Viewing blog posts written by Gino DiCaro

California illustrates power of manufacturing on State of MFG Tour 2019

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on March 5, 2019

CMTA welcomed the National Association of Manufacturers to California last week to highlight the state’s modern manufacturing industry as part of the fifth annual NAM State of Manufacturing Tour.

The tour collectively opened eyes, changed minds, and recruited new people to be a part of our industry, by elevating the people and companies at the core of manufacturers’ excitement for the future.

During the visit, CMTA's new president Lance Hastings and NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons and Manufacturing Institute Executive Director Carolyn Lee met with students, business leaders and local manufacturers to discuss the industry’s optimistic outlook for the future, the high-tech, high paying opportunities in modern manufacturing and the urgent need to recruit the next generation of manufacturers.

We began the two-day visit at world-famous candy manufacturer and CMTA member Jelly Belly Candy Company, where we got an up-close look at the candy making process and, of course participated in many tastings. (You can see one particular one here)

Timmons, Hastings and Lee then toured Bishop-Wisecarver, an automation solutions provider. Following the tour Bishop-Wisecarver President and CMTA and NAM Board member Pamela Kan hosted a workforce opportunities discussion on how manufacturing companies can champion science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in the community to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. The day was closed out by a visit to Pittsburg High School in Pittsburg, California, where the school’s robotics team discussed how STEM education is inspiring their future career aspirations (see student's excitement in 1 minute video here).

On Wednesday, Timmons, Lee and David Seaton, chairman and CEO of Fluor Corporation and NAM board chair started the day at Salesforce for a panel discussion with Achyut Jajoo, vice president of manufacturing, automotive, & energy industries at Salesforce and CMTA’s very own Lance Hastings. Business leaders from the San Francisco area heard from panel participants about how technology is transforming the manufacturing industry and the looming workforce crisis for California’s manufacturers.

“We’re at the next frontier of manufacturing in the United States. We’re leading in technological advances, such as artificial intelligence, robotics and augmented reality, that will actually spur job creation, boost wages and help us lift everyone up and leave no one behind,” said Timmons in his opening.

On workforce challenges later in the discussion, Hastings said, “We’re at this 3 dimensional crossroad between a workforce, the needs of a manufacturer and the fact that people aren’t looking at those 30 year careers. They might work in the same place for 10 or 20 years but their jobs are constantly changing and evolving. We need to be able to adapt our old model to the new millennial consumer workers, rapid innovation and a growing attrition of skilled workers.”

In total California was so excited to be a part of the NAM's State of Manufacturing Tour to help drive the powerful message of modern manufacturing and key priorities directly with people who will decide our future: students, educators, parents, manufacturers, business leaders, policymakers—and the press.

You can see some pictures below and you can watch the workforce discussion at Salesforce here.  You can read an opinion centered around the Tour and manufacturing authored by Jay Timmons and Pamela Kan in Fox and Hounds here.






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CMTA's Bishop-Wisecarver innovates for ALS ice bucket challenge

Posted by Pamela Kan, CMTA Board Member (President, Bishop-Wisecarver) on Sept. 9, 2014

A good friend of mine and one of our distributors challenged the Bishop-Wisecarver Group to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to support the fight against this disease. I accepted the challenge and tasked our engineers to build an automated ice bucket machine using our components because, after all, we eat, breathe and live MOTION!

I stood nervously under this big bucket filled with ice cold water, regretting that my engineers built a slow pour functionality. You haven't lived until you feel a steady pour of ice cold water rolling down your back while your entire company burst into fits of laughter. After all was said and done, I'm extremely proud of the work everyone did to build this machine and that we supported an amazing cause. Watch and share this video on your social media channel of choice and please tag us!

We would like to challenge our customers, suppliers and distribution partners and send me a link (or tag us) so I can see it and share it with my staff.

We not only participated, which you will see in the video, but we are donating money and matching our employees' contribution.

Also watch Vice President of Marketing, Scott McClintock, step up to the challenge.


