One of our esteemed clients in American Aerospace manufacturing, renowned for their cutting-edge rockets and spacecrafts, faced a backlog due to a shortage of skilled Machinists in the local market. In response, they engaged FlexTrades, initially anticipating the need for two technicians for their critical 8-week project. Remarkably, upon the arrival of the first Machinist from FlexTrades, the client was astounded by the exceptional productivity, expertise, and skill level demonstrated. This proficiency allowed them to achieve their production targets with just one specialist from FlexTrades, effectively streamlining their process.

Discover more about how we drive efficiency and expertise in aerospace manufacturing on our website. Click here to learn more

In an era where corporate social responsibility is gaining prominence, US manufacturing companies are stepping up to the plate, actively engaging in various charitable events and initiatives. These endeavors not only contribute to the betterment of society but also showcase the compassionate side of the manufacturing industry. Let’s explore some examples of American manufacturers making a positive impact beyond their production lines.

STEM Education Initiatives

Most manufacturing companies understand the importance of investing in the future workforce. To support education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), these companies participate in charitable events such as sponsoring robotics competitions, offering scholarships, or hosting educational workshops. By doing so, they not only contribute to the development of skilled professionals but also promote innovation within their industry.

Boeing is actively involved in promoting STEM education and workforce development. The company supports initiatives such as the Boeing Learning Together program, which focuses on providing resources and opportunities for students and educators in STEM fields. In 2021, Boeing made a record gift of $50M to Virginia Tech Innovation Campus which included funding programs for underserved K-12 students seeking to pursue STEM degrees and technology-related careers.

Disaster Relief Efforts

Manufacturing companies play a crucial role in disaster relief efforts. Whether it’s hurricanes, wildfires or other natural disasters, these companies often contribute by providing essential supplies, financial aid, and even temporary employment opportunities for affected communities. This rapid response showcases the industry’s commitment to supporting those in need during challenging times.

Coca-Cola has a history of contributing to disaster relief efforts globally. The company often provides financial assistance, donates beverages and collaborates with relief organizations to address the immediate needs of affected communities. In the wake of devastating wildfires in Maui earlier this year, Coca-Cola provided bottled water and $500,000 to the relief efforts.

Environmental Conservation Projects

Recognizing their impact on the environment, many manufacturing companies participate in charitable events focused on environmental conservation. This may involve tree-planting initiatives, beach cleanups or partnerships with organizations dedicated to sustainable practices. By taking proactive steps to mitigate their ecological footprint, these companies demonstrate a commitment to corporate sustainability and responsibility.

Johnson & Johnson, is dedicated to environmental conservation through its Healthy Future 2030 goals. The company aims to reduce carbon emissions, improve recycling efforts, and promote sustainable product design.

Employee-Driven Philanthropy

Many manufacturing companies encourage their employees to get involved in philanthropy. This can take the form of charity runs, fundraising events or volunteer opportunities organized by the company or initiated by passionate employees. By supporting and amplifying these efforts, manufacturing companies not only contribute to various causes but also foster a positive workplace culture centered around shared values and giving back.

At FlexTrades, one of our core values is to Give Back. Annual Polar Plunge events have been a FlexTrades employee mainstay for years, take a look at our recap of our 5th plunge in 2022. This year, we formally rolled out our Give Back Committee to support and magnify charitable efforts that individual employees are passionate about.

Veteran Support Programs

Some US manufacturing companies are actively involved in supporting veterans through charitable initiatives. This may include hiring veterans, providing job training programs, or partnering with organizations dedicated to improving the lives of those who have served in the military. These initiatives highlight the industry’s commitment to honoring and supporting the men and women who have sacrificed for our country.

Raytheon Technologies is actively involved in supporting veterans through its partnership with veteran-focused organizations. They work hard to help veterans with food security, access to education, career opportunities and more.

Community Outreach Programs

Many US manufacturing companies organize community outreach programs aimed at supporting local residents. This may involve partnerships with local charities, food banks, or shelters. Companies often donate both funds and employee volunteer hours to help address community needs. These initiatives strengthen the bond between manufacturers and their local neighborhoods, fostering a sense of unity and shared responsibility.

Earlier this year, Toyota North America was recognized in The Civic 50 as a top community-minded company in the US for its commitment to social responsibility. The company has community engagement programs that focus on education, environmental sustainability and supporting local communities where they operate.


