Take Me Out To The Televised Ballgame, Take Me Out To the Couch.

While COVID-19 has postponed, delayed, and even cancelled the sports we love, it’s not the first time it has happened.  Baseball, Basketball, Hockey, Soccer, The Olympics – it’s been a bad year for spectators.  The good news is that these things have happened before, and we can get through this together.

The MLB has had a work stoppage eight different times, but only three resulted in missing games.  The worst took place in 1994 where the players walked out and the season was cancelled.  The NBA has had four different lockouts, the worst in 1995 which lasted for three months.  The NFL has had six work stoppages throughout its history, and most recently a 136-day lockout in 2011.

Internationally, the Olympics have only been cancelled three times in the past: 1916, 1940, and 1944.  Each of these cancellations was due to World War I & II respectively.  The World Cup was also cancelled in 1942 and 1946 due to WWII.

How do we manage?  The good news is that auto racing, golf, soccer, baseball, football, basketball, and hockey should play this year.  While fans will likely be unable to spectate in person, television and radio will likely cover most events.  This will include historically less covered sports on major television channels.

In addition, E-sports (video games) have grown as a spectator sport, as well as niche games.  ESPN will continue to show Madden and Overwatch E-sports, and Cornhole championships on the weekends.  Many of your favorite sporting channels will also continue to replay ‘Best Of’ games.

If you are looking for what to watch on TV, please use the link to help guide your viewing:



Dave Rohlfing, Senior Technical Solutions Coordinator

Why Tolerance Isn’t Enough

I remember taking a course in college about race in the media.  It was during that class that I learned the true meaning of the word tolerance.  Of course I’d heard the word before, but it wasn’t a word I used frequently and I’d always assumed there was a positive connotation behind it.  But David Womack, the Dean of Students, my favorite professor, and an incredibly strong, confident black man, put it in a different context for me.  He said to tolerate someone means to ‘put up’ with them and then he asked if ‘putting up’ with someone was really enough?

Over the past several weeks, racial injustice has become a primary topic of conversation and I’ve started to see/hear the term tolerance again. It makes my skin crawl.

Rather than tolerating anyone, no matter the color of their skin, who they pray to, who they love, or what they believe, learn something about that person.  Ask them questions, understand where they’re coming from, and accept their educated view point as absolutely valid, even if your educated view point is completely different.  It’s their truth.  It doesn’t mean you have to agree with their truth, but you can accept it for what it is – theirs.  Without understanding that and accepting that, we lose an opportunity for unbelievable growth.

At my children’s school, they end each morning’s announcement by shouting:

Be Safe. Be Kind. Be Responsible.

Show your Cougar pride.

I feel like the perfect ending to this article, for you to consider each and every day, can be summed up similarly with:

Be Safe. Be Kind. Be Responsible.

Accept those around you for who they are – pride will surely follow.


Beth Bangtson, HR Manager

Dave is Principal Partner, Owner, and Founder of PMG.

About me

After finishing my university undergraduate studies, law school and an MBA, I went to work as a consultant with Deloitte Consulting. I was able to get a lot of diverse experience in different areas of business from sales to finance to manufacturing and supply chain. I started my consulting career in Atlanta and after 5 years or so I moved to Minneapolis for a different job and started PMG shortly thereafter. That was almost 20 years ago. We’ve been a Minnesota-based company serving the national manufacturing industry ever since.

What are your main responsibilities as an Owner/Principal Partner?

As is the case with a lot of entrepreneurs and founders, starting and growing the business was something I was well-suited for but, as time went on, I realized there were other people better suited to running day to day operations, managing, organizing, and building culture. We have a great leadership team at PMG and I try to stay out of the way and let them do their jobs. Having that team in place has allowed me to focus on what I’m better suited for, and more interested in, which is exploring opportunities to grow/expand/develop the general business and it’s worked out great. As a business owner, I believe it’s important to leverage the talents of the people around you. When you have those people, you can hand over the reins quickly and enthusiastically, rather than reluctantly.

How would you explain PMG to someone outside the company?

We bring a supply of highly skilled labor directly to meet our clients’ demands. I think we’re really good at finding, sourcing, and retaining talent without boundaries all across America. Sometimes I’m even surprised at how well, and how quickly, we find the right talent for our customers’ needs. And, it’s amazing how much the people that work with us want to keep working with us.

How did PMG come to be?

