Catching the Latest and Greatest in Manufacturing

Are you passionate about the world of manufacturing? If so, join us for an enlightening episode of MFG eCommerce Success with Jim Vinoski, renowned manufacturing writer at Forbes and the voice behind the Manufacturing Talks Web Show and Podcast.

Are you passionate about the world of manufacturing?

If so, join us for an enlightening episode of MFG eCommerce Success with Jim Vinoski, renowned manufacturing writer at Forbes and the voice behind the Manufacturing Talks Web Show and Podcast.

With over a million page views on Forbes, Jim is a beacon in the manufacturing realm, sharing invaluable insights from his interactions with industry leaders. His podcast, Manufacturing Talks, coupled with his YouTube show, brings to light inspirational stories and pivotal business lessons from the heart of the industry.

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Because he has held senior roles in manufacturing and has been a staunch advocate for American manufacturing, Jim’s vast experience offers a unique lens on emerging trends.

Damon and Curt express excitement about the manufacturing month and introduce their guest as “Mr. Manufacturing.” They warmly welcome him to the show. Curt begins the show by asking the guest about his hero when he was “a little guy growing up.”

Jim views his dad, Ed Vinoski, as his childhood hero. He worked for the US Forest Service and fought fires in the western United States every summer. His dad’s hard work and dedication provided for their family of seven children, even though he would return smelling like wood smoke. Also, the guest fondly recalls growing up in Ironwood, Michigan, in the Upper Peninsula.

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Jim further mentions that his dad, associated with the steel industry, grew up near Pittsburgh. He explains that his father had a hunting background, highlighting his dad’s upbringing during the Great Depression, which instilled resilience.

Curt turns to ask Jim about his career in journalism, particularly his work for Forbes. 

Jim explains that his passion for writing and journalism dates back to high school, where he excelled in English classes and developed a love for reading and writing. During his teenage years, he became deeply interested in bicycling and was captivated by Bicycling Magazine.

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As he approached graduation, Jim faced a choice between studying English and pursuing a technical field like Mechanical Engineering. He “wound up going to the technical path” due to the potential for higher earnings. Nevertheless, his writing talent remained evident throughout his academic journey. He consistently performed well in English courses and even had some of his work published, including in Plant Engineering magazine.

He mentions how, five years ago, he stumbled upon a LinkedIn post shared by a recruiter looking for someone to write magazine-length articles about manufacturing. Jim reached out, explaining his background in manufacturing and his hidden writing talent. To his surprise, the recruiter quickly connected him with Forbes, marking the beginning of his journey as a writer for the renowned publication.

Damon praises Jim’s journey and how his skills align with the opportunity.

Jim is a master of using writing for clear communication. At Curt’s request, he recalls an early experience at his first plant. They faced a communication gap between the engineering and maintenance departments and the floor staff. Jim initiated a weekly, one-pager newsletter to address this issue, putting the teams on track to a well-coordinated course.

Seeing Jim’s dual approach to varied content creation, Curt asks him about his show “Manufacturing Talk.” He requests Jim to talk about the massive views by saying, “You’re the dude. Tell me that!”

In response, Jim acknowledges the inspiration he drew from Curt and Damon, who are pioneers in content creation related to manufacturing. Jim shares his journey into video creation and podcasting, describing how he started by purchasing equipment from Best Buy and uploading videos to YouTube. He began with a small audience but continued to produce content consistently. Now, one of his videos has garnered 11,000 views.

Curt displays Forbes articles on his screen as evidence of Jim’s impressive writing. He compliments Jim on his excellent articles and mentions that they discussed Jim’s Zamboni article.

Jim shares his experience writing an article about Zamboni, explaining that the idea came to him as he brainstormed exciting topics. He contacted Zamboni through their PR contact to get the information for the article. 

Jim also talks about his article on Old Town, famous for their signature fiberglass and plastic canoes, and how he connected with the PR manager for their publicity. This connection eventually led to him writing about Old Town’s history and people. 

Curt refers to an episode of Manufacturing Talk, featuring an interview with Mark Mills from Zamboni, revealing that the founder’s name was Zamboni himself. He also points out another video from Jim’s channel that had achieved 11,000 views. He asks Jim about the secrets behind such high viewership on his videos.

Jim responds with the factors contributing to the success of one of his videos, which featured Mark, an exceptional speaker with a profound message about the challenges of sourcing enough metals and minerals for electrification. The guest reached out to Mark and invited him to discuss the growing electric vehicle industry.

Jim shares that Mark’s video was the first to hit 1,000 views on his channel and expressed his gratitude to Mark. Jim later realized that the same video had crossed 10,000 views. 

Curt invites Jim’s thoughts on the manufacturing industry’s fourth quarter of the year.

Owing to reshoring and nearshoring trends, Jim sounds optimistic about the current state of manufacturing. However, he expresses concerns about the increasing government funding in manufacturing, which could distort the market and create unsustainable companies. 

The guest also voices concerns about the energy transition. He calls on manufacturing leaders to advocate for sensible energy policies considering the sector’s complexities.

Agreeing with Jim, Damon raises concerns about the energy transition, particularly in regions like the Left Coast, with plans to ban internal combustion engine vehicles.

Curt inquires Jim about the current labor situation in manufacturing, especially in the COVID-19 era.

Jim points out the reasons for the labor shortages. He finds that demographics, such as the baby boomers, are retiring, causing a reduction in the available workforce. Additionally, he believes that government policies during the pandemicproviding financial incentives for not workinghave contributed to the labor shortage.

However, Jim is positive about the role of automation in helping manufacturers and addressing labor challenges. He says that automation has historically taken over dangerous, dirty, and mundane jobs. He believes that automation is a key solution to the labor issue in manufacturing.

The show ends with Damon and Curt thanking Jim for his time.

