Signature Event Photo Pages
March 20, 2015
Compliance Technologies, Inc.
Twenty Five Hazardous Years
Compliance Technologies, Inc., WIRE-Net Member Since 2005

by Rob Felber, President, Felber Public Relations & Marketing

Compliance Technologies, Inc. (CTI) was founded in Cleveland, Ohio in May of 1990 by Stephen Kovatch. CTI's initial focus was as a leader in handling hazardous waste treatment, regulatory compliance and remediation. Mr. Kovatch had previously worked at the Ohio EPA and the hazardous waste industry. CTI developed customer waste management programs, including waste evaluations, disposal facility selection, and transportation.  more

Accelerate Cleveland Manufacturing Events Hit Their Stride

Earlier this month, over 75 people from 30 manufacturers attended the Accelerate Cleveland Manufacturing Networking Plant Tour at Jergens, Inc. Attendees were welcomed by Jergens, Inc. President, Jack Schron, Jr., and Dollar Bank's Director of Corporate Affairs, Brian Tucker. Afterwards, everyone was treated to a tour of the Jergen's facility where they saw the state-of-the-art plant first hand.

On March 24th, Cleveland manufacturers will once again have the opportunity to learn more about Jergen's success . . .  more

Networking at Jergens, Inc.
Help Wanted
How Manufacturers Are Adjusting to Just-in-Time Hiring

by Vic Ing, Alliance Industrial Solutions

Manufacturers have started to manage talent the same way they manage raw materials or shipping. They want it when they want it, mimicking the just-in-time manufacturing principle that's based on meeting demand as it happens.

Simultaneously, candidates have more job options to choose from as the economy improves and the minimum wage increases.  more

February 20, 2015
From Five Employees and a Little Brown Box to Major Regional Manufacturing Firm in 59 Short Years!
Jamestown Container Companies, WIRE-Net Member Since 2013

by Rob Felber, President, Felber Public Relations & Marketing

The backbone of Jamestown Container Companies' organization is a supply chain that includes manufacturing plants in Falconer and Rochester, NY, and Macedonia, OH. JCC also offers a packaging supplies and fulfillment distribution center in Buffalo, NY, is the majority operating partner of a sheet feeder in Niagara Falls, NY, and is part of an ownership group of a linerboard mill in Niagara Falls, NY.  more

Jamestown Container Companies
Hydrogen Fuel Cell
GLWN Leads National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Manufacturing Development Project

WIRE-Net's GLWN formerly known as the Great Lakes WIND Network) has been selected to lead a competitiveness analysis funded by the U.S. Department of Energy to boost the U.S. manufacturing sector of hydrogen and fuel cells.

Manufacturers and suppliers will benefit through the development of a robust supply chain to support mass production of hydrogen and fuel cell systems which will enable the market to competitively grow. Findings from this study will provide key information to direct investment and infrastructure growth.  more

Protecting Your Intellectual Properties in Today's Volatile Marketplace

by Howard Cohn, Patent and Trademark Attorney

In today's globally-competitive marketplace, protecting your intellectual property is more crucial now than ever to the success of your business. Often, Innovation is the only way to grow. In fact, the primary advantage a company has is its innovative secrets.

But why are so many companies failing to protect themselves and solidify their bottom line? And what are some of the hidden dangers companies face in the future?  more

Intellectual Property
January 16, 2015
MotionSource International LLC
Moving Industry Forward, Smoothly
MotionSource International LLC, WIRE-Net Member Since 2012

by Rob Felber, President, Felber Public Relations & Marketing

Founded in 2012, MotionSource International LLC is a light manufacturing and industrial distribution company originally established in Macedonia, Ohio. In just two short years, the company has already tripled their footprint in Northeast Ohio with a move to their new facilities on Solon Road in Solon.

With over 60 years of experience in the lubrication and hydraulics industry, the MotionSource team of can answer all your questions and provide you the help you need to keep your business up and running.  more

WIRE-Net Will Help Grow Cleveland Manufacturing in 2015

This year, WIRE-Net will be working collaboratively with manufacturing advocacy group, MAGNET, to bring growth solutions to manufacturers and connect people in the urban core to training and jobs. The Cleveland Foundation has funded the Accelerate Cleveland Manufacturing program—which complements WIRE-Net's work on the Advance Northeast Ohio initiative—to identify roadblocks to economic growth, one core city factory at a time. The program builds on the strengths of both organizations to create affordable solutions for Cleveland companies.  more

The Cleveland Foundation
Business to Business
Can B2B be Successful in Inbound Marketing and Lead Generation?

by Chris Peer, SyncShow Interactive

As an inbound marketer, I often get asked if inbound lead generation and lead nurturing works for B2B companies. There seems to be a belief that business-to-business companies fall into a black hole when it comes to marketing. It is simply not true. YES, inbound lead generation and lead nurturing works wonders for B2B companies, and in some areas even better than B2C!  more

December 19, 2014
High-Level Quality and Technical Capabilities
General Metal Heat Treating, Inc., WIRE-Net Member Since 2010

by Rob Felber, President, Felber Public Relations & Marketing

General Metal Heat Treating (GMHT) was founded in 1942 by Bill Kaye, a furnace operator and Joe Sindelar, a former employee of the East Ohio Gas Company. A true "war baby," GMHT focused on tungsten based steel that could be heat treated in open flame. Arthur Torok joined the business as a young metallurgist and minority owner in 1962. By 1972 he had become the majority owner and President.  more

