duluth), and Jake Hustad (Wrenshall) won a gold medal                                  Your vision. Our backing.™
in the Community Service category for their Styrofoam
shredder recycling machine. This team will go on to com-
pete in June at the national SkillsUSA event in Kansas
City, MO.
          Matt Farchmin (Duluth) won a gold medal in the                         For more details call 800-765-5043
Job Demonstration category and will attend the national
                                                                                       or visit our website at
SkillsUSA competition in June.
          Matt Hjelden, Mark Johnson (Saginaw), Ryan                                www.
Troumbly (Grand Rapids), and Joe Sebesta won a silver
medal for their Chapter Display which featured
a machined replica of Duluth’s Enger Tower.
                                                               07-02-13 AMFA Ad.indd 1                             2/21/2007 11:49:37 AM
          Elizabeth Sandry (Winter, WI), Joe
Sebesta, and Matt Farchmin won a silver
medal for a Promotional Bulletin Board.
          SkillsUSA is a partnership of students,
teachers and industry representatives, working
together to ensure America has a skilled work
force. It helps individual students excel by pre-
paring them for careers in trade, technical and
skilled service occupations, including health
          LSC is a member of the Minnesota
State Colleges and Universities system. With
more than 4,800 students enrolled this spring
semester, LSC is northeastern Minnesota’s
largest two-year college. LSC provides a wide
range of programs and services, including
liberal arts and science courses for transfer,
technical programs intended to provide oc-
cupational skills, continuing education, and
customized training for business and indus-         Pictured left to right: Jake Hustad (Wrenshall), Ryan Troumbly (Grand
try. LSC is also a leader in Internet-delivered     Rapids), Matt Hjelden (International Falls), Mark Johnson (Saginaw),
courses and programs in Minnesota.                  Matt Farchmin (Duluth), Joe Sebesta (Duluth), instructor Mike Koppy.
                                                    Not pictured: Elizabeth Sandry

May 2008                                                   Shoptalk                                                       Page 7
  2008 Membership Directory                                           10-Hour OSHA
           Deadline Extended to May 9
                                                                  General Industry Course
           Production of the 2008 MMA Membership
  Directory is underway, with a targeted publication               Presented by: Meadowbrook Insurance Group
  date of June 2008. All current members of the three                 Scott Huberty, Loss Control Consultant
  associations affiliated with Midwest Manufacturers'
  Association, including AMFA, will be listed in the                      St. Cloud, MN
  directory at no charge, with the option to increase         Wednesday, June 4      Thursday, June 5
  exposure by purchasing a display ad. Display                11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.           8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  advertising rates are printed below.
           Many members have already responded to a           About the Course: Employees at every level
  request to confirm or update contact information and        of a manufacturing company will benefit from this
  to provide an electronic logo. The deadline to submit       comprehensive introductory course as they learn
  changes to your listing has been extended to May 9,         about the scope and application of OSHA standards
  2008.                                                       to workplace safety and health. Emphasis is placed on
           The Membership Directory will available as a       using the 29 CFR Part 1910 general industry standards
  PDF download from the Tri-State website. 500 hard           to identify and recommend abatement for the greatest
  copies will be available for distribution, with multiple    safety and health hazards. Special emphasis will be
  copies available at no charge to current members.           placed on recognizing Minnesota-specific regulations.
  More than 300 companies will be represented in the          Participants have an opportunity to increase hazard
  directory.                                                  awareness and avoidance using OSHA standards as a
                                                              guideline, and earn a general industry OSHA 10-Hour
       08    d
     20 ry A                 Members        Nonmembers        Course Completion Card.
        to s Full Page
     ec                      $200           $500
  Dir Rate Half Page         $115           $240              COST:
              Qtr Page       $ 60           $175              AMFA Member:             $99/person
                                                              Nonmember:               $149/person
                                                              Price includes training manual, lunch and refresh-
                                                              ments on day one, and full breakfast and refresh-
                                                              ments on day two.
                                                                      Class size limited to 30 people.
            Trifac Fund Holds
                                                                 Sponsored by Tri-State Manufacturers’ Association
             Annual Meeting                                or 800-654-5773