US manufacturing companies are proving that success in business can go hand in hand with a commitment to social responsibility. Through their participation in charitable events, these companies are making a meaningful impact on their communities, contributing to education, disaster relief, environmental conservation and more. As consumers increasingly value socially responsible businesses, these charitable endeavors not only benefit the recipients but also enhance the reputation and influence of the manufacturing sector as a whole. 

FlexTrades is renowned for exceeding expectations, and our tradespeople embody this ethos in every project!

Our commitment to addressing complex production challenges was recently showcased when we collaborated with a top agricultural equipment manufacturer. They had been facing significant difficulties for six months in recruiting onsite trainers with the necessary expertise, adversely affecting their production quality and leading to severe backlogs. Within just 10 days, FlexTrades was able to make a pivotal difference. We deployed Dustin, our exceptionally skilled CNC Trainer, who swiftly addressed their critical need for a proficient trainer.

The impact of Dustin’s involvement was significant, as articulated by our client: “Dustin went above and beyond, not only providing comprehensive wiring instructions for our machinery but also optimizing the work cell setup. He collaborated with our vendors to source superior tools for our operators and significantly improved the work area. This has greatly facilitated the training of new employees and enhanced overall productivity.” This feedback exemplifies the high standard of service and expertise that FlexTrades brings to every partnership. 

Here at FlexTrades, we take our corporate core values seriously because they help us achieve our mission of making a difference in the communities where we work and live. All six of our values are aimed at making a difference, but it’s our commitment to Giving Back that most directly showcases the impact our other core values allow us to make where it’s needed most. To celebrate all the good we were able to give back to others in 2023, we’d like to shine a month-by-month spotlight on a year of giving back!


A Year of Giving FlexTrades' Journey Through 2023's Charitable Milestones

At its core, giving back means providing help without the expectation of return. We want our success to help others be more successful. Through personal channels, we learned that a local high school ski team was in need of a trailer for their gear. We understand the importance of technical equipment and simple solutions, so FlexTrades donated a trailer to the team.


We love giving in all its forms, but our favorite kind of giving is the kind that keeps the giving growing. That’s why FlexTrades has sponsored a corporate Polar Plunge Team for the past six years and counting. Plunging is a fun and rewarding team experience, and it supports a terrific organization in Special Olympics. Our plunges provide funds to ensure that Special Olympic athletes can pursue their personal greatness without worrying about cost or accessibility. FlexTrades plunges have raised more than $20,000 to date and have become an annual tradition.


For most schools and training programs around America, career fair season starts in March. It’s not a coincidence then that our sponsorship of hiring events around the country starts at the same time (and runs throughout the year, too). We believe in the importance of technical education, and we want those pursuing such training to know how they are important to the future of our industry. We provide financial support and employment opportunities through more than a dozen virtual and in-person events every year alongside information and collateral to help students prepare for industry work with any employer.


We started the year intending to give more structure to our charitable efforts as a business, and by April, our Give Back Committee was officially chartered and began developing programs to support the altruistic efforts of our corporate employees, technicians and clients. This committee has already allowed us to diversify our impact and mobilize our ability to help quickly in times of crisis. We can’t wait to see what this committee makes possible with a full year ahead of it in 2024.


Many CrossFit gyms around America hold Murph events as competitions and fundraisers around Memorial Day. A member of our corporate team works out at a gym that held its Murph event in support of the Step Up Foundation. Our teammate asked how we could help support her participation, and FlexTrades became an event sponsor to help Step Up continue to address the ever-growing suicide epidemic within our military veteran population.


FlexTrades attended SkillsUSA Nationals for the first time. Our goal was to bring exposure to a great organization helping to support the skilled trades. The result was that we got to meet the next generation of the trades face to face. We were blown away by the young people we met, and we’re even more excited for the future of manufacturing than we were before attending. Giving back is always great, but we especially love it when it gives us hope in return!


We believe in advocating for your industry, and we try hard to provide people in the skilled trades with tools to make that easier. That’s part of the reason why we created our own activity book for kids. We want them to be able to see themselves in the trades, and we want to provide those who work with youth tools that make that possible. Throughout 2023, we gave out hundreds of activity books through our on-site appearances and through our technical education partners.


We held our annual all-company meeting/summer party this August. We worked. We learned. We had fun. But we also made sure to make time to give back. During the party we set time aside so our entire corporate team could help Wine to Water prepack hygiene packs. Wine to Water works to preserve life and dignity around the world through the power of clean water. Through our efforts, hundreds of additional people will have access to basic hygiene while dealing with a water related disaster or emergency.