General Metal Heat Treating, Inc.
2014 Supervisory Training
Optimize Overall Job Performancey

ERC Supervisory Certificate Training I

On an unusually cold November Tuesday morning, 24 front line production supervisors and foremen traveled to WIRE-Net to see what they could learn to be a better supervisor. And boy did they learn! 100% of attendees surveyed either agreed or strongly agreed that the program material was well organized, useful as a resource guide, and that the knowledge acquired from the four-week workshop will help optimize overall job performance.  more

Safety & Loss Control Updates: Get up to Speed for 2015

by David Leff, Oswald Companies

The New Year will soon arrive, and with it, the opportunity to get up-to-date on current rules and regulations. You should know these key safety topics, including OSHA Reporting Modifications, Global Harmonization Standard (GHS), and FMCSA rules.

New Injury Reporting & Exempt List Effective January 1, 2015  more

November 21, 2014
Universal Grinding Corporation
Don Toth's Decision to "Grind It Out" in Cleveland Leads to Success
Universal Grinding Corporation, WIRE-Net Member Since 1988

by Rob Felber, President, Felber Public Relations & Marketing

Universal Grinding Corporation (U.G.C.), one of the founding members of WIRE-Net, was established in 1944. Originally located across from what is now Progressive Field, the company experienced tremendous growth at the end of World War II. The automotive industry was booming in Cleveland and U.G.C. was able to ride the wave, moving to the flats of Cleveland. Further expansion and reorganization in 1979 led to yet another move to the current 80,000 square foot building located on West 78th Street. U.G.C. grinds everything from non-ferrous and ferrous metals to exotics like glass, rubber, plastics and fiber-glass.  more

New Member Triton Products Fills Talent Needs

WorkSource Program Fills Job in Less Than 30 Days

Triton Products became a member of WIRE-Net this August and immediately asked for help to fill an opening for a Warehouse Supervisor. Triton Products, located in Solon, Ohio, offers a variety of heavy-duty pegboard storage solutions to secure and organize tools and other items through three channels - industrial distributors, retail box stores, and dot.coms like Amazon, which accounts for a large amount of their growth.  more

Help Wanted
Food for Thought
Good Tidings Bring Employers Dividends

by Tracie Pascoe, Food for Thought

Get ready to celebrate with your coworkers this year because the annual party is experiencing a dramatic resurgence in popularity. Holiday plans have always been an unscientific but reliable indicator of the economy, and this year it looks as though we're on an upswing.

Employers are beginning to understand that the ROI justifies the cost of the event. The enhanced business culture and productivity remains long after the tinsel has been put away.  more

October 17, 2014
Stay the Course, Manufacturer
Talan Products, Inc., WIRE-Net Member Since 1991

There's a big, beautiful, bright sun shining over Talan Products. Never mind the fact that the company is located in Cleveland, Ohio (which sees an average of 66 sunny days per year). The company is humming along quite nicely in the solar energy industry.

"We build solar attachment and racking system, or basically the metal parts that are the structural components for solar energy generating systems," said Steve Peplin, the company's CEO.  more

Talan Products, Inc.
Manufacturing Day
Voss Industries Hosts Max Hayes Students on Manufacturing Day

To celebrate Manufacturing Day on October 3rd, eighteen Max Hayes Career Tech students and three chaperones toured the Voss Industries 250,000 square foot plant and spoke with some of the 300 employees. Students learned that the company is employee owned, has doubled in growth in the last ten years, and employees are currently experiencing the "most exciting time" in company history.

Customers like Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Goodrich, and NASA have direct access to Voss employees and their expertise. Voss wants customers to think "If it's hard, Voss Industries are the people we know that can do it."  more

Expect. Employ. Empower.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, an annual awareness campaign that educates about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities.

Longtime WIRE-Net member, Oatey Company, understands. Working with SAW, Inc. (another WIRE-Net Member) the developed a customized solution for a project that consisted of numerous pallets of product.  more

Expect. Employ. Empower.
September 19, 2014
Midwest Box Company
Celebrating 50 Years of Manufacturing in Cleveland
Midwest Box Company, WIRE-Net Member Since 1990

by Rob Felber, President, Felber Public Relations & Marketing

If you manufacture in Cleveland or receive materials in a corrugated box, there's a good chance it was produced by Midwest Box Company – they have been making boxes in Cleveland since 1964.

"Company success is in no small part attributable to the fact that most of our employees have years of experience, many having worked for the company for over 30 years. Aside from general shipping boxes, we manufacture a wide variety of products including bright multi colored Displays and Cremation Caskets," comments Suzy Hecht Remer.

Yes, cremation boxes. . . .  more

Manufacturing Outlook Survey Reveals Optimism and Chief Concerns

WIRE-Net's Q3 Economic Survey

WIRE-Net's 3rd quarter 2014 manufacturing outlook survey shows that many smaller regional manufacturers are having a good year, and are optimistic about the next one as well.

