Merry Manufacturing-mas to you!

By Jeff Baker

Here we are at the end of another year… or maybe it’s been three. The days and months just seem to continue blurring together. It’s hard to tell.

Either way, thank you for cracking open this latest issue of Prairie Manufacturer Magazine! I’m glad you’re joining us for some more great coverage about the dynamic industry that is manufacturing on the Prairies.

The power of the industry

Manufacturing is one of those industries that has a reach like no other into the daily lives of people, whether it’s as employers or employees, as end-user customers, or simply a person living their own life. 

It’s a quiet power because the benefits that manufacturing provides surround us all the time. Sometimes the presence is very noticeable, at the forefront of our awareness; other times it’s just there, and we barely recognize or acknowledge it.

Nonetheless, the impact that the industry has on everyone’s life is profound and enduring, and the stories of the people and companies within this issue are simply the best. That’s why Prairie Manufacturer is still going strong, and why we count our readers and supporters as family!

Yes, Virginia, that is manufacturing

It’s like that with this issue of Prairie Manufacturer, all the issues since I’ve joined the team, and all the issues yet to come. We’re shining the light on people and businesses that might not always be seen as manufacturing or manufacturers. We’re saying that the magazine is open to all sorts of manufacturing, processing, and making. 

Manufacturing on the Prairies isn’t only about metal fabrication, equipment manufacturing, aerospace, food processing, or energy products. It’s about making products that touch all aspects of the human experience and allow people the space and tools to express their creativity in authentic and meaningful ways.

It’s personal, of course

In this issue, we’re introducing you to manufacturers and soon-to-be-manufacturers who are forging their own paths in the industry and providing solutions to problems they discovered, either through personally lived experience or connections through family and friends.

We’re taking you to corners of the industry that don’t get the attention they deserve, not because it’s ‘forbidden’ or ‘dirty,’ but because there hasn’t been the space within the traditional definitions of the industry for businesses like theirs.

In this issue

In this issue you’ll learn more about our good friends and colleagues at NGen – Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster and the amazing work they’re doing in the Prairies to support the transformation of the industry and its players.

The legal eagles over at Taylor McCaffrey offer some insight and information about what makes for anti-competitive behaviour in the marketplace and what might lead to a closer inspection by regulators.

In case you’re wondering about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on insurance and risk management for your company, Greg Vanginkel with EQUA Specialty Risk Partners Corporation shares things that are probably impacting your insurance premiums and questions you can ask of your insurance provider. 

And we’ve got some more timely safety information – this time about psychological safety and mental health in the workplace – from our friends over at Safe Work Manitoba. Plus, just in time for that long-deserved winter getaway, we share some food for thought on travel and travel insurance from Saskatchewan Blue Cross.

It’s a great combination of new folks and usual suspects!

Coming up

And speaking of food for thought… stay tuned for our spring issue where we’ll be celebrating food and beverage manufacturing across the Prairies.

If, during your holiday celebrations this year, you come across a locally produced food or beverage product that brings you some comfort and joy, please tell us about it! We love getting story ideas and tips from our readers, and we do love a Prairie nosh every once in a while, too.

Our assignment to you

At the end of the day, our job here at Prairie Manufacturer Magazine is to inform, enlighten, and reflect all that makes up manufacturing on the Prairies. If we’ve made you think about something in a different way, or introduced you to something or someone new, then I consider our mission accomplished. 

With all that, on behalf of the entire team at Prairie Manufacturer, I wish you and yours a safe and merry holiday season, and all the best heading into 2022.

Until we chat again, I hope you enjoy the read.