Friday, January 30, 2009

Overcoming Stigmas-- "Maintenance Techs are not Goobers anymore"

How can we dispell the myth that Maintenance techs are a bunch of untrained Goobers?

We discovered Tim Pettigrew, a Mayberry Tribute Actor, who actually is a certified school bus mechanic. He reveals in his interview with Joel Leonard on the complexities of modern transportation equipment and the need for qualified technicians.

Converging Skills- Joel Meets with Technology Giant Robert Scoble

You may want to visit section In Crisis Comes Opportunity to view a discussion Joel Leonard had with Blogging pioneer Robert Scoble. Robert is credited for the advancing corporate blogging. Check his wiki at

Joel and Robert discuss educational challenges and the need for schools to provide experiential education and hands on training to fully engage students and to develop technical talents.

Robert is not just a pioneer but also now his name is now a unit measurement in the techworld.

Unit of Measurement
In September 2008, a website which calculates how annoying it will be to follow anyone on Twitter, invented the milliscoble unit of measurement defined as: "1/1000th of the average daily Twitter status updates by Robert Scoble as of 10:09 CST September 25, 2008." At that time, Scoble was averaging 21.21 tweets per day, so a milliscoble is 0.02121 tweets per day. A person with a milliscoble rating of 1000 will be as annoying to follow as Scoble.

Challenge: Preserving the Past yet Building for Tomorrow

Many think to advance our society we must break away from the past. However, by preserving and maintaining yesterday's assets could be building tomorrow's treasures. Believe it or not we often can advance performance by continuing technologies and practices of yesterday while also implementing new technology.

Joel Leonard interviewed Benjamin Briggs, the executive director of Preservation Greensboro to learn about this process.

To view this video check out the In Crisis Comes Opportunity Section at

Manufacturing Progress

Former Michigan Governor John Engler, who is now the president of the National Association of Manufacturers shared his perspectives on the skills challenges with Joel Leonard at the 2008 National Summit on American Competitiveness Summit in Chicago last year. Visit section In Crisis Comes Opportunity to view this interesting discussion.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fusing Forward

Believe it or not despite the economic downturn, there is still a serious shortfall of over 250,000 welders. Last fall, Joel Leonard visited Lincoln Electric's welding school and got to see first hand how they are developing a new generation of skilled welders.

Above is 18 year old Seth Cogley, who not only demonstrates his skills on but also his interesting story. He got interested in welding by watching a Discovery Channel story on welding when he was only 13 years old. He convinced his family to buy him a welding kit for his birthday and welding ever since. He is delighted that now he is getting formal education and has already received numerous job offers. Check out more on SkillTV leveraging your skills section at

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Look on

The team at Putman Media has been working very hard to make the information on easier to access and leverage. As you know in the computer world, it is very hard to make a user interface easy. We are continuing to work to not only gather valuable information for our viewers, but also working hard to make it more accessible and powerful for you as well.
Hope you enjoy the changes and if you have any suggestions, please forward to

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Clint Up America!

Wow! You must get out and see Clint Eastwood's latest movie. It is literally like watching Dirty Harry, Archie Bunker and Sean Connery from Finding Forester, all in the same movie.

After the passing of Eric Bergtraun, I am feeling very concerned that more retirees need to Clint Up and reach out to future generations to help them Man Up and keep them out of gangs and personally teach them skills to fix up America.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Nature versus Nurture

The recent storms are causing havoc in nature. It appears that wind gusts thrust an eagles nest off of the mountainside. Several of the eggs were cracked and the embryos died. However, one of the eggs fell down the mountainside near a free range chicken farm. One of hens sat on the egg and after several days hatched a newborn eagle.

The hen took the eagle in and treated it as her own. She raised it like the other chickens. Soon the eagle grew and looked above and saw a flock of eagles fly by. It wondered if it could soar like the eagles. However, the chickens quickly corrected him and told him that he would always be a chicken.

Later, that eagle grew to believe that he would never become an eagle and never tried to fly, or become as truly was, an eagle. After several years, he died living a life as a chicken.

So this story goes to show us: we can either soar with the eagles as nature intended us, or we can listen to a bunch of chickens and never stretch our wings and fly!

So the question is: what are you going to do this year?

Are you going to fly or just get by and be as miserable as everyone else?

The choice is ours to make.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Who will fill Eric's shoes?

Just got word that AFE Fellow, Eric Bergtraun passed on Dec 27th of 2008. A holocaust survivor, plant engineer and long time mentor to numerous generations of Facilities and Plant Engineering leaders, Eric Bergtraun will be sorely missed.

This small man with a very large heart, was famous for not mincing words and challenging others to pay it forward to future generations of engineers.

As more of the boomer generation retire, we need more retirees to step up like Eric did and provide leadership, mentorship and guidance to future generations.

And as Eric would passionately proclaim, "if we don't fix it now, what are we STUUUUPID!?!"

We need lots more future talent and more need to realize that they too can pitch in and fix it forward and pave the pathways that leaders like Eric Bergtraun blazed for us.