         Members of the Trifac Workers Compensation
Fund gathered at Southview Country Club in West St.
Paul on April 30, 2008, for the annual luncheon meeting.
Featured speaker at the gathering was Charles Arnold,
CEO of the new Manufacturing Success Upper Midwest,          Randy Reinke (Custom Products of Litchfield). Scott
a clearinghouse of information for manufacturers and         Whelan (Specialty Staff) was also elected to fill an added
manufacturing trade associations.                            board position.
         Founded in 1997, the Trifac Fund has enjoyed                 Other Trifac board members are: Bernie
significant growth and success since its inception.          Merchlewitz (Technical Die Casting), Dan Motl (Badger
Membership stands at 116 companies, representing             Foundry), Lori Meader (Arvig Enterprises), Louis Tilton
more than 10,000 employees and workers compensation          (Atlas Staffing), and Dick Young (Innova Industries).
premiums totalling more than $8 million dollars a year.               Randy Reinke was name Board Chairman. Ed
Eleven new companies joined the fund in 2007.                Bolas will serve as Vice Chair and Jerry Bienias as
         The April 30th meeting also featured the election   Secretary.
of Board members. The four available seats were filled                The Trifac Fund is administered by Meadowbrook
by incumbent board members: Jerry Bienias (Donnelly          Insurance Group. Call the AMFA office at 800-654-5773
Custom Manufacturing), Ed Bolas (Dycast Specialties),        to see if your company can take advantage of lower
Lynette Kluver (Alexandria Extrusion Company), and           premiums and increased control over the claims process.

May 2008                                         Shoptalk                                                      Page 8
         Instability - The Usual Condition
                             Contributed by Dr. Fred Zimmerman
My great grandfather emigrated from Germany in 1870.                Africa at this time where there is much
The Franco-Prussian War was going on then. That war,                illness, insufficient food, not enough
memories of former wars and fears of future wars triggered          teachers, few books, and almost no
an exodus of millions of capable people from Europe to the          money. The foundation, Goods for
United States. By 1890, fifteen percent of the people resid-        Good, arranged to have a few ball
ing in the United States were foreign born, an all-time high        point pens shipped to Malawi for use
in our history. These people brought solid work ethics and          by the students. The children were
a precious assortment of valuable skills. Immigrant labor           overjoyed as the enclosed picture
built the coal industry, the railroads, the steel and automotive    suggests. The questions that emerges is, “What does the
industries, much of American commerce and, of course, the           future hold for the people of this planet?”
Minnesota Iron Range.
                                                                    Yet, I am not a pessimist. I continue to think that the world
As we reflect on what has unfolded for our shirt-tail relatives     future depends upon the creativity and expertise of our
in Europe, we see that their lives have been interrupted            productive industries: manufacturing, construction, mining,
by crisis after crisis – sometimes many crises in the same          and agriculture. These industries provide the ultimate font
lifetime. Financial panics plagued Europe in the later years        of world prosperity. Prosperity is not based in finance. It is
of the nineteenth century. World War I brought widespread           not in government, though some efforts might be helpful. If
tragedy and dislocation. Political ineptitude and hyper-            we want the world to avoid the turmoil that for so many years
inflation followed with the German Papiermark becoming              plagued Europe, we will need to approach the solemn task
nearly worthless in the 1920s. A severe worldwide depression        of production with efficiency, creativity, conservation, and
was next. Unemployment was severe enough in the United              good will.
States, but it exceeded 40 percent in Germany in the early
1930s. Hitler became Chancellor after receiving 34 percent          Now that I am in the twilight of my career, I look back on our
of the vote. Another devastating War followed, resulting in         country’s situation in the past seventy or so years. Somehow,
the nearly complete devastation of German society and its           we managed to muddle through – through the Depression,
industrial base. Prosperity began to return under the wise          through World War II and several other wars, through periods
leadership of Conrad Adenauer and Ludwig Erhardt, helped            of rising prosperity and some slower periods. The differences
immeasurably by the far-sightedness of France’s Robert              between then and now, though, are several. Competition is
Schumann and George Marshall of the United States.                  rampant. Technology is widespread. Educational standards
                                                                    are rising in many places, and our nation is now very heavily
All of these traumatic events occurred within the span of one       in debt. All this tells me, muddling won’t be quite enough,
lifetime. When my father’s Aunt Martha died in 1968, contact        this time. We are going to have to get cracking.
with our distant relatives in Germany ceased. Many of these
people had witnessed all or nearly all of these devastating         And, we can. We can invest in more modern equipment. We
periods of instability.                                             can train our people better. We can have more of a world
                                                                    view. We can better understand the markets we serve and
Here in relatively tranquil America, we have harbored the           serve them better. We can be more frugal and less waste-
belief that stability is the usual condition. Our prosperity, our   ful in our personal affairs. We expect greater excellence on
good fortune, our geographic distance from troubled lands,          the part of our business and government leaders. We can
and the hard work and creativity of our people have left us         lengthen our school year and work harder to educate those
unaccustomed to instability. God has indeed been good to            who come after us. We can become less selfish.
us, and we have much to be thankful for.
                                                                    None of these efforts will be easy. But if we don’t make the
Yet, as everyone knows, there is a huge resource crisis             attempt to operate more systematically and with a higher
emerging regarding the availability and cost of energy. An-         purpose, we risk that our society will know first hand that
other crisis is emerging in materials, where some essential         stability is not the usual condition.
materials are in high demand as world stocks shrink. Perhaps
an even more ominous crisis is unfolding in food costs and          Dr. Fred Zimmerman is Professor Emeritus of Engineering
availability when so many people are unable to provide suf-         and Management at the University of St. Thomas. Before
ficient nourishment for their families. Then we have press-         joining the University in 1985, Dr. Zimmerman spent thirty
ing economic problems emerging with global warming and              years in industry as an engineer, manager, vice-president
pollution.                                                          and president with three companies in the computer indus-
                                                                    try. He has served on the boards of directors of fourteen
Our daughter Brigitte is working for a foundation in Malawi,        corporations.