A Year of Giving FlexTrades' Journey Through 2023's Charitable Milestones (2)

 The Hana Mohammad Scholarship Golf Tournament began in 2022. FlexTrades has been an event sponsor from the start and 2023 marked the second year of our support for this impactful event. This tournament is held to honor the memory of a wonderful educator and funds raised directly support Beacons of Influence. This organization raises, manages, and distributes resources to support, enhance and promote the educational opportunities technical colleges offer in and around Minnesota.


While preparing for an upcoming office relocation, we found quite a lot of PMG swag still hanging around. Attempting to make all that unusable (for our purposes) swag make the biggest difference possible, we partnered with Joseph’s Coat to deliver hundreds of new and unused clothing, outerwear, and other essential goods like toiletry bags to those most in need.


A Year of Giving FlexTrades' Journey Through 2023's Charitable Milestones (1400 x 2000 px)

Several members of our Technical Recruiting Team used their VTO (voluntary time off) hours to volunteer at Feed My Starving Children. Every employee has access to VTO hours to make a difference in their community annually without having to work “around” work. The work this team did will ensure that many people experiencing food insecurity around the world will have the nutrition needed to get through another day.


A member of our corporate team recently received some unexpected health news. Dealing with these challenges will require this employee to miss a lot of work in the coming months. This news is scary enough for anyone to receive. But adding the non-health worries that come along with missed work creates even more complications for our teammate. Luckily, we have the ability to donate PTO to our coworkers here at FlexTrades. In less than two weeks, almost 70 hours of PTO have been donated!


These aren’t the only ways we gave back in 2023, but they are some excellent examples of the charitable initiatives we support throughout the year. We can’t wait to see what kind of difference we can make in 2024 and beyond! 

In the quiet corners of hotel rooms and under the dim lights of distant job sites, the Christmas spirit finds a way to whisper to us even when we’re miles away from home. For those in the trades, often on the road during this festive season, each twinkling light and faint carol becomes a tender reminder of what we hold dear and the precious moments we’re away from.

Christmas, with its inherent magic and warmth, is about the bonds we cherish, the family and friends whose laughter and love light up our lives. Being away from these familiar comforts, the hugs of our children, the loving gaze of our partners or the jovial banter of old friends, Christmas takes on a bittersweet tone. It is in these moments of solitude that the essence of the holiday season truly reveals itself.

For the traveling tradesperson, each ornament seen in a shop window, each message of goodwill from loved ones over the phone, brings home closer, even if just for a fleeting moment. These connections, stretched over miles, become the invisible, yet unbreakable, threads that hold us together. They remind us that distance is just a number, and that love transcends all boundaries.

Amidst the bustle of our work, there’s a silent night within our hearts, where memories of past Christmases play like old, beloved movies. We remember the laughter around the dinner table, the unwrapping of gifts, the warmth of a fire, and it is in these memories we find a comfort that no distance can diminish.

This season, as we celebrate in ways different than we might wish, let us embrace the poignancy of these moments. Let’s find joy in the small gestures – a shared smile with a colleague, a simple holiday meal, the quiet contemplation of a starry night. Each of these moments is a testament to the enduring spirit of Christmas, to the resilience and heart that defines us.

As we look up at the same stars that shine over our distant homes, let’s make a silent wish for health, happiness and a future where distances shrink and reunions are sweet. Let’s hold onto the hope that each goodbye is just a precursor to a joyful hello.

To every tradesperson spending this Christmas away from home, know that your strength is a beacon to all who await your return. May the spirit of the season fill your hearts, and may the new year bring you back to the embrace of your loved ones. Until then, carry the magic of Christmas within you, for home is where the heart is, and your heart is never alone.

Merry Christmas, with all the love and warmth the season can hold, from your friends at FlexTrades. 

Whether we like it or not, Artificial Intelligence is starting to change the landscape of modern life. If you’ve read a few emails or blogs from your favorite companies, there’s a good chance some of that content was written using AI. In fact, in a recent survey, 57% of enterprise marketers reported using AI in email campaigns. A whopping 99% of those respondents reported that the results were either extremely or somewhat positive.

Why are you seeing this from a manufacturing services provider? Because every company out there needs to communicate with their target audience. Whether you’re a manufacturer who’s bidding to build components for a commercial airline, or a dog groomer looking for furry clients, you should always be looking for new ways to communicate.

There are AI tools for creating video and images, too, but this blog is intended to be a basic guide on how to get started and use ChatGPT for written communication.

