CMTA participates in business success forum

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, May 13, 2005 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

On May 11th, Dorothy Rothrock, CMTA Vice President of Government Affairs, was one of four speakers invited to participate in a forum designed to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing small businesses and manufacturers in the greater Sacramento area.

The forum which was sponsored by the City of Elk Grove, Consumes River College and the Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce to name a few, was the fifth Convergence event – a series of events designed to discuss common issues and develop innovative solutions to the challenge of developing tomorrow’s workforce.

Drawing members of business, education and government, the event addressed areas such as economic trends, ways businesses can flourish by taking advantage of emerging opportunities and the growing need for an educated workforce.

Francisco Rodriquez, President of Consumers River College, gave a brief introduction and welcome and posed the question – Is California in risk of losing its competitive advantage?

Wayne Schnell, President and CEO of the California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED), spoke about how to build our local economies.  Specifically, he said growth in our local economies is being hindered by a stream of government red tape.  Schnell gave an example of the stringent process a business has to go through to obtain a permit, saying "a permit should not be to prohibit."

Following Mr. Schnell’s presentation, Jim O’Neil, District Director for the Small Business Administration (SBA) spoke about various opportunities available for small businesses throughout California.  The SBA is a federal program that maintains the nation’s economy by aiding, counseling, assisting and protecting the interests of small businesses. 

With over 165,000 small businesses in California (500 employees or less) the SBA granted roughly 77,000 loans to assist new businesses in 2004.  O’Neil stressed the importance of getting the word out to small businesses that the SBA is out there and available in a multitude of facets to support new entrepreneurs.

Finally, Rothrock highlighted the ever-growing importance of vocational education in K-12 as well as in community colleges.  "With baby-boomers beginning to leave the workforce combined with the demand for a highly-skilled workforce, we must do a better job reaching out to educators, students and parents in promoting the benefit of a good, high-wage paying manufacturing job", said Rothrock.

CMTA appreciated the opportunity to be a part of the Convergence event and looks forward to future endeavors in promoting manufacturing.

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