The workforce report was positive with 45% of firms responding added jobs in the last 6 months, and 43% project adding more through the end of 2014.  more

Time for Feedback
Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Dollars Go Fast!

Application Submission Starts September 30, 2014

"A robust, motivated, well-educated, and highly trained workforce is critical for the retention and expansion of all businesses in Ohio."

In their efforts to improve their economic competitiveness, employers must find ways to consistently upgrade the skills of their workforce through educational and training opportunities. To this end, the Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program will fill a gap in current workforce development programs by providing needed training dollars to Ohio's incumbent workforce through a unique public-private partnership.

Applications are accepted on a first come, first served basis by submitting the online application beginning on September 30, 2014 at 10:00 AM.  more

August 22, 2014
How YOUR Business Gets Noticed – In Print, Online, and in the Mail
HKM Direct Market Communications, WIRE-Net Member Since 1989

by Rob Felber, President, Felber Public Relations & Marketing

The HKM story begins in Cleveland, Ohio in 1922, when Charles Hauser founded the Excell Letter Company. Two years later, Mr. Hauser joined forces with Howell King of National Carbon, a leader in industrial research. The two men formed a partnership called the Hauser-King Company.

For more than 30 years, Hauser-King grew in size and reputation. Then in 1957 Howard Stingel, owner of Stingel Service, Cleveland's oldest temporary personnel agency, ventured into the printing industry. Mr. Stingel purchased Hauser-King and named George Durham as production manager.  more

Rob and Scott Durham
Wholesale Electric Trending Chart
Big Changes in the Northeast Ohio Energy Markets

The Ohio deregulated electric market has changed dramatically in the last few months. Whether it was the record setting winter pushing prices to new levels, FirstEnergy Solutions effectively leaving the market for many customers, new regulation, or record new capacity costs, the costs savings and the market that we have known has changed dramatically in just a few short months. Because it will have a major impact on who you buy your power from and what your costs will be going forward, here's some important information.  more

Filling the Sales Pipeline for Manufacturing

by Bob Sullivan, InfoGrow

No one would doubt that B2B customers are shopping and buying differently today. Thanks to the internet, customers move more quickly along the buying process armed with increased knowledge and more choices. Now that more than half of 2014 is behind us, what needs to change for your team to have better than a 50% chance of meeting the sales goals set for this year?

The sales pipeline may seem ominous, but it doesn't have to be.  more

Sales Graph
July 18, 2014
Great Lakes Towing Company
Strength in Numbers
Why WIRE-Net's Membership Growth Matters to You

Since the beginning of this year, WIRE-Net has gained 54 new members. For WIRE-Net, that means we are a stronger, healthier organization. But, what does it mean for you?

  1. More connections – as a WIRE-Net member you have the opportunity to meet other members—at WIRE-Net events, by downloading a member list* . . .  more
To the MAX Summer Camp

For 50 incoming Cleveland Metropolitan School District freshmen, part of their summer break was spent in school. The "Take it to the MAX!" free summer camp, a hands-on three-week program, gave students a taste of what they can expect at Max S. Hayes Career and Technical High School.

Check out videos and photos here.

2014 To the MAX Summer Camp
Is Outsourcing Your IT Services Right For You?

by Great Lakes Computer

A common issue faced by smaller businesses is how to handle their computer technology, while running the business at the same time. Trained IT professionals can be expensive, and the expense of hiring a full time employee can be daunting. That's why many small and mid-sized businesses are turning to IT service providers, who offer affordable access to the latest and greatest technology. But how do you know if outsourcing your IT services is right for you?  more

June 27, 2014
On the (Assembly) Line for Their Clients
Arkinetics, WIRE-Net Member Since 2000

by Rob Felber, President, Felber Public Relations & Marketing

Since its founding in 1988, Cleveland-based Arkinetics has been a key architectural firm in the region. Bruce Taylor, AIA and Gary Fischer, AIA are architects and founders with a keen eye for industrial and office design. Cleveland has been their home, and they are surrounded by the world they love – manufacturing. Along with principals Frank Castrovillari, AIA, Dan Barney, AIA, and Rick Taylor, CDA, the firm continues to roll up their sleeves and get onto the factory floor to see just what makes each client special.  more

Arkinetics, Inc
2014 WIRE-Net Golf Outing
WIRE-Net's Annual Golf Outing

What a difference a year makes! This year's golf outing took place under sunny skies and mild temperatures. 100+ golfers enjoyed the beauty and challenge of Fowler's Mill Golf Course . . . and everyone, including our generous sponsors and many of our volunteers were delighted by the expertly-grilled steak dinner!

Save June 8, 2015 for our next outing!

Find out who won and see some photos here.