Limitations With AI

Before you get started, it’s important to understand that there are limitations to these tools.

For instance, in ChatGPT, the data and knowledge are only as current as 2021. Any output should be thoroughly reviewed for technical accuracy before being used.

You will still need to create a prompt and tell the AI what type of content you are looking for. This part of human creativity may never be replaced.

Advantages to Using AI

AI can help you refresh or transform old content. For example, you could prompt AI to update your summer themed email campaign to instead have a winter or holiday theme.

If you need to target multiple audiences, AI can quickly help you rewrite content that is more appropriate and appealing to each audience.

If you experience “writer’s block,” ChatGPT could be used to generate new ideas or help write a tricky part of your content.

Getting Started

All you need to do is create a username and password on the ChatGPT website:

The Prompt

This is the fun part! You can enter as much, or as little, information in your prompt as you want. If you add more details, context and specifics, the output will be closer to what you’re looking for. With each AI response, you can enter a new prompt to either continue a conversation or modify what was already generated.

I recommend you experiment with all sorts of prompts to get an idea of what you get out of it.

  • Ask a question: “How do I write the best email?”
  • Copy/paste content you already made and ask AI to change it: “Re-write this email with a Christmas theme” – or – “Re-write this blog in the voice of Stephen King.”
  • Request new content: “Write a safety-first post about pool parties on the 4th of July.”
  • Rewrite a prior response: “Rewrite that, but change X to Y and add Z.”

Below is a prompt that I entered in ChatGPT followed by the output that was generated. Before (or after) you read what ChatGPT generated, check out the original Top 7 Travel Essentials blog written without AI. Who did it better?

Example Prompt:

Write a blog about the “Top 7 Travel Essentials” for a FlexTrades technician. There should be a short introduction, a brief explanation of each of the 7 items and a short conclusion. Write in the voice of Eddie Murphy.

  1. Sleep essentials and comfy clothes
  2. Cooking Supplies
  3. Video Games
  4. Entertainment, Streaming, Movies, Music
  5. Laptop or Personal Computer
  6. Tools
  7. Pets

Unedited Output from ChatGPT Based on The Example Prompt

Eddie’s Guide to FlexTrades: The Top 7 Travel Must-Haves, Baby!

Hey, all you FlexTrades road warriors out there! It’s your main man Eddie, and I’m here to drop some knowledge on the essentials you gotta have in your arsenal for a smooth ride. We’re talking about the things that’ll make your travels as fly as a Saturday night in a leather suit. So buckle up, and let’s dive into the top 7 must-haves for every FlexTrades technician!

Sleep Essentials and Comfy Clothes:

First things first – you gotta catch those Zs in style! Get yourself a pillow that’s so plush, it’s like resting your head on clouds. Toss in some cozy blankets and comfy PJs, and you’ll be sleeping like a baby. Remember, a well-rested tech is a top-notch tech!

Cooking Supplies:

Ain’t nothing beats home-cooked goodness, even when you’re on the road. Pack yourself some pots and pans, like you’re the chef in a five-star kitchen. Whip up your own grub, and you’ll be living large while everyone else is stuck with fast food.

Video Games:

When the job’s done, it’s time to unwind, and what better way than with some video game action? Grab a console or load up your laptop with your favorite games. It’s like having your personal arcade wherever you go. Game on, baby!

Entertainment: Streaming, Movies, Music:

Keep the good times rolling with your own entertainment lineup. Subscribe to all the streaming services, stack up your favorite movies, and cue up the tunes that make you groove. Your downtime is your showtime, so make it count!

Laptop or Personal Computer:

In the tech world, your laptop is like your sidekick. Manage your projects, keep in touch with your peeps, and dive into the digital universe whenever you want. It’s your go-to gadget for both work and play – versatility at its finest!


Now, we’re talking serious business. Every FlexTrades tech needs their tools. Don’t get caught slippin’ without your basic hand tools and whatever gear you need for the job. It’s your toolkit – the stuff that makes you the hero of the job site.


Last but not least, bring in the squad – your furry companions. Pets ain’t just pets; they’re your ride-or-die buddies. Whether it’s a dog, a cat, or even a parrot, having your homie by your side makes every place feel like home sweet home.


There you have it, FlexTrades family – Eddie’s rundown of the top 7 travel essentials. Load up on these goodies, and you’ll be hitting the road like a rockstar. Life’s an adventure, and with the right gear, you’ll be cruising through it in style. Stay cool, stay fly, and keep on FlexTradin’, my friends! 