My dad was president of a transmission manufacturer and then went on to start his own company. Therefore, I was in and around shops since I was 10 or so doing whatever was needed whether it was running a lathe, welding, or just sweeping up. So, I kind of grew up in manufacturing and always knew I wanted to run my own company. When working with another company, I saw the need to be able to meet demand for skilled labor with unique means and innovative thinking. I chose Minneapolis as a base because that’s where I happened to be when we started, but that worked out well too because it’s proven to have a great talent pool for internal employees even though Minnesota is not traditionally thought of as a “manufacturing” state.

What do you like most about your job?

Still getting out and seeing a lot of different companies. Visiting, touring, meeting people, and learning from it all. That’s what I love doing. I also like getting to commit a lot of my energy and resources into ways to grow the company. That’s what excites me most about PMG is the growth opportunities, now that we have this fantastic team in place, and where we’re going to take it.

employee spotlight 2

What are you most proud of, in regards to PMG?

Without a doubt, it’s the team. The company we’ve created, the team to run it, and the culture that’s resulted. It’s taken almost 20 years of hard work to get to having this team, and it didn’t come easy, but it was worth it. I’m also very pleased with how our hard efforts at process and procedure redesign have turned out successfully. When we started PMG, critics told us nobody would pay for our services and it wouldn’t work. They were wrong. We believed it would work and it certainly has.

What is the most important part of leadership?

A few things. Leading by example as opposed to telling. Defining roles clearly and setting clear and achievable goals. And not being afraid to make mistakes. Encouraging people to take risks and learn from mistakes, when they happen, to help them solve problems as opposed to judging/criticizing. As a leader you have to be a problem solver not a finger pointer. If there’s a problem it’s not important “who” got us into it, it’s how do “we” solve it as a team.

What is the most difficult part to leading?

When it’s time to part ways with someone on the team, for sure. Finding the right people and getting them on the team is the fun part, but when you have to move on from the wrong fit, you have to move on. It’s important and necessary but still hard to do. The other hard part is it’s 24/7. I don’t ever get to shut it off or say I’ll deal with it after the weekend is over.

Any thoughts on leading people through an eventful 2020?

To me it’s pretty clear that leaders should focus on what they can control and not what they can’t. I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to prepare for what you can’t control, but you have to recognize you can’t control it. So, don’t waste time or energy or resources trying to. You have to try to create calm and certainty wherever you can. That’s what we can control; keeping people safe, still working and still being productive. Making sure they clearly understand what we are doing about things and why and how that affects them. We can’t control what COVID is or what the government is or isn’t doing or what other businesses are doing as a result of what is happening in the world, but we can do our best to try to keep doing the things we do best. Basically, I would say it’s our role as leaders to create as much certainty out of uncertain situations as we can.

What are some hobbies you do in your free time?

I like to work out. I’m into CrossFit and Peloton and obstacle courses. I’m passionate about health and wellness. I also like reading, boating, and golfing. I mostly read non-fiction. I usually have 2 or 3 books in the works. I like to learn when I read.

What celebrity/inspirational person do you admire the most?

I’m not really inspired by many celebrities, but a great business book is Good to Great by Jim Collins. It is the best business book out there, in my opinion, because it’s not just someone that hasn’t done it that’s just theorizing. Its theories are well backed by numbers, real data, etc. It was a real eye opener for me and I’ve been able to use a lot of its theories and findings in my own career.

Where is the best place you’ve traveled and why?

I’m not as traveled as I’d like to be but, based on my experience to date, it’s Greece. Santorini. The food, culture, weather, sight-seeing. I loved it.

What advice would you give to a recent new hire at PMG?

Open your ears and listen and learn from the amazing team around you. Don’t be afraid to take risks and make mistakes.

What’s your favorite restaurant and what must you order there?

Despite maintaining a mostly pescatarian/vegetarian diet, I still love a good steak. One of my favorites is Burch Restaurant and their A5 New York Block steak. Quite possibly the best meat I’ve ever tasted.

Cleaners. Sanitizers. Disinfectants.

Although it might seem that cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting are all the same, there are differences between these terms. For the sake of this article, we’ll be focusing on sanitizer.

You can find sanitizers for a variety of applications and they’re all in high-demand right now, namely hand sanitizer. Due to demand, there are plenty of articles online sharing recipes for making your own hand sanitizer, but we’re dedicating this monthly How It’s Made feature to commercial hand sanitizer.

Before we get into it, if you’re curious about other hand sanitizer facts, we’ve found a few good website pages for you. The CDC showcases the science of hand sanitizers while Chemical & Engineering News outlines many, many details about hand sanitizer.

While the details and science of hand sanitizer are great, we at PMG really like the (very automated) manufacturing process.

What are the ingredients in hand sanitizer?

Key Ingredients:

Purified water and one of the following:

  • Ethyl Alcohol/Ethanol
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Benzalkonium Chloride

Fun fact: hand sanitizer needs to have an alcohol concentration of 60-95%.

