Category Archives: Labor & Employment

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Bring on the Bots!

While what constitutes “advanced” constantly evolves, advanced robotic systems have been a reality on manufacturing floors since at least the 1970s. These technological advancements can reduce costs, increase productivity, fulfill unmet needs, replace labor, create new industries, and more. Issues, which have been discussed for decades, related to developments in robotics still concern people today. … Continue reading this entry

2015 Regulatory Challenges Burdening Manufacturers

Public-Private Manufacturing Innovation Institutes Announced
As we roll into the new year, this edition of the Manufacturing Industry Advisor takes a look at some of the key regulatory issues that manufacturers will be facing in 2015. Based on recent discussions with key legislative and industry association figures in D.C., below we provide a summary on how the following regulatory areas … Continue reading this entry

2014: An Exciting and Challenging Time for American Manufacturing

2014, the Manufacturing Industry Advisor’s inaugural year, marked an exciting but challenging time for American manufacturers. In our final blog post for the year, we will highlight some of the trends and developments we noted in 2014, with links to our earlier observations. Here, at Foley & Lardner, we aim to do more than monitor … Continue reading this entry

To Sue or Not to Sue: That Is the Trade Secret Question

Trade Secrets
You have just learned that a senior member of the company research and development team has resigned. The employee had access to important confidential information about your company’s product development, manufacturing process improvement, business strategy and other proprietary information. The departing employee did not identify his new destination, but you have no doubt that he … Continue reading this entry

Happy Thanksgiving from the Manufacturing Industry Advisor Team

During this week of Thanksgiving, the Manufacturing Industry Advisor team wishes to thank all of you for reading, contributing to, and sharing our blog. Since this is a busy time of year for everyone, some of you might have missed a post or two over the last few weeks. For your convenience, linked below are some of our most recent and popular posts. … Continue reading this entry

Recognizing Leaders in Manufacturing

This month we salute two organizations for raising the profile of leaders in the manufacturing industry. First is the Manufacturing Institute for presenting the 2015 STEP Awards. We encourage readers to nominate a peer or colleague for this prestigious national award. The STEP Awards honor women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership at all levels … Continue reading this entry

Factoryless Goods Producers May Be as Hypothetical as Their Domestic Factories

Recently, the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) has considered a controversial new federal classification: “Factoryless Goods Producers” (“FGP”). FGP recognizes that a significant portion of the American workforce is involved with the manufacturing of goods, even if the factories actually assembling the final products are overseas. But what’s the point? “Designed by Apple in … Continue reading this entry

Puerto Rico: A Haven for Manufacturers?

Perhaps not surprisingly to those familiar with the tropical island, manufacturing remains a key driver of economic activity in Puerto Rico. Indeed, manufacturing accounts for 45% of Puerto Rico’s GDP (compared to 11% in the U.S.) and over 20% of the island’s jobs. Many U.S. multinational companies, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry, have chosen Puerto … Continue reading this entry

Advanced Manufacturing Requires Next-Generation Employees

Last week, Scott Kaspar addressed the “skills gap” that concerns high-tech manufacturers with state-side production facilities. But manufacturers need employees with more than mere technical skills. Workers should be able to solve problems, respond to change, work in teams, and innovate. To find employees with these “Next-Generation Dimensions,” run-of-the-mill recruiting techniques— including stacks of resumes … Continue reading this entry

Manufacturers in Great Lakes Region Convene to Address “Skills Gap”

We hear it from manufacturers all the time—the U.S. labor pool lacks enough skilled laborers to support high-tech manufacturing. In Chicago, the topic was addressed May 20, 2014, at the annual Crain’s Manufacturers Summit. Foley co-sponsored the Summit, where manufacturers throughout the Great Lakes region gathered to identify solutions to shared challenges, like the so-called … Continue reading this entry

The First Legal Innovation Hub for NextGen Manufacturers

The First Legal Innovation Hub for NextGen Manufacturers
Will you and I witness the next “industrial revolution?” Consider how dramatically manufacturing is advancing in today’s economy. With astonishing speed, manufacturers are applying 21st century technology to produce state-of-the-art, enterprise-wide systems that support ongoing process improvements and ever-changing business partners. Manufacturers are reconfiguring their factories, returning to the U.S., and educating their workforces to … Continue reading this entry