In recent years, the Clean Slate Initiative has emerged as a growing movement towards a policy shift in the United States. It aims to address the challenges faced by individuals with criminal records. This groundbreaking initiative offers both opportunities and challenges not only for those seeking a fresh start but also for employers. Let’s explore what the Clean Slate Initiative entails, its implications for both employers and employees, and how it varies from state to state.

What is the Clean Slate Initiative?

The Clean Slate Initiative is a progressive legal movement that seeks to automate the process of expunging certain criminal records and convictions. Its primary goal is to help people with past convictions reenter society as productive, law-abiding citizens. While the specifics vary by state, the initiative typically involves the automatic sealing or expungement of arrest and conviction records for minor, non-violent offenses after a predetermined period of good behavior.

What Does the Clean Slate Initiative Mean for Employees?

This initiative creates both challenges and opportunities for workers.


  1. Increased Employment Prospects: The Clean Slate Initiative removes barriers to employment for individuals with past convictions, expanding their job opportunities.
  2. Economic Benefits: Gainful employment not only reduces recidivism rates but also boosts the economy by increasing tax revenue and decreasing reliance on social welfare programs.
  3. Rehabilitation and Reintegration: The initiative supports the rehabilitation and reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals into society, reducing the cycle of crime.


  1. Stigma and Bias: Despite legal changes, societal stigma may still affect job prospects and opportunities for those with criminal records.
  2. Variations in Implementation: The initiative’s effectiveness depends on state-specific laws and resources, leading to disparities in outcomes for individuals.

What Does the Clean Slate Initiative Mean for Employers?

Companies hiring individuals will have their own opportunities and challenges to address too.


  1. Diverse Talent Pool: Employers can tap into a previously underutilized talent pool, potentially finding skilled workers.
  2. Legal Protections: In some states, employers who hire individuals with expunged records may receive legal protections against liability related to their employees’ past convictions.


  1. Risk Assessment: Employers must navigate the complexity of assessing the potential risks associated with hiring individuals with criminal histories.
  2. Legal Compliance: The initiative’s legal requirements and implications can vary significantly from state to state, posing compliance challenges for businesses.

How Does the Clean Slate Initiative Differ by State?

  1. Legislation and Eligibility: The Clean Slate Initiative’s implementation differs from state to state regarding the types of offenses eligible for expungement and the waiting periods required. Currently, 12 states across America have passed Clean Slate legislation.
  2. Resources and Support: Some states allocate more resources to support individuals seeking record expungement, making the process more accessible and efficient.

The Clean Slate Initiative represents a transformative approach to criminal justice and rehabilitation in the United States. While it offers numerous opportunities for both employees and employers, it also presents its fair share of challenges. These opportunities and challenges vary significantly depending on the state, highlighting the importance of staying informed about local legislation and resources. As the Clean Slate Initiative continues to evolve, its impact on the lives of millions of Americans and the workforce as a whole remains a subject of great interest and importance.

FABTECH is the North American metal fabricating industry’s premier event every year. It is run in partnership by some of the biggest trade associations in the sector. The intent of the show is to bring buyers and sellers into a convenient venue to conduct business, make connections, share ideas, AND learn. The event occurs annually in the US rotating between Chicago, Atlanta, and Las Vegas. An identical event takes place in Mexico annually on a rotation between Monterrey and Mexico City. FABTECH Canada is a biennial event exclusive to Toronto. You can learn more about FABTECH at your convenience. FlexTrades was in Atlanta for the entire event last week. We wanted to share some of our biggest takeaways with you. 



Lead times were such a giant part of so many conversations at FABTECH 2022 that they almost got their own place on this list. The concern with how to deal with long lead times from suppliers and reduce lead times for customers is one of many primary drivers for the prevalence of automation at FABTECH this year. From reducing injuries to improving workflows to increasing efficiency, it seems most exhibitors and attendees consider a robot or cobot to be at least a partial solution for their problems. Automation of every kind was on abundant display. This great highlight video does a fantastic job of showing you as many of them as possible in 90 seconds! 



