2016 Golf Outing

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Our annual Golf Outing was held yesterday, August 29, at the Powelton Club in Newburgh. The weather was excellent and everyone had a wonderful time. Some photographic highlights of the event are below. Thank you to all who participated!

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Report: Manufacturers who Don’t Invest in new Tech Today will be in Big Trouble Tomorrow

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Manufacturers across all vertical industries are poised to dramatically ramp up investments in smart products, digitized processes and related technologies, skills, and training over the next four years, significantly altering the competitive landscape and putting at risk manufacturers that fail to keep pace, according to a research report recently released by Pricewaterhouse Coopers. The study, “Industry 4.0: Building the Digital Enterprise,” predicts that manufacturers across verticals such as automotive, aerospace, electronics, and chemicals will invest on average five percent of revenues between now and 2020 on sensors, connectivity devices, software applications including manufacturing execution systems, training, and the hiring of digital specialists. That will account for $906 billion in annual spending on digitization activities related to Industry 4.0 (also known as Manufacturing 4.0.).

47% of respondents said they expect digitization of their existing product portfolios will generate more than 10% of their companies’ revenues over the next five years, and 42% said new digital services delivered to customers will do so. 72% said they expect their use of data analytics related to M4.0 initiatives will improve their customer intelligence and their relationships with customers. The study also found that, “At least a third of companies in every sector expect to secure efficiency gains and cost savings of more than 20%, and many anticipate that these will be accompanied by additional revenues of the same magnitude.” The majority of respondents  said they expect a two-year payback on the investments they are now making.

The Council has written about this “Internet of Things” before in our magazine. You can read a full summary of the study here.

 

New York Employment Numbers for July 2016

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New York State’s private sector job count increased by 36,200, or 0.5% in July 2016, according to preliminary figures released by the New York State Department of Labor. According to the department, this represents the state’s largest monthly private sector job gain since September 2013. The statewide unemployment rate was unchanged from June’s level of 4.7%, and remained below the comparable U.S. rate of 4.9% in July 2016, this is its lowest level since August 2007. The good news did not extend to New York’s manufacturers however, as the Labor Department also reported that over the past 12 months manufacturing lost the most jobs (-4,200) of any major industry sector in New York. Job losses were focused in durable goods (-5,400), especially fabricated metals (-6,00). Read the full press release.

New Idea for teaching STEM

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There’s been much talk over the past few years of how to make STEM fields more appealing to young students. The latest theory holds that they key is to connect students to the sciences by personalizing them. That is, telling them the stories of scientists to help them understand why STEM is so important. Research suggests that context and history play a strong role in connecting science and engineering theory with practice, but students often know only little about the history behind great scientific discoveries. If all students know about the history of science stops when the apple fell on Newton’s head how can they be expected to grasp why their lessons are relevant in the fast-paced modern world? Teaching who Marie Curie was can do a lot more to inspire students than simply teaching what she discovered. Read the full piece in US News and World Report.

NY Fed Manufacturing Survey

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The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has released the results from its August survey of New York’s manufacturers. The headline general business conditions index fell five points to -4.2, indicating business activity decreased for the second consecutive month. The new orders index remained near zero, a sign that orders were largely unchanged, while the shipments index climbed eight points to 9.0, signifying that shipments rose. Labor indicators suggest that there was little change in employment levels and hours worked. The prices paid index edged down to 15.5, reflecting the fact that input price increases remained moderate. Meanwhile, at 2.1 the prices received index indicated a small increase in selling prices. The survey also suggests that firms expect conditions to improve over the next six months, although the level of optimism reported diminished for the second month in a row.

Old Newburgh Mill gets Revamped

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Anyone who’s spent some time in the Hudson Valley knows it is filled with historic buildings. Unfortunately, not all of these are well maintained, fortunately some are being saved from ruin by enterprising businessmen. 

One such building is a red-brick structure straddling the Quassaick on upper Broadway in the City of Newburgh. The former mill was once deemed so unsafe that firefighters had a standing order to avoid entering, developer Victor Cappelletti said. Now, drawn to the potential of its “good bones” and massive size, Cappelletti is in the process of resurrecting the long-vacant, 100,000-square-foot structure, which is designated as 639 Broadway but actually combines four addresses. Find out more about this development.

Bringing the Future with a Blast from the Past

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If you’re reading this blog post then you probably are so used to your high speed broadband internet that you take it for granted. While to most Americans easy internet access has become as common as indoor plumbing, there is still a significant number of Americans in remote and rural areas who have been slow to catch up. The main reason for this is that because these people live so out of the way in scarcely populated areas, there just isn’t a strong enough profit incentive for the usual internet providers to make a significant push in the area. But with internet access becoming as essential as electricity many local communities, and the FCC, are taking a page out of New Deal era efforts to bring rural areas onto the electric grid, and sometimes even using the same laws. With government grants and community owned co-ops in place of traditional providers high speed internet is coming to more Americans, bringing our country further into the 21st century. Read more about these efforts.

On This Day: NASA launches Phoenix

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On this day in history in 2007 NASA launched its Phoenix spacecraft on a mission to Mars. The Phoenix mission was the first chosen for NASA’s Scout program, an initiative for smaller, lower-cost, competed spacecraft. Named for the resilient mythological bird, Phoenix used a lander that was intended for use by 2001’s Mars Surveyor lander prior to its cancellation. It also carries a complex suite of instruments that are improved variations of those that flew on the lost Mars Polar Lander. Phoenix landed farther north than any previous mission, in an effort to find evidence of water on Mars. During the course of its three-month mission, Phoenix checked samples of soil and ice for evidence about whether the site was ever hospitable to life. Read more about the project.

ISM Manufacturing Survey: US Gains Modest

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The United States reported its ISM Manufacturing Survey figure for July was 52.6. The ISM Manufacturing Index is based on surveys of more than 300 manufacturing firms by the Institute of Supply Management. The Index monitors employment, production, inventories, new orders and supplier deliveries. Any number greater than 50 indicates expansion in manufacturing. While this month’s report indicates that the manufacturing sector is still expanding nationally, it was notably below last month’s figure of 53.2. It was also lower than experts had expected, with some predicting a figure of 53. Read more on the report.

Report: NY Employment Numbers Strong

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The New York State Department of Labor released the preliminary local unemployment rates for June 2016. These rates are calculated based on methods from the federal Department of Labor. The Department’s payroll survey of 18,000 New York employers found that the State’s private sector job count had increased by 120,700 from June 2015, bringing the number of private sector jobs in the State to an all time high of 7,918,400.