Viewing blog posts written by Gino DiCaro

Siemens transfers technology and opportunity to California

Posted by Gino DiCaro, Vice President, Communications on April 23, 2015

Siemens has been building railcars for over 160 years, yet the level of technology innovation they employ is on par with the latest high-tech manufacturing companies. Sacramento is fortunate to be home to 850 Siemens employees, including more than100 engineers who are finding new ways to improve safety, reduce weight and achieve mind-blowing energy efficiency.  

This week CMTA got a glimpse of Siemens’ Sacramento operation.  Everything we saw -- from precision welding of parts for the undercarriage to survive 30 years of operation to final touches on interior spaces for the comfort of passengers -- confirmed the company’s commitment to be an industry leader. We particularly enjoyed seeing the latest generation light rail cars to be delivered to Charlotte, Portland, San Diego and Calgary. Soon the plant will begin to build the next edition light rail cars for the San Francisco Muni and this year will also be the production start of the trains for All Aboard Florida – a new passenger service connecting Miami and Orlando.

We were also pleased to learn that “Made in America” is a major goal for Siemens production.  That means many types of jobs are required in the facility and suppliers across the country benefit greatly from Siemens operation here. The company was also one of the first major manufacturing facilities to power its operations with solar power — 85 percent of the plant is powered by the sun.

Since Siemens chose Sacramento as a major headquarters in 1984, it has provided hundreds of upwardly mobile jobs to support a middle class or better lifestyle for California families. The good news is that the future for Siemens and other rail industry suppliers remains bright, as population growth and the need to reduce vehicle miles traveled to meet the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals will put more rail options on the table for consideration.  Passengers on Siemens railcars will get where they need to go in energy-efficient style, not wasting time on congested streets and freeways or in clogged airports. 

When it comes to high-speed rail, Siemens has a great track record. They have more than 400 high-speed trainsets in operation globally that have traveled more than 600 million miles to date. And, the mileage for the fleet is growing by over 300,000 miles each day, experience that proves their leadership and innovation in the field.  

Siemens exemplifies what it means to be a California manufacturer – providing great value to customers through innovation and the contribution of highly skilled and productive workers able to meet all business and technical challenges.  We look forward to another visit with Siemens as they continue to grow and prosper in the state. 


0 comments | Post your comment

Manufacturing wage growth fuels many middle class families

Posted by Gino DiCaro, Vice President, Communications on April 17, 2015

Today we learned that California gained 4,300 manufacturing jobs in March. We all understand that this sector's growth means more opportunities for our working middle class, the retention of critical technology and innovation, and tremendoous ripple effects in our economy. 

California must keep up the fight to retain and attract manufacturing.

This week we looked at sector wage growth adjusted for inflation since 1990. California manufacturing wages have not only kept up with the average increase with 39 percent growth but it is the second highest among California's five largest sectors.




0 comments | Post your comment

A growing MFG economy would be a powerful message for CA climate change leadership

Posted by Dorothy Rothrock, President on March 26, 2015

I enjoyed speaking on a climate change panel this week hosted by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).  The topic is important to manufacturers because they are sensitive to high energy costs, and we can expect ever higher energy costs when state climate change rules go into full effect. 
Other states are watching to see if the manufacturing economy in California will be hurt under our strict greenhouse gas reduction rules.  They won’t jump on board until they believe it will be good for their economies. That matters because we could take every single molecule of carbon out of the California economy and climate change would still happen.  The climate will improve only if other states and countries adopt significant reduction polices.   
My fellow panelists expressed great enthusiasm about our state’s leadership role in this global issue but they downplayed facts on the ground about the state’s economy.  The state is seriously lagging the US in manufacturing job growth since the recession ended. We also have very weak levels of investments for new sites or expansions.  Energy costs play a big part in making California a tough place to be a manufacturer.  
I understand the desire to put a positive spin on the climate change story and only make the story about technology advancements and growth in green jobs.   It interrupts a glowing narrative to mention the trade-offs -- potential loss of high wage, middle class manufacturing jobs -- when we indiscriminately add new costs to the economy.  Some groups do not want to raise public awareness about the trade-offs and thereby dampen enthusiasm about addressing climate change.    
But if manufacturing continues to suffer in California, other states will be reluctant to adopt similar policies. The states we need to convince have vibrant manufacturing economies with middle class jobs that they do not want to lose. Brushing the manufacturing data under the rug is not fooling anyone outside California – in fact, those state leaders see our failure to acknowledge the economic truths as one more reason to put California in the “kooky” category and shy away from joining our programs to reduce emissions.  
 A question that should have been asked at the PPIC event was “How can California inspire other states and countries to adopt our policies to reduce climate emissions?”  My answer would have been:  “Don’t deny the costs of the policies, take action to minimize those costs, and then make a commitment to prove with facts and data that a healthy manufacturing economy is, and will be, supported by our climate change policies.”  
That approach has a chance of putting California in a true leadership position on climate change.  