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49:56
SUMMARY KEYWORDS
people, jim, manufacturing, forbes, zamboni, wound, articles, years, stories, love, automation, damon, write, putting, great, michigan, dude, dad, jobs, manufacturers
SPEAKERS
Damon Pistulka, Curt Anderson, Jim Vinoski

Damon Pistulka 00:02
All right, everyone is Friday and you know what that means? It is time once again for the manufacturing ecommerce success. I’m one of your co host, Damon Pustaka and that pretty gentleman right over there as Curt Anderson we’re going to be talking today about catching the latest and greatest in manufacturing we’ve got Jim Menosky here, but I’m gonna let that cool guy right there take it over Kurt take it away my friend

Curt Anderson 00:33
Damon Happy Friday dude. Where did September go man Oh, only hack where did third quarter go? Where is 2023 going like this is just mind blowing so here we are. end of September I know you said it was little gray cloudy

Damon Pistulka 00:50
in your world What do you got? It’s gonna end we’re going into manufacturing month or going into manufacturing month

Curt Anderson 00:55
and that is why that’s exactly why we brought the big guy on because we’re going into manufacturing month so man I hate to tell you Dana where I’m at is just an absolute perfect flawless wonderful falls a footballs in full gear. We got baseball playoffs around the corner just you know we’re talking marching band before we went live so we’ve got all sorts of just great things. Apple cider, fall leaves you name it. We’ve got it but hey, for manufacturing month we brought in Mr. Manufacturing himself. So Jen, how are you brother? It’s been way too long. What is up dude?

Jim Vinoski 01:31
Doing great, man. It’s like It’s like Christmas morning over here. Looking forward to this all day. Like okay

Curt Anderson 01:42
again, we grow the beards out for Christmas, man. And we look like Santa so that is eight and Whitney Houston’s in the house here. Yeah.

Damon Pistulka 01:49
Oh, that’s funny.

Curt Anderson 01:51
That’s wardrobe change. So hey, she’s she’s Ania Daymond she

Damon Pistulka 01:54
was warning earlier today. I had where I worked out in between so

Curt Anderson 01:58
yeah, hey, you know, you look handsome as ever. So Jim. What is up dude? How have you been? What is new in your world? Please. curious minds want to know, how are things in Jim’s world?

Jim Vinoski 02:09
Really good. Yeah, hoppin Things are crazy. You know, there’s always new stories to tell. So continue to write those at Forbes. And then, you know, I’ve got my own show over there manufacturing talks. And that’s picked up. I went weekly since the last time we talked. So yeah, just craziness.

Curt Anderson 02:26
Awesome. So I just recap a couple of things right there. So Jim is a writer for Forbes, and he is the official Icom official. He’s the official guru manufacturing, contributor to Forbes. And we’re gonna talk about a couple of fun stories that you’ve written. Just, you know, go to Forbes type type in Jim’s name and hit is going to come up. You want to connect with Jim here on LinkedIn. We talked in manufacturing talks, which is your great little webcast do an amazing job. Dude, you told me on the phone, or we run a call recently, you’re like you had 11,000 views or something on one. You’re the dude, tell me that?

02:57
Yeah. Yeah, rock and roll. And he’s like, blown

Curt Anderson 03:01
it up on YouTube. So you guys want to check out his YouTube channel. Check out Jim on LinkedIn. And so we’re gonna take a deep dive. Now, Jim, I know what it was like two years ago that you were on the program. You know, it’s been a while. I had my daughter actually had a figure skating competition. I think we were I was at a hotel that day, Damon, and we were hanging out with Jim. So Jim, I’m pretty sure. I didn’t ask you this question. Last time. Someone asked you this time and even if I did, who cares? It’s been two years. So you’re talking about like, what you know when we were little guys growing up before we went live so eight when you were a little guy growing up? Who was your hero? Who was your hero when you’re a little guy growing up?

Jim Vinoski 03:41
Hmm, wow, that’s a good one. Um, my dad was my hero. You know, my dad. He had seven kids and for the US Forest Service went out and fought fires out west every summer and they’ll come back smelling like wood smoke and yeah, took care of all of us and gave us good life up there in tiny little Ironwood, Michigan way up in the Upper Peninsula where no one really knows where up. It was a great place to grow up. And yeah, he really set the example for you know how to be in good man how to be involved in a lot of things. Do lots of cool stuff and be a good father.

Curt Anderson 04:20
Oh, that’s alright. So animal, right first, and what’s dad’s name? Please

Jim Vinoski 04:25
add Ben ASCII

Curt Anderson 04:26
ad. All right. So all right. I want to give a shout out to add. And so let’s let’s go there from hey, we’ve got a couple friends here. We’ve got Gary, Gary, man. I’ve seen him a couple of times this week, brother. How you doing? Dude? He’s up in Rochester, New York. We’ve got Jason from Gilbert. So Don of Phoenix, guys. Happy Friday. drop us a note. Let us know that you’re out there. Yeah. Give a big warm welcome to Jim. If you have any questions. We’re going to be talking manufacturing talks to get that one name and we’re going to be talking manufacturing talks. We’re going to be talking about the articles in Forbes, Forbes magazine that Jim writes. And so let’s see I want to hear a little bit more about Edie. Dude How’d you like manage seven kids? He’s like going west fighting fires. Let’s give us give us a little more juice on add. I want to hear more.

Jim Vinoski 05:06
Yeah, so he grew up outside Pittsburgh, you know, kind of the steel world, but also on the edge of West Virginia. So I think he got a real good dose of being outdoors. He was a hunter growing up putting food on the table, he grew up, starting in the Great Depression. So yeah, you know, that generation, we can kind of lose what they learned and what they went through, because we’ve had it so good. Yeah. But yeah, you know, carried those lessons with him his whole life had a big family, but provided for us really well worked for the, like I said, the Forest Service, his whole career, wound up doing timber management. So he was managing those timber sales where the logging companies come in and bid on lots of land where they’re going to go log the National Forest. And so he managed all that. And yeah, again, you know, except when then the fires would spring up out west, and everyone, all hands on deck. And so he’d fly out there and be out there for a couple of weeks. Every summer.

