Randolph Center, VTDecember 16, 2004The Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center (VMEC) announced the addition of three new members to their Advisory Board. Monica Greene, Gerald Brown, and Gary Rabidoux have been elected to the 14-member VMEC Board that is comprised of Vermont manufacturers representing a broad cross section of industries and other leaders who strongly support manufacturing. Greene is President and CFO of Vermont Precision Tools, Inc., Brown is the President and Board Chairman of the Vermont Council for Quality, and Rabidoux is Senior Director, Value Net Integration at General Dynamics Armament & Technology Products (GDATP).Monica Greene is a graduate of Champlain College and has been with Vermont Precision Tools (formerly Vermont Gage) since 1982.She has been a Partner since 1996. The company manufacturers high speed steel tooling and fixed limit gaging. Monica has also served on the Boards of Directors for the Franklin County Industrial Development Corp., Lake Champlain Islands Chamber of Commerce, and the Alburg Industrial Park and is the Chair of the Alburg Steering Committee.Gerald Brown was President of Vermont Heating and Ventilating Co. from 1956 to 2000 when he retired. His dedication to training and education led to his involvement in the Vermont Construction Training Council and Human Resource Investment Council. He has served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Private Industry Council, is a past Chair of the National Association of State Workforce Investment Policy Council Chairs, served on the board of the US Department of Labors Workforce Excellence Network and was the first Interim Chair for the National Leadership Institute.Gary Rabidoux has 38 years of experience in operations, materials and Value Net Integration management. He has served as Director of Operations for multiple ATP manufacturing sites throughout the country. Gary is the GDATP lead for Lean Manufacturing for all ATP manufacturing sites and is a representative on the General Dynamics Corporate Lean Subcommittee.According to VMEC Director/CEO Bob Zider, We are very pleased to have these experienced manufacturers serve on the VMEC Board. I am confident that their ongoing input and counsel will only strengthen the outreach and quality of assistance that VMEC is able to provide to Vermonts approximately 2,000 manufacturers.###About VMECVMEC’s Mission is “To improve manufacturing in Vermont and strengthen the global competitiveness of the state’s smaller manufacturers.” This is done through professional consulting, one-on-one coaching and public/onsite workshops to help Vermont’s approximately 2,000 small and medium sized manufacturers increase their productivity, modernize their manufacturing and business processes, adopt advanced technologies, reduce costs, and improve their competitiveness. Increased competitiveness means greater stability in the state’s work force, improved efficiencies. Visit www.vmec.org(link is external) for more information.
The Eiffel Tower is also closed today due to the strikeA specific contentious feature of the reform plans is the mooted introduction of a “full pension age” of 64, although the legal retirement age would still be 62.Last week prime minister Edouard Philippe reportedly demonstrated a degree of potential compromise with regard to the pension reform, although mainly on the timing. He indicated the reform would not apply to those born after 1963, but be pushed back to generations five to 10 years older.More details about the reform project are due to be presented next week before it heads to parliament in early 2020.The strikes could last for days, prompting many to allude to mass protests in 1995 that forced a government climbdown on a planned welfare reform that included pensions. Strikes got underway today in France over the government’s pension reform plans, with teachers and workers at state-owned rail and metro operators among those taking part.According to French media, disturbances include 90% of cross-country trains being cancelled and 20% of flights, while 11 metro lines and some 400 schools are shut in Paris.Hardline trade unions such as the General Confederation of Labour (CGT) and the Workers’ Force (FO) are against the planned pension reform and among those calling for the nationwide strike, and there is also opposition from unions representing professions such as lawyers and accountants.An overhaul of the pensions system is a major pillar of the French government’s reform agenda. It is aiming to introduce a universal points-based system where people’s pension would be calculated in the same way regardless of their occupational status. The current system is complex overall, comprising more than 40 different mandatory regimes, each with different rules about contributions and benefits.