One of MBEP’s newest members, California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC) is taking an important role in helping shape California’s future. As a provider of technical assistance to small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs), its primary goal is to promote manufacturing growth leading to an increase in high-paying manufacturing jobs.

It’s vitally important to California’s economy, says CMTC President and CEO James Watson, that small manufacturers increase their productivity and competitiveness, as they comprise 75 percent of the state’s manufacturing establishments. 

Yet, SMMs are facing challenges in finding qualified candidates to fill manufacturing jobs, keeping pace with technological demands and industry automation advancements. “Many manufacturers don’t have the necessary resources to meet these challenges,” says Watson. “We’re here to help.” 

Through partnerships with universities, community colleges, Workforce Development Boards and nonprofits across the state, CMTC and its partners are working together to identify workforce needs and connect skilled workers with middle-skills and digital-skills manufacturing jobs.

When it comes to building a future workforce, industry perception matters. That’s why, each October, CMTC partners with manufacturers across California to open their facilities to the public, one day each year as part of Manufacturing Day, to show students what today’s manufacturing is — and what it isn’t. Once those students step out on the manufacturing floor, see the technology and opportunity in today’s manufacturing businesses, they have a completely different perception of the industry. This year, the Oct. 4 event will be just the beginning of a monthlong campaign of manufacturing events.

Technology is the most significant change affecting manufacturing, yet the need to remain competitive via automation can overwhelm business owners. “The whole concept of how to select the appropriate form of automation that will integrate into their operation can be an issue,” says Watson. “Workforce and technology work hand in hand — you can’t upgrade your plant’s automation without a skilled workforce.”

To help alleviate the technology challenges, CMTC’s Advanced Manufacturing Technologies team, works to strategically build advanced technology roadmaps for manufacturers while addressing workforce needs, access to capital and automation options. “Technology adoption is a strategic decision,” says Watson. “If planned properly automation will increase productivity and stimulate business growth.”

As an MBEP member, CMTC is making inroads across the Monterey Bay region to foster technology adoption, leverage organizations to further advance workforce development and share the message of an industry sector with high wage jobs.

“Manufacturing is transforming at light speed,” says Watson. “It’s not smokestacks and slippery floors. We want people to understand that manufacturing is important to the economy of our state and we still have a lot of work to do.”

For more information, contact Christina Chavez Wyatt.

Photos courtesy of California Manufacturing Technology Consulting. Manufacturing Day, an annual event started in 2012, is designed to inspire and recruit the next generation of manufacturers.