By Keith Breene White-collar workers use their heads, blue-collar workers use their hands. Although this simplistic division of the workforce was first used in the 1940s, the notion of manufacturing workers as the ones getting their hands dirty stretches right back to the industrial revolution. Even the Latin origins of the word manufacturing - manu factus - made by hand - refers to the physical nature of the work. And it was the dirt and soot associated with assembly lines and machine rooms that made blue shirts more practical than white. However, while collar color once made sense as a neat division of the workforce, it is a concept now hopelessly out of date. Modern manufacturing no longer thinks in terms of white or blue collar - the workers it needs now are "new-collar".
As old technologies shake up old manufacturing models, Fortune Global 500 mainstay Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is getting ready for the next industrial revolution.
Last year 15 catastrophic weather and climate events struck, destroying property, uprooting people’s lives in the United States, causing more than $15 billion in damages. Devastating natural disasters also rolled across the globe. Earthquakes hit northeast of Rome in January and in Ecuador last spring. The devastation is unimaginable. People are left without running water or electricity for weeks on end. Hospitals and schools are closed. Water treatment centers shuttered. Power is one of the most important things needed to move down the path of recovery.
Consumers expect convenience. They want to be able to shop on the fly, without stepping foot in a store, and they expect the product to be delivered to their doorstep in record time. Flowers, footwear, books, beauty products, food, furniture and consumer electronics are highly trafficked through the internet largely because it’s easier than ever before for a consumer to purchase a wide variety of goods. Just point and click.