Regional Meetings NFPA Regional Meetings offer a chance to meet with other area fluid power professionals over lunch. NFPA members and non-members alike are welcome to attend and the meetings are free! Recaps from last year’s meetings are below. For questions, please contact Leslie Miller at (414) 778-3369 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Meetings Recap | 2017 Recap – Chicago Regional Meeting | Moraine Valley Community College, Palos Hills, IL The December 7 Chicago Regional Meeting at Moraine Valley Community College delivered workforce development information and lively discussion to attendees from across the fluid power supply chain. Business updates from attendees showed good conditions and growth across the board as well as optimism for the next year, and attendees were able to discuss their own hiring and workforce concerns during the presentation Q&A. Tamima Farooqui, a Job Resource Specialist at the college, shared ways companies can take advantage of local technical schools to fill their needs for skilled workers. Neil Barker, the Program Coordinator for the school’s Integrated Systems Technology program, gave an overview of the program and its students and showed attendees around the fluid power training lab. Recap – Cleveland Regional Meeting | The City Club, Cleveland, OH Almost 50 attendees filled the City Club for the 2017 NFPA Cleveland Regional Meeting. Attendees had the opportunity to network with NFPA members from all areas of the fluid power industry. As attendees went around the room to provide updates on their companies, one thing was made clear—the fluid power industry is still seeing growth! NFPA welcomed guest speaker Reed Stith, Senior Growth Advisor, Marketing and Sales with MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network. Reed used his experience with fluid power to discuss marketing and strategy around market research and branding as well as go-to market plans for B2B product launches in various stages of the process. Attendees came away knowing: how to improve “early stage” marketing to uncover unmet needs that are truly important to target customers, how to customize launches using the right media and messages, and how to become both “easy to recommend” and “easy to find.” Recap – Milwaukee Regional Meeting | Friday’s Front Row Grill, Milwaukee, WI Photo by Greg Hume The 2017 NFPA Milwaukee Regional Meeting attendees filled Friday’s Front Row Grill at Miller Park. Over 50 people attended, including representatives from NFPA’s newest members, providing quality networking for everyone and solid representation from all areas of the fluid power industry. By listening to the attendee updates on business conditions, you could feel pretty sure the industry is in an upswing with solid growth expected — good news! The meeting also featured two special presentations. First, Mike Schiels, Dean of Applied Technologies at Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC), described the many ways WCTC is working toward providing a skilled manufacturing workforce to meet the needs of fluid power employers. Fluid power is already embedded in many of the school’s Applied Technology curriculums, and they are also exploring apprenticeships and other programs to help high school students be ready for manufacturing jobs. Next, Chad Repp, Business Development Manager – CANect Telematics, Hydro-Electronic Devices (HED) based in Hartford, Wisconsin, presented “Delivering Value Beyond Fleet Management,” focusing on the opportunities and challenges telematics can provide. Chad’s presentation reinforced the idea that big data and IoT are here to stay and sparked questions and good dialogue from the attendees. Recap – Detroit Regional Meeting | Somerset Inn, Troy, MI “…I wanted to pass along that the regional meeting was fantastic, and I’m so glad I took the time to attend. Expect to see a face from our company at every regional meeting!” – Beth Gornowich, General Manager, National Filters, Inc. Beth’s great experience is due to over 50 additional fluid power professionals that made time in their schedule for the NFPA 2017 Regional Meeting, held May 17, in Troy, MI. NFPA has been hosting these meetings for 15 years and Detroit, the greater Michigan area, plus NFPA members from Ohio, Indiana, Canada, and anywhere in between always respond with great attendance and energy. This year’s featured speaker was Martin LaVelle, a business economist in the Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Detroit Branch. Because Martin’s research revolves around the Michigan economy and its impact on the 7th District and national economies, his presentation was timely and relevant. NFPA’s free Regional Meetings continue to provide casual networking, a glimpse at the state of the industry, plus important information. Recap – Minneapolis Regional Meeting | Hennepin Technical College The latest Minneapolis Regional Meeting was held April 11 at the Brooklyn Park, Minnesota location of Hennepin Technical College (HTC). The meeting drew about 45 people, with a mix of NFPA member manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers, as well as some prospective members and fluid power instructors from HTC. John Stenz of Force America and the NFPA Board of Directors served as master of ceremonies, kicking off introductions and a round of discussion on the state of the industry and the biggest challenges companies are facing. The biggest challenge was almost invariably finding and maintaining a talented technical workforce. Following introductions, Ernie Parker, a retired instructor and fluid power consultant, spoke about the importance of the Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge in generating interest in fluid power among students. HTC fluid power instructors, including Jeannine Uehling, Chad Grimmer and Bill Martin recognized industry support for the HTC fluid power programs and lab, and noted how continued monetary donations and donations of fluid power products are essential in maintaining and operating a program that attracts students to fluid power courses and careers. A tour of the fluid power lab at HTC concluded the meeting.