May 2008                                                    Shoptalk                                                    Page 9
       AMFA                                                       Great Lakes Manufacturing
STANDING COMMITTEES                                               Council Visit to the Region
                                                                    Spearheaded by AMFA
             Will you get involved?                            Thank you to the many volunteers involved in coordinat-
                                                               ing a fantastic day of sharing and learning on March 31
 AMFA members - you are invited to get involved in             for visiting guests Ed Wolking, Great Lakes Manufacturing
 YOUR organization! Research shows that the more               Council board member and Kate Saba, Canadian Consul-
 involved you become in an organization like AMFA, the         ate.
 more you’ll gain from your membership. The AMFA
 standing committees listed below would welcome your           Despite questionable weather conditions, our guests were
 involvement in 2008. Where do your interests lie?             treated to a breakfast welcome, a fly-over view of mining
                                                               activities, tours of local manufacturing, a luncheon meeting
 The list below names a contact person for each commit-        in Hibbing with area dignitaries, exposure to the DECC,
 tee. To learn more about the activities and responsibili-     and a very warm reception by AMFA members at the eve-
 ties, or to volunteer to get involved, give the appropriate   ning social.
 person a call. Or, call Sandy Kashmark at the AMFA
 office (877-330-2632).                                        Discussion regarding future AMFA involvement with the
                                                               GLMC is ongoing ... plan to attend the AMFA meeting on
                                                               May 14 for an update on this issue.
 Tom Vacca  Northland Machine               218-328-6479

 Dan Larson Hydrosolutions    218-722-7001

 Dan Larson, Hydrosolutions  218-722-7001

 Mary Brandt, Hibbing Comm. College 218-262-6785

 Rusty Hoglund Superior Steel 715-395-0256

 Heidi Timm-Bijold City of Duluth           218-730-5324

                                                               The Canadian Consulate hosted an AMFA meet-
       Join a Committee!                                       ing and reception at the Holiday Inn on March
                                                               31. Pictured at the event are: Andy Peterson
                                                               (Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce), Rusty &
                                                               Sandy Hoglund (Superior Steel), David Hogan
                                                               (Northstar Aerospace), and Linda Kratt (Duluth                                     Area Chamber of Commerce).