Other Ingredients:

Without getting into the long, hard-to-say ingredients of hand sanitizer, we can classify their purposes into one of four categories:

  1. Provides moisturizers and conditioners
  2. Ensures the product tastes bad, should someone attempt to consume it
  3. Creates the gel-like consistency
  4. Adds fragrance and smell

Fun fact: you can find Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte, Fresh Sparkling Snow, White Peach Chardonnay-scented hand sanitizers. For real.

What to do with the ingredients? 


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Measure and add raw materials (according to formulas, recipes, and instructions) into large vessels called batch tanks, mixers, or compounders – this happens manually or automatically, depending upon the type of ingredient and the amount.

Forklifts bring materials/ingredients to the vessels in large drums or bags.

Mechanical agitators within these vessels mix the ingredients to very specific parameters, such as time and speed. Computer operations control these parameters.

Quality Control

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Technicians draw samples from the compounding equipment to verify that the product is according to spec, including physical characteristics, viscosity, alcohol percentage, etc.

Next, technicians test samples to approve the batch.

If samples prove the product to be out of spec, technicians will make adjustments accordingly by adding ingredients and/or furthering mix operations.

After approval, the product goes into a holding tank until filling lines are ready for fill operations.

Filling, Capping, and Labeling

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Mixed batches of ingredients go from the holding tank into filler equipment.

Note: Filling machines can vary in type according to consistency of the sanitizer (foam, liquid, gel etc.). As a whole, the main task of these machines is to disperse the mixed sanitizer into individual bottles.

At the start of a filling line, bottles are placed into a hopper that physically manipulates and moves them into their upright orientation appropriate for filling.

A carousel carries the bottles through the filling equipment for dispersal of the batched hand sanitizer.

The hand sanitizer disperses through piston filling heads, which dispense (i.e. squirt or shoot) the appropriate volume into each bottle squirt.

Once filled, bottles move into a capping operation which operates similar to that of the filling machinery. Caps come from a hopper, are oriented into the machines appropriately and then added and secured to the filled bottles on the carousel.

Once capping is complete, bottles are labeled through a heat-pressed application or with an adhesive.

Fun fact: this part of the production line is very fast, with some equipment operating at 200 bottles/minute!

Boxing and Palletizing

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After filling, capping and labeling the bottles, workers place the new products in boxes. These boxes go on pallets for shipment immediately or storage.

Ongoing Quality Control

Quality control checks are ongoing throughout the entire process. They start at initial checks of raw ingredients, to batching operation samples, line inspection of machine operations and bottling components, sampling from the line for any microbial contamination and final inspection after bottling.


To see it all in motion, check out this video by Head & Shoulders. Although the product being manufactured is different in the video, you can apply the same operations to the production of hand sanitizer.

As a matter of fact, many personal hygiene companies have recently changed over their production lines from shampoo and conditioner to now manufacture hand sanitizer. And, they aren’t the only ones. Distilleries have done the same and if you’re interested in reading about that, start with this article on Entrepreneur.com. If that’s not enough, I definitely encourage you to check out a similar post on changes we’ve seen or will see soon (including procedures for sanitizing) in this previous  PMG blog post.

Kim Mooney, Technical Manager & Coach


The temperatures are climbing. You’re driving from one assignment to the next. You feel the need to be prepared, because your Project Manager always says SAFETY FIRST!  But what does that mean?

In honor of National Safety Month, you’ll find a list of 15 must have items below that you should be carrying with you in your car during the summer months:

  1. A well-stocked FIRST AID KIT
  2. An extra bottle of SUNSCREEN
  3. Something to help you or a fellow traveler out – JUMPER CABLES
  4. In case of a simple fix, have a small TOOLKIT (adjustable wrench, duct tape, a couple screwdrivers, pliers)
  5. REFLECTIVE BLANKET to provide shade but also provides warmth on a cool evening
  7. Non-perishable SNACKS that can stand the heat
  8. WATER will be useful not only if you get thirsty but if your car overheats
  9. For those occasions when you have somewhere to be but can’t get to the tire shop right away – TIRE SEALANT
  10. TIRE JACK that works with your car
  11. A pair of WORK GLOVES for a better grip when you need it
  12. A FLASHLIGHT or LIGHT SOURCE of some kind – something you don’t have to depend on batteries for (or just be sure to check the batteries regularly)
  13. I don’t know the last time I looked at a MAP or a ROAD ATLAS, but keep one handy in case you’re without service and/or don’t have access to GPS (and make sure you know how to read it)
  14. Have a SPARE CHARGER packed for your phone
  15. Get the information you need during a weather emergency with an EMERGENCY RADIO

Safe travels!