Curt Anderson 06:01
What an inspiration. And I know, you know, as David and I, we’ve, as we’ve gotten to know you, we just admire you as a dad, and just you know, you’re doing you just do such a great job. And guys, as you connect with Jim, one thing that I want to share, I love your headline you have followed by everyone. That is cool, I think that I’ve ever seen, followed by everyone. And it’s cool. Like Damon, there’s like our first ad was a draft of Mike, that might be our second draft. How let’s go here, Jim. So when you came on last time, you know, so you write for Forbes, talk a little bit about that, you know, where did you get the journalism bug? Were you always a journalism guy? Like, where did this come from? I’d love to know that.

Jim Vinoski 06:42
So it’s kind of crazy. It goes all the way back to high school. I had two things that I was really good at in high school, one of them was English class, reading, writing, all that stuff, always got A’s in every form of English he had to go through in school. The other was I was big into bicycling long before bicycling was ever a thing. I remember being 13 years old and coming across a copy of Bicycling magazine in our local Newsstand. And I was just hooked. So I’ve been riding a bike for 40 plus years. And it wound up you know, those kind of both weighed in on as I get, you know, toward senior year and graduation where I would go I knew I wanted to go to college. And it came down to you know, I’m gonna go study English and maybe be an English teacher, English professor, or am I gonna go study something technical and wound up kind of focusing around Mechanical Engineering being that fit with the bicycle world? And I’m not gonna lie, you know, money talks, right? Yeah, what the prospective earnings are. I wound up going to the technical path. But what was interesting is, you know, even through college, I always did phenomenal on those English requirements and electives you had to have, and got out of school. And it’s like, everywhere I went through my whole life, I would be doing some kind of writing, I had, you know, a few things published here and there in like, plant engineering magazine, for example. When I wasn’t doing stuff like that, I was writing just my own stuff. So I’d be bicycling with a club, and they needed a newsletter, I’d write the newsletter, wound up at General Mills for about half my career and came up with my own newsletter. They’re kind of an underground thing that wound up going out to like 700 people around the world. So I’ve always had that going on, and then never really pursued it formally in any way until a little over five years ago. I’m on LinkedIn. And one of my contacts is a recruiter. And he shared a post from one of his colleagues out in California, and she said, Hey, I’m just doing a favor for a friend. She’s looking for someone who can write magazine length articles about manufacturing. Here’s my email address if you’re interested. And I thought, well, that sounds kind of cool. Kind of that combination of interests. So I sent her an email and said, Yeah, I’ve been in manufacturing for 30 years. And then a writer kind of, in some regard, all along. And I just want to hear more about what what you’re talking about. She came back within an hour, emailed me and said, I looked up your articles online, and they looked phenomenal to me. So I’m copying so and so at Forbes, you to take it from here.

Curt Anderson 09:23
It was that simple. And so in, Jim, forgive me, you had a bunch of articles already on your LinkedIn profile? Is that what it was?

Jim Vinoski 09:29
Yeah, I had articles there. I had articles that you search that were published and other outlets online. So there was stuff out there that she clearly went out and found. Yeah, but I saw that Forbes thing. I mean, my immediate thought was stupid. I mean, that’s just never gonna happen. And I’m sitting there, just kind of puzzling what to do with it. And the woman she copied who actually wound up being my first editor for Forbes, she sends me an email and she says, Yeah, I looked at some of your stuff and it looks pretty solid. Send me some article. Those that are more, you know, in line with what we’re talking about. And then let’s get on the phone next week. So that all that got time set up with her and got on the horn the next week, and we chatted for like, 45 minutes. And she was like, Yeah, what do you want to write about? You know, What’s your specialty and manufacturing, blah, blah, blah, just kind of feeling me out. And at the end of it, she says, Well, okay, that sounds great. I’m sending you a contract.

Curt Anderson 10:23
Done deal. Drop the mic. Number five.

Jim Vinoski 10:29
People asked me how I got into Forbes, I would say just hand of God. You know, it was the big guy saying it’s time. Yeah, who ever would have expected anything like that? I still didn’t believe it. I went home that night. And I’m talking to my wife. I said, I’m not sure about this, but I think I might be writing for Forbes. Sure enough, here comes a contract days later.

Damon Pistulka 10:52
That’s awesome.

Curt Anderson 10:54
And everybody out there, like just digest like this. Right? Yeah. Just sink this in. And so a couple of things to take away, Dave? And I would I would, I’m hearing anxious ears. You know, first off, Jim raised his hand, you know, like, you just he saw something that caught his eye, you know, so number one, you need to be out there. You need to be on LinkedIn, you need to be active, you need to be in community, right? Number one. Number two, Jim, you raise your hand like, what’s the worst that can happen? What what you know? Yeah. Okay, what are the consequences? You know, what, and what not, you know what, I’ve spent my whole lifetime like, what’s the worst that can happen? How about flipping the script? What’s the best I could happen? And the best that can happen is I started writing for Forbes, and I’m a Forbes junkie man, like when I was in college, and when the Forbes 400 came out, like I would memorize like every guy on that, like, what a privilege What an honor to write what Forbes like David, what do you think and like, what? It’s

Damon Pistulka 11:48
not, it’s not fun. It’s just so but think back to what you were doing, Jim, that prepared you without even realizing, right? All the way from writing, just writing stuff, getting some things in plan engineering, like you said, to writing those newsletters to which are still creative things, you’re you’re building your skills in writing, and then to be able to the situation just come together like that. And then for them to see your your abilities that easily with Obama is so cool. Well, you

Jim Vinoski 12:21
hit on a key aspect to Daymond because I found out after the fact after it was all the dust had settled, that one measure that they use to determine if someone’s you know, who they’re looking for is, is there that body of work out there is that is there that evidence that this person is going to be consistent and you know, putting forward high quality stuff, month in month out. And so having that kind of paper, all electronic now, but paper trail that I had already built up was a key piece that got their attention.

Curt Anderson 12:57
Yeah, always pursuing a passion. And I love like, you know, in you call, like the inter printer, if you will, Jim. And so you’re at General Mills, if I had that correct. And like just Nobody asked you to do it. You just took the initiative to come up with a newsletter. Right?

Jim Vinoski 13:11
Exactly. Yeah, actually went back to my first plant I was at with them. We had a problem where it became evident. We weren’t getting information from our engineering department department in our maintenance department, out to the folks on the floor. So they didn’t know what projects were coming up and what maintenance work was coming up. So I just started a weekly, short, you know, one pager, just saying, Hey, here’s what’s going on in the engineering world and putting back then paper copies out for people.

