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


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


Students explore Valley manufacturers at Manufacturing Day

News Release
October 13, 2016

FRESNO – In collaboration with Fresno County Office of Education, Institute of Technology (IOT) and over 100 community partners, the San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance hosted Manufacturing Day 2016.

Manufacturing Day, which takes place on the first Friday of October, is mean to celebrate manufacturing and “to inspire the next generation of manufacturers.” With over 2,000 events registered across the nation, companies and community organizations participate in Manufacturing Day by hosting open houses, public tours, career workshops and other events. (

On October 4, approximately 120 high school students from Fresno and Clovis partook in the 2016 event that was housed at IOT. Twelve local manufacturers opened their doors to students and provided tours of their facilities. In addition, students were provided lunch at IOT and the opportunity to network and visit with presenting organizations from across the Valley.


Click here to view more pictures

Click here for printable News Release


Manufacturing Alliance enhances local education program

The Business Journal
By Valerie Shelton

September 30, 2016

Fresno area Career Technical Education (CTE) students will have the unique opportunity to tour a handful of local manufacturing companies Tuesday as part of Fresno County’s second annual Manufacturing Day.,/p>

The event is one of several initiatives spearheaded by members of the San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance (SJVMA), a group intent on bridging the gap between education and industry by enhancing local CTE programs to better prepare young adults for careers in manufacturing.

Click here to view more.