Interested in reading more about safety? Check out our post on Reinforcing Safety in Your Workplace.

June 22 is the first official day of summer and, fittingly, it’s also National HVAC Tech Day! In honor of our skilled HVAC technicians, we’re sharing ways on how you can show them appreciation. If you’re a person who likes being cool in the summer or warm in the winter, please read on.

History of National HVAC Tech Day

National HVAC Tech Day started in 2016 by a national home services provider, ARS/Rescue Rooter, to show appreciation for all technicians in the industry. It was officially approved by the National Day Calendar the following year and the rest is HVAC history. Checkout this cool timeline from energy.gov for a more in-depth look at the history.

Why show your appreciation

Extreme environments don’t stop them.

Whether it’s a heat wave or a cold front, the weather that prompts us to place a service call are the conditions HVAC techs have to consider their “office”. They’re always working to keep us comfortable, no matter how uncomfortable their working conditions might be.

They go where you don’t want to.

Creepy crawlspace? Buggy Basement? Icky attic? Your HVAC tech will go there to get the job done so you don’t have to and they’ll probably clean up a bit while they’re at it too!

Their working to find savings for you.

A professional HVAC tech can help you maximize energy savings, choose appropriate new equipment to meet your specific needs, and even keep your existing system running at peak efficiency longer. All this helps keep a little green in your pocket a lot longer.

An HVAC tech can help you live greener.

Saving energy doesn’t just mean saving money; it also means saving energy. Whether choosing from among the greener technology on the market today or just allowing your existing system’s efficiency to persist awhile longer, a qualified HVAC tech can help reduce your carbon footprint while improving your environment.

They’re in short supply.

There’s already a greater demand in America for skilled HVAC technicians than there are people currently working in the field. That demand is expected to increase by 13% between now and 2028 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you already have a great HVAC tech, show them your appreciation.

How to show appreciation

  • Offer them a cold beverage. Fixing broken A/C units can be thirsty work so a cold bottle of water is always a good bet to be appreciated.
  • Take some time to write a good review online especially if you scheduled your appointment electronically.
  • Are you a business? Everybody likes swag bags including the people that keep your people comfortable.
  • Spread the word. If you like the work your HVAC tech does, let others know too. Recommending their work to family, friends, or business partners is the best way to thank a skilled technician.

If you’d like to know more about the ways you can show your appreciation for other kinds of work, AT WORK, read our blog on Love and Appreciation at Work.

After decades spent in fields, at shops, and on job sites, I know that food options can be limited for those in the trades trying to fuel themselves through yet another long shift. The reality is that S4L (Sandwich, Soup, Salad, Snack, and Leftovers) can get expensive, unhealthy, and boring quickly. But don’t worry, PMG isn’t just about the work; we’re here for you in regards to food too.

If you’re wondering what this has to do with America’s manufacturing workforce, check out our latest webinar (hosted by yours truly) on the importance of healthy habits for those working in manufacturing to learn more. But, the upshot is, starting today, we will provide a monthly recipe, as well as tips and tricks, to help spice up your lunchbox.

Lunchbox Tip

When trying to make a meal-time masterpiece for your next lunch break, it’s important to remember the four E’s:

Effective (as in cost)

Easy (to make)

Exciting (at least kind of, that is the idea here anyway)

health-E (ok, I know I’m stretching it now, but you get the point).


Sauce it up. You and I both know those celery sticks got packed because your doctor says you need to mix in more fiber, but that doesn’t mean you have to hate it. A little dipping sauce can go a long way and you don’t have to worry about spilling now either with a handy travel ramekin like this one from Kitchen Dance.


Checkout this Crunchy Peanut Butter Wrap recipe from Food.com if you want a modern twist on the brown bag classic PB&J for 2020. You’d be nutty not to!

Josh Erickson, ReTool & Technical Solutions Associate 

Looking for answers? Here’s where to find them.

On May 29th 2020, in response to violent and high-profile event happening in the US and around the world, the president of the American Psychological Association, Sandra L. Shullman, PhD, crafted a message to the public indicating “we are living in a racism pandemic”. This, in coordination with many other happenings, no doubt raises questions for some, if not for all.

As a result, we did some scouring for you to gather a multitude of resources to reference for conversations regarding race. It’s our hope that you’ll find a place of knowledge, information, and tips & tricks to use and access, when needed.

What Does it All Mean?

