Viewing blog posts written by Gino DiCaro

Champion CSI welcomes advanced manufacturing certified student

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Sept. 4, 2014

This post was written by Sandy Harmsen of the Workforce Investment Board for CMTA's Champions program.

The San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board received a grant from the California Workforce Investment Board to help 30 young adults, between 18 and 24 years old, earn certifications in courses designed to introduce a new generation of workers to the manufacturing industry. The courses can be taken at three locations: Chaffey College, San Bernardino Valley College, and Technical Employment Training, a non-profit organization offering training in the manufacturing trades.

In addition to providing nationally recognized industry certification, the program also offers the targeted career guidance and mentorship that the participants need to advance their career prospects in a meaningful way. 

George Loya at CSIGeorge Loya was sitting in an electrical theory class last spring at Chaffey College when his instructor announced a new training program for youth to learn how to maintain equipment in a manufacturing plant. “I signed up first thing,’’ said Loya, 23, who currently works at a distribution center in San Bernardino. “I wanted to better myself; I have a four-year-old daughter.’’  Loya went on to complete the training at Chaffey College and received the industry certification.  Program administrators are now helping him advance to the next step toward securing a job. He has passed an initial set of assessments to qualify for an entry level temporary position at California Steel Industries in Fontana. If he is invited to join California Steel, Loya could potentially go on to become a level “A” expert electrician earning more than $80,000 per year.

The youth training program relies on a recruitment effort shared by the County of San Bernardino and the community colleges where the training occurs, said Deborah Smith, a community training coordinator at Chaffey College.  In partnership with the training providers, staff of the Workforce Development Department promoted the program at America’s Job Centers of California, which have locations in the cities of San Bernardino, Victorville and Rancho Cucamonga.  They also recruited students from Chino Valley Unified School District and from other local youth service providers. This comprehensive approach was designed to identify students who may not have performed well in a traditional school setting, but who have the ability to master the technical skills to become a highly-trained electrician or mechanic in the manufacturing trade.

Jacklyn Ortiz is another student who recently completed the program at Chaffey College. Ortiz is a high school graduate with a criminal record. She passed every program test on the first try and was one of the best students in class, said Smith. “Jacklyn has a mechanical aptitude and is very sharp.’’ The program is intended to help individuals like Ortiz move forward and has connected her to a staffing agency that will work with former inmates. 

This program is a great example of how the combination of training and mentorship advances the careers of our youth.

Sandy Harmsen is executive director of the Workforce Investment Board and director of the County of San Bernardino Workforce Development Department.


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CA Champions of Manufacturing videos now available for syndication

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Aug. 1, 2014

Last month, CMTA launched its new Champions of Manufacturing program to put the spotlight on innovative California companies and their talented employees. 

CMTA recognized its first seven Champion companies at an inaugural Summit in Sacramento. Each companies' efficient operations, innovative products and loyal employees showcase why manufacturing growth is so important to Californias future. 

The videos of the companies, leadership and employee speeches and introductions by host Adam Carolla can be seen at the new Champions webpage. You can access each company's video specifically at the links below. You can also syndicate the video using the tools attached to each video.



What it means to be a Champion:

Manufacturing Champion Companies
The Champions recognition program honors positive contributions by manufacturing companies who are committed to California and exemplify the high principles of economic growth, innovation, entrepreneurship, and commitment to their employees. CMTA plans to honor at least five "Champions of Manufacturing” companies each year. We want to demonstrate how California manufacturers make a positive impact on their industry sector, their employees and their communities. If a company is interested in applying to be recognized they must be nominated through their local economic development group or their local industrial group.

Manufacturing Champion Partners
We have assembled a growing statewide network of Manufacturing Champion partners to help spread our message. Our partners include regional manufacturing associations, local economic development agencies, cities, counties, institutions of higher education and workforce training organizations. We will actively work with our partners to seek out and distribute videos and stories featuring positive messages about California manufacturers and their workers.

Manufacturing Champions Individuals
We are building a statewide army of Manufacturing Champions to join us in the belief that a brighter future for California depends on healthy, growing manufacturing companies. A Manufacturing Champion can be anyone: small, medium and large manufacturers; manufacturing workers and their families; company executives; suppliers; concerned citizens; government officials; and students.

If you want California manufacturers to make multi-million dollar investments in California and hire thousands of workers to create innovative and exciting new products, then you are a Champion of Manufacturing.

If you want students and parents to learn about the tremendous opportunities for exciting careers in manufacturing, research & development, industrial arts, and skilled technical work, then you are a Champion of Manufacturing.

If you want California to lead America’s Manufacturing Renaissance with homegrown California manufacturers who combine innovation, energy efficiency, productivity, sustainability and high-wage middle class jobs, then you are an individual Champion of Manufacturing. Sign up in the red box in the upper right corner of for alert and champs updates, and tell your manufacturing friends!

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California Steel announces major expansion

Posted by Jack Stewart, on June 6, 2007

Today, California Steel in Fontana, California announced a major expansion of its operations. CSI continues a long-tradition that helped make California one of the most efficient regions in the world in energy use, environmental technology and greenhouse gas emissions.

From Governor Schwarzenegger's press release:

"I would like to congratulate CSI for expanding operations, adding to our growing  economy and recognizing the importance of protecting the environment," said Governor  Schwarzenegger. "This is a terrific example of how a company can increase its bottom  line while moving to protect California's environment."

From the CSI release:

FONTANA, CA. – California Steel Industries, Inc. (CSI), the West Coast’s largest steel  manufacturer, today announced plans to increase total annual production capacity by a million  tons, through addition of a second reheat furnace with state-of-the-art environmental  technology.
In addition to the clean-burning natural gas-fired walking beam reheat furnace, the investment  also includes associated additional improvements in cooling water treatment and in slab  handling facilities, for a total capital investment of approximately $60 million.

It is almost impossible to grow an energy-intensive company in California today given the production costs and uncertainty around global warming policies.  CSI shows us that, even in this highly competitive global economy, a large manufacturer can at the same time help grow the economy and help the state lead the world on global warming policy. 

During the implementation of AB 32, the state should recognize the expensive past and future technology and innovation implemented at CSI and other manufacturing facilities.
The state's economy and global warming authority lives and dies on decisions like these, from companies like these.

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