Viewing blog posts written by Gino DiCaro


CA's Virginia Park Foods is country's leading gluten free pasta maker

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on April 18, 2018

This week CW California and CMTA bring you Virginia Park Foods, a Riverside based pasta manfacturer, meeting the exponential demand for gluten free products. The company was founded in 2015 with a 4,000 square foot facility and recently acquired 35,000 square feet in Riverside to accomodate substantial growth. 

Virginia park foods sources most of its products from northern California farms, which makes a perfect case for why California should attract more manufacturing.  Every Californian benefits from long in-state supply chains from manufacturing oeprations. 

Here are a few opportunities and challenges before Virginia Park Foods:

Challenges: "Space is our biggest challenge right now," says Venugopal. "At the pace that we are moving, our 35,000 square-foot facility might soon be too small. We made the conscious decision, however, to stay in California, since this is where we started. We’ve looked at other options such as Detroit and New Jersey, but based on labor requirements and the expertise needed, California is the best place."

Opportunities: "There are always new opportunities in new types of flour," says Venugopal. "Right now legume-based pasta is in demand. Pasta from red or green lentils, black beans, chickpeas are in demand and the retail stores are trying to catch up. Eventually, the opportunities are there for the store brands to pick up on the movement and offer what consumers are wanting. Right now, this is a huge category that has not been fully tapped into by retailers." .... READ MORE ON COMPANY WEEK CA





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Saleen Automotive: Putting the custom in CA manufacturing

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on March 29, 2018

We introduced a new feature to the Champions blog last month.  We have partnered with CompanyWeek (CW) California to share information on the state's premier small to mid size manufacturers.  CW's featured companies are part of CMTA's Champions recognition program, intended to boost the image of California manufacturing and convince policymakers that manufacturing is the single best way to grow California’s economy and create high quality jobs. 

These companies are committed to California and exemplify the high principles of economic growth, innovation, entrepreneurship, and commitment to their employees. Together the CMTA Champions program and CW's many profiles will demonstrate how California manufacturers make a positive impact on their industry sector, their employees and their communities. 

This week CW California and CMTA bring you Saleen Automotive, a Corona-based automobile part manufacturer run by Amy Boylan. The company was founded in 1984 by Steve Saleen and, with lean manufacturing practices and an arduous commitment to social media engagement, Steve and Amy are transforming iconic automotive platforms into custom, high-performance machines. 

Saleen is exactly the type of niche custom manufacturing company that California must seek to grow.  Here are a few opportunities and challenges before them.

Needs: "You can never have enough equipment and people," says Boylan. "In this area of California, it’s hard to find workers. Where we are now, in Corona, California, it’s a great place for a middle-class lifestyle, but not the best place to find executive level employment. Most people at that level are transplants and that’s sometimes difficult.

Challenges: "Trying to grow at the speed we need," says Boylan. "We have turned a corner and are trying to keep up with a growing demand. We have created licensing deals with China to build vehicles over there, but all cars for North America will be designed, engineered, and built in the U.S. There are people here building to design stuff overseas. It’s the same for anyone building a car from scratch."

Opportunities: "Steve has never been pigeonholed into one thing," says Boylan. "He helped build the Ford GT for Ford, He also helped with the Dodge Viper. He’s brilliant in finding new opportunities. The new Saleen 1 (S1) for example breaks the mold for a $100K carbon fiber sports car that can reach 180 mph." ... READ MORE ON CW CALIFORNIA





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CMTA President opines on lawsuits shaking down CA manufacturers in the name of climate change

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on March 22, 2018

In an op-ed published by The Sacramento Bee, California Manufacturers & Technology Association President Dorothy Rothrock highlighted California manufacturers’ leading role in tackling the global problem of climate change and how new lawsuits will not help:

California manufacturers are big players in the state’s efforts to address climate change. The largest companies are regulated through a program that will greatly reduce emissions and grow the economy at the same time. The result will be a win-win for jobs and the environment.

Yet the climate liability litigation filed by eight California municipalities against manufacturers are actually discouraging those efforts.  These lawsuits stack a large financial burden on manufacturers, businesses and consumers in California, while enriching trial lawyers:

A big payday for the trial attorneys, not a solution to global climate change, is the main motivation for these suits. The attorneys and municipalities don’t care that their lawsuits hurt California’s ambitious climate change policies. . . . 

The unjustified lawsuits will add costs to energy manufacturers by forcing them to defend or settle the cases. Those costs will be passed on to consumers, other manufacturers and businesses that depend on fuel for transportation and production. Piling these new costs on top of the reasonable costs related to cap and trade could push production out of state along with their emissions. 

Rothrock also highlights the blatant discrepancies between the lawsuits filed by the municipalities and their bond offerings when it comes to climate change risks:

San Mateo County claims that it is “particularly vulnerable” to sea-level rise and that there is a 93 percent it will experience a “devastating” flood before 2050. Marin County is even more certain, calculating a 99 percent risk of a devastating flood before 2050. But contrast that with bond offerings in 2014 and 2016 where investors were told that the county “is unable to predict whether sea-level rise or other impacts of climate change or flooding from a major storm will occur."

The Manufacturers Accountability Project is leading the national charge on these lawsuits and they are focused on exposing the questionable motives of the trial attorneys, city governments and activists that are involved in targeting manufacturers in the United States. 





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State of MFG tour shows why manufacturers are the crown gem of California

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on March 19, 2018

“California is at the intersection of innovation, technology, and modern manufacturing. While our country struggles to fill important jobs in the manufacturing sector, our employers are committed to upskilling the workforce so that as we create new, well-paying jobs in manufacturing, we are also ensuring we have the skilled workforce to fill them.”

That quote from CMTA's Dorothy Rothrock during the National Association of Manufacturers' State of MFG tour captured exactly why we should be so excitied about manufacturing in Califrnia.

We are so pleased the National Association of Manufacturers brought their State of MFG tour to California this month. It is important to underscore the tremendous opportunities and incredible innovations that are created on factory floors all over California.

The annual NAM State of Manufacturing Tour focuses the nation’s attention on the industry that is the backbone of the American economy, highlighting the more than 12 million men and women who are building our future. The tour brings policy discussions and conversations about the future of work to shop floors, schools, tv studios, even the White House.

“California is a hub for innovation and technology, and it’s driving modern manufacturing,” said Timmons. “The research and development happening in the Golden State is paving the way for our industry’s future.”

The California tour stops were in San Francisco and San Jose and they rolled through a t-shirt manufacturer (Social Imprints), a plant based alternative food manufacturer (JUST), a leather belt manufacturer (Circa), a flexible hybrid electronic manufacturer and trainer (NextFlex), and a truck engine research and design facility (PACCAR).

Here’s what these places had in common:

  • Great places to work
  • Tremendous opportunities for workers
  • Operational efficiencies in technology and innovation
  • Investments for the future
  • Contributions to their communities


Everything else varied widely -- from types of workers, products, challenges, market share, facility floors … everything.

Despite the differences there was no denying that manufacturers are major contributors and create pathways for middle class growth and upward mobility. Every lawmaker in California should be looking for policies that make it easy to invest and put more bolts in the ground in the Golden State.

 





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MFG job growth update

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on March 19, 2018

Here's a quick manufacturing job growth update before the March revision comes out next week





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