Thom Shelow and wife Teresa Beach-Shelow of Superior Joining Technologies Inc. (SJTI), Machesney Park, Ill., had a plan, and come hell or high water, they were going to move forward.
Wanting to diversify their business (read their story, "How can laser work for you?"), they decided to act by making a significant capital equipment purchase in spite of the unfavorable economy. Today, a year later, the company's business is up in every facet—a direct result of the laser purchase—and the Shelows couldn't be happier.
It all started with a plan, and that plan got rolling with a visit to FABTECH®, North America's largest metal forming, fabricating, finishing, and welding tradeshow. The show presents you with that same opportunity Nov. 2-4 in Atlanta.
It's never a bad time to invest in your future—or at least to educate yourself on what's out there—and the show provides you with a venue to do just that—to form your own plan, not just from a capital equipment purchasing standpoint, but from a training standpoint as well (see the full show preview).
Equipment manufacturers from around the world that are on the cutting edge of technology advancements geared toward making your job easier, as well as technology experts who are willing to lend an ear and offer advice, are under one roof at FABTECH. Not only is it a gathering place for some of the leading minds in manufacturing processes and technology, it's also a great place to connect with your peers—whether they be fellow job shop welders, engineers, welding instructors, or welding inspectors.
Sometimes the toughest part about forming a plan is getting the ball rolling. With that in mind, the FABTECH organizers offer seminars on new technology, troubleshooting techniques, and optimization practices led by industry leaders who can help steer you in the right direction. The National Welding Education Conference, for example, brings together welding educators from across the country and will cover the welding industry's work force needs, recruitment tips, curricula, and other tools for educators.
What is your plan for your company, vocational school, or career? Whatever plan or vision you have, chances are FABTECH offers something to help you put that plan into action.
It's not always easy to think long-term in an economy where surviving today is the No. 1 priority. It's also tough to consider or imagine the possibility of recovery, especially after expending so much time and energy just trying to stay afloat. But it's important to ask yourself whether you are prepared for when things finally do turn around.
Do your decisions today put you in a good position to take an aggressive step forward tomorrow? Those are all questions SJTI asked itself when it formed its plan. And thanks in part to a visit to the FABTECH show floor, the company is armed and ready for new challenges.