It’s no secret that consumer taste is changing. No longer is it enough to deliver the best product or the best price. The market has evolved. Manufacturers still need to deliver on quality and price point, but people buy for the story now too. At least part of that story has become focused on sustainability. Mainly, end users want to know how you’re improving the environment of your facility for employees and how you’re maintaining the environment for your communities and consumers. FABTECH 2022 taught us that producers who don’t already have a focus on sustainability need to develop one quickly or they’ll be left behind. Meanwhile, companies who have been early adopters of processes with an ESG and sustainability focus are already reaping the benefits. 



We’ve been saying for years that today’s facilities are no longer our fathers factories. The image of the dark, dirty, dangerous facility that news reels from the 50s and 60s accustomed us to are just no longer accurate. That doesn’t mean our current workforce doesn’t want manufacturers to continue to move the line forward regarding safety. Filtration systems to improve air quality, lighting advances to improve visibility, lift assist systems of all kinds, and even drones to inspect confined spaces were evident in displays or conversations at FABTECH this year. This prevalence indicates that an improved safety focus is something that all generations currently represented in the workforce agree upon. COVID protocols and practices brought safety front of mind for all of us (finally), and that’s here to stay. 


3D Printing 

Recent studies tell us that a full third of manufacturers are putting additive manufacturing on their short lists for investment. FABTECH 2022 echoed these findings in a big way. Additive was everywhere across this year’s expo. There were new powders to create metals, new machines to layer them, and everything in between. This expo made a point of teaching the industry that additive processes are much more than just 3D printing these days. 



The lack of available talent in the skilled trades pipeline to manufacturing was as big a topic as it has been in recent years. That has traditionally been a huge driver for interest in automation. This year, especially among keynote speaker panels, we’ve heard a bigger emphasis placed on the role we play as employers in developing the workforce. These presentations are intended to make deciders across the industry aware that younger employees want the same things previous generations wanted. Millennial and Gen Z jobseekers are just willing to ask for it up front, and they’re capable of doing their own research to know if your competition is offering it. Panelist Will Healy III put it best when he said, “If you’re hiring a welder for $15 base rate and you offer full benefits but McDonalds down the street is hiring people for $15 base rate and full benefits AND a free cheeseburger at lunch – what you’re really competing with is a cheeseburger. You need to think differently and bring more to the table than the competition if you want to win.” 



The next FABTECH happens in Mexico this coming March. But we don’t want you to wait until then to see and learn more! If you found this content interesting and informative, we put out new industry content all the time. Check out our YouTube page for yet to be released interviews we captured in Atlanta. You can always follow FlexTrades on your social media platform of choice or check out our blog page to make sure you don’t miss out. And, of course, if you have other ideas for topics you’d like to know more about, or questions for FlexTrades, just send them to our Writing Team and we’ll be happy to cover them in a future article or video.

The International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) occurs in Chicago every two years. It is normally one of the biggest events worldwide in all of manufacturing but, after a 4-year gap due to COVID concerns in 2020, this year was even bigger. IMTS 2022 didn’t just represent a symbolic return to “normal” for our industry or a chance to reconnect with friends and colleagues. Rather, it was a celebration of all we’ve missed in the last couple years AND everything new we get to look forward to in the years to come. FlexTrades was there last week, and we had so many amazing experiences, interactions, and takeaways that we can’t possibly share them all. However, we do have some highlights we want to make sure you didn’t miss. 

By the numbers 

IMTS, even for veteran attendees, is overwhelming. It takes up all McCormick Place, the largest convention center in North America, and an entire week of the calendar. The raw size and scale of the venue and exhibits creates a sense of shock and awe for first time attendees. Meanwhile, the sheer number of people creates not just a crowd but an energy that can be felt physically. A great way to start wrapping your mind around IMTS is to begin with the numbers. 