Damon Pistulka 13:44
Yeah, for people to read.

Curt Anderson 13:45
Yeah. All right, let’s keep this rolling. So now you share it, you know, you rocked it. A plus in English class through high school. So you know, it’s in your bone, it’s in your DNA, you carry it into, you know, throughout your career, and then pursue a career in journalism. But you brought that passion into your career. And how cool is that guys what to take away, do something at your job, that you’re not asked to do? Do something that your job that you that is entrepreneurial, or that you can own and like build into, like, you know, where you end up on Forbes, this is such a great inspirational story here. Now, Jim, okay, so some folks had that journalism bug and they’re like, I’m not gonna be on camera. And I don’t want to do a podcast other people like, dude, for me to sit down and type out a, you know, 500 word blog posts is just not going to happen. I’d rather do podcasting or video. You’re doing both. So you’ve got manufacturing talk. So again, guys, you want to check out Google manufacturing talks, check out Jim’s YouTube channel. He has tons of videos, tons of great interviews with amazing people a lot of folks that have been in our program so we have a lot of cross friends that that you’ve interviewed Jim, how is it just share a little bit of like, you know, you’re just a content beast man, like you’re doing journalism. You’re doing a blogging the writing for for jobs, manufacturing talks like just go there, like, what’s what’s in it that’s bringing all this content out?

Jim Vinoski 15:05
Well, I want to go back to what you were just saying about kind of using those talents you have, and not being afraid to do things that aren’t even part of your job and kind of make it part of what you’re doing. Because that’s where your uniqueness is, that’s where you have something no one else in the world has, right? That I mean, how many people have that combination of engineering degree and years and years of manufacturing and, and ability to write. But the other piece that I’ve always embraced is, tries new stuff, you know, and you’re gonna suck at it when you first start. If you think you’re gonna be great at something, you’re barking up the wrong tree. So don’t be afraid to look like a fool and be out there doing crazy stuff that, you know, may not even feel that comfortable or worthwhile. I just saw so many people doing such cool stuff. I mean, you guys were out there long before me and I’m seeing your stuff like, Man, this is just awesome. And what a way to further get that important message of what’s going on in manufacturing and how cool the world I work in and live in is then expanding into this new medium. And so, you know, it was literally just I went over to Best Buy and picked up what they had on hand and started doing videos and plugging them up on YouTube and cutting the audio and throwing it out as podcast and put it on my website and just, you know, got five or 10 viewers and felt good about it. And it just kept doing it. You know, just keep lather, rinse repeat. And like you said, yeah, no, I’ve got a video with 11,000 and counting and get the toxic some amazing people along the way. Well, that’s perfect. I’m

16:45
going to David

Damon Pistulka 16:46
lab too, because because remember the days like you What do you start? Do you go? Wow, someone downloaded my podcast, right? Or watched a video it’s like, and I think that’s what gets a lot of people when they’re starting to do this. You really have to have the passion for the message you want to share. Like you’re doing manufacturing here. Otherwise, you’re just gonna you’re not going to slog through that beginning.

Jim Vinoski 17:16
And you’re not going to keep people either. Yeah, because you’re not in it. Why should they be in it? Yeah.

Curt Anderson 17:23
Damon, can you see my screen? Yeah, CAD. Yeah. Okay, so guys, what I’ve got here, I’ve got Forbes so just, you know, proof in the pudding here. I don’t know Is anybody even use that expression anymore? Look right here. Yeah. Like, Jim, you have great articles. We talked a bunch. You know, what is matter of fact, Jim, if I’m not mistaken. I shared with you last time you’re on the program. I was at a competition with my daughter. She’s a figure skater and we talked about your you had a great article about the Zamboni remember that?

17:48
Yeah, yeah. So

Curt Anderson 17:51
if you guys, anybody out there, it’s a hockey mom hockey dad. I’m a figure skating dad. And if you live at the ice skating rink, you see that Zamboni all the time. Jim wrote a great article on the founder of the Zamboni it is an incredibly inspiring entrepreneurial story. Here, Jim, you dig into this company up in Maine, Old Town canoes that celebrates 125 years to Daymond? Take a look at the building here like Oh, my goodness. Isn’t that awesome? Yeah, Jim, sure. A little bit, I might pull up a couple of things. But share a little bit about this. Like, how I want to talk about that article. So if you want to start there. The other thing is like, how do you find your articles? How do you find, you know, inspiring, inspiring stories, but start with the canoes? And let’s talk about how you find your stories.

Jim Vinoski 18:35
Yeah, well, let me start with that piece. Because what I learned very quickly, once I got going on the Forbes articles is there, you know, literally 1000s of people out there who are gonna get in touch with you now, because they want their companies to get that publicity. Right? And yeah, who can blame them? So I literally get dozens of pitches every single day. Oh, do you really blue? Yeah. And I get some great stories that way. Now. Most of the pitches, you can’t do them all and not all of them are going to be great stories. Not all of them are even going to be good stories. But, you know, you get to pick and choose those ones that are but really, my favorite stories are the ones where something sparks my own interest. And that’s what happened with Zamboni is I was just sitting back one day thinking what would be really cool to write about. And Zamboni just pops in my head like I mean, what can be cooler than that? And so I send you get online, find their contact page or their PR firm and send them off a note. And that’s how I got in touch with them. And in fact, even with the Zamboni article, there was a PR guy I had done several stories without in California. He gets a hold of me and says, Hey, I heard you looking at doing something with Zamboni I don’t wrap them but I know the family so I’m happy to help connect you Yeah, nothing out of it. But he’s out there plugging away too. For old town I had been into canoes. Years ago, I lived another time here in Michigan and then moved away and came back. But during that time, I had my own canoe and I wound up buying a used canoe just to save money. But I was really fired up at first thinking, Man, I want one of these old town canoes, these things just look phenomenon. learned a little bit about the history. I mean, they go back to the birch bark days. Yeah, and kind of filed it away, and then another LinkedIn, and I just love LinkedIn, because the connections you get, they’re just amazing. I don’t even remember how I came across the guy, but I come across this PR guy out there. And I see he’s putting stuff out about old town. So I connected with him and said, You know, I, I’d love to write about these guys. Yeah. And he comes back. He’s like, Well, next year is our 125th anniversary. So what a great opportunity. Let’s let’s just kind of hold off until the turn of the year. And then let’s get get back together. And I kind of lost track of it. And sure enough, next spring, here he comes and, and we reconnect and he gets me all hooked up with folks there. And it’s just such a great story. Such a great history, great people. I mean, it’s my favorite part of all these stories is the amazing people out there doing these amazing things making these amazing products. And people just never even think about them. They’re just doing their thing. And they’re happy to do it. In Old Town is totally that. Interestingly, one of the guys he connected me with, he gets on the line with us for the interview, this PR guy and he kind of introduces us and he’s like, Oh, by the way, you guys have a common connection in Michigan. And the guy’s like, Oh, really? Where are you from? I said, Ron, from Ironwood. There’s this little pause and he says, Oh, well, I went to school at Tech, Michigan Tech, which is also in the up. But I was an intern at Stormy Kromer. Another company that I wrote about one of my very first articles before because it’s in my hometown of Ironwood, Michigan. They’re