Get More Clicks, More Customers


We're always a little baffled by prospective clients who tell us that their businesses are too small or too narrowly focused to benefit from a stronger online presence. "We don't see the need for SEO," they say, or, "No one is searching online for our products." One said, "We only do business in Ohio and Florida — why do we need a website?" And our favorite: "People only come to our site if we've told them to."  more

May 16, 2014
Martindale Electric Co.
When You Turn Your Ignition Every Morning, Thank Martindale Electric
Martindale Electric Co., WIRE-Net Member Since 2002

by Rob Felber, President, Felber Public Relations & Marketing

The Martindale Electric Co. was founded in 1913 by E. H. Martindale as the Handy Supply Co. One of Handy Supply's early customers was Mr. Charles F. Kettering of Dayton, Ohio. He had the crazy idea to apply an electric motor to start automobile engines. Mr. Martindale's laboratory tests showed that brass-gauze wire brushes were capable of carrying the required current load. "So the first 100,000 or so auto starters came out of Lakewood, Ohio," comments Linas Biliunas, president at Martindale Electric.  more

WIRE-Net's Annual Meeting

Eric Hauge, Vice President & General Manager, of ArcelorMittal Cleveland and ArcelorMittal Warren, delivered the keynote address at WIRE-Net's Annual Meeting. The audience of 350 included sponsors, members, stakeholders, and six students from Max S. Hayes Career and Technical High School.

Hauge's speech followed the remarks and annual awards presentation by WIRE-Net's Board Chairman, Mark Dawson, and President and Executive Director, John Colm.

Read more and check out some photos here.

Eric Hauge
Growing your Company through a Business Acquisition

by Pete Constantino, Cohen & Company

Most companies want to grow. This usually happens through organic growth – adding more customers and selling more to existing customers. The other way companies grow is by acquiring other companies. The right "additions" through acquisition can bring customers in additional geographies, products or services that are complimentary to what you currently offer.

What are the top 10 characteristics for successful business acquisitions?  more

April 18, 2014
How Dispersing Heat on Computer Boards Built a Construction Management Company
Greater Cleveland Construction, WIRE-Net Member Since 2010

by Rob Felber, President, Felber Public Relations & Marketing

Would you perform surgery on yourself or a loved one or appear in court as your own lawyer? These are professional services provided by a trained and skilled expert. So where do you go when you require physical changes to your facility or perhaps even a new building? Hiring a construction manager is the most logical decision.

Founded in 1994, Greater Cleveland Construction grew quickly into a construction management/general contracting firm concentrating on commercial, industrial, and institutional companies.  more

Greater Cleveland Construction
Race to the MAX!
Race to the MAX!

On Sunday, April 6th, 108 runners and dozens of walkers were urged on by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. The 5K Race, which followed Detroit Avenue and West 65th Street (between the current Max S. Hayes Career and Technical High School and the site of the new school) was planned to raise awareness of WIRE-Net's School-to-Career program that highlights careers in manufacturing, construction, and automotive technologies.

Check out the race results and some photos here!

Breaking Thru Business Boundaries for Profitable Growth

by John Howard, The Profitability Catalyst

"Breaking Thru Business Boundaries for Profitable Growth" means removing barriers (fears) to progress. It's a shift in thinking, standards, or perceptions to arrive at a new idea – a strategic move that changes the current market position or operating model – the way that the business is run.

It starts with just an idea, concept, or goal and turns into a transformation. This psychological (it starts subconsciously) shift or moment-of-truth allows you to close the gap between where you are and where you want to be.  more

March 28, 2014
SAW, Inc.
Let Us Be Your "Solutions at Work"
SAW, Inc., WIRE-Net Member Since 2011

by Rob Felber, President, Felber Public Relations & Marketing

In 2013, SAW, Inc. (Solutions at Work) worked with over 500 companies, providing quality workers with various skills. Working together with SAW, Inc., businesses were able to reduce labor turnover, ensure quality and provide a diverse employment pool.

Informing the business community of what services SAW, Inc. can offer has been a difficult task. Since joining WIRE-Net, SAW has increased its exposure to the business community and has started to create new bonds and partnerships with participating members.  more

Play Ball! WIRE-Net Goes to Bat to Advocate on Behalf of Manufacturers

If Northeast Ohio manufacturers acknowledge that the shaky economic climate has contributed to countless sleepless nights, then supply-chain manufacturers in the renewable energy industry must be turning into insomniacs. That's because a shaky economy is little compared to the political uncertainty in the renewables marketplace.

Recently, WIRE-Net president John Colm wrote an op-ed piece published in the Toledo Blade defending Ohio solar manufacturers after the paper published an article that claimed "solar firms proved costly investments" and "tens of millions were wasted on the fledgling industry."  more

Toledo Blade
Internet Marketing
Embracing Inbound Marketing Can Add To Your Bottom Line

by Damian Petrini, President, Marketing Potential, LLC

In today's competitive landscape, manufacturers need to leverage every strategic advantage they possibly can. One commonly overlooked and underutilized opportunity for most manufacturers is inbound digital marketing. If you are not utilizing inbound digital marketing as a part of your overall marketing efforts or not maximizing your current efforts, then you may be leaving profit on the table.

Three of the most effective inbound marketing options that you can effectively utilize as a manufacturer are search engine optimization and search engine marketing, social media marketing, and paid advertising.  more

February 21, 2014
Conveying everything from Acid to Ice Cream
Summers Rubber, WIRE-Net Member Since 1988

by Rob Felber, President, Felber Public Relations & Marketing

The rubber may meet the road in Akron, but the founders of Summers Rubber left the comforts of Goodyear to establish their own company in 1949 with the dream of controlling their own destiny. They felt there was an underserved market in Cleveland, and what a market it has become.