  • 2.6 million Square feet of exhibit space utilized by vendors and conferences 
  • 1.3 million Square feet taken up by display booths alone 
  • 86,307 Total individuals who attended at least one day this year 
  • 33 Number of times IMTS has been held in Chicago 
  • 2,000+ Total exhibitors displaying products and solutions 
  • 117 Number of countries with exhibitors or visitors in attendance 
  • 57 million Total weight (in pounds) of equipment and material on display 
  • 9 Number of pavilions featuring displays (each a trade show unto itself) for different specialties 
  • 12 Total conferences occurring during the week 
  • 9 Specialty attractions, including a demo of a JET SUIT! 
  • Countless Number of demonstrations, conversations, and ideas that occurred 


By the images 

Words can say a lot about IMTS, but pictures and videos say even more. Here are links to some from the Association of Manufacturing Technology (AMT), the host of IMTS, and FlexTrades. 


T-minus two years 

The star of IMTS 2022 was all of us, our excitement to reconnect, and our hunger to tell the stories of our industry like never before. The increase in media and content creators in attendance was noticeable this year. We expect that number to grow even more by the time IMTS 2024 arrives. But we don’t want you to wait years to see and learn more! If you found this content interesting and informative, we put out new industry content all the time. Follow FlexTrades on your social media platform of choice or check out our blog page to make sure you don’t miss out. And, of course, if you have other ideas for topics you’d like to know more about, or questions for FlexTrades, just send them to our Writing Team and we’ll be happy to cover them in a future article or video.  

Personnel Management Group Inc. 



PMG, Inc. Announces Rebrand to FlexTrades 

PMG built our reputation on the flexibility of our skilled trades technicians and the solutions they help us provide to the American manufacturing industry. Now we want that flexibility to be evident from the first time you hear our name – FlexTrades! 


Minneapolis, MN July 25, 2022. PMG, Inc., a premier traveling workforce solutions provider serving companies across all industries of manufacturing, announced today that it has completed a major rebranding. This rebrand will allow the company to more clearly represent who they are and what they do while also reflecting the flexibility of the solutions they offer clients and the employment they provide their skilled tradespeople. 

Established in 2004, PMG is a leader in deploying skilled industrial and engineering talent to clients in need of creative solutions to address production gaps. PMG leans on its nationwide workforce while managing all associated details, big and small, to deliver the right talent match for each client project. The rebranding to FlexTrades is comprehensive across all platforms. A new logo, colors, documents, branded materials, and website will launch in coordination with the name change.  

While much of what they “look like” will change along with the name – nothing else will. FlexTrades will continue to provide the same highly skilled resources they always have to production-focused facilities across the nation with the same level of service and satisfaction their clients and technicians alike have come to expect. 

“Our name and logo may be changing,” said Dave Jacobsen, FlexTrades CEO & Founder, “but what we do and how we do it won’t change in the slightest. The mission of PMG is to make a difference every day through its impact on American production. That will continue to be the FlexTrades mission today, tomorrow and into the future.” 

Visit to explore the new website, brand, logo and more to learn how FlexTrades can make a difference for you. 

About FlexTrades 

FlexTrades is a premier traveling workforce solutions provider offering bespoke services to manufacturing, logistics and distribution companies across all sectors of the industry coast to coast. Established in 2004, FlexTrades is a leader in deploying skilled industrial and engineering talent to client facilities experiencing production shortfalls, skill gaps or operational backlogs. FlexTrades leverages its vast network of skilled trade technicians while seamlessly handling all travel logistics, administration, and personnel management to ensure the right talent for each project. The FlexTrades mission is to make a difference every day through its impact on American production. The success of this commitment is evident in the thousands of individuals annually provided with work that matters and by the ever-growing satisfaction of clients, technicians, corporate team members, partners, and communities. 

Media Contact: 

Josh Erickson 

Public Relations & Engagement Specialist