  AMFA members, enhance your listing on the
  associations’ website. Contact the office to                     AMFA Board of Directors Meeting
  inquire about adding your corporate logo,                              Wednesday, May 14
  photos, etc. Call 877-330-2632 or email                             Mesabi East High School                                                          10:30 AM - Noon
                                                                     Board meetings are open to the membership.

May 2008                                         Shoptalk                                                       Page 10
             Workforce Development:
       Maximize the Potential of Your Employees
A few weeks ago I joined about a dozen metal manufactur-       managers and supervisors—set the example for produc-
ers attending a meeting held at Anoka Technical College.       tion workers by furthering their own education and cel-
The topic of the day was finding skilled workers—partic-       ebrating the education/training achievements of all.
ularly those fresh out of an appropriate manufacturing
program.                                                       How can you compete with them? Call your training part-
                                                               ners and let them know your current and future needs.
The good news at this technical college was that classes       Gather your workforce and set new expectations. Make a
were once again experiencing enrollment increases, the         personal investment—enroll yourself in a class or work-
skills being taught were what the industry called for, and     shop. Make this the year that you begin
students were getting degrees and certifications.              to maximize the potential of every single
                                                               person on your payroll.
So what led to the consternation of the employers at this
meeting? There was no one to hire because nearly all of        Debra Bultnick is DEED’s Industry
the graduates from the metals program were not job seek-       Liaison for Minnesota Manufacturing
ers.                                                           Workforce Development. She can be
                                                               reached at:
As a matter of fact, the students in Minnesota’s technical     or 612.298.2592.
colleges are, on average, from 27 to 32 years old. They
already have jobs. Employers who are used to contact-
ing instructors for leads on student candidates for hire are
coming up empty-handed.

Often, the initial reaction by manufacturers is to ask how                                                                  THINKING
more students not already employed in the field could be
encouraged or persuaded to take those same classes and                                                Fab Equipment?
then graduate as job seekers. You know the mantra—tours
to students in high schools, industry visits for parents and                                                             THINK
career counselors, etc., etc.
                                                                                                    PRODUCTIVITY INC.
                                                                Productivity offers a full line of quality fabrication equipment and systems for
Here are four trends impacting the workforce to consider:       both job shops and manufacturers. Every machine comes with applications
1. The number of students graduating from Minnesota             support and service, consultation and analysis for optimizing your ROI.

   high schools will peak with the class of 2009 at about                                                            DURMA
   65,000. In just six years, that number drops to less
   than 58,000 in the class of 2015.
2. The Boomers are going, going…
3. The labor force growth slows from the current estimat-                                                                   CNC Punching
                                                                                                                           Machines, Press
   ed 12%, to 7% by 2015, less than 4% by 2020, and                                                                        Brakes, Shears &
   less than 3% in 2030 according to the state demogra-                             Sawing Systems

   pher.                                                                                                                                                 3-5-Axis Laser Cutting
                                                                                                                                                          Machines & Systems
4. Automation will relieve the pressure on the number of
   employees needed to maintain or improve production
   levels, but will put demands on the higher skill levels
                                                                      Abrasive Waterjet
   needed for this smaller workforce.                                 Cutting Systems
                                                                                                                                                                  Fine Plasma

Some Minnesota manufacturers already leverage these
trends to their advantage. They place expectations on their
incumbent workforce to be life-long learners (even if life                                                                                                                Call
                                                                                                                                                                        Produc y!
                                                                                                                   Automated Metal Fabrication
“begins” at age 55) and use tuition reimbursement for all
tiers within their production and management workforce.                                                ®

