Viewing blog posts written by Dorothy Rothrock

Message to California manufacturers - prepare yourselves for a wild ride in 2018!

Posted by Dorothy Rothrock, President on Jan. 8, 2018

If there ever was a time to be involved with politics, this is the year. The national economy is growing at a rapid clip. Manufacturers in every sector are making bold new investments and hiring more workers.  Communities across the country are attracting manufacturers to their states to improve wages and quality of life for their citizens. 

We want California to be a leader in this national manufacturing revival.

How will that happen?  We need to tell candidates for Governor, legislators and local officials what you need to grow and prosper.    

This year is crucial.  The election in November will not only determine the next Governor, it could also bring new taxes and mandates through the ballot box. This year the legislature will debate dozens of proposals related to taxes, energy, climate change, labor protections, and workforce development.

CMTA will be smack in the middle of it all.  We didn’t get to be 100 years old by sitting around!

In fact, our Centennial celebration will be dedicated to showing that manufacturing is the engine that powered California in the past and will keep us on the cutting-edge of technological advancement in the future.  

CMTA lobbyists and communications team are on the job for you.  They will tell you what’s happening, listen to your concerns and make forceful arguments to our elected officials.  We’ll hold them accountable and let you know when they do the right thing…or not! 

Thanks for being part of the CMTA family. It is a pleasure and honor to represent California manufacturers in Sacramento. 

Best wishes for a prosperous New Year!   

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Spread the word to support California manufacturing

Posted by Dorothy Rothrock, President on Jan. 7, 2014

It’s hard to believe – thousands of medium and small manufacturers are not members of the CMTA. Maybe they don’t know that we are the only statewide trade association solely dedicated to the well-being of California manufacturers. They are busy managing their businesses and probably feel that they “don’t have time” or enough money to participate in the association. The reality is that CMTA has membership dues schedules and options for participation that will work for every company.

We are only as effective as the depth and breadth of our membership. Get the word out to your fellow manufacturers that joining CMTA is crucial. We need everyone to get on board.

It’s easy to explain why all manufacturers should join CMTA. We are in Sacramento all year fighting for manufacturers. We tell California lawmakers and regulators what they need to know to make good decisions that support manufacturing:

That manufacturing is vitally important to the California economy. Maintaining a high quality of life depends on a vibrant and growing manufacturing sector. California manufacturers – the most productive and energy efficient companies in the world – already support 1.2 million employees and provide billions in state and local tax revenues. California should compete for new manufacturing investments and expansions that are up for grabs each year. New innovative products designed and manufactured here would create thousands of new high-wage technical and professional level jobs for the growing California population.

How they can help manufacturers grow and prosper in California. Manufacturers can prosper here with sensible government policies that support consumer and worker protection, a skilled workforce, a clean environment and adequate government revenues for infrastructure and important public services. New manufacturing investment and job creation will be promoted by a predictable tax and regulatory environment that cost-effectively accomplishes these goals. California manufacturers can compete in global markets if we minimize unnecessary costs of litigation, overly-intrusive regulations, and uncompetitive levels of taxation.

How their bills and regulations will hurt or help California manufacturers. Thousands of bills and regulations are introduced or amended each year in California. We monitor and actively lobby the hundreds of proposals that impact California manufacturing in the areas of taxation, labor, environmental protection, energy, workers compensation, litigation, workforce development, and more. CMTA lobbyists work directly with manufacturers to find and communicate to policymakers the proposals that will solve important problems with the best possible outcome for manufacturers.

The bottom line is that every manufacturer should be a member and stand up for sensible state policies. Spread the word to your network of suppliers, vendors and industry colleagues. Direct them to

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California is still #1 ...

Posted by Jack Stewart, President on May 11, 2010

… the worst place in America to do business, a ranking it’s held since CEO magazine began surveying CEOs in 2005.  Not only does California’s business climate rank worse than every other state, but California ranks far below the national average in every category tested, from taxes to regulations, to workplace quality to living environment.  In only one sub-category, Arts & Culture (ranked lowest in importance to CEOs), California surpasses the national average.

This is not new information, every few weeks we see a new poll or survey ranking California’s business climate at or near the bottom.  Texas, on the other hand, has consistently been ranked as the best place to do business by CEO magazine.  One CEO’s comment was particularly revealing, “Texas is pro-business with reasonable regulations while California is anti-business with anti-business regulations.”  That’s quite a reputation for a state that desperately needs a surging economy to make up a $20 billion general fund budget deficit, close a $500 billion public pension fund deficit, reduce a 12.6% unemployment rate and deal with a persistent $6 billion annual fund imbalance.

Well, if the state is doing badly, surely there must be positive signs of economic recovery in some of California’s world class cities and counties. Not so fast.  While much of the nation is beginning to show signs of recovery, California is still trying to find the bottom.  Two recent reports shed light on the economic growth potential for California’s regional economies.

