Fresno manufacturing summit organizers expect larger turnout

The Business Journal
By David Castellon

April 13, 2017

After a Great Recession slowdown, manufacturing is recovering and becoming more active in the Central Valley.

And whether you’re a manufacturer that cans fruit or builds circuit boards, organizers of the 2017 Manufacturing Summit at the Fresno Convention Center figure they’ll be able to provide information that can help your business, whether it’s an introduction to new technology or tax information that can help your bottom line.

Go to full story at The Business Journal


Central Valley Manufacturing Summit expecting record turnout

California Economic Summit
By Ed Coghlan

April 10, 2017

A record 800 people are expected to attend the 2017 Manufacturing Summit in Fresno on April 20.

The Summit, which has grown dramatically in just three years, will feature industry experts speaking on a number of topics key to the important manufacturing sector. Called “Thriving in the Valley,” the event will be held at the Fresno Convention and Entertainment Center.

Registration closes today (April 10) but organizers emphasize that some walk-ins on the day of the event will be allowed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Go to full story at California Economic Summit


San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance-Episode 9

Manufacturing Advocates Podcast
By Joe Hackman

March 15, 2016

There is something extraordinary going on in the San Joaquin Valley. Economic development, education and business interests have gotten together to form the San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance. Their upcoming manufacturing summit has already been making waves here in California, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they are felt farther and farther out as great ideas tend to spread.

In Episode 9 of the Manufacturing Advocates Podcast I go in depth with two impressive gentlemen Mike Dozier and Mike Betts discussing the SJVMA and the Manufacturing Summit. I was really impressed with the work these two and their organization have done to help the community in a number of different ways. Listen in and hear for yourself.

Click here to listen to the podcast.


Rising Tide for San Joaquin Valley Manufacturers

Manufacturing Advocates Podcast
By Joe Hackman

March 8, 2016

As some of you already know, I moved from the Bay Area to El Dorado Hills in 2014. As a relative newbie to the greater Sacramento area I connected with the Sacramento Valley SME to get involved with other folks interested in precision manufacturing. That connection ultimately led to the creation of this podcast with a little inspiration from Bill Gaines. Then recently when Jeff Briggs (the current fearless leader of the Sacramento Valley SME) told me about a manufacturing summit in Fresno, I could tell he thought it was a big deal. While Jeff is at times easily excited when it comes to manufacturing, I took heed anyway because he has never steered me wrong. Jeff eventually got tired of waiting for me to take the hint and introduced me to Mike Dozier from CSU Fresno, suggesting we get together and talk about the summit on MFA.

Go to full story at Manufacturing Advocates Podcast


Essentials of Supervision & Leadership-5 Session Series

Date & Times: Friday Mornings (March 31, April 7,21,28, May 5, 2017) 8:30am-12:30pm

Location: SCCCD Herndon Campus, 390 W. Fir Ave, Bldg B, Room 5 Clovis, CA 93611

Learn essential skills needed by all supervisors. Strong supervisory skills lead to improved productivity, greater employee satisfaction, higher quality work and employee retention. This program will benefit supervisors in all workplaces and sectors.


  • Create a climate of open communication
  • Construct clear and concise messages
  • Manager nonverbal behaviors and listening skills to improve communication


  • Inspire, empower and motivate team members
  • Work with team members in a way that enhances employee self-esteem
  • Involve team members in solving problems and decision making


  • Identify performance problems that can be resolved through coaching
  • Use the process of observing, analyzing, demonstrating and providing feedback
  • Conduct coaching conversations that improve employee performance, trust and respect


  • Recognize the difference between job performance and work habits
  • Address unsatisfactory work habits before they require disciplinary action
  • Use an action plan to help team members improve


  • Recognize conflicts and handle them quickly before they become problems
  • Understand the signs of conflict and how to find the root cause
  • Establish a cooperative atmosphere to resolve conflicts when they arise

Registration Fee: $495 per person for all 5 sessions

Space is limited! Registration in advance is required. Call (559) 324-6461.

Click here to view flyer


10th Annual FUSD Tournament of Technology: Judges Needed

Fresno Unified School District | Tournament of Technology

February 10, 2017

The Fresno Unified 10th Annual Middle School Tournament of Technology on April 1 at Rutherford B. Gaston Sr. Middle School is less than two months away. In previous years, volunteers helped make the competition possible for over 500 middle school students from all over the City of Fresno by serving as judges. Fresno Unified would love to have help again for this special 10th Anniversary of the Tournament of Technology. Students will be competing in technology-based categories including robotics, video production, and design. This year a Website Design event and Search & Rescue Robot event will be introduced. 3-D Printed Race car and bridge-breaking events will continue to attract a lot of interest but all 14 events will help students flex 21st century learning skills.

