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Springmaking Looking Up

Tuesday, February 22, 2005
According to the Spring Manufacturers Institute (SMI) Business Trends Survey for the fourth quarter of 2004, U.S. springmaking companies recorded a solid year of gains in 2004, and projections for 2005 are optimistic. This, despite the impact of imports from China. SMI president Dave Weber credits the bounce in business to a “dramatic increase of domestic business for industrial equipment and specialty products such as medical and aerospace products.” Half of the 42 reporting companies indicated that their businesses grew in 2004, and another 29 percent said business remained flat from the previous quarter. And, most said that quotes and shipments had climbed. SMI is online at

The Search for America’s Most Skilled Workers

Friday, February 18, 2005
To celebrate its 100th birthday, Red Wing Shoe Co., Red Wing, MN, is launching the search for America’s top 100 skilled tradesmen, “to honor the unsung heroes of our country’s workforce and to show our commitment to the future of the skilled-trade industry,” says company president and COO Dave Murphy. From February 21 to June 30, 2005, friends, family and co-workers can nominate tradespeople working in metalworking, welding and other industries. Nominees will be judged by a team of experts, and the 100 winners will be announced in fall 2005. Winners receive a $500 scholarship to an accredited vocational or technical school and a pair of limited-edition Red Wing 100th anniversary boots. To obtain an entry form and view official rules, mail a request to Search for America’s Master Tradesmen, 8000 Norman Center Dr., Suite 400, Bloomington, MN 55437. Entries include essay of 250 words or less that describes why the nominee deserves recognition.

Year-End U.S. Machine-Tool Consumption Report

Thursday, February 17, 2005
AMT-The Association for Manufacturing Technology and the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association (AMTDA) report that 2004 machine-tool sales climbed 43.6 percent ahead of 2003 sales. A December order spike helped—December 2004 orders were up 9.8 percent from November and up 41.4 percent over December 2003 sales. Regionally, the western region showed the biggest gain, with 2004 sales racing 78.9 percent ahead of 2003 sales. Sales in the northeast region were up 60.2 percent; central region, up 48.3 percent; midwestern region, up 39.6 percent; and southern region, up 16.3 percent.


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