I am honored to be serving my state and the manufacturing community with two recent appointments — CMTA Chairman and Workforce Investment Board Member. In an effort to identify the needs of industry, create career pathways that provide businesses with the skilled workforce they need, and to assist in putting unemployed and underemployed Californians back to work, Gov. Jerry Brown has rebuilt and reinvigorated the state’s long-neglected Workforce Investment Board (WIB). I am excited to serve on the WIB.
Those who know me or follow me through social media know how passionate I am about technical education opportunities for California’s students and workforce.
The stripping of classes in our K-12 educational system that expose students to potential technical career opportunities is an embarrassment. The focus on our states’ four-year colleges disenfranchises so many of our state’s youths. I feel it has had a direct correlation on our dropout rate from high school. Our current dropout rate is at 23.7 percent, according to a report released in June 2012 from the California Department of Education. This reality then puts a huge burden on our community colleges that then serve the needs of these many students later trying to educate themselves in order to enter the workforce.
In June, I was elected to serve as chairman of the California Manufacturers and Technology Association (CMTA). I am so proud to be associated with this organization. The staff is truly world class and works tirelessly to defend and support manufacturing in our state. As a small manufacturer, I feel that CMTA gives me a platform for my concerns to be heard. Being part of this association allows me to make an impact on the state of manufacturing in California. My desire is to see many more small manufacturers join me at the CMTA. Your membership in the CMTA does make a difference.
Our collective voice matters. The only way for us to affect a change is for us to speak up and be heard by our state politicians. So many of our politicians have never run a company and too many of them still believe that manufacturing is a dirty and unhealthy work environment for workers. They need to be educated that manufacturers provide some of the best jobs to be had in our state, and often, cutting edge environments using industry inspired innovations.
As I settle into these positions, tell me how I can help. What do you want me to champion? What do you want me to share with you through social media? I want to be confident that I am speaking for all of you who work within the manufacturing sector in California.