In March, the AP Stress Index ranked all 3,086 counties in the U.S. on the impact of the current recession and potential recovery.  Not a single California county made the top 20 list of least stressed counties, but 11 California counties we’re included in the 20 most stressed ranking.

Even more disturbing is a new ranking of the 2010 Best U.S. Cities for job growth by  The study ranks the nation’s 397 SMSAs (Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas) on current, mid-term and long-term employment growth rates.  The only two California SMSAs to make the top 100 are Hanford-Corcoran and Medera-Chowchilla.  The second rank of 100 SMSAs include El Centro and Bakersfield-Delano.  The first large California city on the SMSA list is San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City ranked at 271.  San Francisco (271) is followed by San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara-Carlsbad (297), San Diego-San Marcos (299), Sacramento-Roseville (322), Los Angeles-Long Beach (352), Santa Ana-Anaheim (353) and Riverside-San Bernardino (359).

Joel Kotkin opines on the findings in an article in Forbes Magazine titled The Worst Cities for Jobs.  Kotkin writes, "And then there is California, which by all rights should be leading, not lagging, the current recovery.  Statewide unemployment, already at 12.6%, has been rising while most states have experienced a slight drop.  Silicon Valley companies, Hollywood and the basic agricultural base of the state remain world-beaters. But the problem lies largely in an extremely complex regulatory regime that leads companies to shift much of their new production and staffing to other states, as well as foreign countries.  The constant prospect of a state bankruptcy, in large part due to soaring public employee pension obligations, does not do much to inspire confidence among either local entrepreneurs or investors."

Kotkin concludes, “Hopefully, this will be the year when Californians decide that it needs an economy that provides opportunities to people other than software billionaires, movie moguls and their servants.  It will have to include much more than the endlessly hyped, highly subsidized 'green jobs.’  More than anything, it will take rolling back some of the draconian regulations – particularly around climate change legislation – that force companies, and jobs, to go to places that, while not as intrinsically attractive, are far friendlier to job creating businesses.”

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Career Tech Education: Valued? First to go?

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on April 1, 2008

High-wage manufacturers rely on Career Technical Education courses at all levels to develop their workforce and build the new innovative products that this Century demands and the emerging green technologies require.  While California debates how to balance a Budget that spends far more than it takes in, tonight in Lodi we get a first-hand look at a pervasive and dangerous local school district trend already cutting courses and working against students and their potential employers.

Tokay High School students and teachers, and the Get REAL coalition (coalition website) will appear in a last ditch effort to save their construction technology program and prove the value of these courses.  They improve dropout rates, positively affect young lives, and provide a valuable skilled workforce to the local community.

Lodi has already cut two CTE courses in automotive and drafting education.

The first government programs and services gone in difficult times are always ones we don't value.  Tonight, we'll see just how much the Lodi School District values a program that everyone agrees increases opportunity.

View Coalition Advisory
View Coalition handout

UPDATE: April 3 -- Students, teachers, employers and State Board member Jim Aschwanden showed up to beg the district not to cut this program. The Lodi School District Board members tabled the vote but their comments, albeit positive regarding overall career technical education, indicated that budgetary constraints and remediation needs most likely will prohibit them from continuing the program.

Related media: Lodi Sentinel News

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Manufacturing productivity gains at DST Output in Northern California

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on March 19, 2008

Last month DST Output celebrated its selection as one of Industry Week Magazine's "Top 10 Best Plants" in North America.  CMTA president, Jack Stewart, and I attended the facility-wide celebration at their plant in El Dorado Hills, California.

DST Output provides integrated print and electronic billing statements to many of the country's largest financial services, communications, healthcare, and utilities companies.

DST Output's Top 10 accolade was impressive but it was their exponential and jaw-dropping productivity growth over the last four years that gave me pause and once again made me ponder the old mantra, productivity gains = unemployment.

Get this:   DST Output's facility in El Dorado Hills is printing more than 32 million images a day .... and those are all variable images with complex and different billing data on each one.  This was unheard of in the industry just four years ago when DST output was printing only 17 million images a day.  Even more, these increased images are printed on fewer printers.  90 fewer to be exact -- down to 10 from 100.   I asked what happened to the number of employees.  Guess what.   They actually remained about the same ... possibly even added a few.  Go figure.  

Simply put, in four years, they nearly doubled production, used 90 percent less machines and at least kept the same amount of employees.

This is a reminder that California companies are doing more with less, and keeping our economy going with good paying technical careers.  More product ... more training ... less waste.   More technology ... less consumer product cost.

We need to do everything we can to supply our new and existing lean manufacturers with a skilled and ready workforce and, during the current economic downturn, we need to make sure the State's  business costs compete with the rest of the nation so more California workers can find family-wage jobs like the one's at DST Output.

Read Industry Week's write up

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