There’s a lot of information out there and it can get confusing. Below are links to current definitions of words you may be hearing and seeing frequently in your community or online.
1. Racism
2. Systemic Racism
3. Race vs Ethnicity
4. Resistance vs Rebellion vs Revolution
5. Defund
6. Black Lives Matter

There are many, many more than the six outlined above. For that reason, check out the glossary of terms provided here. And, if you’ve got some time, check out this article in The Atlantic outlining the change in the definition of “racist” .

How Do I Talk About it with Others?

It can be tough to talk about tough things. Below are links that can help you figure out how to hold the conversations that need to be held.

Talking with Kids

The Center for Racial Justice in Education has over 50 articles available for you to browse through if you’re wondering how to talk with kids about the current unrest. I’ve linked more articles for you below, as well:

Talking with Colleagues

Even if you plan to refrain from talking with colleagues, you might very well end up having to do so. In preparation for that, here are some sources of information for you:

Talking with Family and Friends

Hopefully, you feel most comfortable with those closest to you. If you’re looking for a little help though, check out the following:

What Can I Do?

The best thing you can do is to inform yourself, if you aren’t already. Read the articles, listen to the podcasts, share positive posts on social media, volunteer your time or money, protest peacefully, etc. National Public Radio has provided an outline on What to Do Beyond Protesting while Forbes provided a great article on Listening then Learning. Also, below are more good resources for you:

Kim Mooney, Technical Manager & Coach

Lunch Atop the Skyscraper

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We’ve all seen the photo. It’s iconic and, once you’ve seen it, it’s hard to un-see it. 11 men seated casually atop a steel beam, 40-50 stories in the air, above the hard ground of Manhattan while holding lunchboxes and staring at a camera. It’s easy to remember not only because of the mystery surrounding the photo, (who took it, who are they?) but also because it shows a stark contrast to the requirements and safety processes in place today for the iron workers and construction workers building the skyscrapers you see on a daily basis.

In recognition of June being National Skyscraper Month, here’s what you need to know about this iconic photo.

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It was 1931 when construction of Rockefeller Center began. Rockefeller Center is a large composite of 19 commercial buildings and skyscrapers, spread out over 22 acres of land in Midtown Manhattan. As you can guess, the Rockefeller family commissioned the Rockefeller Center. The family dreamt it up during times of economic prosperity (the Roaring 20s). Even with the stock market crash in 1929, the vision for the project was maintained, with the first group of buildings opening in 1933 and the majority of the complex completed by 1939.

It is considered to be one of the greatest projects of the Depression Era (1929-1933) but, at the time of construction, the economy was in an awful state. One third of manufacturing firms were out of business and 65% of construction workers were out of work. Therefore, upon hearing (and seeing) the construction of Rockefeller Center, men lined up in the streets, at construction sites, and other areas of the city waiting to work on the building for the day. To illustrate and understand this more fully, check out Sky Boys, How They Built the Empire State Building. A children’s book but, nonetheless, a great read for all ages. If you aren’t interested in buying it, at least listen to it online here.

Now, back to the photo. Although many were anxiously waiting to work on the buildings, there was skepticism. Was this the right time to build a city within a city?  Heck, there were 15 million people looking for work and the economy had crumbled. Could we use these buildings and this epicenter anytime soon? With questions like that, a publicity stunt was born. By taking photos that showed an expanding city as well as the workforce behind it, the general public could see a beacon of light in an otherwise dark time.

What am I saying then? Yes, these men posed for the photo and the photograph was staged, but that doesn’t make the photo any less powerful now than it was then. Because it was a staged effort, there are more photos of the same men. Find one photo of the men stretched out for a nap here  and another photo of the men with their hats in the air here. And, if that’s not enough, find some fun facts about Lunch Atop a Skyscraper here.

Take note: June is also National Safety Month. If the fact this photo was staged doesn’t make you a conspiracy theorist like it does for some, you’ll take acute notice of the fact that the 11 men in the Lunch Atop a Skyscraper photo are missing critical Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) such as safety harnesses and fall protection, appropriate work clothing (and shoes! Just look at those shoes!), hard hats, etc. These men were just lucky to get an assignment for the week, or even the day, in building the Rockefeller Center buildings. But it’s far from that now. Those who are still curious can learn about more ways heavy industry has changed in our earlier blog post, Not Our Father’s Factories.

Performing the structural construction of buildings these days comes with high regulations and safety is a #1 priority. You also don’t get the job just for lining up. You have to train, put time in as an apprentice, and show a real commitment to the role (in addition to lacking a fear of heights!). If you like this photo, maybe you’ll like some of our recent PMG photo contest winners, too. Also, if you want to learn more about the trade of Ironworkers, check out the links below:

Kim Mooney, Technical Manager & Coach