                                                                 W W W . P R O D U C T I V I T Y . C O M
                                                                                                           15150 25th Avenue North • Minneapolis, MN 55447
                                                                                                           800.328.3272 • 763.476.8600 • W W W . PRODUC TIVIT Y . COM
They include training-related metrics as part of an em-        Machine Tools • Fabrication • Tooling & Accessories • Turn Key/Production Ready • Applications & Engineering
                                                                Robotics & Automation • Quality Used Equipment Sales • Integrated Supply (MMIS) • Training Schedules
ployee review. And they themselves—owners, presidents,

May 2008                                                 Shoptalk                                                                                                           Page 11
                  Recent Corporate and Business Tax Changes
                              Contributed by Mark Geier, Larkin Hoffman Daly & Lindgren, Ltd.

The federal government continues to churn out a high             Quicker deduction for payroll tax on bonuses and
volume of tax developments that affect corporations and          vacation pay. The IRS has allowed employers that use
businesses. You may be interested in the following. Please       the accrual method of accounting and incur payroll taxes
feel free to contact me for more information.                    (Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax and Fed-
                                                                 eral Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) tax) to take a deduc-
Economic Stimulus Act. On February 13, President Bush            tion for bonuses and vacation pay in an earlier year than
signed the “Economic Stimulus Act of 2008” into law. The         the year in which the amounts are paid in many cases.
Act includes two important business changes:                     The IRS now allows these employers to use a specialized
                                                                 rule known as the recurring item accounting exception. In
•	   Liberalized expensing. The Stimulus Act enhanced the        general, under this exception, taxpayers may be able to
     option to currently deduct the cost of business machin-     currently deduct certain recurring liabilities that they pay on
     ery and equipment, instead of recovering its cost via       or before the earlier of their tax return due date (including
     depreciation over a number of years. It increased the       extensions), or the 15th day of the ninth calendar month
     amount that a business may expense from $128,000            after the close of the tax year. Thus, for example, if an
     to $250,000. The expensing election begins to phase         employee earns $10,000 of vested vacation pay for ser-
     out when a business buys more than a specified dollar       vices performed in 2008, and a calendar year corporation
     amount of expensing eligible assets. The Stimulus           actually pays the compensation in February of 2009, the
     Act increased this dollar amount from $510,000 to           corporation may deduct the vacation pay, and the payroll
     $800,000. Both changes enhance expensing as tax             tax related to that pay, on its 2008 return.
     option for more businesses and are in effect for tax
     years beginning in 2008.                                    IRS says FICA applies to payouts made to ex-employ-
                                                                 ees in lieu of health coverage. The IRS has concluded
•	   Bonus	first	year	depreciation. In addition to the usual     that amounts paid directly to former employees in lieu of
     depreciation deduction allowed for business property,       heath care coverage are wages for FICA purposes be-
     the Stimulus Act permits businesses to take an extra        cause they are attributable to service performed by the
     “bonus” depreciation deduction for the first year new       employees for their former employers.
     assets are placed in service. The bonus first-year de-
     preciation deduction generally equals 50% of the cost       Mark	Geier	is	an	attorney	with	the	law	firm	of	Larkin	Hoff-
     of qualified property (most types of tangible property      man Daly & Lindgren, Ltd., in Bloomington, serving as
     other than buildings and their structural components,       general counsel to many manufacturing businesses, with
     improvements to certain types of leased property, and       an emphasis in mergers and acquisitions and trade. Lar-
     most software) acquired and placed in service dur-          kin Hoffman has over 70 attorneys focusing on all aspects
     ing 2008. Certain types of property with a long life,       of business, tax and commercial real estate. The informa-
     and certain types of aircraft, may be placed in service     tion contained in this article is general in nature and is not
     before Jan. 1, 2010, and still qualify for the 50% bonus    intended to create an attorney-client relationship and does
     first year depreciation allowance.                          not	constitute	legal	advice	applicable	to	anyone’s	specific	
                                                                 situation. Contact Mark by phone at 952-896-3228 or by
Luxury auto depreciation limits for 2008. Under special          e-mail
“luxury automobile” rules, the otherwise available depre-
ciation deductions for business autos, light trucks, and
minivans are subject to additional dollar limits which vary
year-to-year. The IRS has released the inflation-adjusted         Betts and Associates
depreciation limits for business autos, light trucks and vans
(including minivans) placed in service in 2008. For exam-         Gene Betts
ple, the first year dollar limit generally is $2,960 for autos    President CEO
and $3,160 for light trucks or vans first placed in service
in 2008. For new vehicles first placed in service during                 Product Development Consulting
2008, the Stimulus Act increased the otherwise applicable               Product Development Management
first-year limit by $8,000—e.g., to $10,960 for autos and                      We become a part of your team
$11,160 for light trucks or vans.
                                                                  Betts and Associates                     cell: 218-428-5088
                                                                  P.O. Box 268
Note that special restrictions also apply to leased business      240 Skiff Landing Road
autos, light trucks and minivans.                                 Knife River, MN 55609

