Viewing blog posts written by Gino DiCaro


Women in MFG: STEP initiative inspires the East Bay

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Oct. 27, 2017

Manufacturing faces a serious skills gap in California. Part of this gap is the underrepresentation of women in the industry. While women make up approximately 47 percent of the entire labor force, only about 29 percent make up the manufacturing workforce.

The Manufacturing Institute launched the STEP (Science Technology, Engineering & Production) Ahead Initiative five years ago to honor and promote the role of women in the manufacturing industry.  One of their many networking events came to San Leandro this week with two panels of female executives to discuss how to attract the next generation to the industry.

CMTA members Pamela Kan of Bishop-Wisecarver and Hannah Kain of Alom moderated the panels. The panels featured highly successful operations run by females and promoted different ways in which we can attract millennials. 

The event successfully drove home the initiative's motto -- It only takes one to inspire another to follow an exciting and rewarding career path in manufacturing. The STEP program is the single largest initiative for women in manufacturing and CMTA is proud of the effort and our members who are inspiring the next generation of manufacturers.

 

Watch event video here

 





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Career Tech Ed: Project Lead the Way gives CA great hope

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Oct. 23, 2017

This month CMTA toured one of California's true Career Technical Education gems and announced our partnership with Project Lead the Way (PLTW) - a nationwide program that helps students explore career paths, engage in problem solving and process thinking, develop hands-on technical knowledge, and build communication skills. CMTA is proud to partner with PLTW because manufacturers know firsthand the importance of these skills in the development of our workforce, especially as so many of our workers are retiring.

CMTA's launch and tour brought us to Antelope High School where we saw the program's tremendously inspired students, as well as two teachers making a big impact on student lives through the PLTW program.

Antelope has been tremendoudsly successful in engaging students on multiple levels, exposing them to areas of study that they typically do not pursue, and providing them with a foundation and proven path to career and/or college. They currently feature all three hands-on project-based PLTW pathways: engineering, biomedical sciences, and computer science.  

PLTW is highly effective at matching regional employer needs with a pipeline of teachers who want to inspire students to go beyond the books and work with their hands. Funding however is always critical. It is expensive to train teachers and often costly to purchase equipment.  Career tech incentive grants in California have been an important tool to do both, so an extension of those grants in 2018 is an important part of CMTA's agenda and can help PLTW succeed. 

Manufacturers and other industries can benefit from the great work that PLTW is doing. If you'd like to tour any schools in your area please let us know.

You can see some Antelope H.S. tour highlights in the short video HERE

 

 

 

 

 





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Celebrate Earn and Learn program in East Bay

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Feb. 12, 2017

CMTA member Bishop-Wisecarver (Pittsburg, CA) and its President Pamela Kan are helping to celebrate the success of the phenomenal Earn & Learn program in California's East Bay on Friday, March 3rd.  The project connects local employers with their future workforce through school and work-based learning opportunities.

Manufacturers in the region are invited to attend the March 3rd event from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at the Concord Hilton at 1970 Diamond Blvd. in Concord, California.

Employers will be honored for their contributions, youth will talk about these life-changing experiences, and the new Chancellor of the Contra Costa Community College District, Dr. Fred Wood, will speak about the importance of this regional effort. We will also provide opportunities for employers to learn more about how to connect with their future workforce.

Registration for this event is free.  You can enjoy breakfast and be inspired to join others in helping local youth.





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Maker spaces & 'boot camps' are California's new feeders for technical skills

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on March 17, 2016

Maker and co-working spaces, sometimes known as "boot camps", are becoming key intersections between regional manufacturers' needs and local students' skills development. They create the ability for students to learn quickly the skills they need to get a high wage opportunity with a regional manufacturer who needs technical workers.

A recent example got our attention. Tyler Hill, a Sierra College Electro Mechanical Engineering major from Lincoln, California, recently got a job working for a consumer transaction technology manufacturer, NCR Corporation, in part because of his participation in a maker space "boot camp" for entrepreneurs in the northern California area. 

The camp known as Hacker Lab / Startup Hustle partnered with Sierra College and the Center for Applied Competitive Technologies in a private public partnership to improve students’ employability.

Hill had joined Hacker Lab to access the CNC and laser cutting tools, and then applied to participate in Startup Hustle to work on the home automation system he developed with another student. “Putting this experience on my resume helped me stand out and get a job as an ATM Engineer,” said Hill.  “I enjoy the work and am even more confident in my plan to transfer to a California State University engineering program.”

“Employers are seeking innovators who will develop better products to meet customers’ needs and contribute to business growth,” said Willy Duncan, Superintendent/President, Sierra College Joint Community College District. “At Hacker Lab, Sierra College students work alongside a diverse group of experts and artisans to test and hone skills learned in their college classes. As a result, students add practical experience and cutting edge skills in coding, virtual reality and 3D printing to their resumes.”

Hill explained that he developed new skills to create a prototype product at Hacker Lab. “I had no idea how to make a printed circuit board,” said Hill. “But after three weeks of practice at Hacker Lab, I could make a perfect board from scratch.”

Carol Pepper-Kittredge, Director, Center for Applied Competitive Technologies, Sierra College, helped plan the Hacker Lab Powered by Sierra College in Rocklin. “To attract students to Advanced Manufacturing careers and provide businesses access to technology and training, Sierra College equipped the maker space with electronics, 3D printers, laser cutter and CNC router,” said Pepper-Kittredge.

Startup Hustle teams attend weekly online and in-person training sessions led by successful founders of businesses. In addition, industry mentors coach the teams. “The mentors were genius,” said Hill. “They were more than technical experts; they collaborated with us to think through sales and marketing.”

In just one year, Sacramento-based Hacker Lab worked with Sierra College to find an off-campus location in Rocklin, California, fill it with equipment, attract 140 members (50 percent students) and offer education events attended by over 1,000 people.

These non-traditional boot camps increasingly feed specific technically skilled workers to regional manufacturers and create tremendous opportunities for growth for students.

CMTA is learning more about how we can help foster more of these partnerships to grow the next generation of California manufacturers.

Here are some other stories about Startup Hustle participants.





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CA's new speaker touts the power of community colleges to create opportunity and reduce skills gap

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on March 11, 2016

New California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon went on the record last week with California Forward who asked him about the state of California job training and efforts to close the skills gap.

In the video he discussed the power of the Community College's ability to address the state’s critical workforce issues.

You can watch the video here.

 





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