Curt Anderson 22:12
awesome. Got it, you know, you know becomes a small world quickly, doesn’t it?

Jim Vinoski 22:16
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So it’s just just loads of fun. And yeah, just what they’ve done. You know, there have been such changes in in the technology of canoes. Most of them are obviously, aluminum these days. But Old Town is held off from the aluminum actually goes back to one of the family members who was running the company when aluminum started getting big. He he swore they would never do that, because he hated how noisy they were. So they’ve stocked with fiberglass and plastic and things that are not quite as noisy.

Curt Anderson 22:49
Yeah, yeah. Well, I’d say that’s awesome. I’m gonna go back to I’m going to share again. So let me take a look. I want to go here. Jim. Let me go to your let me go here. Can you guys see my screen? Yep. Okay, so again, bunch of fantastic articles. You had one here recently about Lockheed Martin, you’ve you’re talking about the tariffs going up? 300%. Is seafloor mining a goal? Like really great, fantastic stories. You’re talking like major, you know, fortune 100 companies only down to like, you know, the new company. Another great article I read was red land cotton. Yeah. set by the red light red land cotton family.

Jim Vinoski 23:28
Yeah, I love that. That kind of breath you just laid out, you know, talking to Lockheed Martin, and then also talking to a red line cotton. And that’s another part of what I just absolutely love. Yeah, red land cotton. Founded by a guy and his daughter down in Alabama. The father was a farmer, his dad was a farmer. He got into cotton farming back when he was a young man. And just over the years, thought, you know, there’s gotta be a way to bring some of this textile stuff back to the US. And he, when his daughter grew up and went off to school, she got into more of a marketing end thing. And worked in New York for a while and at some point, you know, he says we ought to get together and do something with our cotton other than just selling it as cotton. And so they came up with bedsheets, high quality bedsheets, and they went wound up going out to like North Carolina, which is the, the center of textiles for the US and they’ve got, you know, labs and college courses and all this stuff out there. And they go out there and get with some of these experts and educate themselves and come back and start this little bedsheet company and they’ve slowly grown it and expanded into other things. They do some apparel now and other linens and it’s just phenomenal. Another one of those stories of just wonderful people who get a wild hair and want to make stuff and they go make it happen.

Curt Anderson 24:57
Yeah, and it’s a great article, guys, you have to go As a matter of fact, you know, Forbes has like the little paint the little lock thing you know, so like, I can’t pull that up, but it’s a great. I love it’s a father and daughter. You know, Damon, we always love hearing that one being girl dad. Yeah. Oh, you know, great, great stories guy. So you know, all you have to do is just Google Jim’s name and put Forbes next to it. And you can just see a whole plethora go to his LinkedIn profile. Right in the featured section. He has a bunch of his articles right there. That’s where I found that one was on your, on your LinkedIn. Jim. Jim, let’s head over to manufacturing talks. I’m going to pull up your channel. So so not only are you know what, Damon you know, how will we I always feel like a big underachiever when we invite our guests on the program. So not only is he like crazy, like the guy writes for Forbes, now he’s crushing it on YouTube. So Jim, talk a little bit about like, what was the inspiration to get manufacturing talk started, I’m going to pull up, I’m going to pull up your YouTube channel here in a second. But just walk us through that process, and how you find folks that you interview and how much fun you’re having with it.

Jim Vinoski 25:59
Yeah, so again, it kind of just came out of the Forbes work as I had done that for a few years and started seeing guys like you doing such cool stuff out there. I got looking at, you know, kind of really what I was doing with Forbes telling these, to me very inspirational and important stories, the the feel good stories of what people are doing, but also taken on, you know, some of the more contentious topics like energy and tariffs and things like that, and got looking at what podcasts were out there web shows that were out there and just saw a niche where that really wasn’t being covered the way I was covering it the form. So to me, I just took it initially as this extension of what I was doing with Forbes into another medium, and actually started the first probably dozen discussions I had were with people had already written about for Forbes, and just kind of going over that same story and in the YouTube and the podcast format. And yeah, just getting my feet wet and learning what I needed to do to make it higher quality and improving it as I went along.

Curt Anderson 27:05
Yeah, I love it. And it’s matter of fact, ironically, here’s here’s your interview right here with a gentleman from Zamboni. So here’s Episode Episode number 47. Is so if you want to learn more about the Zamboni and actually the that was the founders name, you know, so you’re just wondering, like, whenever they came up with Zamboni it was a guy who was the founders name. And Damon, here’s the here’s the video right here this gentleman, you know, Mark Mills, 11,000 views that you got in that one gym gym, dude, like how, how on earth to get 11,000 views on your on one of these videos?