May 2008                                          Shoptalk                                                             Page 12
           Shoptalk Advertising Rates                                                  Shoptalk
                                                                                Shoptalk is a publication of the Arrowhead
          No advertising accepted for employment or for services that
                                                                                Manufacturers & Fabricators Association
          might lure employees of one member company to work for
                                                                                (AMFA), featuring news and opportunities
          another member company. Nonmember advertising accepted ...
                                                                                pertinent to the manufacturing industry.
          call the AMFA office for rate information.

                             AMFA Member Rates                                  AMFA 2008 Board of Directors:
                                one        six         twelve                   Dan Larson, AMFA President
                                                                                HydroSolutions of Duluth 218-722-7001
                                month      months      months         
             1/8 page           $30        $125        $200
                                                                                Dave Sarvela, AMFA President Elect
             1/4 page           $50        $225        $375                     Ikonics Corporation    218-628-2217
             1/2 page           $85        $400        $675           
             Full page          $150       $700        $1200
                                                                                Tom Vacca, Vice President
           Contact Sandy Kashmark at the AMFA office for more infor-            Northland Machine       218-328-6479
           mation: Phone: 877-330-2632                                
                                                                                Mary Brandt, AMFA Secretary
                                                                                Hibbing Comm. College 218-262-6785
                                                 We want to print     
                   AMFA is                        member news...
                   affiliated                Please submit articles and
                                                                                Rusty Hoglund, AMFA Treasurer
                                                                                Superior Steel, Inc.    715-395-0256
                     with                   photos for consideration by
                   Midwest                  the 17th of the month prior
                                                                                Gene Betts, Director Emeritus
  Manufacturers’ Association                      to publication.               Betts & Associates        218-428-5088

 AMFA Dues Structure                                                            Byron Helland, AMFA Director
                                                                                Moline Machine        218-624-5734
 Manufacturing and                               No. of Employees        Dues
 service members: Annual dues are                    Sole Proprietor     $ 75   Gary Werkhoven, AMFA Director
 based on number of employees, as                    2-5 employees        100   Arrowhead Prod. Dev.  218-525-5210
 outlined at right.                                 6-10 employees        125
                                                   11-15 employees        150
 Education and                                    16-25 employees         200   David Hogan, AMFA Past President
 governmental members:                            26-50 employees         250   Northstar Aerospace   218-720-2920
 Annual dues are $200.                           51-100 employees         300
                                                Over 100 employees        350
                                                                                Shoptalk is produced and edited by:
                                                        Government       $200             Midwest Mfg. Association
 For information and a membership
                                                         Education       $200             PO Box 150
 application, visit the website at amfa- or call the AMFA office at                                                     Elbow Lake MN 56531
 877-330-2632.                                                                            877-330-2632
 AMFA dues may be deducted as an ordinary business expense for tax purposes,    If you have comments, suggestions for
 but are not deductible as a charitable expense.                                future stories, or would like to inquire
                                                                                about advertising, please contact Sandy
                                                                                Kashmark at Midwest Mfg. Association.

