On May 30, a group of 55 local manufacturers and the agencies who support them packed a large conference room at Grass Valley, A Belden Brand to talk about challenges and opportunities facing local manufacturing companies. The Nevada County Economic Resource Council’s Nevada County Tech Connection (NCTC) co-hosted the event with California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC) as a kick-off for a new initiative that aims to connect, support, and promote Nevada County’s manufacturing industry.
Success Stories from Industry Partnerships
Jonathan Palmer, CEO at Autometrix welcomed the crowd with a personal story about his company’s evolution, and how being involved with the NCTC has contributed to his company’s success. Joe Wernette, Vice President of sister organization Sacramento Valley Manufacturing Initiative (SVMI), spoke about some of the success his organization has had supporting manufacturing companies in Sacramento, including a program that introduces high school students to local manufacturing companies and jobs.
Common Opportunities and Challenges
The bulk of the meeting was devoted to attendees working in small groups to discuss growth opportunities, challenges, and the pros and cons of running a successful manufacturing company in Nevada County. A wide variety of manufacturing companies spoke about a range of growth opportunities, from expanding markets to reducing the cost of locally manufactured goods. Participants unanimously agreed that one of the largest challenges facing local manufacturers is finding qualified employees at all levels. They also identified other challenges including a lack of: suitable sites for large scale manufacturing, housing for would-be employees, and high-speed internet.
Connecting with Other Manufacturers
Many participants found the networking opportunity and connecting with other manufacturers to be one of the most valuable aspects of this meeting. Another valuable takeaway was learning about all of the resources that are available to support manufacturers, including CMTC, the Small Business Development Center, Business and Career Center, Connecting Point, and others. All attendees are invited to attend a follow-up meeting on Wednesday, June 19, from 8:00 – 9:30am at the Tech Hub (104 New Mohawk Road in Nevada City), where the group will brainstorm solutions and next steps to solving some of these challenges – together.
Manufacturing Connection June 19 Agenda
- Networking and Coffee
- Review and confirm key issues facing local manufacturing companies
- Prioritize issues and pick two to work on immediately
- Brainstorm possible solutions (with help from local agencies)
- Determine next steps and owners + Discuss: Is there interest in a monthly “Manufacturing Monday”networking event?
- Establish meeting cadence and set next meeting date
If you would like to attend the Manufacturing Connection meeting on June 19, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.