Visit Johnson Controls with WiM Oregon!

Join WiM Oregon for a plant tour and networking event at Johnson Controls on Thursday, March 21! Johnson Controls has more than 100 years of experience delivering vehicle batteries to meet customers’ evolving needs. They provide batteries to global automakers and aftermarket distributors and retailers, and their global footprint, manufacturing capabilities, and value added services to deliver high quality products to customers in support of their growth, wherever they are located.  

We'll enjoy at plant tour of the Johnson Controls Canby facility, a light lunch, and networking with the Portland Workforce Alliance organization. We hope to see you there!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Johnson Controls 
800 NW 3rd Ave
Canby, OR 97013
United States 

Student: $10
Member: $15
Nonmember: $20


Congratulations to Innovarai and Madorra Medical who are among Portland Business Journal's 2017 Small Business & Innovation awardees!  Their achievements will be recognized and their products showcased on November 1st from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at the Portland Hilton Hotel.

Rapid prototyping and low-volume production, made possible through 3D printing (additive manufacturing), are lowering the barriers to entry for entrepreneurs and start ups.  These advanced manufacturing technologies lower costs, reduce lead times, and optimize designs, making product launches more affordable and timely.

On Thursday, October 20, the University of Portland will be hosting its Operations & Tech Management Symposium from 4 - 7 PM in Shiley Atrium.

Join us for thought-provoking discussion led by industry leaders followed by networking reception. Meet the speakers and connect with movers and shakers in the operations and technology management field.
Don’t miss this inaugural event!

  • KEYNOTE SPEAKER – Fred Pond, former CIO Columbia Sportswear
    Chris DeGallier, CGD Owner; Greg Martin, Knowledge Universe CIO; Jimmy Godard, Bank of America VP Senior Change; Renee Eaton, Rapidmade CEO; Rick McClain, Milwaukee Electronics COO, Derek Weiss, VP, Deputy CIO Cambia Health Solutions and Wilson Zorn, Adidas Sr. Enterprise Architect.


  • Registration/Welcome
  • Keynote Speaker – Fred Pond, CIO Columbia Sportswear
  • Guest Speaker – Jackie Baretta, CIO Willamette University
  • Panel Discussion Moderated by: Lisa McCaffrey (see “Speakers” for panel bios)
  • Networking Reception

Event Details:

  • When: Thursday, October 20th 2016, 4-7PM
  • Where:  University of Portland – Shiley Hall (Atrium)
  • Parking: FREE (main campus parking lot)
  • General Admission: $35 (includes “Primal Teams” book by Jackie Baretta, reception appetizers and drink)
  • Student Admission: $15 (includes “Primal Teams” book by Jackie Baretta, reception appetizers and drink)

Come see RapidMade at PSU's Business Accelerator Company 11th Annual Showcase.  We are officially graduating from the program tonight, Monday, May 18 at 5:15!

Here's the agenda:

Doors at 4pm
Pitch group 1:  4:30pm
Pitch Group 2 & Company Awards: 5:15pm
Pitch Group 3: 6:00pm

Living so close to the D.C. beltway, one can't help but sense the government's presence.  Many businesses in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia have strong ties to federal and state agencies (and their spending).  While we might argue about the advantages, disadvantages and appropriateness of these relationships, there are times when government support can make a difference...

In Maryland, RapidMade belongs to an additive manufacturing community, 3D MD, that was initiated by state and county officials anxious to ensure that Maryland was poised to ride the 3D printing wave to a manufacturing renaissance. 

"3D Maryland is a state-wide leadership initiative to increase engagement between 3D printing and additive manufacturing and regional businesses, industry, and entrepreneurs. By building on our regional strengths and growing a local advanced manufacturing ecosystem, the program will collectively move to strengthen Maryland’s economy.

We also look to increase the awareness of 3D printing and additive manufacturing technologies and the competitive advantages these technologies offer. Through the increased awareness we hope to drive business growth, facilitate engagement and implementation, transform existing companies, and create new start-ups."

3D MD practices what it preaches.  An innovation and prototyping lab was created for business and public use.  A host of educational and networking events are held regularly, and Jan Baum, 3D MD's director, evangelizes statewide and in D.C., trying to convert anyone willing to listen.

Why should folks in the Pacific North West take note?  Here are a couple of reasons:

We need to make sure that we don't get left behind.  Sometimes the independent, pioneering spirit that made our region so strong can isolate us.  Because we are so far removed from the political epicenter, we miss out on some of its opportunities.  Is it a coincidence that none of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation's regional centers are west of the Mississippi?

Networks like 3D MD create strong communities that promote awareness and collaboration. I've only been here a year, and I probably know as many, if not more, additive manufacturing professionals in Maryland than I do in Oregon.  Yes, the Maker Movement might encourage smaller-scale ecosystems to evolve, but will they be as vibrant and sustainable?  And given what is at stake, can we rely on organic growth to ensure the Pacific North West emerges as a leader in Additive Manufacturing?


The Atlantic released this fantastic article about reshoring manufacturing back into the United States. 

The article focuses mainly on the dichotomy of Chinese and American manufacturing and how global and domestic economic, cultural and technological changes are bringing manufacturers back to the United States for a variety of reasons.

The first half of the article is about the changing trends in Chinese manufacturing. Wages are rising because high turnover is making their manufacturing costs higher and output less reliable, but also because there is a very Henry Ford-like version of "Benefactor Capitalism" taking place. Just as the famous Gilded Age Entrepreneur started paying a $5 living wage to deal with his own turnover, he also wanted to expand the market for his own product. In the very same mold do Chinese manufacturers like Foxconn see growth in the expansion of domestic markets, even if it negatively effects exports.

As imports from China are less attractive due to price, they were already even less attractive due to the greatly increased lead times of communicating concepts, developing products and supply chains, and shipping finished goods back home. Couple this with quality and intellectual property risks often recounted in manufacturing horror stories and the costs of moving production overseas are starting to outweigh the benefits.

The other half of the article talks about how American manufacturers are seeing how technological advances, decreased time to market, increased agility, and growing consumer receptiveness to domestic (read: Made in USA) products is adding value to their businesses at home.

Domestic manufacturing has taken a depressing turn over the past three decades, but this article makes a clear case based on global trends that we have bottomed out and have nowhere to go but up.