Jul 1, 2014
California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA) hosted its first inaugural Champions of Manufacturing Summit with more than 150 people in attendance and 300 watching the live broadcast online hosted by comedian and manufacturing enthusiast Adam Carolla helped recognize seven Champion companies for their commitment to California, their workers and innovation. The honorees covered a spectrum of specific industries and different regions: Vista Metals from Fontana; Keystone Engineering from Long Beach; Sierra Nevada Brewing from Chico; California Steel Industries from Fontana; California Custom Fruits & Flavors from Irwindale; FATHOM from Oakland; Parallax from Rocklin. View more about the Champions.
Photo by CMTA: Adam Corrolla with Intel and Fathom -3D Printing & Advanced Prototyping for Product Development.
QGITS last met with Board of Director Chairman and Executive Committee member of CMTA & President of Bishop-Wisecarver Group Pamela Kan at the Automation Technology Expo and recently caught up with her again to chat about the Champions of Manufacturing Summit in Sacramento June 18th, here’s what she had to say:
QGITS: How important is it for Bishop-Wisecarver to participate in events such as the Champions of Manufacturing Summit?
Pamela Kan: Anytime we can get a positive message around manufacturing out, it’s a win for anybody involved, it’s a win for employees, it’s a win for the manufacturers and a win for our state economy. I am starting to get a sense that the tide is starting to turn back in support of manufacturing and I find that really exciting. I think it’s important not just for a business but for a state in general to really understand the importance of manufacturing and technology in a state economy as well as our country’s economy.
QGITS: During the summit, Adam Corolla talked about more hands on learning education in our schools, what did you think about what Adam had to say?
Pamela Kan: Everything Adam was talking about was really music to my ears. I think it’s been a real disservice to our kids that we have taken out those opportunities in High School. For kids that really are more kinesthetic learners who really love to create and make things, it’s a real injustice. Most schools now don’t have the opportunity of having industrial arts, wood shop or auto shop the type of things that give kids that applied learning…the hands on learning experience. I also think it’s not realistic that every kid is suited to go to a four year college and I think Adam was really spot-on in that comment. The reality is not every kid is suited to go to college and not every kid wants to go college. Our economy needs kids and needs people that want to be making things. As our aging employee population start to retire out, we have a real skill set brain drain happening in our companies and I am bit fearful for our state, to be honest. The supply chain around skilled labor is really lacking in our state and we need to figure out how to get these kids opportunities to start learning technical skill sets and keep them engaged and give them opportunities in the class environment to have them want to go to school and at least graduate high school. That it’s ok if they want to make things. The trades are important and they are vital, on average they earn around $20K more for jobs in manufacturing. It’s a very liveable salary and viable career for kids and they do not get that message in our school system right now. The message shouldn’t just be about that in order to succeed in life that you have to go to a four year college because that’s not the case and maybe they go back later when they really have a clear path but they do not have to be pushed into going to college right after high school.
QGITS also had the chance to talk with CMTA Vice President, Communications Gino DiCaro.
Photo by CMTA: (Left) Gino DiCaro, Mike August and Adam Carolla.
QGITS: What’s different about this year’s CMTA Champions of Manufacturing summit compared to other events you have put together?
Gino DiCaro: We thought it was time to start highlighting the wide range of the very innovative manufacturers that California does have, as well as highlighting the incredibly talented workers these companies employ. There is more than 1.2 million manufacturing workers in California and we would like the companies that employ these workers to certainly continue to operate here and find ways to grow even more in the golden state. We met with countries manufacturing investment members over the last couple years and in 2013 California received only 1.5% out of the countries manufacturing investments, so its clear that while we are a great manufacturing state, we do have a job to do to make sure that were making California a competitive place to operate and attract that growth. We have been doing a lot of complaining for a long time and we really needed to show the legislative community, the regulatory community and the media that there’s a reason why we got to fight for California manufacturing because these companies are great, there workers are incredible, they are the most innovative in the country, they are the most efficient in the country in terms of energy consumption, and we got a find a way to help make these great companies stay here and grow here.
QGITS: I asked Pamela same question, what did you think about what Adam had to say about education in our country?
Gino DiCaro: I really appreciated his comments on that stuff as well, Adam Corolla really kind of found a way to his own success through working with his hands. The biggest problem in California is the state, public high schools have all but given up on vocational and career technical education in our high school curriculum and we got a find a way to prioritize those classes and extend those classes. We find out to often that within the manufacturing communities that these companies just can’t find skilled workers. The lack of skilled workers is a grand problem for the manufacturing community so we got to find a way to instill those courses back into the schools but also maybe work on the perceptions of these types of classes and jobs. These are very rewarding skills and jobs…on average they pay $77,000 a yr in California. We really hope that this event Champions of Manufacturing will help underscore the need for that focus of skilled workers in California.
CMTA invites you to join the only statewide organization dedicated to protecting manufacturers ability to operate competitively in California.