Founded by W.H. Summers and William M. Summers, the three-generation family company has grown to be a leader in the regional market for industrial hose products.  more

Summers Rubber
5 Common Supervisory Challenges (and How to Overcome Them)

by ERC

Studies show that supervisors spend as much as 80% of their workday communicating. Maintaining good lines of communication is just one challenge supervisors face. The management of conflict, performance, and potential liabilities can be tough hurdles to clear, too.

Failing to address any of these issues can lead to dire consequences for a supervisor, his/her team, and the organization itself. Here are some practical ways to deal with the 5 common challenges for supervisors.  more

Never Manage Your Numbers; Manage Your Behavior

by Mike Jones, Sandler Training® licensee

Numbers, numbers, everywhere. Many agents invest significant time attempting to manage numbers—contacts in their database, prospects contacted, meetings scheduled, proposals being developed, presentations scheduled, prospects with whom to follow up, and decisions that are (hopefully) forthcoming. They track, tally, and compute the likelihood of closing all of these numbers.  more

Sales Chart
January 17, 2014
Mark Dawson
Beyond 25 Years: WIRE-Net Plans for the Future

Mark Dawson doesn't have a lot of time to look back on WIRE-Net's storied history. As current Board President, he's too busy looking ahead at the organization's objectives for the coming years.

"Right now we're completing a strategic planning process that is going to help lay out the direction for the next three years for WIRE-Net," Dawson said. "There's no magical new direction for us, but it's important that we get back to our roots and focus on our core initiatives, like our wind energy programs and educational programs.  more

Making Important Workers' Compensation Decisions NOW

WIRE-Net is now an Ohio Certified Workers' Compensation Sponsor, just like COSE and OMA. We aim to bring our members the best group discount and cost savings on Workers Comp costs possible. WIRE-Net has formed a long term partnership with Spooner Risk Control Services to provide our members group discounts and savings on workers' compensation – including Group Rating, Group Retro, and assistance with self-insured plans.

To see how much WIRE-Net's program can save you, the number one thing we are asking you to do today is to fill out a no-risk, no obligation temporary authorization form with Spooner Inc.  more

Injured Worker
Renovation or Innovation – How Are You Deploying Lean and Six Sigma?

by Brian Furlong, President, Process Excellence Systems Inc.

There is no doubt that in order to transform, you have to inform. I am amazed at the number of organizations and individuals who have still never heard of either Lean or Six Sigma. Among those who have heard of them I am amazed at how little understanding there is of the incredible potential that Lean and Six Sigma provide.

Every day, billions of dollars are being wasted because employees do not have the skills necessary to identify and eliminate waste – nor are they challenged or encouraged to do so.

We lead the world in technology innovation but the gap is closing fast. Do you think we lead the world in process innovation?  more

December 20, 2013
Growing a Dwindling Workforce

WIRE-Net Employment and Training Initiatives Bring Workers Back to Manufacturing Jobs

Twenty-five years ago, no one would have predicted that manufacturers would be struggling to fill skilled positions within their factories. In fact, in the midst of the most recent economic downturn, who would have thought that finding qualified workers is still a major concern for business owners?

Tom Schumann, General Manager of Kitzel & Sons, Inc. and WIRE-Net Board President from 2009-2012, realized a decade ago that something needed to be done to address an impending labor shortage in Northeast Ohio. Which is what initially got him interested in WIRE-Net.  more

Tom Schumann
Three Challenges Northeast Ohio Manufacturers Face

by Dan Barnett, CSP, President, Integrity Staffing Services

Northeast Ohio manufacturers face a set of unique challenges as our region rebuilds and focuses on moving the industry forward. President and Founder of Integrity Staffing Services, Dan Barnett, CSP, shares his manufacturing industry expertise and challenges that lie ahead for industrial companies.

1. Uncertainty in the marketplace. As companies begin to emerge from the economic downturn, many Northeast Ohio manufacturers are still reluctant to invest in the unsteady marketplace.  more

Singleton Taps WorkAdvance and WorkSource to Fill Need

WIRE-Net member, Singleton Corporation, was looking for talent to fill welding and industrial coatings positions. T.J. McGowan, WIRE-Net's Employment Specialist, went to work identifying the best recruitment options to meet their needs.

"We were impressed with WIRE-Net's range to help us fill these needs. Our welding position was a great starting point for a new trainee, and WorkAdvance delivered. Our industrial coatings needed more experience and WorkSource recruited someone with the right skills. We are pleased on both fronts." Laura Simon, Treasurer, Singleton Corp.  more

Help Wanted
November 22, 2013
Ohio Statehouse
WIRE-Net Supports OMA's Amendments to Ohio Energy Efficiency Bill

Substitute SB 58 amendment safeguards lower electricity rates and preserves advances made in energy efficiency and renewable energy throughout the state

WIRE-Net has joined a rapidly-expanding coalition supporting the Ohio Manufacturers' Association's compromise amendment to Ohio Senate Bill 58.

