Steve Kline is the Director of Market Intelligence for Gardner Business Media (publisher of Modern Machine Shop and other media serving manufacturing since 1923). Steve’s work at Gardner gives him a unique perspective on the US economy, since he studies and reports on very specific manufacturing subsets of it – capital equipment, machine tools, and the economic performance of associated manufacturing technologies & their impact on the companies that sell and purchase them. His work is published regularly on Gardner’s Manufacturing Economic News Blog, and he regularly works with manufacturing groups and associations on research of the US & global manufacturing economies.
I sat down with Steve to discuss the current state of the manufacturing technology economy, and its vitality in the coming years.
In the heart of the US’ manufacturing heartland, a very special ‘machine shop’ with an equally special ‘shop manager’ just may well have found the solution to our manufacturing skills crisis. And it’s likely unlike any manufacturing business you’ve ever seen.
What makes this ‘shop’ special is that it’s housed in Eleva-Strum Central High School in Wisconsin, and all aspects of the business – Cardinal Manufacturing – are run by Eleva-Strum students.
It’s a remarkable model that – if accepted and considered by other US school districts & high schools – could have immeasurable impact on improving our long-term shortage of manufacturing talent in the US. Why? Because Cardinal has implemented a program that bridges the gap between technical proficiency and business acumen – something that only apprenticeships have accomplished in the past.