STAFF REPORTS

The San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance and the Fresno Business Council will host Valley Made: The Fourth Annual Manufacturing Summit from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. May 17 at the Fresno Convention Center Exhibit Hall.

The cost to attend is $100, and tickets may be purchased online at www.sjvma.com by May 14. All registered guests are encouraged to download the official app to access event logistics, agenda, exhibitor and speaker information, surveys and interact with other attendees. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door.

Designed as a workshop and resource expo, the purpose of the Summit is to celebrate the long history of innovation in manufacturing in the San Joaquin Valley while providing resources and networking to continue to build a world-class workforce and cross-sector collaboration – all aimed at creating a globally-competitive environment for the Valley’s manufacturing industry.

“The San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing industry employs more than 105,000 people and is responsible for nearly $15 billion of the Valley’s annual GDP (Gross Domestic Product),” said Mike Betts, SJVMA Chairman and CEO of Betts Company. “Our focus is to support this multi-billion dollar industry through developing the workforce and other resources, along with efforts such as the Valley Made Summit to enhance our competitiveness in the global market and continue to elevate the economic impact of manufacturing on the Valley.”

The Summit will feature keynote speaker, Josh Linkner, a multi-generational Detroit native whose accolades include being a five-time tech entrepreneur, hyper-growth CEO, two-time New York Times bestselling author and venture capitalist who is on a mission to drive creativity, innovation and reinvention in the manufacturing industry.

The event will also include opening remarks from Mike Betts, SJVMA Chairman and CEO of Betts Company; the video Dream It. Do It. and remarks by Carolyn Lee, Executive Director of the Manufacturing Institute; and discussion regarding California’s energy agenda featuring Ashley Swearengin, CEO, Central Valley Community Foundation and Martha Guzman Aceves, Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission.

Seasoned presenters will deliver 14 different workshop sessions on topics ranging from “Cybersecurity Risk” to “Explore Exporting and Succeed.” There will also be a resource expo throughout the day featuring nearly 100 exhibitors – including manufacturers and service providers to the manufacturing industry.

As part of the anticipated 1,100 attendees there will be students interested in pursuing manufacturing careers from Valley high schools, community colleges and Fresno State, as well as individuals from programs through the Fresno Regional Workforce Development Board and Fresno County Economic Development Corporation. This is all a part of working to build up a workforce that can continue to elevate the profile of manufacturing in the San Joaquin Valley.

The San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance was incubated and launched by the Fresno Business Council in cooperation with Fresno State’s Office of Community and Economic Development in 2016.

OCED first organized and initiated a manufacturing cluster in 2014 with the intention of bringing together regional manufacturers. That year launched the very first manufacturing summit. As the focus of building a strong advanced manufacturing cluster and developing a world-class workforce ecosystem evolved, the Fresno Business Council stepped in with industry champions to help lead the charge.

Today, the SJVMA maintains its operations under the FBC’s 501(c) (6) as a member-based organization with over 600 members throughout the San Joaquin Valley, and works with cooperation from OCED and in consultation with the manufacturing community. The SJVMA holds quarterly member meetings with panel discussions on topics from soft skills to internships, as well as quarterly Human Resources roundtables and best practices tours at member manufacturing facilities.

Leveraging FBC’s long-standing relationships in the business, civic and education sectors has enabled SJVMA a jumpstart in building the bridge between the public and private sectors. Due to FBC’s deep vertical connections at the state level, many built-in resources are used. The SJVMA’s primary focus is building stronger regional manufacturing companies by strengthening connections and relationships, building growth assets, and strengthening the workforce pipeline by collaborating with education partners and ensuring students are supported in discovering a path that inspires them.