Jim Vinoski 27:37
Well, I think it’s a combination. One is Mark is just a phenomenal speaker. I learned about him through a video I saw from a speech he did for a company back at the beginning of this year, right after the holidays. And he was talking about the challenge we have with having enough metals and minerals to do the electrification that we are all touting thing we’re headed toward. And you know, his assertion is there’s no way we’re fulfilling our goals as we have them stated, because we’re not currently mining enough, we have no plan to mine enough. We don’t even have the capability to mine enough. And so I got a hold of him and said, You know, I saw this video, and I’d love for you to come on my show and talk about it more from that manufacturing end of you know, we’ve got all these car companies that are I mean, they’re in the process now of flipping all their production completely over to EVs. And he’s out here saying, well, they can go ahead and flip it, but they’re not going to be making all the cars that way, because they’re not going to have the material. So yeah, he came on. And I mean, he had that amazing message. And he’s got such an unbelievable command of the facts and the figures. It’s it’s even if you don’t agree with what he’s saying, even if you have a different perspective, he’s so great at presenting it and presenting in a way where it’s not, you know, he’s not in this invective mode that so many people are where it’s, you know, you either by my story or you’re evil and wrong, and I hate you. It’s very much hey, here’s what I’ve learned. I’m no guru, but I’ve studied this, and here’s what I’ve come across. Here’s how I came across it. You know, you can go do your own study, and maybe I’m wrong. And he’s just very affable. And most of all, for me, He is hilarious. And I think it’s just that whole mix of things that he brings to the table. He was already established, because of other things he done. I think it fit really well with what I do and the things I cover, and obviously it just, it just took off. It was funny, because like three months ago, he was my first video to hit 1000. And I was thinking I had to send them a note, you know, thank him. Thank you. Yeah, and it took off so crazy. Another month and a half goes by and I finally sent him a note and I’m like Mark, I want to Thank you. You’re my first video hit 1000 as of a couple months ago. Oh, and by the way, your first video hit 10,000 Subs last week. How cool is that? You know, it’s awesome. And yeah, so I actually had him on I had my first live show last Friday getting ready to do some. Oh,

Curt Anderson 30:19
is that a live show? Yeah. So

Jim Vinoski 30:21
Adam back on last Friday. And and I know you guys are big fans like I am of Gail. Oh, yeah. curious minds. She came on. She was helping me out get getting ready for it. She came on to and she acted as my my first. Oh, so awesome.

Curt Anderson 30:41
Perfect. Is that so? I? We’ve got a couple of comments here. So we’re, I think we’re over the top of the hour, right. So yeah, join us if you just came in off of a call. We’re here at Jim Vernadsky. And bam, we’re just digging into manufacturing talks his YouTube channel deaf. We’re just going through a bunch of his guests again, David, if you saw like Gail was on there, Jay Cole, a bunch of mutual friends that we have that were guests of Jim’s on his manufacturing talks, webcam or web stream if you will. And we’re also he writes for Forbes we’re just digging into a bunch of his articles a let’s scrap Jason’s comment here. Yeah, better way to get out there and talk to people about the world of manufacturing and and tell their stories show others that the world of manufacturing is more and better than the old dirty debauchery, right? And I say that word right, that people dread their jobs as they were in the past. Right. Yeah.

Jim Vinoski 31:32
Very well said.

Damon Pistulka 31:36
Thank you for a lot of people weighing in to deciding where they’re they’re here showing us where they’re coming in from good. We got Gary’s here. You know, he’s from Victor, New York. People from Nigeria. Awesome.

Curt Anderson 31:49
Yep. Great stuff. So party rolling. So Jim, we’re here to talk about the latest and greatest in manufacturing and between, like your manufacturing talks between articles that you write for Forbes, I mean, you’re really at the forefront. You’re talking to all sorts of folks all over the country. What are you hearing? What are you seeing, you know, as we come into fourth quarter, what what’s what’s, what’s on the streets, dude?

Jim Vinoski 32:10
Yeah, well, you know, I think it’s two pronged. For the near term, I think there’s a lot of bullishness about manufacturing, and especially American manufacturing, you hear about the the reshoring. And the nearshoring. People realize through COVID When we couldn’t get stuff from overseas, geez, maybe it’s not such a great thing to have this just in time, philosophy that relies on everything going perfectly all the time. Yeah. And you know, there’s nothing wrong with just in time, but you also have to have kind of a safety valve. And we didn’t have that in a lot of cases. And we saw it on the store shelves, right? Yeah. And so as we’ve recovered from that, people are now saying, yeah, maybe we don’t restore everything, but we bring some stuff back closer, and maybe it even cost us a little more, but now we know we’re gonna have our shelves full. So there’s a lot of good stuff happening. And I think there’s some good tailwinds. It’s a little rough right now, because obviously, the economy’s not just ours, but around the world are somewhat struggling now. So you know, there’s there’s some tailwinds. But there’s also some headwinds, I think, longer term. I’ve got some concerns there. Probably two main ones. There’s so much hype now about all the government money pouring into manufacturing. And what troubles me about that most is there are people who’ve been like me in manufacturing for decades. It’s their specialty, and they’re also out there cheerleading this, and they should know better, you know, government money, messes with the market, you know, government can’t fail, they can keep printing money and putting it into these enterprises until they just go kaput. And so they distort the market and other things that should be getting investment aren’t getting investment because of that. But the other thing is, then eventually, those subsidies go poof. And these companies that weren’t actually viable, that were propped up by all this funding, they go poof to Yeah, we wind up just shooting ourselves in the foot. There’s that piece, and then the whole Minerals and Energy front. And I think we’re just blowing smoke up our own behinds on a lot of this, you know, we’re launching into this grand energy transition. And I also believe we should be cutting our co2 emissions, but we shouldn’t do it by committing economic suicide. And that’s the path we are on today. Right now. It is already built in that we’re going to be shutting all our coal plants down over the next 510 years, and building all this renewable capacity. But as we saw, like in Texas through the summer, it works great sometimes, but it’s not always there when you need it. Yeah. If you guys looked at Texas, but people are touting how wind and solar and storage saved Texas during the heatwave, and it didn’t. That’s actually one of my videos that I did just my myself kind of a soliloquy showing the daily ERCOT fuel mix, showing every day how a wind would drop out solar would be there during, you know, the main part of the day. But as people got home and it got toward eight at night, solar crapped out and when hadn’t come back and what’s carry in the day? It’s Yes, and coal and nuclear. Yeah. And so again, I’m a huge believer in technology, I think there are things that we don’t even know about yet that are going to come along and help us solve the co2 problem. But my fear is that in the meantime, we’ve got a bunch of people who have no idea how things are made, and how these systems work, making decisions and putting in mandates that by the time we realize we’re in trouble, it’s going to be too late. And I’ve told people again, and again, the number one issue in manufacturing for the medium to long term is energy. And if you’re a manufacturing leader, and you’re not out there, yourself working to get sensible policies put in place, you’re failing.