May 2008                                               Shoptalk                                                Page 13
                             AMFA Membership Directory
Advisornet Benefits                   Duluth, City of                          Hibbing Fabricators                Lubrication Technology
Minneapolis MN                        Duluth MN                                Hibbing MN                         Golden Valley MN
Mike Burress          612-347-8602    Heidi Timm-Bijold 218-730-5324           Fred Prom         218-262-5575     Gary Parkos       763-545-0707                                           

Aitkin Iron Works                     Duluth Public Schools                    Hydrosolutions of Duluth, Inc.     Manpower
Aitkin MN                             Duluth MN                                Duluth MN                          Duluth & Hibbing MN
Jeff Chatelle     218-927-2400        Jim Arndt          218-336-8975          Dan Larson        218-722-7001     Cheryl Christensen 218-727-8891                                                  

Altec HiLine                          Dynamic Structural Steel                 Ikonics Corporation                Matt Haley & Associates
Duluth MN                             Proctor MN                               Duluth MN                          Chanhassen MN
Jake Pessenda      218-722-9200       Patrick Contardo      218-628-2501       Dave Sarvela       218-628-2217    Matt Haley        612-598-8743                         

APEX                                  Ely Area Development Assoc.              Iron Range Resources               ME Elecmetal
Duluth MN                             Ely MN                                   Eveleth MN                         Duluth MN
Lisa Heyesen     218-740-3667         Pat Henderson    218-365-3012            Rick Anderson     218-744-7400     Bill Grau        218-626-4827                                       

Arrowhead Product Develop.            Erickson Metals of MN                    Itasca Community College           Meadowbrook Insurance
Duluth MN                             Coon Rapids MN                           Grand Rapids MN                    Vadnais Heights MN
Gary Werkhoven   218-525-5210         Abby Kara          763-785-2340          Brad McKay       218-259-3385      Terry Didion      651-483-6152                               

Aspen Aerials                         Express Employment Profess.              Junior Achievement                 Merit Enterprises, Inc.
Duluth MN                             Duluth MN                                Duluth MN                          Isle MN
Pat Clark         218-624-1111        Julie Weisgerber      218-624-4142       Tim Wigchers      218-727-8745     Mike Eye            320-676-3141                                     

Betts & Associates                    Floe International                       Kendeco                            Mesabi Range College
Knife River MN                        McGregor MN                              St. Cloud MN                       Virginia MN
Gene Betts        218-428-5088        Bret Bussman       218-426-3563          Bob Miller      320-253-1020       Colleen Gerzin    218-749-7716                       

CAST Corporation                      Fond du lac Community College            L & M Radiator                     Minnesota Power
Hibbing MN                            Cloquet MN                               Hibbing MN                         Duluth MN
Tim Bungarden      218-263-8510       Jeanne Kermeen 218-879-0846              Darrell Niemi    218-263-8993      Jennifer Hawkins 218-723-3913                                                    

Chicago Tube & Iron                   Hales Machine Tool                       Lake Superior College              Minnesota Technology Inc.
Duluth MN                             Minneapolis MN                           Duluth MN                          Duluth MN
Chuck Davidson    218-723-8111        Tim Hales 763-553-1711                   Amy Westbrook     218-733-5917     Diann Lowinski    218-727-8697                                        

Duluth Area Chamber                   Hegman Machine Tool                      The Laurentian Group               Moline Machinery LLC
Duluth MN                             Maple Grove MN                           Eveleth MN                         Duluth MN
David Ross       218-740-3755         Zach Hegman     763-424-5622             Art Tweten        218-780-2984     Kevin Boreen      218-624-5734                             

Duluth Brass Manufacturing            Hibbing Community College                LHB, Inc.                          National Bank of Commerce
Duluth MN                             Hibbing MN                               Duluth MN                          Superior WI
Tom Holt           218-262-2564       Mary Brandt      218-262-6785            Bill Bennett        218-727-8446   Bruce Thompson 715-394-5531                 

May 2008                                                     Shoptalk                                                                   Page 14
                          AMFA Membership Directory
Northeast Higher Ed                Praxair Distribution                              Republic Bank                             UMD Ctr for Economic Devel.
Chisholm MN                        Duluth MN                                         Duluth MN                                 Duluth MN
Joe Sertich        218-254-7976    Jeff Peterson       218-624-5741                  Steve Utech       218-733-6463            Elaine Hansen    218-726-7298                            