The original bill was proposed by members of the Senate Public Utilities Committee to overhaul Ohio's current policy pertaining to energy efficiency and advanced and renewable energy standards. That bill has been hotly contested by business and consumer groups statewide in Senate hearings over the past two months.  more

November 15, 2013
The Drive to Return Manufacturing Back to Its Glory Days

In 1988, when WIRE-Net set up shop to serve as an advocate for manufacturers, business was booming. Cleveland's industrial landscape was dotted with plants and factories that, while diverse in nature, all shared the same issues and concerns: Security, job training, technical assistance, infrastructure improvement and maneuvering through bureaucratic mazes.

By the time Greg Tilton took the Chairman's seat in 2007, many of those dots had long faded, having relocated their operations to foreign shores or simply shutting their doors. But there was a light starting to emerge at the end of the tunnel, and Tilton and WIRE-Net's founder John Colm saw an opportunity to drive the organization towards that light.  more

Greg Tilton
Injured Worker
Is Your Company Paying Too Much for Workers’ Compensation?

WIRE-Net is now a Certified BWC Sponsor for Group Rating, and Spooner Incorporated is our partner to provide members with substantial savings and services on workers’ compensation. Stop paying more and receiving less! Spooner’s unique approach to workers’ compensation has helped thousands of employers receive substantial savings.

Just ask WIRE-Net member Jonathan Miceli from Miceli Dairy Products Co. on working with Spooner.  more

Employers and Job Seekers Swap Roles in "Reverse" Job Fair

On November 6th, employers and job-seekers gathered at the Cleveland Foodbank to exchange resumes and job opportunity information using an innovative recruiting and interviewing format.

Many employers commented that the format allowed them to interact more with candidates than at a traditional job fair where candidates tend to swamp employers in groups making it difficult to give any candidate a decent evaluation.

"The reverse job fair format allowed me to engage in more in-depth discussions with candidates than normally afforded at a typical job fair." Richard Daff, Plant Manager (ASK Chemicals)  more

Job Fair
October 18, 2013
Gordon Barr
NEOCAM: When WIRE-Net Decided to Take On the World

The year was 1999 and Gordon Barr had just purchased NewKor, Inc., a Cleveland manufacturer of high end insulation jackets for exploders and rockets, and one of the largest manufacturers of mailing tubes in the state of Ohio. Back then, U.S. manufacturing enjoyed a level of prominence, producing much of what the market needed to sustain growth.

Fast-forward to 2006. Foreign competition had swallowed up much of that prominence as manufacturing left U.S. shores for faraway lands.

"In those 10 years, there was a solid erosion of the manufacturing base, primarily at the hands of the Chinese," said Barr. "And that was tough to deal with, especially on the consumer products side."

2006 was also the year that Barr assumed the Chairman's role at WIRE-Net. And after being asked by founder John Colm, "How do you want to define your chairmanship?" Barr decided that it was time to face foreign competition head-on.  more

Manufacturers Take a Stand Against Energy Bill Overhaul

SB 58 would undo progress made on current renewable energy and efficiency standards in Ohio

Ohio Senate Bill 221 (SB 221), passed into law in 2008, established statewide renewable energy and efficiency improvements, including provisions that called for 12.5% of power generation from renewable sources by 2025, and a 22.2% cumulative electricity efficiency savings by 2025, with a 7% peak demand reduction by 2017 for electric utilities.

Now, five years after passing SB 221, legislation has been introduced by William Seitz (R-Cincinnati) in the Ohio Senate (SB 58) that would overhaul the current state policy pertaining to energy efficiency standards and advanced and renewable energy standards. A vote is expected by mid-November.

In our view, this action disproportionately favors the state's utilities while removing incentives to increase energy efficiency, which will impact manufacturers on several fronts.  more

Ohio Statehouse
Manufacturing Day
Manufacturing Day at Air Products and Chemical

On October 4th, to honor Manufacturing Day, Air Products and Chemical, Inc. hosted a group of juniors and seniors from Max S. Hayes Career and Technical High School who are studying career paths in Computer Aided Design (CAD), Precision Machining, and Welding. They donned safety glasses and hard hats to learn about how the company separates oxygen, nitrogen and argon from air. Throughout the tour, an employee gave the students examples of the kinds of skilled workers Air Products needs at the plant.  more

September 20, 2013
Training a Future Workforce: WIRE-Net's Partnership with Max Hayes

Pat Bush discusses how he saw potential in growing a vibrant youth career development program

It's a partnership that was formed in 1992 to lay out a career path for teenagers while sustaining a local workforce. For more than 20 years, students at Max S. Hayes Career & Technical High School in Cleveland have participated in WIRE-Net’s youth career development programs which are designed to create awareness and build a pipeline for new manufacturing leaders.

And now that alliance has culminated into the New Max Hayes plan to open a new career tech school at West 65th Street and Clark Avenue in 2015 that equips students "with skills for the global economy."

And while this partnership has blossomed into a remarkable success over the past two decades, there was a period during Patrick Bush's tenure as WIRE-Net's president that the organization almost dropped its affiliation with the school.  more

Patrick Bush
Max Hayes Student Working at Soundwich, Inc.
Can Max Hayes Students Satisfy Your Workforce Needs?

Are you finding the skilled candidate pool lacking in the qualities you seek? Does your company have a long term workforce plan?