Damon Pistulka 36:04
Wow, yeah. Oh, this is just like ramping a big band aid off my chest in the car. You know, the, whatever the worst artery you can unleash for me is? Yeah.

Jim Vinoski 36:19
I laugh I think again, I Another thing about Mark Mills, he’s an optimist. He he closed our first show the big one, saying don’t bet against Americans don’t bet against the American people. I’m right there with them. Yeah, I think we can definitely solve all this. I want to be affable about it. And I will say if you have evidence that says otherwise, what I’m telling you show it to me. I hope I’m wrong. I do. Yeah. I don’t think I am. But yeah, I’m always willing to listen, connect me with with me on LinkedIn and send me your details. Yeah, you’re right, I’ll wrap them into my story.

Damon Pistulka 36:52
You said just one side. I mean, I mean, where I’m at, right? On the on the Left Coast, we have cities that are banning internal combustion engines to be sold, you know, after a certain date, they don’t even consider the fact that if we’re all going to use evey cars, and I would love to have everyone to have an Eevee car, if it’s the right, like you the infrastructure to just get the power to the houses to power the cars or to the charging stations, we would have to like, quit, it was like quadruple the capacity of because we’re taking the same energy that is now in liquid form in petroleum based products. And we have to run it through our through our power system that is not made to run that much power through it.

Curt Anderson 37:37
It’s this math.

Damon Pistulka 37:39
Right?

Jim Vinoski 37:40
Yeah, it’s math. Well, and we never talked about the cost, either. Yeah, it’s just like, this stuff’s gonna happen. And it’s not going to cost us anything. Look at the cost of true, you know, wholesale electrification, you’re talking about hundreds of trillions of dollars for the world. And, you know, that just rolls off your tongue because you can’t fathom how big that is. But you’re talking about dedicating like, you know, a third of our GDP to electrification for the next 30 years. Is that realistic? I don’t think so.

Curt Anderson 38:13
So, Jim, so let’s go here. So, so folks out there and manufacturing energy, absolute top priority, you know, three COVID? You know, labor has been just absolutely right. What do you hear boots in the street? What do you anything, anything new on the labor front? What’s going on there?

Jim Vinoski 38:30
Yeah. So I think we’re past the crises that were kind of the immediate post COVID thing as we as we brought stuff back and add more stuff being made here. People couldn’t get even the staffing, really to do a lot of that initially, I think people are still challenged with their staffing needs just not at crisis level. It’s another one where we really have to understand demographics, and this was baked in shouldn’t be a huge surprise. I think we just got surprised by it, because it came on a little harsher than ordinary times would have said it would. And I’ll get into that in a second. But the long term is, we know the baby boomers are the hugest generation in our time, and they’re already retiring. And so you know, the fact that the number of workers isn’t there shouldn’t be a big surprise. What COVID Did is also steered a bunch of government money into paying people not to work. And we’re coming out of that somewhat, but we’re not entirely out of it. So, you know, I think there’s public policy concerns there. The other piece, though, that I’m really bullish on is more automation. You know, I am a huge fan of automation. If you look back through the history, there’s so much talk about automation taking jobs, and yes, it has taken jobs. But what I’ll point out is, look at those jobs it’s taken, they were the most dangerous and the dirtiest and the most mundane In boring jobs, the ones that are given an opportunity for people to do something different, they absolutely would have opted out. And so if we can further automate in the way that for example, Aaron’s the people who make the snow blowers and lawn mowers and a little brilliant in Wisconsin did it, they brought in robotic welding cells, and trained the people who had previously just been loading the lines for manual welding, train them up to run these automated cells, they didn’t lose anybody. Right. And, you know, so that our workforce is happier than ever, they’ve got much better positions that they’re filling, their business is thriving, because now they’ve got the automation to keep up with the numbers that they’re phenomenal products are driving, I have an errand snowblower myself. So I’m a fan. And yeah, they totally did it the right way. And I think that’s the reality of even if, you know, fix the the kind of government money problem, we’re still facing that the very skilled baby boomers who have bolstered us for so long are going away. And we’re going to address that, and that’s the way to do it.

Damon Pistulka 41:08
Yeah. And that’s, and that’s, that’s the thing, I think you hit it, automation is just gonna allow us to continue manufacturing. And we’re probably going to manufacture more efficiently. And it’s not because we’re replacing jobs. It’s just like, we got people that are retiring, that we can hire that skill back. And just somehow we’re using the the automation and the people that are there are the people that we can hire to continue manufacturing, but only at more consistent, higher quality levels, just because of the automation. It’s, I think, automation now, if anyone’s touting the fact that it’s going to cost us jobs, what they’re not looking at the numbers.

