Anita of Bear Boring LLC in Illinois is a little "ticked off."
If you knew Anita like I do, you'd know that I had to edit that statement (and those below) since she can't be described as a ... er, delicate flower. And when Anita gets torqued about something, you're more than likely gonna notice.
You know what's got Anita's goat? The same thing that gets yours nearly every day - the lack of respect for manufacturing or manufacturers, and the seemingly prevalent belief that we're all unwashed heathens.
We've all seen and heard manufacturers dissed as stooges before. So how do we change that?
Anita writes (highly edited for community standards), "I know (that) tech and all that is vitally important. I do. But if I hear one more (gosh-darned) word about it I'mo slap somebody. (So) why are the trades so denigrated? Why are the people who actually BUILD the stuff you use every_stinkin’_day treated like a subspecies – and (their) jobs treated like something that 'well, anybody could do THAT!'?
Why is the architect lauded? And the guy who (builds) the actual building (the building, btw, that you trust to stay the [honk] off your head as you walk into it everyday) – why is that guy dismissed?"
Shockingly, Anita wasn't done there.
"And I'm not just talking in the (custom manufacturing) communities – why has 'shop' always been a metaphor for 'loser that can't get into accelerated academics?' That 'loser' is building the (dad-gummed) DESK upon which your PC keyboard sits (which some 'loser' btw, also (might have) reverse-engineered because practical application was impossible).
In Chicago in February? Some LOSERS are keeping your (posterior) warm, because they come to fix your furnace.
How did we get to where these jobs became 'dead-end' in people's minds...or second class?
And most important: How do we, as a country, change that perception before we all go down the tubes, freezing our potatoes off because nobody under the age of 40 knows how to fix a furnace?"
I gotta tell ya, I love a woman with grit.
But she was obviously upset, and needed some relief. So, I decided to offer Anita (and the rest of you) some evidence, some relief, some ammunition, for you to convince anyone that questions the value, chops, talent, smarts and tenacity of manufacturers. And to see that there are people committed to putting manufacturing and those that make it happen in the light they deserve.
I give you (and Anita) The Edge Factor.
These are passionate, committed professionals who actually come from manufacturing backgrounds, on a mission to portray - accurately - the vast creativity required and satisfaction provided by a career in manufacturing. Their goal is to produce a series of high-quality shows that take viewers through the entire design and production cycles to develop, refine and deliver a part or product, and the technologies and intelligence that goes into those processes.
They are just starting out, and they're looking to pitch this to broader audiences. So, I guess they could use our help. I'm doing my part, and I think you should do yours. Give 'em some encouragement. Spread the word. Buy pizza for the troops, and watch the pilot at lunch.
This may not be THE answer to the misconceptions about manufacturing in this country. But it's sure a step in the right direction. It's sophisticated, it's maintained by people who get manufacturing because they've lived it, and it's not some uncomfortable, hackneyed expression of hipness (like your Dad crashing your party wearing a Weezer t-shirt and laying "-izzle" on the end of every other word).
I'll bet Anita - and you - feel a little better after seeing this. Pass the relief along to someone you know.