A student internship can be tailored to your company. An internship experience is generally 12 weeks in duration. Starting in January 2014, WIRE-Net will place 42 juniors and seniors in internships where they can apply classroom learning in the real world.

Join the ranks of Martindale Electric Co., Soundwich, Inc., and E.C. Kitzel & Sons by taking on a Max Hayes student—a new talent pipeline for manufacturing in the Cleveland area.  more

Considering Selling Your Manufacturing Business? The Value is in Your Cash Flow

by Scott D. Mashuda, CBI, River's Edge Alliance Group, LLC

Cash flow is the single greatest value driver in a manufacturing business. The magnitude of the check you receive when selling your business is tied directly to your company’s ability to create sustainable cash flow.

Buyers are interested in acquiring your company because of their ability to leverage the cash flow that you’ve created for their own benefit. Your reputation for quality means more sales and more cash flow. Your lean operations mean less expenses and more cash flow. Your top safety rating means lower insurance premiums and higher cash flow. Your skilled workforce means less time and material wasted resulting in more cash flow.  more

August 16, 2013
Don Dzurec
Preserving Neighborhood-Based Manufacturing

Don Dzurec applauds WIRE-Net's efforts to improve local infrastructure

After Dairymens was acquired by Oberlin Farms in 1972, it moved operations to its present Cleveland address on West 106th Street. "We are very happy to acquire Dairymens Milk Co.," reads a clip from the old Cleveland Press quoting then-chairman Richard Dzurec announcing the acquisition, "and with the increase in size we will be able to more efficiently service our home delivery customers and expand our services in the institutional and wholesale markets." That quote set in motion a very successful company growth strategy that has since stretched the infrastructure limits of the company's neighborhood-based plant.  more

HR Issues Important to Manufacturers

WIRE-Net's Peer-Based Roundtable Kicks Off with Free Event

Are you responsible for HR at your workplace, maybe a one-person office or head of a small team? Do you feel like you are coming up for air after the layoffs, restructuring, and doing more with less that challenged most small businesses during the recession?

WIRE-Net wants to help you create your own smart HR department – one that is flexible, supportable, and aligns strategically with your company.  more

Manufacturing Employee
Offshore Wind Turbines
Breaking the Ice on a New Industry for Northeast Ohio

Wind turbines are being charted to arrive in the waters off Cleveland, and when they do, they will form the vanguard of a new industry for Northeast Ohio manufacturers—offshore wind.

For regional manufacturers, offshore wind means new-market needs for foundations, fabrications, vessels, steel, power conversion, maintenance, and components. The market is expected to create 525 construction, installation, and permanent jobs and provide upwards of $80 million in construction alone.  more

July 19, 2013
Manufacturing Assistance: WIRE-Net Peer-to-Peer Learning

Pete Accorti looks back on how WIRE-Net helped his company grow

As Talan Products, a full service metal stamping and manufacturers of tooling and engineered parts, grew throughout the 90s, they had "growing pains," recalled President Pete Accorti. "It was the kind of problems growing companies have. You're trying to hire staff, you're training, you're designing infrastructure, and you're building. So there were all sorts of issues."

WIRE-Net became a reliable source for helping Talan Products address many of those issues.  more

Pete Accorti
Ohio Statehouse
Recently Passed Ohio Budget Bill Impacts State's Wind Industry

House Bill 59 represents legislation for Ohio’s state budget for 2014 and 2015

HB 59, the biennial budget bill passed by both the Ohio House and Senate on June 27th and signed by Governor Kasich on June 30th contained several provisions impacting renewable and advanced energy projects throughout the state. Here's a rundown of the portions of the bill dealing with the wind energy sector.  more

WIRE-Net Celebrates 25th Anniversary with Members

Honors Four Local Manufacturers

Speaking in front of a crowd of 300 enthusiastic manufacturing-related companies and community supporters at Windows on the River, WIRE-Net Board Chairman Mark Dawson, thanked the dedicated team of board, staff, and members for their hard work and many accomplishments that continue to strengthen manufacturing and fuel economic growth in the region.

On hand to witness WIRE-Net's recognition of its Mission Builders and Strategic Partners were nine past board chairmen.  more

John Colm and Mark Dawson
July 16, 2013
German Wind Turbines
GLWN Taps European Know-How for U.S. Offshore Wind Projects

Trade mission to Germany and Denmark helps identify key considerations for port-based projects

Representatives from GLWN had the opportunity to travel to Germany and Denmark with a contingent from the New Bedford (MA) Economic Development Council as part of an international trade mission to observe and evaluate the operations of several major offshore wind installations and the manufacturers that supply turbine components.  more

Towers of Power: Ventower Industries Sees High Demand for Products in 2013-2014

Ventower Industries has been generating a lot of positive press lately. The wind turbine tower supplier and fabricator (and part of the GLWN wind energy supply chain network) has seen its business skyrocket in 2013, due in part to the renewal of the Production Tax Credit at the beginning of this year.

