The San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance is about Action and Results

Key Milestones

  • 1.13–The Regional Industry Clusters Initiative (RICI) aimed at improving regional economic performance, sustainability, and shared opportunity for Valley residents, businesses and communities. It is a project of the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley.
  • 10.15–Town Hall Meeting to advance Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy convened by California Community Colleges and Office of Community & Economic Development at Fresno State. Hosted by Betts Company.
  • 25.15—White paper based on CTE ecosystem released by the Fresno Business Council.
  • 30.15—First meeting of the multi-sector steering committee tasked to issue a report clarifying industry priorities in four areas—manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare and business—to prepare State Center for a June bond measure and provide a foundation for an action plan to develop a world-class CTE ecosystem.
  • 28.16—Release of the steering committee’s CTE Initiative Report. It includes all 25 recommendations from the state Task Force on Workforce, Job Creation and Strong Economy.
  • 16.15–Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges approved the 25 recommendations put forth by the state task force.
  • 1.16—Official start of the SJVMA with the engagement of a business development director—Sam Geil.
  • 6.16—State Center bond passes.
  • 25.16—Briefing meeting with Deputy Chancellor Van Ton Quinlivan at Betts Company

San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance

Big Picture Vision–With manufacturing as a foundation, the per capita income in the SJV increases to the statewide average as more residents choose a career in manufacturing, the educational systems provide seamless pathways, the community celebrates the role manufacturing plays in a vibrant economy and government at all levels aligns investments and policies to foster the development of a world class CTE ecosystem and a thriving manufacturing sector.

The evolution the San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance has been rapid. A foundation was already in place thanks to the early work of the Regional Jobs Initiative and the ongoing efforts of the Office of Community and Economic Development at Fresno State and the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley. Industry clusters and cross sector collaborations were no longer foreign ideas and many relationships were already in place to move forward effectively.

Recognizing that the key to community impact is a local platform designed to execute that includes industry, government, educators and students, the CTE Initiative Report focuses first on two counties—Fresno and Madera. Manufacturing was selected as the first sector as it offers the greatest opportunity for substantial job and wealth creation, there is an existing industry champion, and many assets had already been identified. The SJVMA is intended to serve as a template for other industry areas. The term “alliance” was chosen intentionally as the relationship among the stakeholders is partnership aimed at transformation rather than customer thinking in terms of transaction. The effort is community centric, values based and led by stewards of the whole community.

Key Dates:

  • 15.14–Champion Mike Betts stepped up
  • 10.15– Strong Workforce Town Hall at Betts Company
  • 7.15—First Advanced Manufacturing Summit in Fresno (371 Attendees, 41 Exhibitors)
  • 3.16—Second Advanced Manufacturing Summit in Fresno (497 Attendees, 60 Exhibitors)
  • 1.16– Business Development Director position created
  • 10.16– SJVMA was created and a leadership team identified
  • 13.16—SJVMA becomes first California Member of the Manufacturing Institute’s Dream It; Do It program.          


Membership – Manufacturers and Partners

Membership in SJVMA has grown from 0 to 112 with over 225 community partners over a two year period. Four funders have invested in the Alliance including the City of Fresno, California Manufacturing and Technology Consultancy and the Fresno Area Workforce Investment Board along with over 20 sponsors of the Annual Manufacturing Summit.

System Entrepreneurship – Aero Program (CTE)

Reedley College in partnership with a local private service provider and the Veterans Administration will be launching a new degree/certificate program focused on attracting and providing finance for veterans to help address a pilot shortage.  This is a great example of the creative “system entrepreneurship” that is available once the “system” is transparent and contact points are established to facilitate design and vetting pathways.  In this instance, the College; a world-class private training enterprise; the VA; andveterans act in concert to help allay a growing global issue, producing the next generation of qualified pilots and maintenance personnel.

Heavy Truck Maintenance Mechanics—Multiple Programs Advancing (CTE)

One of the most critical industry needs in the San Joaquin Valley, a region where transport by truck is a major industry, is heavy truck maintenance mechanics. There are no local programs. However, there were programs, such as ag mechanics, that could be expanded to meet this need. Within a year educational institutions in both Madera and Fresno responded including Reedley College, Clovis Unified and Fresno Unified. Representatives from four institutions attended a major national conference with a co-chair of the cluster to learn more about the industry and serve on a panel to discuss how new programs are developed. Three high schools are exploring how to upgrade their programs. The HS programs will offer five tasks and be NATEF accredited programs qualifying as dual enrollment and articulating into the Reedley College program. The Reedley program is moving towards becoming a full eight task NATEF Master Mechanic accredited status. Last week they submitted three new tasks to their curriculum committee so they can become a full master mechanic program.

Trash for Teachers (Manufacturing/Education)

A social entrepreneur in Los Angeles decided that materials tossed in the trash by manufacturers could be used as resources by teachers to advance project based learning. She figured out how to aggregate these products, secure a warehouse to organize them and a system to invite teachers to come and get what they want. This benefits the environment, students, teachers and industry all at once and is a terrific way of building relationships across sectors. She is starting up in Fresno this month as a result of connecting with one of the co-chairs of the SJVMA that set things in motion.

Internships (Manufacturing)

New internship program at WIB designed to address semi-skilled and skilled labor shortage in manufacturing.

Vocational ESL – VESL (Education)

English as a Second Language program through WIB to equip qualified employees for job growth, improved skill set, improved communication and possible promotion.

Apprenticeship (Manufacturing & Education)

Apprenticeship Program at JBT offers a prototype for other companies.

Civic and Education Engagement (Education & Community)

A number of our SJVMA members and leaders are actively involved with various CTE and Manufacturing related programs in our current served area—Fresno and Madera.  These countless hours often go unrecognized, but provide an invaluable service to the community.

  • Mike Betts and Sam Geil serve on the CART Board of Directors
  • Sam Geil serves on the Fresno Unified School District CTE Advisory Committee
  • Lonnie Petty serves as the co-chair of the SJVMA and on the Fresno Compact board
  • Gurminder Sangha is the Deputy Sector Navigator for Manufacturing
  • Pat Gordon serves on the board of the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley and the Workforce Development Board of Madera County.
  • Mike Dozier is the executive director of the Office of Community and Economic Development at Fresno State and the Secretariat for the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley
  • Deborah Nankivell is the CEO of the Fresno Business Council and on the executive board of the California Stewardship Network
  • Blake Konczal is the CEO of Chief Executive Officer Fresno Area Workforce Investment Corporation

Mentoring (Education & Community)

A number of next generation or millennials are being recruited to join SJVMA to set the stage for a seamless transition from the current generation of leaders to the next. By integrating students and young adults into our committees, activities and conferences, we build a strong base to insure a sustainable effort.