Traveling, whether for leisure or work, is an integral part of modern life. Most of us are accustomed to the routine of airports, hotels and a daily work schedule. But there’s a glamorous side to travel that few get to experience. Whether you’re a “Swifty,” a Travis Kelce fan or you catch the occasional social media post, most of us are aware of Taylor Swift’s extensive travel.

In this blog, we’ll explore the differences between Taylor Swift’s jet-setting lifestyle and a FlexTrades technician’s work-related travels. FlexTrades’ skilled tradespeople have it as good, or better, than the average business traveler, but no one really compares to the biggest pop star in the world.

Mode of Transportation

Taylor Swift:

The pop sensation is no stranger to private jets and luxury transportation. Her travel style is characterized by comfort, privacy and efficiency. With the means to fly anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice, Swift’s journeys are undoubtedly smoother and more convenient than most. In July 2022, it was reported that all that flying was equal to 1,184 times the average person’s annual emissions!

Average Person:

For a FlexTrades technician, road trips and commercial flights are the norm. In October 2023 alone, our technicians traveled over 100,000 miles. That’s half the distance to the moon! Driving hundreds of miles, or dealing with ever changing airport security rules, is a shared experience that starkly contrasts with the luxury of private jets. At least as an average person, you can stop at the Biggest Ball of Twine or the Cadillac Ranch without being hounded by paparazzi.


Taylor Swift:

Five-star hotels, exclusive resorts and lavish accommodations are the singer’s home away from home. Swift enjoys the finest amenities and personalized services, ensuring her every need is met during her travels.

Average Person:

FlexTrades technicians always have single occupancy lodging and are booked into extended stay suites whenever possible. The extra space is great for relaxing after work, and the full kitchen can save you from ordering in, 0or eating out, every meal. Check out our series of “Lunchbox Hack” blogs for some great ideas on how to use that kitchen for lunch, too.

Travel Itinerary

Taylor Swift:

Swift’s travel itinerary revolves around world tours, glamorous events and high-profile appearances. Her schedule is meticulously planned, allowing for both work and leisure. From performing on grand stages to attending star-studded events, Swift’s travel is as much about the destination as it is about the journey.

Average Person:

Work-related travel for a FlexTrades technician typically involves working a shift, traveling to and from the facility and chatting with your Project Manager or Recruiter. The itinerary is structured around getting work done, but days off can be a mini vacation in a new place, as well. You can always find work/life balance, even on the road.

Packing and Wardrobe

Taylor Swift:

With the assistance of stylists and wardrobe managers, Swift’s travel wardrobe is undoubtedly curated to perfection. Her luggage likely consists of designer outfits, accessories and beauty essentials to ensure she always looks camera-ready.

Average Person:

A FlexTrades technician needs to bring work clothes, job specific PPE and a small handbag of basic hand tools. Anything large or specialty will be provided on site. The first blog of this series identified the top 7 travel essentials our technicians reported bringing. Most of the items on that list help life on the road feel a little more like home.


Despite the differences, most travel shares the common thread of exploration and adaptation to life on the move. Whether it’s a pop star’s glamorous world tours or a technician’s work-related travels, each journey offers its unique blend of challenges and discoveries. In the end, travel remains a dynamic and integral part of the modern experience, weaving stories and memories for those who embark on the journey, be it under the spotlight or in the shadow of an arc flash. 

Recently, FlexTrades was recognized with a ‘Risk Control Award of Merit.’ Companies receiving this recognition account for only the top 25% of all businesses considered. Grading was applied for critical statistics such as loss frequency, and loss severity, in addition to proactive measures taken by participants to reduce risks within facilities and maintain the safety of all employees.

FlexTrades is honored by this recognition and proud of the way it reflects on how our company constantly champions a safety-first culture in manufacturing. This unwavering commitment is integral to our efforts to move the line in American manufacturing while being amazing partners for our employees and clients every day.

“I’m incredibly proud of our team for receiving this recognition and continuing to move the line by providing as safe of a workplace as possible for our technicians. This could not have been achieved without the efforts of all of our different operational teams, led by our safety team, to establish best practices for screening, training, communicating and managing safety risks and expectations,” said Amy Grussing, FlexTrades’ CEO. “I hope this award helps demonstrates to our clients, prospective clients and the industry at large our commitment to bringing the highest level of safety to their work sites and our partnerships.”