0 comments | Post your comment

International Paper shows off their operations

Posted by Gino DiCaro, Vice President, Communications on March 18, 2015

CMTA recently visited International Paper’s box plant in Elk Grove for a fantastic tour that coincided with International Paper’s Legislative Day at the state capitol. The tour provided us with a clear picture of their talented people, innovative products and sustainable operations.  
International Paper employs approximately 2,500 people in California who work across the state at 27 sites, resulting in a large economic footprint in our state. The majority of the company’s California operations are part of its Industrial Packaging business which includes corrugated boxes, retail displays, bulk packaging, kraft paper bags and recycling. Their products are used as conventional shipping containers, product marketing and eye-catching retail displays for a wide range of industries. As consumers, we see corrugated containers pretty much everywhere we look. Pizza comes in corrugated boxes, as do new appliances, new audio and video equipment, plus all the orders you receive after shopping online.  We also see corrugated displays at big-box retailers, especially during high volume shopping times like Black Friday and back to school.
The company also has a Foodservice plant that manufactures paper cups, food containers, plates and other single-use packaging used by many well-known quick-service restaurants. Although not manufactured in California, International Paper also creates high quality printing papers such as Hammermill™ and produces market and fluff pulp that is used by other companies to produce a wide range of absorbent hygiene, paper and tissue products used by millions of consumers every day.
International Paper’s Elk Grove plant has 125 employees and makes corrugated boxes for fresh produce, processed foods, light industrial, and e-commerce marketing segments.  A few months ago, many of the employees volunteered over the course of two weekends to assist the Sacramento Tree Foundation with an effort to reforest areas in the Stone Lakes National Wildlife Refuge with native trees.
Some additional interesting things we learned:
  • They can produce more than 200 boxes a minute.
  • Corrugated is the most frequently used shipping material because it is cost-effective, lightweight, functional and versatile.
  • The whole industry has a 63 percent recovery rate on paper and 90 percent on boxes.
  • One individual we met was actually on his last day of work before retirement. He had been with the company for 41 years. Who says these aren’t highly coveted middle class jobs?
  • One of their biggest workforce needs is skilled maintenance technicians.
CMTA is proud to represent such an impressive company and operation that delivers highly popular and sustainable consumer products and high wage middle class opportunities.
IP Collage

0 comments | Post your comment

Update on MFG jobs vs the U.S.

Posted by Gino DiCaro, Vice President, Communications on March 12, 2015

The Bureau of Labor Statistics and California's Employment Development Department recently made their annual revisions to employment data. California manufacturing still lags behind the country in manufacturing job growth since the recession, though the state did see a little bump comparatively to the country.

On the month-to-month front, California lost 4,200 manufacturing jobs in January. 

We ask you, is this reaching California's potential? Are we comfortable with this direction? The manufacturing renaissance is a tremendous moment of opportunity for California to leverage and grow opportunities for its middle class working families. As stated in this great National Association of Manufacturers video, "Nothing happens unless we hit that start button."


Chart MFG jobs CA vs US



0 comments | Post your comment
View next 5 entries

Copyright © 2015, California Manufacturers & Technology Association. All rights reserved.