Curt Anderson 41:50
So no, you know what, and and I don’t know, I it’s been, you know, if you go back to the Luddites, right, you go to the textile mills from the late 1700s. In England, they were they were boycotting, they were fighting because like this new technology was coming in, and like these mills, you know, like, you know, it’s been going on for centuries. And so, you know, the printing press was the same thing, man, I can’t, I’m not gonna sit here, right, this whole thing out, that’s my job, you know, you know, well, hey, this guy’s got a little pretty thing is gonna knock it down and, you know, 30 minutes. So I think it’s been centuries that we’ve been battling in us. But when you’re in it, you know, it’s it’s change. People don’t like change, right? It was a Peter Drucker that said that people don’t like change. And unfortunately, life is all about change. And so I love what you’re saying. And then well, we just had a Sammy, actually a neighbor of yours, Jim. We had a mission design and automation, semi birch, he’s in Holland, Michigan. She Yep, she was just on the show on Monday. And we were tight. We showed a video of her incredible manufacturing company, just 48 employees to 140. Wow, in three years, 48 employees to 140 in three years. So when you hear about automation, taking jobs, it is creating jobs. So I Damon, I know like week, man, we’re like coming into town. Yeah. I want it you are an absolute content, Beast and get me here. So Eric DeRozan. Happy Friday. Brother. We love you. Appreciate you being here. Thank you, everybody, for being here. We’re here with Jim we’re talking about manufacturing talks. He’s manufacturing correspondent for Forbes, that just great content. Jim, you are a content beast. Thank you, one man, just like putting all this out. For small manufacturers that need to stop being the best kept secret. And just like just get that content started, whether it’s a video, whether it’s podcasts, whether it’s an article, a blog, just something, any advice, any words of wisdom that you could share from manufacturer of like, how do you just start that content journey?

Jim Vinoski 43:57
Well, you just nailed it, you know, start small, get a blog. And the key with blogging is you have to be consistent. So find someone who will keep it going doesn’t have to be daily or even weekly, get a blog post out there once a month, just get some fresh stuff on your website for people to check out. You know, PR spending is a challenge. I know. You know, sometimes budgets are tight, but a good PR person can get your name out there and pay for themselves many times over. And then engage. To me. This is really for all sides manufacturers. Part of building our workforce that we need for the future is instructing our young people on what manufacturing is today, like we’ve talked about now. It’s it’s not the dirty, dark, dangerous, you know, coal miner past. It is high tech. It’s clean, it’s pay as well. It’s a great career a great future. And we as manufacturers own getting that message out there. So we should be engaged with our local, elementary and middle and high schools. We should be especially engaged with our technical colleges, but also with the universities. Even if you’re not hiring students at universities right now get out there and learn the programs and present to the students who are there today down the road, you may have that need and then you’ve already got the contact made. In the meantime, you’re educating those students as well.

Curt Anderson 45:20
Absolutely, man, yeah. Chuck the mic number 10. There. The ginger has been dropping my man. So let’s start winding down. Let’s recap. And so a couple of things. We’ve talked about energy, we’ve talked about labor. We’ve talked about marketing for manufacturers. How about Big shout out to dad to Ed for being such an inspiration to you raising seven kids. That was just such a great story. Now, Jim, I think I think this ties in if I’m not mistaken, you and I were kindred about something. So I think this last question might tie into something that you and I talked about one so yeah, Damon should I go there. So I’m gonna go there. So we were talking a little bit about sports. But so, you know, Dad was a Pittsburgh guy. So maybe I’m going to talk baseball. We’re in the baseball season. You know, you got the pirates. You know, you’ve got your Detroit Tigers, you know, you know, so if you’re a baseball fan, Jim, by any chance, let me just throw let me just go with a hypothetical. Okay, hypothetical. Let’s just say your favorite baseball team is the bottom of the ninth. Okay, but I’m a ninth inning tie score. And there’s a guy on second base guy on second base tie score Biden, midnight, your favorite team will just since your Michigan will just say Detroit Tigers are playing and it’s a they’ve got to win this game. They’ve got to win this game. Okay. So two outs by midnight and a manager turns on the bench. And he says, Hey, have an AUSkey grab a bat get up to the plate and hit in the winning run. Right. So you go you grab your bat, you’re walking up to hit the winning run. So the Detroit Tigers can win this game. Jim, what song is playing? And what is your walk up song as you walk up to the plate to hit in the winning run?

Jim Vinoski 47:03
Yeah, it’s indestructible but disturb

Curt Anderson 47:07
me. I think we’re at unite. We’re gonna talk about 80s hair, like hair bands or something was Oh my goodness. That’s awesome. He didn’t he didn’t even blink Damon. He didn’t even know he was there. He was there. So dropped the mic number 11. So that Jim that would do disturbed I feel.

Jim Vinoski 47:31
Go check that song out that inspirational for then you need to be the man.

Curt Anderson 47:39
Jim. Thank you. Dude. That was I that might be famous. That’s our new theme song. Right. So maybe a theme for our weekend, right? But we’ll be a little disturbed. So. Alright, so how about everybody out there? If you’ve been sitting with us for the past? What are we at almost 50 minutes. I encourage you, I invite you. Let’s give Jim a huge round of applause. Jim, thank you, brother, man. It’s a

Jim Vinoski 48:03
post last week you guys to me set the bar for all manufacturing shows. And so I’m aspiring to be like you guys with hate. And

Curt Anderson 48:13
you know what? I as much as I appreciate that, Jim, you’ve got you’ve got way too much hair. Dude. You might have to shave. Kidding. I’m just kidding. So hey, we wish you just monster continued success. Everybody guys, check out Jim’s articles on Forbes. Go to manufacturing talks, get those views up for Jim because he loves those views. He’s gotten great at that. He’s interviewing all sorts of wonderful content. Jim, we wish you nothing but success to you, your wonderful family. And you are welcome back here anytime our friend and so we appreciate you. And just keeping that advocate in that voice for manufacturers. guys have an amazing, incredible weekend. Thank you for joining us today. And just like our buddy Jim, just be an inspiration to someone man. If we could all just be someone’s inspiration. Just think Oh, great. That’d be Damon. Another great show. Take it away, dude.

Damon Pistulka 49:04
No doubt. Well, thanks, Jim. For being here so much today. It just it’s incredible having you on and thank you guys. I hope we can do it again sometime. Thanks everyone else for listening. And people are putting comments in those that have happened. Those that listen, those that just just are listened. But go back and listen to what Jim said he had some great comments throughout the show great insights. And just like like Kurt said, check Jim out on Forbes. He he interviews some great people, check them out on YouTube with manufacturing talks, and just just see what he’s doing because he is sharing the stories that make up the US manufacturing industry and the people in it. It’s just awesome to be able to hear him. Thanks again for being here. We’ll be back again next week. We’re out for now. Everyone. Have a great weekend. See you guys

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