Last year, a new system that allowed judges to review and score entries online was adopted. The new system received positive feedback and this year’s improvements will be even better. The judging window for online events will be open for 7 days instead of one evening and this flexibility should make life much easier for online judges!

Volunteers are sought to help judge the 14 events. Breakfast, lunch and best of all, this year’s special Tournament of Technology T-shirt will be provided to volunteers!

The online judging takes place between March 17 and 23 and the in-person judging will take place at Gaston on April 1.

The criteria for being a judge is simple:
1. Be willing to judge one of the 14 events online between March 17 and 23 or show up on Saturday, April 1, to support students and witness their excitement and competitive spirit.
2. Be prepared to be amazed at what FUSD middle school students can accomplish in the areas of video, robotics, 3D Design and more.
3. Be willing to work collaboratively in judging groups of 2 or 3 to score one of 14 events.

Alert: Don’t believe alternative facts. Being a “techie” is not a requirement.

Judging Types:
Please click on one of the links below to sign up!


  • Robotics (Battle Bot, Robo Rally, Robot C Programming, Search & Rescue)
  • Design (3D Printed Car Race, 3D Printed Bridge Strength, Kodu Game Design, Website Design)
  • Video (Advertisement, Blockbuster, Documentary, Public Service Announcement)
  • Exhibition Events (3D Useful Object, CoderGirlz)

For more information on the events click HERE.

Specify your interest online or judging live as well as the events you are most interested in.


College creates career center dedicated to helping career technical education students

California Economic Summit
By Amber Nelson

January 6, 2017

A broken-down car or unreliable childcare can make the difference between completing a certificate program and getting a good job or continuing the cycle of struggle familiar to the hundreds of students pursing Career Technical Education (CTE) at community colleges across the state. Merced College has designed a new support system specifically to assist these aspiring students in completing their coursework and transitioning from school to employment.

The Workplace Internship Network (WIN) at Merced College provides personalized CTE completion counseling and connects students to internships that help launch their careers.

Go to full story at California Economic Summit


Members gather in Madera for quarterly meeting

News Release
December 19, 2016

MADERA – Over 80 attended the Manufacturing Alliance’s 4th QUarter Membership meeting on December 9 in Madera. The quarterly meeting was hosted by SJVMA partner, Madera County Office of Education and featured presentations and updates on various initiatives, events and programs.

The meeting included initiative updates from board chair, Mike Betts of Betts Company on the CTE Ecosystem and Life Skills Initiative. In addition, Christine Nutting of Fresno Regional Workforce Investment Board provided news on their Incumbent Workforce Training policy. The following SJVMA manufacturing members were highlighted at the meeting: JP Lamborn, Sunnyland Mills, and JBT FoodTech.

The meeting concluded with a preview for the upcoming 3rd Annual Manufacturing Summit. The Summit will take place on April 20 in Fresno and features 16 breakout sessions; morning keynotes speaker, John Hofmeister, founder and chief executive of Citizens for Affordable Energy and former president of Shell Oil Company; and lunch keynote speaker, Katherine A. DeRosear, partnership architect of Dream it. Do it. Virginia Network. Registration is open and can be found at,



Click here for printable News Release


How An Economic Developer Is Bringing Factory Jobs Back to Mississippi

60 Minutes
By Bill Whitaker

December 4, 2016

The following script is from “The Golden Triangle,” which aired on Dec. 4, 2016. Bill Whitaker is the correspondent. Marc Lieberman and Michael Kaplan, producer.

This past week, Donald Trump cut his first deal as president-elect. He leaned on Carrier, the heating and air conditioning company, to keep 1,000 jobs in Indiana from going to Mexico. The company got a generous tax break in return. In the last few decades, America has lost millions of factory jobs offshore. But you might be surprised to learn U.S. manufacturing is showing signs of coming back due to cheap energy, proximity to customers, and a rising cost of labor in China. Nearly a million manufacturing jobs have been created since the Great Recession. About 350,000 are unfilled because factories can’t find properly trained American workers. The new plants demand more brainpower than brawn. It’s called advanced manufacturing and if you want to see what it looks like you need to go a place off the beaten track: The Golden Triangle. That’s a bit of a misnomer because it’s one of the poorest regions in the poorest state: Mississippi.

Go to full story at 60 Minutes