Viewing blog posts written by Gino DiCaro

Push-back on baseless public nuisance lawsuits is working across the country

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Nov. 14, 2018

Since officially beginning one year ago, the Manufacturers’ Accountability Project (MAP), for which CMTA is an ardent supporter, has tallied a series of wins in its campaign to push back on the baseless public nuisance lawsuits being filed against manufacturers all across the country. From exposing the legal flaws in these lawsuits at events across the country to seeing these suits dismissed from courts in California to New York, the MAP had an exciting and successful first year standing up for manufacturers in America.

Even with these promising developments, there is plenty of work to be done. Just one successful lawsuit could open the floodgates to costly litigation at the expense of manufacturers. With cities appealing the rulings against them, manufacturers will continue to face costly court battles, spending resources that could otherwise go to creating jobs or investing in new technologies.

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Company making 2-atom wide shaving blade wins Advanced MFG category at Sacramento Region Innovation Awards

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Nov. 3, 2018

The Sacramento Region Innovation Awards program announced its winners last Thursday during a ceremony hosted by organizers Stoel Rives LLP, CMTA member Moss Adams LLP and the Sacramento Business Journal. Eight winners and 13 finalists were recognized during the luncheon, featuring master of ceremonies Kitty O’Neal of NewsRadio KFBK.

CMTA was proud to be on the Advanced Manufacturing Selection Committee and congratulates Atocera, maker of low-cost ultra-sharp, rustproof ceramic and semiconductor blades with multi-dimensional self-cleaning cutting-edges, and integrated sensors for surgical and hair removal applications. In the future these revolutionary blades made from semiconductor material will be used in commercial everyday shaving products and in surgical procedures such as cataract surgery.

Atocera's  story is interesting. Technically, the company is the result of a shaving accident. Back in 2012, Saif Islam, a UC Davis professor of electrical and computer engineering, was building silicon micro-walls for solar panels. During the process of cutting semiconductor material into small slices, something unexpected happened. "While we were slicing, we came up with some slices that were very sharp,” Islam says. "So sharp that they could cause bleeding when handling if you’re not careful."

He realized these ultra-sharp slices of semiconductor material, called wafers, could be used in other areas. With the same machine used to make computer chips, he could make thousands of silicon-based blades at once to be used for shaving and cataract surgery. This breakthrough led to the launch of Atocera in 2014.

The blade itself is only two atoms wide and sharper than steel. The machine enables Islam to produce 5,000 blades at a time, which makes them much cheaper than blades currently in use by eye doctors.


The awards program recognizes regional innovation across eight categories, honoring the people and organizations that advance new products, services and processes from the Sacramento area, which is defined as Butte, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, Solano, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties.

The 2018 winners are:

  • Advanced Manufacturing: Atocera, Inc. – Microfabricated Blades
  • Food & Agribusiness: Pheronym, Inc. – A New Kind of Pheromone for Agricultural Pest Control
  • Government & Civic: Sutter Health and WellSpace Health– Street Nurse Program
  • Hardware & Electronics: TacSense – Flexible Iontronic Sensing Technology
  • Medical & Health – BioPharma: Cognivive –Virtual Reality Game Treatment for Brain Injury Recovery
  • Medical & Health – MedTech: MUSE Microscopy Inc. – MUSE (Microscopy with Ultraviolet Sectioning Excitation)
  • Software: TraitWare – TraitWare Secure Login Solution
  • Sustainability: Terzo Power Systems – HEVI Hybrid Electric Power System

Nearly 100 nominations were evaluated by a selection committee consisting of local leaders from civic, business, academic and technology sectors. In addition to announcing the winners, there were 13 other finalists, of which past CMTA Champion TriTool was one for its TRIMAX Portable Pipe Machining Tool.

The Sacramento Region Innovation Awards program was founded by Stoel Rives LLP and is facilitated by the firm’s attorneys and professional staff. Moss Adams LLP validates the voting process and the Sacramento Business Journal events division provides promotional and management services. Learn more at and on Twitter and Facebook at #SacInnov8Awards.


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MFG jobs update - CA US gap widens a bit

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Oct. 21, 2018

California lost 1,500 manufacturing jobs in September according to the Labor Market Information Department's report last week. At the same time, the U.S. grew its manufacturing base by 18,000 jobs.  That brings the Golden State's percentage growth since the end of the recession to 4.6 percent while U.S. manufacturing jobs grew by 12 percent.

(click image for larger pdf)

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Opportunity to tell the state how to improve your workforce

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Oct. 12, 2018

California needs the manufacturing community's input to understand how our high schools can help graduates qualify for entry level positions in Machining and Forming Technologies careers. This is a great opportunity for the machining industry to collaborate with CDE to make sure the State can meet your future workforce needs. 

To facilitate collaboration the CA Department of Education (CDE) has set up a survey that will take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete and must be completed by Oct. 29.

The survey results will become the blueprint for the Machining and Forming Technologies State Assessment. Education Standards used by high school manufacturing and engineering programs to prepare California’s high school students for careers and college.

Full survey link:

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Apprenticeships work for the next generation of CA's mfg workforce

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Oct. 10, 2018

As the U.S. manufacturing sector advances, the pathways to developing and acquiring talent are also changing to keep pace. Automation and technology has risen in importance, especially in the manufacturing supply chain, and secondary education must reflect current employment needs by offering a wider variety of training options for career choices, including Apprenticeships that take the place of typical school programs for technical-style work.

While manufacturers are ideally equipped to define the skills they need to succeed, they can't go it alone. The apprenticeship model, which brings together community colleges and employers, is rapidly taking hold as a viable training approach that can effectively build the manufacturing workforce of the future.

The single largest element that differentiates an Apprenticeship Program from other learning systems is the alignment and connectivity between academic learning and hands-on, practical on-the-job training.

CMTA member companies such as IBM, Caterpillar, Alcoa, The Dow Chemical Company, and others have all successfully established apprenticeships in their U.S-based facilities for years. They have reaped the benefits of these programs, namely as a way to develop a highly skilled and qualified workforce that is certified, highly motivated and work-ready.

The process of starting an apprenticeship program includes workforce planning, building your business case for an Apprenticeship program, establishing critical public-private partnerships, and marketing your program. While it can be daunting, CMTA is here to help. We can assist with the development of your program and help get you subsidies through our partnerships with existing and emerging federal apprenticeship grant programs and with new money coming online from California legislation that we helped pass in 2018.

Your company and your workers will reap tremendous benefits with a successful program. Contact CMTA’s Rob Sanger at 916-498-3334 or if you’d like to start a new Apprenticeship program or to receive subsidies for your existing registered program.

CMTA also has a $1 million multiple employment contract with California’s Employment Training Panel. We can help deliver this money so manufacturers of all sizes can get funding for basic incumbent training programs.

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