With component manufacturing re-shoring from overseas and the improvement of the nation’s economy, manufacturers are experiencing business growth, and they need to increase their workforce,” said Jo Marie Diamond, ECEDC President and CEO.
El Cajon, Calif. (PRWEB) June 04, 2013
Manufacturers in East County San Diego are working together with the East County Economic Development Council (ECEDC), workforce centers, and other organizations to get veterans and job seekers excited about careers in manufacturing. On May 15, 2013 Quality Controlled Manufacturing Inc. (QCMI) and Taylor Guitars hosted more than 60 veterans and job seekers. The second Manufacturing Tour and Panel half-day event gave participants an inside look at manufacturing processes, facility environments, and the career opportunities available in today’s high-tech manufacturing jobs.
“The tour and panel formula is having its desired effect of increasing, and in many cases, changing the minds of the workforce of what the manufacturing industry is today versus what it was or its stereotype,” said QCMI COO / CFO Rick Urban. According to tour follow-up survey data, 87 percent are considering working in the manufacturing sector; 65 percent reported positive and improved knowledge of the field; with five percent of the tour participants considered for immediate placement.
The group toured two of San Diego’s fastest growing companies. Santee-based QCMI, a precision machining manufacturer, had 63 percent growth, and El Cajon-based Taylor Guitars, a leading manufacturer of premium guitars reported 57 percent growth over a 3-year period (2009-2011). At each facility, key executives explained in detail the production processes. Attendees saw skilled employees working in clean, modern plants using computer skills on high-tech equipment.
Following the tours, veterans and job seekers were served lunch courtesy of Cuyamaca College. A resource table displayed training/assistance brochures, job fair flyers, and job postings. Each participant received a flash drive with all of the information.
A panel of industry experts explained manufacturing career opportunities and answered questions. Panel members were: Bob Grande, Founder, CEO & President and Rick Urban, COO / CFO of QCMI; Chris Neidre, Founder & CEO, Leek Detection; Matt Ross, General Manager, First Class Packaging; David Gonzalez, Business Operations Manager, Southland Envelope; Duncan McGehee, Engineering Instructor, Cuyamaca College; and Ed Smith, Associate Director, Industry & Government Relations, External Affairs at the Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT-SD).
“I wish I could say that we’re doing this only for the good of the community, but the reality is we need people now, and we are having a difficult time finding qualified individuals fast enough,” said Urban.
In 2012, the ECEDC surveyed more than 100 manufacturers in East County. One of the primary issues these manufacturers reported was their inability to secure skilled labor and qualified personnel. In response, to this need, ECEDC, QCMI, and other partners are collaborating in changing the image of manufacturing.
“There are misconceptions about the manufacturing sector. One of them is that there are no jobs left. With component manufacturing re-shoring from overseas and the improvement of the nation’s economy, manufacturers are experiencing business growth, and they need to increase their workforce,” said Jo Marie Diamond, ECEDC President and CEO.
The Manufacturers Tour and Panel is part of the Careers in Manufacturing series, developed to educate veterans and out-of-work adults about the range of career opportunities in the manufacturing sector. The ECEDC has plans for two more tours this year. The May 15th tour was made possible thanks to sponsorship from Cuyamaca College, SDG&E, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo, as well as funding from the San Diego Workforce Partnership and snack bags from Wal-Mart. Sponsorships for future tours are still available.
About the Careers in Manufacturing Series
The Careers in Manufacturing Series is a collaborative effort. Partners organizing events include the Center for Applied Competitive Technologies, Cuyamaca College, East County Career Center, ECEDC, Grossmont Union High School District, Public Consulting Group, QCMI, Seacoast Science Inc. and Wells Fargo. The series started as a project of the ECEDC’s Supporting Education and Economic Development Committee (SEED).
About The East County Economic Development Council (ECEDC)
The ECEDC is a dynamic, award-winning, nonprofit organization of leaders committed to a healthy, vital economic climate and quality of life in the East County San Diego region. For additional information, please visit the East County Economic Development Council at http://www.eastcountyedc.org.