Northland Foundation               Precision Waterjet Cutting                        Spooner Machine Inc.                      US Bank
Duluth MN                          Pequot Lakes MN                                   Spooner WI                                Duluth MN
John Elden         218-723-4040    Joel Quaal         218-568-5052                   Randy McQuade 715-635-3220                Mark Peterson    218-723-2961                                                         

Northland Machine                  Premier Products, Inc.                            Stanley LaBounty                          Vermilion Community College
Grand Rapids MN                    Braham MN                                         Two Harbors MN                            Ely MN
Marv Gustafson   218-328-6479      Denny Fredlin     320-396-3330                    Kate Rykhus       218-834-6728            Mary Klein      218-365-2247                                                      

Northstar Aerospace                Productivity, Inc.                                Superior Steel Inc.                       W.P. & R.S. Mars Co.
Duluth MN          218-720-2920    Two Harbors MN                                    Superior WI                               Duluth MN
John Eagleton, David Hogan         Todd Hanson        218-834-5508                   Rusty Hoglund       715-395-0256          Robert Pratt       218-628-0303                                                                                       

NRRI                               Rainy River Community College                     Teamworks, Inc.                           Wisc. Indianhead Tech College
Duluth MN                          International Falls MN                            Park Rapids MN                            Superior, WI
Steve Johnson     218-720-4312     Julie Schumacher 218-285-2255                     Mick Christianson 218-732-3622            Garry Krause       715-394-6677                          garry,                                                

Plastics International             Rapids Process Equipment                          Twin City Plating Co.                     Zakobe Metal Stampings
Eden Prairie MN                    Grand Rapids MN                                   Minneapolis MN                            Grand Rapids MN
Paul Carter         952-934-2303   Brent Roering    218-327-0772                     Roger Plath         612-331-8895          Teresa Karnes    218-245-2490                                                                                            

                                                                                                                           Prepaid Meeting
                                                 HELPING ENTREPRENEURS AND
   Have you checked into the                     BUSINESSES GROW & SUCCEED                                                 Passes Available
          benefits of
                                                                                             Duluth Office:                     AMFA members have the op-
                                                                                           Technology Village
                                                                                                                       tion to prepay for monthly meetings.
                                                                                            11 E. Superior St.
                                                                                            Duluth, MN 55802           Since there are nine regular AMFA
                                                                                             218-726-7298 .
                                                                                              888-387-4594             meetings during a calendar year,
                                                                                                                       members have the option to purchase
                                                PROFESSIONAL . KNOWLEDGABLE . EXPERIENCED                              nine prepaid meeting passes for
     Compensation                                                                     BUSINESS SERVICES
                                                                                                                       $105. This rate reflects a $30 sav-
                                                   . Succession                                                        ings, or two free meetings.
                                                                                    . Loan Packaging
                                                                                    . Strategic Planning
                                                   . Business Plan                  . Record Keeping
                                                                                                                                Members have up to one
                                                        Development                       Systems                      year to use nine prepaid registra-
                                                   . Feasibility Analysis           . Information                      tions, and have control over how the
                                                   . Market Research                      Resources
                                                                                                                       passes are used. For example, your
  $2 Million Dividend in 2007!                     . Advertising/Sales              . E-Commerce
                                                   . Financial Analysis             . Electronic                       company may send one person to
     Call the office today                                                                Procurement                  nine meetings, send nine people to
           for details!                                                                                                one meeting, or any other combina-
       877-330-2632                                  SATELLITE OFFICES: Cloquet Area . Cook County . Ely .
                                                                                                                       tion. For more information about
                                                                                                                       purchasing prepaid meeting passes,
                                                Grand Rapids . Hermantown . Hibbing/Chisholm . International Falls .
                                                                   Lake County . Quad Cities                           contact the office.

May 2008                                                               Shoptalk                                                                    Page 15

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