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'Card Check' tramples worker's privacy rights

Posted by Pamela Kan, CMTA Board Member (President, Bishop-Wisecarver) on Dec. 10, 2008

Last year, the misnamed "Employee Free Choice Act" (EFCA) was introduced in Congress.  This legislation -- expected to come to Congress early in 2009 -- effectively eliminates the private ballot process for choosing union representation and replaces it with a "card check system" when employees are deciding whether or not to join a union.  Earlier attempts to pass "card check" legislation in Congress were narrowly blocked.  However, union bosses have made it clear that their highest legislative priority next year is passage of EFCA.

The card check bill would eliminate decades of precedent established under the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 by taking away employees' freedom to choose under a federally supervised, private ballot election when deciding whether or not to join a union.

Current procedures lead to swift and fair elections—most elections are held within 56 days filing an election petition, and labor unions, nationally, prevail more than half of the time. Under current law, union organizers have to obtain the signatures of 30 percent of employees that express interest in joining a union. After these signatures are collected, union organizers can petition the National Labor Relations Board to hold a secret ballot election. If the labor union receives more than 50% of the vote in a federally-monitored secret ballot election, the union is certified and collective bargaining must begin.

However, under EFCA, secret ballot elections are replaced with a system called "card check" which allows a union to organize if a majority of employees simply sign an authorization card. Under this system, the employees' signatures are made public to the employer, the union organizers and co-workers. Under a card check system workers face intimidation and pressure about how they should choose from the union, from management or both.

Trading federally supervised private ballot elections for a card check process tramples the privacy of individual workers. Secret ballots are the only way to protect an individual's freedom to choose without subtle or overt coercion.

New research shows troubling signs for candidates who support the union "card check" legislation.  The surveys conducted in states across the country show a majority of voters oppose the elimination of secret ballot union elections. This research also shows dissonance between union members’ concerns and the legislative agenda of union leaders.  In most states, opposition to "card check" is actually higher among union households. However, organized labor has made it clear that passage of EFCA is their highest priority.

If Congress passes this proposal, they will be stripping away federally protected private ballots from the hands of American workers.   Bishop-Wisecarver -- a union organized company in Pittsburg, California -- encourages the state's editorial media to expose the unfairness of this issue and asks employees and employers to urge their representatives to defeat this legislation.

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180,000 reasons to thank a small manufacturer

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Aug. 15, 2008

See this:

Bishop-Wisecarver Corp. purchased it for $180,000 more than they would have paid in other states because of California's lack of a sales tax exemption on the purchase of manufacturing equipment.

I was in Bishop-Wisecarver's Pittsburg, California facility this week on a plant tour, where this $3 million, 50-ton "grinder" was bought and placed to process extremely precise linear steel guides that help other manufacturers move product from one place to another.   Think of an automobile manufacturer that has to move a large suspended transmission through its facility acreage.  There's a good chance that those engines are guided through the air by Bishop-Wisecarver's products and this grinder helps them produce those materials faster and better.

Competitive pressures are increasing for Bishop-Wisecarver and its 56 employees in California.  According to company President Pamela Kan,  it was those pressures that made them purchase this $3 million miracle machine that makes them more productive.  Shouldn't they be rewarded for making the sacrifice to compete in California's costly business climate?  Instead they are faced with cost pressures that force them to buy more efficient equipment, then the State collects 6 percent on top while other states allow these highly coveted companies to keep the tax because of the larger economic benefits they produce for the region.

This decision would have been easier to make before the State's manufacturers investment credit expired in 2003.   I can't speak for Bishop-Wisecarver, but the additional $180,000 could have gone into more employees, more salary, more benefits, more research and development, more electricity efficiencies, or price reductions to help make Bishop-Wisecarver more competitive in the marketplace.

I don't know which line item this money would have bolstered, but a $15 billion State budget deficit tells me that, wherever it went, it would have had better economic impacts supporting the hard working employees of Bishop-Wisecarver, its 466 California suppliers and even BWC's consumers than it would have had buffering the State's checking account.  180,000 "thank you's" go out to Bishop-Wisecarver and it's owner Bud Wisecarver (Bud's story) and President Pamela Kan for making the sacrifice!   On another but similar note, buying equipment will be much easier for the much ballyhooed Tesla Motors who received the 6 percent credit through an end-around detailed in the Governor Schwarzenegger's press release.  Why only them?  Who knows.

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