The company has responded to a surge in business by adding work shifts and hiring staff at its 115,000-square-foot Monroe, Michigan plant, according to Ventower vice president, Scott Viciana, who took time out of a hectic schedule to comment on his company's successes in a "Supplier Spotlight" question-and-answer session with GLWN.  more

Ventower Wind Turbine Tower
June 21, 2013
WIRE-Net's 25th Anniversary
Collaboration: The Seeds to WIRE-Net's Success

A Q&A with John Collins reveals how the community, public sector, and private sector worked together to secure the organization's future

Can you summarize your thoughts on the VALUE of WIRE-Net? Do you think the organization has made an imprint on Cleveland manufacturing?

The WIRE-Net model of community/private sector/public sector collaboration to tackle common economic challenges works. Starting with a few CDC's, neighborhoods and employers, I am very impressed with WIRE-Net's growth and its sphere of influence after 25 years.  more

Playing Through (the Raindrops): WIRE-Net's Inaugural Golf Outing

On June 10th, 123 golfers and a dozen volunteers braved an ominous morning to attend WIRE-Net's inaugural golf outing at Boulder Creek Golf Club. Their bravery was rewarded, as the skies eventually cleared and everyone was able to enjoy a great round of golf on a beautiful course. Awards were given out at the dinner that followed. The real winner, though, was manufacturing - we raised nearly $12,000 toward funding WIRE-Net's manufacturing programs. Check out our list of winners and see some photos here!

Boulder Creek Golf Club
May 17, 2013
Herman Bredenbeck
The Road to Growth

Herman Bredenbeck recounts how WIRE-Net expanded in its early years, and how the organization worked to improve Cleveland's crumbling infrastructure

Three years into its launch, WIRE-Net continued to reach out to westside manufacturers in an effort to grow the organization. By 1991, more than 100 businesses had become members of this burgeoning group, which was intently focused on addressing the specific issues that concerned westside manufacturers at the time.

Herman Bredenbeck took the reins as Board President in 1991, and said his company had joined WIRE-Net because of the many benefits offered its members.  more

April 19, 2013
The Union of Business and Government: Working Together to Foster Growth

Where others might see bureaucracy and limitations when it comes to business and government working in tandem, Mike Summers sees distinct benefits in such collaborations. In fact he advocates for such partnerships on a pretty regular basis, which stems in part from the successes he's experienced as a founding member and past Board Chairman of WIRE-Net.

"Summers Rubber was located at West 79th and Madison on Cleveland's west side," Summers recalled, "and I remember that we got a knock on the door from a young man who had just returned from the Peace Corps in Africa." . . . "He wanted to talk about putting together this group of manufacturers to help each other and wanted to know if we were interested. We called a meeting shortly afterward and a group showed up, and that was WIRE-Net's first board meeting."  more

Mike Summers
April 11, 2013
Barge and Blades
The Race to Build a Domestic Offshore Wind Supply Chain

Department of Energy turns to GLWN for competitive analysis of U.S. manufacturing

The potential for offshore wind as a domestic energy source has gradually become a key objective of the U.S. Department of Energy. One project outlined in the departments's Wind Program is an initiative designed to assess the current domestic supply chain infrastructure and recommend strategies for development to support offshore wind deployment. GLWN has been named one of the lead investigative resources funded by a recent grant to research and provide information aimed at furthering America's offshore wind manufacturing and supply chain development.  more

March 15, 2013
Doing the Time to Help Fight Crime

The first in a series of articles that look back over WIRE-Net's 25-year history!

In 1988, Cleveland's near west-side had a rather bleak-looking landscape, dotted with a mixture of dated manufacturing plants which were seeded among slowly deteriorating residential neighborhoods. Manufacturers relied upon the locals whose homes were walking distance from the machines they operated. Back then, Jerry Trausch worked as a vice president for a manufacturer of heavy weldments. Techniweld was located near the heart of Cleveland's Detroit-area neighborhood, on the bluffs overlooking Edgewater Park. It was an area known for high crime and an unskilled labor pool.  more

Jerry Trausch
February 15, 2013
Bessemer Avenue Opening Celebration
Nearly 16 Years in the Making!

On Thursday, January 31st, business stakeholders and community partners were invited to North Coast Container Corp. to celebrate the completion of all phases of the Bessemer Avenue Extension project.

Beginning with traffic studies in 1996, the project was designed to address the crucial problem of trucks running through the St. Hyacinth residential area. The project was expanded to not only preserve residential and commercial character of the neighborhoods, but also provide safe and efficient truck routes between heavily industrialized areas and the interstate system.  more

WIRE-Net Study Demonstrates Benefits of Diversification in Clean Energy Industry

Survey of Ohio manufacturers shows crossover successes within supply chains

What began as a random sampling to examine Ohio manufacturers' resilience in the ever-changing manufacturing marketplace has matriculated into a nationally recognized research study whose findings suggest that diversification in the clean energy industry "is a smart strategy that builds employment and keeps factories busy as markets change.  more

American Clean Skies Foundation Report
November 27, 2012
Kenston Wind Turbine
Lessons Learned from First Wind Turbine Project

Marous Brothers Construction enters the wind industry and finds immediate success

A Cleveland construction company's ongoing ability to diversify—from site work to road work to plant work—has enabled it to react and acclimate to ever-changing economic climates and ever-emerging industries. And it's foray into the energy industry via the natural gas pipeline subsequently presented Marous Brothers with its first ever wind industry project.  more